Who is this Eph?

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He is Myles Crosby Fox ’40.

Myles will not be in Williamstown for reunion weekend, for he has passed away. He leaves behind no wife, no children nor grandchildren. He never attended a Williams reunion.

Fox was, in many ways, an Eph of both his time and ours. He was a Junior Advisor and captain of the soccer team. He served as treasurer in the Student Activities Council, forerunner to today’s College Council. He was a Gargoyle and secretary of his class. He lived in Wood House.

Fox was killed in August 1942, fighting the Japanese in the South Pacific. He was a First Lieutenant in the Marine Corps and served in a Marine Raider battalion.

Fox’s citation for the Navy Cross reads:

For extraordinary heroism while attached to a Marine Raider Battalion during the seizure of Tulagi, Solomon Islands, on the night of 7-8 August 1942. When a hostile counter-attack threatened to penetrate the battalion line between two companies, 1st Lt. Fox, although mortally wounded, personally directed the deployment of personnel to cover the gap. As a result of great personal valor and skilled tactics, the enemy suffered heavy losses and their attack repulsed. 1st Lt. Fox, by his devotion to duty, upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the defense of his country.

On Memorial Day, America honors soldiers like Fox who died in the service of their country. I think that it has been more than 30 years since an Eph has given his life as Fox did. With luck, military Ephs like Bungee Cooke ’98, Kathy Sharpe Jones ’79, Dan Ornelas ’98, Zack Pace ’98, JR Rahill ’88, Jerry Rizzo ’87, and Dan Rooney ’95 will survive this war. It would be more than enough to celebrate their service on Veterans’ Day.

Those interested in descriptions of what combat was like for Marines in the South Pacific during World War II might start with Battle Cry by Leon Uris or Goodby, Darkness by William Manchester. The Warriors by J. Glenn Gray provides a fascinating introduction to men and warfare.

A Navy destroyer was named after Fox. As far as I know, he is the only Eph ever to be so honored. The men who manned that destroyer collected a surprising amount of information about him. It all seems both as long ago as Ephraim Williams’s service to the King and as recent as the letters from Felipe Perez ’99 and
Joel Iams ’01.

Note: As long as there is an EphBlog, there will be a Memorial Day entry along these lines. To those who have gone before.

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