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.
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Since the earliest days of the republic, Native Americans have stepped up to defend the United States at higher rates than any other ethnic group.
From General Washington’s inclusion of Tuscarora and Oneida warriors at Valley Forge, through the world wars and Vietnam to today’s conflicts in the Middle East, Native Americans continue to answer their cultural calling to serve.
Traditionally, these soldiers were welcomed home with healing ceremonies that helped reintegrate them with the tribe and wider society. Compassionate medicine men, and women, used time-honored practices to mend the emotional, spiritual, and physical trauma of war.
“Unfortunately, the U.S. government banned Native religious ceremonies … » More …
Poles planted and ready, Sean Halsted ’92 waits at the starting gate for the 15-kilometer cross-country skiing race. It’s March 2018 at the PyeongChang Winter Games and he’s wearing the signature red cap and striped jersey of the U.S. Paralympic team.
Behind sunglasses, Halsted glances at the grandstand filled with thousands of cheering fans, colorful flags, and jangling cowbells. Cameras point in every direction and he catches a glimpse of himself on the jumbotron. Though the Air Force veteran has competed all over the world, the enormity of the event is overwhelming. His eyes turn back to the countdown clock where seconds creep by until … » More …
World War I ended 100 years ago this November 11, where 116,516 Americans gave their lives. Forty-two of them had attended Washington State College and their names grace a plaque on the Veterans Memorial at the heart of the Pullman campus.
Ivan Price was one of the fallen.
Price graduated from Pullman High School in 1915. He played football, basketball, and track, and helped Pullman High to the state football and basketball championships his senior year.
That fall he entered WSC and played on the freshman basketball team. The following season, Price started as forward in all 26 games for a Crimson and Gray varsity … » More …
Leaning back against a wall mounted with a variety of ukuleles, Fred Kamaka begins the story of his family’s 100-year-old ukulele business for a tour group at the factory in Honolulu.
“To be cool in the ’20s, you needed to have a coonskin cap and a uke in hand,” he says, “So my father started making ukuleles.”
A spry 91-year-old, Fred sprinkles the history with dry jokes, and periodically pulls down one of the ukuleles to musically punctuate a point.
His father, professional musician Samuel Kamaka Sr., traveled to New York and Europe and learned the luthier’s art before he returned to Hawai‘i and began … » More …
Military homecoming is usually a time of immense joy and relief, but for many veterans the weeks that follow are daunting. Each month in Washington state alone, 1,000 service members transition from active duty to civilian life—moving from a structured, often traumatic environment into the looser routines of home. Along the way come unexpected challenges, especially when returning to college or entering the job market.
Jermiha White ’16 served eight and a half years as an Army cavalry scout on the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan. As a combat veteran, White began experiencing anxiety when he enrolled as a student at Washington State University … » More …