In Response to: A Ritchie Boy

Thank you for your excellent cover article and interview with Professor Victor Brombert (“A Ritchie Boy,” November issue).

During the past many decades I have very much enjoyed at least three — usually more — articles in each issue of PAW. For many years I lived within a few miles of Fort Ritchie and, therefore, it’s not surprising that many of these issues of PAW were actually read near Fort Ritchie, sometimes north, sometimes south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Your most recent issue brought back fond memories of this historic and important Army base, even if now abandoned, yet working on its metamorphosis.

For the 50th Reunion Book of my Class of 1964 I was asked to write about President Robert F. Goheen ’40 *48. I was amazed when I learned that he was one of the many distinguished Americans who rotated through Fort Ritchie during World War II. Here’s an excerpt from what I wrote at the time (pages 16 to 24 of Fifty Years Behind the Eight Ball):

... After one year of graduate study in Princeton’s Department of Classics, in 1941, he joined the Army.  As 'a 1st Lt., Inf.,' in 1943 he entered Camp (later Fort) Ritchie in the hills of Western Maryland, where a succession of remarkable, select classes of linguists and others with specialized skills were undergoing training before overseas assignments (such as the Ritchie Boys of film-fame).  Lt. Goheen's Army records note that he was 'last employed by Princeton Univ. N.J. as Freshman Soccer  Coach.'  On the upper right hand corner (in caps) there is a notation that he knew French and Marattri; at the bottom, that he was 'not available for assg without approval of G-2, War Dept.' ...

I hope that many of your readers — our classmates, colleagues, and friends — will find these tidbits both informative and of interest.

Peter Kurz ’64
Princeton, N.J.