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Fallen Cougars

silhouette of soldiers raising flag on Iwo Jima
Winter 2020

Profiles of valor

The Fallen Cougars Project aims to honor the legacy of former students who served in the Second World War and made the ultimate sacrifice.

Some 200 servicemen with ties to Washington State College—now WSU—died in World War II. Learn about a little more about their lives, deaths, and service to America here.

 

Charles Noble Kirkham
Charles Noble Kirkham (x’45 Mech. Eng.) was a pilot aboard the U.S.S. Shangri-La at the beginning of June 1945 when the aircraft carrier was preparing for the invasion of the Japanese island of Kyushu. During that series of airstrikes, Shangri-La’s airmen faced their strongest resistance to date—and suffered their heaviest casualties.

On his last flight, Kirkham’s wingman’s plane was damaged and crash-landed into the Pacific Ocean. Kirkham circled above his wingman, providing … » More …

silhouette of soldiers raising flag on Iwo Jima
Winter 2020

Fallen Cougars: Meet the student researchers

Three graduate student researchers were hired over summer 2020 to record the lives, feats, and deaths of fallen Cougars from the Pacific Theater in World War II.

And, a recent graduate has volunteered to help with research through the end of the year.

Here are their own stories.

 

Samantha “Sam” Edgerton 
Her interest in World War II started in childhood. Three of Samantha “Sam” Edgerton’s grandparents had connections to conflict, and she wanted to know more.

Her maternal grandfather served in the North Africa and Sicily campaigns with the United States Army. Her paternal grandfather, a first-generation Mexican-American, worked as a barber for the United States Navy, joining in 1944. And her maternal grandmother worked at Camp Atterbury … » More …