Fort Monmouth OCS - Officer Candidates Nov 1942 and Graduating Class Feb 1943

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 13 Sep 2019 [unknown]
Location: Fort Monmouth, New Jerseymap
Surnames/tags: Army Service_Forces,_United_States_Army,_World_War_II fort monmouth_new_jersey
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This page has been created as a way to share some World War II information contained in two family photographs my father, Robert C. Follett (1916-2014), had kept from his training at Officer Candidate School (O.C.S.) in Fort Monmouth New Jersey, 1942-1943. After his training he served in Puerto Rico at the Dept. Signal Office, San Juan and at Fort Bundy and Camp O'Reilly, as a Telephone & Telegraph Installation & Test Engineer. He was discharged with the rank of Captain in July 1946.

The original photographs were in possession of my sister, and scanned in October 2009. Upon recent review, I realized I also had the handwritten names (signatures) of the persons in these photographs, which may be both valuable and fun information for other family researchers.

If I find or create any profiles for these men on wikitree, I will link to the names below.

NOTE: My Dad was in OCS Class section 15-43. There were also about 14 other sections of this class. If your relative is not in the photos I posted, they still may have attended OCS but were included in another class section graduating the same time. Do a search on the OCS website for their surname at: to find what class section they were in and see the basic info kept there.

See also, History of Fort Monmouth on

Photograph 1 - Officer Candidates - Ft Monmouth N.J. - Nov 7, 1942 (43 men) and reverse side “Buddy List”

This 1942 photograph of officer candidates includes 43 men, with handwritten numbers on the shoulder area of each man, which corresponds to the individual signatures of the men on the Buddy List contained on the back side of the photograph. My father diligently obtained the signature of each man, and where they were from in the U.S. The photo contains a reference number 588-M-73.

(The front and back sides of the photograph were scanned in two sections and combined in Photoshop. Therefore some minor distortions may have occurred. The original photograph was prepared by the post photographer, Harry Dutchyshyn.)

My father’s discharge papers also showed that the training obtained by this candidate class may have been specifically oriented to Signal Corps training. (Upon preliminary research on the names, I found it very interesting that no. 6, Edwin Carter Rae, was one of the “Monuments Men” responsible for helping to recover artworks stolen by the Nazi’s in World War II.)

The text of a Buddies List contained on the back of the photo has been transcribed by me (with some errors possible where the handwriting was difficult or unclear), as follows (and please note that the numbered signatures correspond to the handwritten numbers on the men in the photo):

My Buddies

Robert C Follett - O.C.S. Ft. Monmouth NJ - Nov 4 1942 - Feb 2, 1943

1. Julian H. Weiss, Hollywood, Cal. (b. 1905 NY - d. 1991 CA)

2. Kublin -

3. Robert C. Rodger, Great Falls, Montana

4. Burton W. Gregg, Montpelier, Vermont (b. 1918 NH - d. 1990 VT)

5. James R. Wheeler, Long Beach, Cal.

6. Edwin Carter Rae, New Canaan, Conn. (b. 1911 CT - d. 2002 IL)

7. Ollie Wells, Okla City, Okla. (b. 1897 KS - d. 1973 OK)

8. William G. Cannons, Lake Alfred, Florida (b. 1918 FL - d. 1979 FL)

9. Robert P. West, San Diego, Cal.

10. Harold E. Gorham, McCaskill, Ark. (b. 1908 AR - d. 2001 TX)

11. Earl Vannoy, Lewiston, Idaho

12. Robert M. Williams, San Antonio, Texas (b. 1911 - d. 1987 TX)

13. Tom Tilerson ?, Detroit, Mich.

14. Blaine O. Vogt, Salem, Oregon (b. 1919 CO - d. 1975 OR)

15. Ernest F. Power, Lawton, Okla.

16. James A. Conner, L.I., New York

17. Fred L. Spencer, Dumont, N.J.

18. Milton Shapiro, Elizabeth, N.J.

19. William G. Cook, Chickasha, Okla. (b. 1912 OK - d. 1982 OK)

20. James R. Wells, Omaha, Nebr. (b. 1921 NE - d. 2012)

21. Godfrey A. Nelham ?, Tulda, Okl.

22. John M. Johnson, Minneapolis, Minn.

23. Hilard Francis, Jr., Indianapolis, Ind.

24. Robert W. Brown, Winntka, Ill.

25. Cornelius F. O’Keefe, N.Y.C., N.Y.

26. (my father, Robert C. Follett) - (b. 1916 ND - d. 2014 AZ)

27. Leon R. Thomas, San Jose, Cal.

28. R. F. Farrell, Little Rock, Ark.

29. J.W. Lummus ?, Pampa, Texas

30. R. J. Koziol, Southbridge, Mass.

31. Edward L. Johnson, Chicago, Ill.

32. Isaac W. Finley, Cleveland, Miss.

33. Robert A. Phillips, Los Angeles, Calif.

34. Edgar J. Goldschmidt, Pollack Lake, New Jersey

35. Clarke Welsh, Logansport, Indiana

36. Clay Spellman, Seattle, Wash.

37. Hal Henderson, Jr., Cleveland, Ohio

38. Geo. A. Hawn, Denver, Colo.

39. Roland H. Ziemke, San Francisco, Calif. & Ohio

40. John Daley, Plainfield, N.J.

41. James H. Morgan, Rogers, Arkansas

42. Harold E. Wiegand, Detroit

43. Thomas E. Mattingly, Wash., D.C.

Back of Photo Stamped:

Duplicate Prints May
Be Obtained From
Harry Dutchyshyn
Post Photographer
Fort Monmouth, N.J.

Photograph 2 - Officer Candidate Graduating Class - O.C.S. Ft. Monmouth NJ - Feb 3, 1943 (35 men)

This 1943 photograph of the OCS graduating class includes 35 men, 8 fewer men than in the candidates photo. Although it was not numbered like the first photo, relatives will be likely to find a person identified in the first photo as also being present in this photo. I can only surmise that the eight men missing from this photograph either did not pass the training, dropped out, shipped out, or were perhaps contained in a graduating class on a different date (or possibly graduated from a different section of the class). The photo contains a reference number 855-M-273.

This photo was also scanned in two sections and combined in Photoshop. I believe it is likely the original was also prepared by post photographer, Harry Dutchyshyn.

Other Information of Interest

U.S. Army Signal Corps officers train at Fort Monmouth and production of signal communication items in the United States (1943), CriticalPast website, at: . (includes videos of training) (accessed 14 Sept 2019)

The United States Army Signal Corps Officer Candidate School Association, at: - This site has OCS information and links to Class Rosters for World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and General Officers (who trained at OCS) . Input your ancestor's surname in the search box to see if they may be included on that site, and what class they were in at OCS.

See also, History of Fort Monmouth on

If anyone finds a relative or ancestor in these photographs, I would love to have you contact me, or drop a comment on this page!

Bonnie Follett

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