John (Jack) H. Forté (CM 42)
John (Jack) Henry Forté (1924-2022), a skilled athlete and student from Waban, Massachusetts, filled out a volunteer application at the American Field Service’s 8 Newbury Street office in Boston in July 1943. Despite having no prior military experience, Forté departed New York on October 22, 1943. In late November he passed through Philippeville (now Skikda), a city in northeastern Algeria and a port on the Mediterranean. When he reached AFS’ headquarters near the Suez Canal a few weeks later, he initially joined the Middle Eastern Forces. However, for much of his service he participated in the Central Mediterranean Campaign, during which he drove an ambulance in Cassino and parts of central Italy. After he was repatriated on December 26, 1944, he returned to his studies at Harvard University. After graduating in 1946, he would go on to lead Forté, Dupee, Sawyer Co., a wool business founded by his father in 1921, and become a philanthropist who made generous donations to Phillips Exeter Academy (a school he attended prior to Harvard), AFS, as well as local hospitals and charities.
Jack Forté passed away in Naples, Florida on December 22, 2022. To learn more about his life, please read his obituary, which appeared in the Boston Globe.
Maxwell Chaplin (CM 87)
Maxwell Chaplin (1926-2020) of Claremont, California joined the American Field Service in the spring of 1944 after one year of study at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to his service, he obtained one year of military training at the school (February 1943-October 1943) and had worked as a Production Machinist for Joshua Hendy Iron Works and the Pomona Pump Company. He set sail from the United States in June 1944 and arrived overseas on July 15. According to non-commissioned officer (NCO) Whit Bell, “Within a month of his coming to Italy, [Chaplin] was under some of the hottest fire in the Gothic Line, and he behaved like a veteran.”
As a volunteer ambulance driver, Chaplin not only took part in the Italian Campaign alongside the British Eighth Army, but also participated in the France-Germany Campaign, finishing the war with the First Army in Northern Germany and assisting with the evacuation and clean-up of the Bergen Belsen concentration camp before returning home to the United States in July 1945. After the war, Chaplin returned to the University of California to study international relations in hopes of joining the United States Foreign Service.
Chaplin passed away on February 4, 2020. To learn more about Chaplin’s life, including his post-war career in international relations, please read his obituary here, which was published by the Monterey Herald.
Andrew J. Foley (ME 32)
Andrew John Foley (1922-2022) of Brookline, Massachusetts joined the American Field Service in early October 1942 at the age of 20. Although he had no prior military experience, he had been abroad during the summer of 1942, traveling to Iceland for writing, photography, and correspondent work. Before volunteering with AFS, his work appeared in Life magazine, Theatre Arts, Mademoiselle, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Architectural Forum, and the London Daily Mail, as described in this letter. He expressed his desire to continue working as a photographer for AFS when he put his studies at Amherst College on hold and went overseas as a volunteer ambulance driver in November 1942. He departed the United States on November 23, 1942 and arrived in the Middle East on February 5, 1943. He participated in the African Campaign in the Western Desert as well as the Italian Campaign, serving in Cairo, Egypt; Baalbek, Syria; and Salerno, Italy, among other areas. He returned home to the United States in June 1944 and received a 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, Italy Star, British War Metal, and a Bronze Cross of Merit with Swords from the Polish government for his service. He completed his degree at Amherst in 1944.
Foley passed away on June 27, 2022. To learn more about his service and his other accomplishments, please read his obituary here.
Sol W. Sanders (CM 97, IB 59-T)
Sol Witner Sanders (1926-2022) was born in Atlanta, Georgia and attended public school in North Carolina before taking courses at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Later he enrolled at the University of Missouri but enlisted with AFS before earning his Bachelor’s in Journalism. As a volunteer with AFS, he was initially sent to aid the British Central Mediterranean Forces before being transferred to the India-Burma theatre. After the war, in addition to obtaining his bachelor’s from the University of Missouri, he would also study at the Far East Institute of Columbia University in New York City and the Sorbonne in Paris. He traveled extensively in Mexico during the 1950s and was the Deputy Foreign Editor for Business Week in 1953. Sanders acted as Asian Editor for McGraw-Hill World News between 1957 and 1961 and Editor for U.S. News & World Report between 1961 and 1970 where he reported on the Vietnam War. He’s also written articles for United Press International, The Research Institute of America Report (1973–1977), Business Week Magazine (1977–1986) and the Washington Times (1987–2010s). He was a foreign correspondent who specialized in Asian geopolitics and most recently worked as a weekly columnist for East-Asia-Intel.com and the WorldTribune.com before retiring in 2019. He recently lived in New York City and Hawaii and spoke several languages during his lifetime, including French and Spanish, as well as some German and Japanese.
Sanders passed away on February 17, 2022.
For a full list of his fellowships, consultancies, teaching positions, and books, please see his Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_Sanders
His niece, Robbie Sanders, will generously gift his papers, photographs, certificates, ribbons, and medals to the AFS Archives in June 2022.
Thomas Dolan IV (IB 1)
Thomas Dolan IV (1923-2021), the son of a World War I AFS volunteer, was born on April 16, 1923 in Philadelphia and grew up in Devon, Pennsylvania. He attended Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia and St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire before enrolling in Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He applied to be a volunteer ambulance driver on March 25, 1943 and went sent overseas in April 1943. As a driver, he served alongside the British 14th Army in the India-Burma (now Myanmar) theatre. After returning home to the United States, he graduated from Cornell University in 1948 with a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology and Conservation. Dolan became an expert in the biodiversity of streams, rivers, and lakes and would pioneer early flood-plain zoning to protect watersheds in urban areas as well as initiate and supervise many important local wetland preservation projects. He even identified a new category of mayfly, the Dolania americana, which was named after him.
Dolan passed away on December 28, 2021.
For more information about Thomas Dolan IV, including his conservation work, please read his obituary published by The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.
James H. Brewster (CM 47, IB 60-T)
James Henry Brewster (1922-2020) was born on August 21, 1922 in Fort Collins, Colorado but spent his early years in parts of Wyoming, Missouri, and Connecticut. By 1942, he had graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and was working at the Atlantic Refining Company as a junior chemist. At university, he had received some military education through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) prior to applying to be a volunteer ambulance driver with AFS in July 1943. He departed New York on August 24, 1943 and arrived overseas in September. During his service, he was transferred from the Italian Campaign to the Franco-German Campaign in April 1945, and then sent to India during the summer of 1945. He returned to the United States in November 1945 after the war with Japan ended. He continued his studies upon his return, obtaining a Ph.D. in organic Chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1947 and spent a postdoctoral year at the University of Chicago. He worked at the Department of Chemistry at Purdue University between 1949 and 1991 and chaired the Faculty Senate in his final year before retirement.
Brewster passed away on October 4, 2020.
For more information about James H. Brewster, please read the Finding aid to the James H. Brewster Collection, AFS’ Archival Blog, the Fall 2011 issue of the AFS Janus (page 10), Purdue University article.
Lee Harold Chalifour (1st Air Ambulance Squadron)
Lee H. Chalifour of Providence Rhode Island joined the 1st Air Ambulance Squadron of the American Field Service on May 15, 1945. He trained in Laconia, New Hampshire and was booked to set sail on August 15, 1945 for the China-Burma-India Theatre for a period of six months. However, in mid-July 1945, Major George “Scotty” Wilson discovered that Chalifour had altered his birth certificate in order to volunteer as an airplane ambulance pilot overseas. At sixteen years-old, he was ineligible to volunteer with AFS, and was honorably discharged on August 20, 1945.
A great deal of planning and work had gone into both AFS’ China Unit and Air Ambulance Squadron. The China Unit had been in the works since August 1943, and the AAS had been under consideration since AFS’ early days in the Middle East. Had the war lasted longer, or had events turned somewhat differently, both might have prospered. Ultimately, neither venture actually reached the field, and the 1st Air Ambulance Squadron ended up being the last Air Ambulance Squadron.
Despite training with AFS for such a short period of time, AFS had a deep impact on Chalifour’s life, which he indicates in the following letter. He regularly donated to AFS throughout his life. Chalifour passed away on March 17, 2021.
Allan B. Prince (CM 43)
Allan Bixby Prince (1924-2021) [CM 43, 485 Company in Italy] was a student at Rutgers University when he joined the American Field service as a volunteer ambulance driver in June 1943. He was sent overseas with unit CM 43 on July 5 and initially served alongside the British 8th Army in Lebanon and Syria. With the war winding down in the Middle East, Prince relocating to Egypt where he joined forces with other ambulance drivers and British troops headed for Sicily to assist with the Italian campaign. Prince served with 485 Company in various parts of southern Italy between January and September 1944 and witnessed the Battle of Monte Cassino before returning home to the United States to continue his studies.
William R. Wallace [ME 16, FR 4]
William Robert Wallace (1921-2021) was studying at the University of Washington in Seattle when he enlisted with the American Field Service in 1942. He was sent overseas as a volunteer ambulance driver in June 1942 and participated in both the African Campaign in the Western Desert and the Italian Campaign before returning to the United States on leave in August 1944. Wallace went overseas again in November 1944 to assist with the France-Germany Campaign and was honorably discharged from AFS in June 1945. For his service he received several awards, including a European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon, which was awarded to AFS personnel for outstanding and conspicuous service with the armed forces under difficult and hazardous combat conditions.
Arthur Bruce Boenau (IB 57)
Arthur B. Boenau was born on May 12, 1926 in Casper, Wyoming and grew up in Sunnyside, Queens. Like his father, he attended Amherst College, but decided to postpone his studies during the spring of 1945 in order to join the American Field Service and aid the British 14th Army in India. He returned to Amherst College in February of 1946 and graduated in 1948. His teaching career at Gettysburg College began after he completed an A.M. degree at Columbia University and before he earned a Ph.D. at Columbia in 1964. He taught in the Political Science Department from 1957 to 1991, specializing in the study of foreign political systems. He was active on major college committees, served two terms as chair of his department, and served as faculty marshal. Boenau passed away on May 9, 2019 in Gettysburg.
Craig Phillip Gilbert (CM 93)
Craig P. Gilbert was born on August 13, 1925 in Manhattan. He graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts in 1943 and joined the American Field Service near the end of World War II. He was one of the volunteers who helped liberate the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. After the war, he enrolled in Harvard and graduated in 1949. After graduation he worked as a gopher on Broadway, as a journalist, as a freelance television script writer, and as a film editor and producer. By the mid-1960s he had found a full-time position writing and producing for WNET and became an executive producer in 1966. In 1973 his groundbreaking television series An American Family aired. The series examined the lives of the Loud family in California and is widely considered as the first reality television show.
Gilbert passed away on April 10, 2020 in Lower Manhattan.
Richard McMasters Hunt (IB 57)
Richard (Rick) M. Hunt was a student at Yale when he enlisted in the American Field Service. He traveled oversees to Colombo, Sri Lanka in May of 1945 when he was just was eighteen years old. From Colombo, his unit, IB 57, traveled to Calcutta, India, and then to Secunderabad, a small town in southern India, which had a large military camp. Rick spent the next eight months there, during which time he met and heard Mahatma Gandhi speak. After the war, Hunt completed his bachelors at Yale, obtained a master’s degree from Columbia University, and earned a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. He joined the faculty of Harvard and taught social studies and history, including courses on Nazi Germany and leadership. During his four-decades-long career he served as University Marshal (1982-2002), Director of the Mellon Faculty Fellowship Program, and Assistant Dean and Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In 1952, when Hunt was working for Radio Free Europe, he joined the AFS Board for the first time. He became a Life Trustee in 1966. At Harvard, Hunt served as the faculty advisor to AFS students who were hosted in the Boston area. Hunt was also one of the founding trustees of the Roy A. Hunt Foundation, an organization named after his father that supports community development, youth violence prevention, the environment, the arts, and international relations. His philanthropy continues to extend to numerous social, educational and cultural causes, especially within the Pittsburgh area.
Hunt passed away on April 10, 2020.
Richard (Dick) William Nelson (CM 60)
Richard (Dick) W. Nelson was born in Racine, Wisconsin on July 16, 1925. Determined to play a part in the war effort, he volunteered for the American Field Service between 1944 and 1945. His unit, CM 60, served alongside the British 8thArmy throughout Italy during some of the toughest battles on the continent, including the Battle of Monte Cassino. After the war, Nelson returned to the United States and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1948. Nelson was employed by John Oster Mfg. Co. of Racine from 1948 and 1967 and marketed Oster products throughout Mexico and Latin America. From 1967 to 1985, Nelson acted as Export Manager for Jacobsen Mfg. of Racine. He traveled throughout the world selling to and cultivating clients of Jacobsen’s superior line of gang mowers, which were used everywhere on golf courses, polo fields and government owned lands. Under his leadership, Jacobsen earned the U.S. Commerce Department’s prestigious ‘E’ pennant for excellence in exporting American made products overseas. Outside of work, Nelson enjoyed reading and playing the piano. He was fluent in both Spanish and Italian, which he wrote and spoke until his passing on March 11, 2020 in Racine, surrounded by a community that continues to participate in AFS’ exchange programs.
Kenneth Melling Schubert (IB 14)
Kenneth (Ken) M. Schubert was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. During the Second World War, he served as a volunteer ambulance driver for the American Field Service alongside British Forces in the India-Burma theatre. After the war, he graduated from Bowdoin College and worked in the corrugated-box industry, eventually becoming the Co-owner and President of Kendal Container Corporation. In addition to Brooklyn, Schubert also lived in Montclair, New Jersey, Geneva, New York, Morristown, New Jersey, and Elkins Park, Pennsylvania before settling in Wheaton, Illinois. He and his wife traveled extensively during their retirement years.
Schubert passed away on February 28, 2020 in Wheaton. Read more here.
Donald Raymond Vogt (IB 57)
Donald R. Vogt was native of Syracuse, New York. Hoping to make a difference during the Second World War, he served as volunteer ambulance driver for the American Field Service alongside British Forces in India-Burma. After the war, he returned to the United States and worked as a data technician for the U.S. Postal Service for thirty-three years. Throughout his life, Vogt enjoyed the challenge of fixing things and building things. He built his home in Sandy Pond, New York and built a boat from scratch, which he fished from for many years. He also enjoyed traveling with his wife and spent winters in Myrtle Beach.
Vogt passed away on April 11, 2019.