A Curious Solecism

Jim Sunshine's commemoration of representative-and some extraordinary-Oberlin casualties of the Second World War was most affecting to one who knew most of them.

The printed roster contains, however, a curious solecism that I hope will not appear on the memorial itself-the phrase "and Reserve" appended to the respective branch of the service in each case.

Any individual serviceman belonged either to the United States Army (USA) (the regular "old" army) or to the Army of the United States (AUS)-draftees, temporarily commissioned officers, etc. During the war no soldier was designated a Reservist.

Similarly, one was a member either of the regular United States Navy (USN) or of the Naval Reserve (USNR), of the United States Marine Corps (USMC), or the USMCR. Never both.

Incidentally, some of those listed as Air Force died when it was still the Air Corps.

Of the 75 lost Oberlin men, presumably no more than one or two were USA, USN, or USMC. Almost all were AUS, USNR, or USMCR. We owe it to them to get it right.

--Rowland Berthoff '52
St. Louis, Missouri

Editor's note: Mr. Berthoff speaks for a number of alumni who have written and called on this very subject. We apologize for the confusion caused by the "curious solecism" that appeared in our pages; rest assured that it will not appear on the memorial. The name of each casualty will be followed by his degree and class year; however, the branch of service in which each man was enlisted will be indicated by the appropriate abbreviation: AUS (army), RCAF (Canadian air force), USAAF (air force), USMC (marines), USMS (maritime service), or USN (navy).