Alexander Bonnyman Jr. ’32 did not have to serve in the Marine Corps during World War II: He was in his 30s, a married man with children, and a worker in an industry that was critical to the war effort. He joined nonetheless. Bonnyman was killed in the ferocious fighting for the Pacific island of Tarawa and posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. His body was never recovered.
Recently, however, private researchers have said that they know where Bonnyman’s remains lie, and they and others are calling for their recovery and return — no easy task so many years later. Michael Goldstein ’78 tells that story, beginning on page 22.
World War II experiences remain important to members of Princeton’s older classes; at Reunions, for example, the Class of 1944 will honor its veterans. Alumni accounts of the war may be found in dated issues of PAW and in Mudd Library files stuffed with riveting battle tales, mournful letters, and diaries describing tedium and annoyances, pleasure and friends. In 2000, the Class of 1942 published a book with its members’ wartime experiences, and the stories make compelling reading. Most had happy endings. But 25 of the 683 class members died during the war, and seven became prisoners.
There are other stories to be told by alumni of that “greatest generation.” We ask veterans of World War II and Korea to send us brief accounts — under 350 words — of a memorable wartime experience. We will post these at PAW Online (at paw.princeton.edu) as they arrive, and will include a selection in our print issue before Veterans Day in November.
E-mail your remembrance to paw@ princeton.edu or send it to PAW at 194 Nassau St., Suite 38, Princeton, NJ 08542. Thank you!
Marilyn H. Marks *86