Reflection and Memorialization

Every war has its beginning and its end, and even the first world war, remembered as the grandiose “war to end all wars” met its own end in November 11th, 1918. A war of historically unprecedented scale went, that winter in 1918, from the present to the past.

As the saying goes, history is written by the victors. For World War One, The adage holds true to an extent. Although the Allies’ victory is seen by most as having been for the best, one would also be hard pressed to find a Turk that remembers the outcome of the Gallipoli campaign with anything but national pride. US popular sentiment towards WWI proved no different than those of most other participating nations.

Having been buffeted for over a year by wartime propaganda and nationalistic calls to help in the war effort, even the comparatively pacifist Loomis LOG writes in its October 10th 1917 editorial that “it is of vital importance that every man, woman, or child do his just share in the struggle” [1]. From the supreme significance of the war due primarily to its scale, patriotic attitudes ran unbridled especially among the young and easily influenced. Slowly the majority of the student body’s opinion of the war shifted from Headmaster Batchelder’s appeal to pacifism to the national enthusiasm for war.

It was in the midst of this wartime hysteria when Mrs. Batchelder died in the winter of 1917. Naturally, in a gesture to honor the late wife of the Headmaster, a school monument was due. Interestingly associating school spirit with patriotic sentiment, the Loomis students decided to pool their money into dedicating a central school flagpole to the late Mrs. Batchelder. The Mrs Batchelder Memorial Flagpole [2] was installed in the spring of 1918 behind Founders Hall, set to loom over the central and iconic Loomis building.

The Memorial Flagpole remains as one of the the only tangible remnants of WWI on what is now the Loomis Chaffee campus aside from the small wooden plaque commemorating Jack King 17’s death serving in the American ambulance corps [3]. Compared to the far larger memorials to the second World War on campus such as the “Victory of Mercy” and the numerous far larger plaques dedicated to the dead [4], Loomis’s memories of WW1 are hazy at best, amounting mostly to debate around the philosophy behind the war. With such limited involvement, it is no surprise that Loomis Chaffee carries such a limited array of memorials dedicated to World War One.

[1] The Loomis Log Vol. 3, October 10, 1917, No. 4

[2] The Loomis Log Vol. 3, December 5, 1917, No. 12

[3] The Loomis Log Vol. 4, October 9, 1918, No. 3

[4] The Loomis Log Vol. 31, October 12th, 1945, No. 3


Windsor War Bond Parade

As Carley and I started our research for our last blog post we had trouble finding our next topic. We decided instead of using online sources that we would go to the archives and try to find first hand sources. Looking through many old Loomis yearbooks and different type of sources we came across the 1942 to 1943 and the 1943 to 1994 Loomis logs. As we read carefully through those two log books we found two articles and many different advertisements about Loomis helping the community sell war bonds and showing that Loomis is part of the Windsor community to. Fighting in a war is very expensive for a country especially fighting in a world war. The United States of America spent $300 billion fighting enemy forces in World War II. The government can’t just fund all that money so they created war bonds. War Bonds were for ordinary American citizens like Loomis teachers or maybe even students. The whole idea of it was you could purchase a war bond for a certain amount of money and then in ten years the government would pay back more then what you originally bought the bond for. It was not just an investment for your own benefit but for your country to. America took that idea and advertised it all over the country including Loomis and Windsor.

The first article we came found was titled “Loomis Boys In Bond Parade; Military Makes Good Showing”. In this article it talks about how on September 18 Windsor would always have their War Bond drive parade during the war. For their thir

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Article from the Loomis Log of 1942

d annual War Bond parade the town of Windsor decided to invite Loomis to march in their parade. Loomis sent 40 boys dressed up in M.D’s olive green puttees. The parade started on Maple Avenue and went all the way to Broad Street. The crowd loved the Loomis boys as the article states “Windsor was a riot of color and sound as we marched in”. This shows how much how Loomis was loved by the community. This brings us to the second article we found titled “Windsor Bond Drive Success; Loomis Displays Army Unit”. In this article it really broke down the preparation the Loomis boys took before marching in the parade. The town of Windsor gave them a very short notice about wanting them in the parade so they only had two days of training. Most of the Loomis boys from the 40 man unit either were very rusty or had never done drilling maneuvers before. But that did not stop them from doing a great job in the parade and even getting a compliment from a solider saying “keep up the good work, men, you look fine.” The parade was a very patriotic event; even Kate Smith was there singing the National Anthem. After that their were many speeches from the mayor various speakers. Most of advertisements we found in the logs were about buying bonds but one advertisement even though it was


Advertisement from Loomis Log of 1943

not about War Bonds or even World War II it still displayed a strong message of a tight community with Loomis and Windsor has. This advertisement was about how Windsor needs a newspaper and on it has “Loomis is a part of The Community of Windsor,” this confirms the importance and acceptance of Loomis to Windsor Connecticut.





Loomis Log 1942 to 1943

Loomis Log 1943 to 1944


Student Policy Post World War II


As World War II concluded, Loomis students could have reveled in their efforts during the war, but instead decided to continue aiding their community and steadfastly holding their beliefs.  One writer implored students, “Probably some who have worked during the war-time summers think they deserve a rest… With food as scarce as it is… Get a job on a farm this summer.  Help to feed your family and the rest of the world next winter” [1].  The end of the war did not portend the end of community aid and service in Windsor.

The fall of 1945 marked the first peacetime school year at Loomis since 1941. At the time, most students had only known a frantic and hectic wartime experience at Loomis. When this year began, students were excited to create positive change in the world instead of struggling to keep their lives and their community functioning. Students could not wait to experience the Loomis they had heard about from their predecessors, with interscholastic sports instead of military drills or emergency war jobs.

UntitledThe Loomis baseball team resumed play in the spring of 1946, captained by its star shortstop Ed Alger. [1a]

Additionally, Loomis students railed against post-war mandates regarding the draft and war service.  Editors of the March Log issue, Grinnell, Wachsmann, Rooney, Edwards, and Barter, expressed the school’s strong opinions regarding post-war service in the military.  One writer explained, “We have weighed the evidence on both sides and are convinced that such a program… is not only inadvisable, but dangerous… Peacetime military conscription offers a great threat to international security”[2].  The writers described that the whole school debated the issue, and decided that the country would be best served rejecting the proposal.  Never in the article did the writer mention that students did not want to be forced into this; rather, they felt that the country as a whole would be best served denying this proposal.  The writers continue to support their position in incredible detail, suggesting that this required service would send a bad message to the world, one predicated upon mistrust.  Even when the war no longer existed on the battlefield,  Loomis students were still advocating and fighting for justice.  The fate of the school changed forever because of their efforts.  

As previously mentioned, the school, did not “take it easy”. Learning from wartime experience, a Log writer stated, “We learned that when faced with a big job that has to be done we have a lot more energy than we think…, we found time for potato picking, work in the Hartford Hospital, and several other wartime jobs.”[3] Students continued helping out in their community, providing work for as many projects as they did during the war. Loomis boys did settlement work at the Union Settlement and the Mitchell House, worked at the Hartford Hospital as medical aides, and participated in the broadcasting of “The Junior Town Meeting of the Air”, a local radio program.[4] The continued hard work of the students displays the positive effects of the war on their lives. They learned the importance of helping in their community, and the powerful change teenagers can bring if they all work together.


[1] The Loomis Chaffee Log, February 16, 1945

[1a] The Loomis Chaffee Log, April, 1946

[2] The Loomis Chaffee Log, March 2, 1945

[3] The Loomis Chaffee Log, September 22, 1945

[4] The Loomis Chaffee Log,


Wrapping Up Their Time on the Island

When diving into archives head first, not necessarily knowing what will come about, you hit plenty of blocks in the road. We certainly have experienced our fair share of those. From coming to a dead end with learning more about faculty in the war, to dead ends with certain students and their records. There was a glimmer of light when it comes to the seemingly untraceable Harold Hall Hartwell Jr. It is unclear how many years Hartwell spent at Loomis, however it is clear he was at the school for his junior year of 1940. Listed as the class of 1941 of Loomis, there is no record of him being a student at Loomis for that year besides the obituaries and memorial in Founders Hall. This presents multiple possibilities. Maybe Hartwell left the school to help at home or maybe this is the point in which he joined the war. Even if he left to join the Navy that year, you would think Loomis would acknowledge what he was doing in the yearbook. Or there is the real possibility that Hartwell was kicked out of school, but is unlikely considering his enrollment at Harvard, one of the world’s most prestigious universities, in the year 1941. Still after lots of digging and research, there is much to learn of Harold Hall Hartwell Jr. and his time at Loomis as well as a need to address Loomis’ motives.

While researching Loomis’s fallen heroes, it’s difficult to decide which particular people should be addressed within our posts. While looking through the The Loomis Alumni Bulletin from 1948, I stumbled upon a page which was dedicated to paying tribute to the fallen soldiers that had formally attended Loomis. Three members in particular were recognized: Lieutenant John W. Case (Class of ’98), Lieutenant Jon H. Wheeler (Class of ’40), and Lieutenant William C. Newbold (Class of ’41). First Lieutenant John W. Case, a member of Field Artillery with the 224th Field Artillery Battalion died in England from wounds he had received while fighting in France. Son of former Governor Norman Case of Rhole Island, he attended Brown University (upon graduation from Loomis) where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1942. Lieutenant John H. Wheeler, a Loomis and Babson graduate, died in Germany in 1940. After graduating from Babson, Wheeler was employed by the Scoville Wellington Company. He then proceeded to enter the air force where he would then be commissioned in Marianna, Florida on November 3rd, 1943. Last but certainly not least, Lieutenant William H. Newbold. A member of the Loomis graduating class of 1941, Newbold attended Cornell where he made the decision to enlist in the Army Air Forces. He was killed in a plane crash near Palm Springs, California on July 14th. His burial took place at the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington where he was commemorated by other members of the military. These are only three of the many veteran heroes that Loomis has produced over the course of war time. Along with being exceptionally well-rounded students and young men, these three soldiers fought on the front to protect the country. This not only speaks to the high character of these individuals, but also to the Loomis institute itself, to craft and mold such noble men.

Changes on Campus During World War II Part III

Here is our final blog post! In this post, we will discuss the role of race during wartime Loomis, the  news of the war on campus, and we will even talk about air raid drills! We will also compare Loomis’ war experience to other area prep schools, including bond parades, athletics, and the students’ personal efforts to support the American troops.

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Above: 1942 yearbook dedicated to the men of Loomis serving their country
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Above: Article from Loomis Log 1944-1945


While researching, we stumbled upon an article titled “Chinese Refugees Come to Loomis Via Turkish and Chilean School”. The first sentence peaked our interest most. It read “One of the good results of World War II is the tendency toward mutual understanding among the races.” This directly answers the question we have been asking, what were some changes on campus during World War II? Because much of the war was based on racist views of Jews and others by the Nazi party we can assume Loomis wanted to become more diverse as to not exclude others like the Nazi party did. Loomis did not want to exclude other races and wanted to learn about these people and their cultures. Most students at Loomis at the time were white and Loomis wanted diversity. This article discusses how Loomis increased the number of foreign students they had. It also talks about the arrival of two Chinese refugees from Chile. The boys were asked about the Chinese view of America and therefore expanded their knowledge of another country and the people who live there.

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Above: Article from Loomis Log 1944-1945



We found another fascinating article about when the 1945 seniors heard a talk about radar and air-crews. One night in the Palmer common room  most of the senior boys met and listened to someone talk to them about these training programs. Learning about the war and different ways they could help became a regular thing for boys at this time. People even visited campus to inform students about what they could do or learn to help. Despite living fairly isolated on “The Island,” there was no escape from the knowledge of the war and recruitment of boys and men across the nation to help out.



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Above: Air Raid instructions from 1941-1942 Log issue


Air raid drills and instructions were introduced during World War II, and each student was expected to know exactly what to do and where to be when and if the time came. Practice drills were performed often and were taken very seriously. The Air Raid signals was a series of short blasts on fire horn and sirens. This was played so that it could be heard all over campus in case of a real situation in which they would need to prepare all students for. The all clear signal was simple and easy to remember; it was a long continuous blast or ring. This training drill prepared each student for not only an air raid but any situation.

Now, we will begin to talk about the war experiences of other schools during WWII. We reached out to the archivist at Chase Collegiate School, a private day school located in Waterbury Connecticut, and gained an new and fascinating perspective of the war. At the time of the war, Chase was an Episcopal girls’ boarding school called Saint Margaret’s School for Girls. The school was extremely supportive of the war effort, boaders dedicated weekends to attending first aid classes, creating boxes of fun games to keep soldiers busy, and knitting scarves, hats, mittens, and bottle covers to send to send to troops. Even the youngest elementary school students helped support the war effort. We were amazed to learn that the elementary students collected 67,423 lbs of scrap metal in just one drive! They also managed to collect 16 lbs of keys alone! The whole school frequently hosted war bond drives, stamp drives, and even skating parties to raise money for the Red Cross that were open to residents of Waterbury. In 1944, the girls sold more than $22,150.00 worth of bonds! One senior class even voted to make the war bond the school’s mascot! We learned that Saint Margaret’s School for Girls’ French Club raised money to buy an ambulance for Free France. The girls also had frequent round table meetings with boys’ schools to discuss the war.

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Above: Advertisement for war bonds from the 1944-1945 Saint Margaret’s yearbook.

In winter of 1943, fuel shortages caused Saint Margaret’s School to close for an entire month. The archivist noted that students wore their winter hats and coats to class when they returned to avoid freezing.

Even after the war, the girls’ fundraising didn’t stop. Saint Margaret’s School hosted a Victory Loan drive to raise money for hospital equipment and aid reconstruction efforts. The school sponsored two schools in Free France and even a Belgian war orphan. A junior class hosted a United Nations themed party.

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Above: Students at Saint Margaret’s from their 1944-1945 yearbook.

At Worcester Academy, another prep school, the track team was not able to participate in any track meets due to the school’s strict rationing of gas. Worcester’s soccer team was only able to play a few local games within walking distance. The school’s hockey team’s page in the yearbook described their year as “hampered by two major factors– inexperienced players and the lack of a coach,” proving that they also experienced a rough season due to the war. Worcester’s rifle club, however, had a more successful season. It boasted 37 members who, due to the school’s support of the sport due to its military affiliation, participated in far more matches than any of the other sports.

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Above: Yearbook pages of various Worcester Academy sports teams.

Link above: Loomis Chaffee Drill Team in Grubbs Quad, 1942


Memorializing the War in Windsor

This week we took a look at how the town of Windsor elected to memorialize the war. When taking a deeper look at these monuments and memorials in the town of Windsor we really the see precedent of respect that the town has placed upon revering its soldiers.

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Deerfield Globe, Deerfield District, Windsor, CT

One noticeable memorial that cannot be missed by anyone traveling from the east to Loomis’ campus is the Deerfield Globe. This memorial is 3.5 feet tall and stands upon a cement base. Originally memorialized in the 1950s by the Town of Windsor, this memorial honors all WWII Deerfield veterans. The structure contains 144 hand-carved wooden blocks. The metal role displaying names of those World War II veterans from Deerfield initially covered the façade of the globe; however, due to the toll taken upon the memorial by the elements, the names enfacing the globe became lost with time. Repairs were made to the globe in 1993 to reinstall a new bronze plague containing names of the Deerfield District of Windsor’s World War II veterans.

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Windsor World War II Monument, Broad Street, Windsor, CT

Another monument that we struggle to look past if we are ever travelling on Broad Street or stopping by CVS is the Windsor World War II Monument. This beautiful monument memorializes thirty-five Windsor soldiers who fought to defend the United States in World War II. The structure of this monument consists of carved granite stone and a bronze plague stating the names of these brave soldiers. The plague on this monument also contains the inscription, “In Memory of the Gold Star Casualties of World War II.” This “gold star” term is one very relatable to the town of Windsor. After a family lost a son at war, they would place a gold star in their front window at home, something known to be all to familiar to the town of Windsor.

A vital player in the beginning and erection of war memorials in Windsor is Loomis’ own

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Evelyn Longman Batchelder

Evelyn Longman Batchelder. Mrs. Batchelder is most well known for her sculptures of war memorials and monuments that remember the veterans and lost soldiers of Windsor, Hartford, and the United States as a whole. One of her own works can be seen on campus tucked under the front side of Longman Hall. Her “Victory of Mercy” memorializes the lost boys and men of Loomis Chaffee in the struggles of war. Evelyn Longman Batchelder made a strong presence in the town of Windsor with her sculptures as well. Having contributed to monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial, Mrs. Batchelder consistently showed the precedent she placed on her work for memorializing those nearest to her heart, the veterans of Windsor and the lost souls of the Loomis Chaffee School.

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Evelyn Longman Batchelder’s “Victory of Mercy,” Longman Hall, Loomis Chaffee

We found a very powerful presence that coincided with examining these memorials. The more we began to look deeper into the war memorials of Windsor, and as we took the opportunity to walk down to the memorials and examine them ourselves in person, we discovered the strong sense of community that exists in Windsor. This supportive and tight-knit community of Windsor began to form an even greater bridge and bond with Loomis as the strife of war became even more prominent.

Changes on Campus During World War II Post II

Day 3:

During our third day of research, we finished editing our previous blog post and looked through our classmates’ posts. We believe the project and website are coming along great! Also on day three, we started receiving replies from other area prep school archivists about their school’s World War II experiences. These responses will be discussed in our final blog post.

Day 4:

We went to Loomis-Chaffee’s Archives and looked into the activities the boys took part in during World War II. We found a lot of information about their athletics and work programs.

The work-job program was one of our initial curiosities about wartime Loomis. How did Loomis students help out on campus and off? To answer these questions, we searched through various Log newspapers and found some interesting information in the 1942-1943 Log compilation. In an article titled, “State Calls Students to Aid Labor Shortage,” a writer describes how Loomis students helped local potato  farmers with farm work. Each class had one day each week devoted to working with a farmer and picking potatoes for the duration of the school day. The article states that the earnings from the harvest would be divided among multiple groups of people, such as the students, the school faculty, and the farmers. It also described that students ripped off their shirts and threw off their shoes as soon as they arrived on the farm due to excitement of helping out. The passage discusses that the harvesting system for students is not very efficient, so changes will have to be made so that more potatoes will be picked overall. The author hopes that more schools nationwide will adopt similar programs to support the food effort.

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Above: “State Calls Students to Aid Labor Shortage” article from the 1944 Log

Flipping forward a few Log issues, we found a humorous article in the “Student Voices” section of the newspaper– a place for students to share their opinions. In the story, one student desperately asks another student, “Say, what’s the story on the potato money? Does anybody know what we’re going to get?” The other student replies saying that he does not think they will be paid much because another student got hit in the head with a potato and the potato money was being used to pay for the student’s head injury operation. Funny! This comical article shows that although the students were willing to work to support the war effort, they hoped to get paid!

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Above: Humorous article from 1942-1943 Log issue.

We found that while drills were being performed on campus things changed there as well. In 1944 a lot of changes in administration occurred. New sergeants were employed and other administration was replaced. The end of the article we found however highlights the strides toward improvement the program has made.

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Above: Students pick potatoes and help out on a farm. Pictures found in Archives.

Looking through more articles in the Loomis Log (1941-1942), we found many acts of patriotism and students standing up for their own country. During this time the war had only been roughly six weeks old, but its effect touched everyone. While at dinner, students would recite the national anthem. One student happen to notice the majority of the boys either didn’t know it or knew only parts of it. This student felt so strongly about this incident they wrote their own article in the log. The student’s statement, “If these strefs were natives of Germany and did not partake in the singing of Deutschland, Uuber Alles, they would be promptly thrown in the klink, know known as a concentration camp.” (Loomis Log) says a lot about the way this particular student felt. Soon after, boys got together and made sure that each and every student knew the national anthem.

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Above: Article from 1942-1943

In another article, entitled “The Prelude,” talks about the war and how most Loomis students are coping with it. Many students are unaware of the conflict that is occurring but most are concerned and would like to know more. They talk about in this article that the atmosphere has really changed on campus. At this time one master has already left for the navy, while another is soon to be entering in. This article introduces the fact that life for a Loomis student does change drastically so they shouldn’t panic, but one should be ready for changes are about to occur. Announcements were made daily, wives were often seen knitting, and often reports of alumni who entered the war were received. They end with saying, “There is nothing worse than hysteria during war-time and there is nothing which helps the enemy more than to have the civilian populace in a panic.” (Loomis Log 1942)

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Above: “The Prelude” from 1942-1943 Log issue

V.P. Douw, Harold Hartwell, Frederick Eaton


Memorial to the fallen Loomis Students who served during World War 2, Volckert Petrus Douw is oldest alumni to serve

Volckert Petrus Douw, also known as “Pete”, “Peter”, and “V.P.” was a 4 year pelican and graduated in 1925. Volckert would go on to serve his country after attending the U.S Naval Academy. Douw actually grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, so he didn’t stray far from home to attend college. V.P. Douw is actually the first name engraved on the wooden memorial in Founders hall, making him one of the oldest Loomis graduates to serve during World War II. I was drawn to Douw because of his position in the Navy: commander. Commander is above captain, rear admiral, vice admiral, admiral,  and fleet admiral and has great responsibility in the forces. The position commander is one of the highest positions of Loomis veterans. Douw also managed to have a successful career during his time at Loomis. During his time at Loomis, Douw was a member of the Junior Football Team, Darwin Club for 3 years, French Club, Political Club, and the Literary Club. Beyond being a member of a wide variety of clubs, Douw was the editor of the Loomis publication The Handbook. After researching The Handbook, we found that it is a very interesting publication that is basically a ‘how to’ guide on surviving Loomis. They publish tips for attending the school and we look forward to reading Douw’s additions and advice. Douw was well respected among his peers as his class voted him the title “Most Brilliant” with an impressive 25 votes. To put the votes in perspective, 2nd place received only 5. It seems the kid that grew up in Annapolis, deemed most brilliant in his class (of which 25 attended Ivy league schools) was destined to reach a high position in the Navy. Douw was voted the 4th most modest person in his class and lost by a mere 3 votes. These superlatives help give us a look at Douw’s character and personality while attending Loomis Chaffee.

There certainly are some barriers we have come across while searching for fallen Loomis boys in World War II. The main one we have run into, that hasn’t necessarily disturbed our ability to gain information but did make it more difficult, was the fact that some of these fallen Loomis boys were not in fact listed in their yearbook. For example, I have been in pursuit of more information about a particular student, Harold Hall Hartwell Jr., class of 1941. Since he was nowhere to be found in any of the yearbooks for which he was a student, including his senior year of 1941, I had to rely completely on other sources. Thankfully, I came across a bounty of information. Lieutenant Harold H. Hartwell Jr. was a member of the US Navy Reserve and a member of the USS Underhill during its campaigns in the south Pacific. Harvard class of 1945, Hartwell joined the Navy one year into his career at Harvard.[1] On July 24, 1945, the USS Underhill was sunk by a Japanese torpedo during the Luzon campaign. 112 of the 234 man crew died including all high ranking officers aboard as well as Hartwell. During the Luzon campaign, American ships and troops as well as Filipino troops fought off Japanese forces around Luzon, Philippines. The USS Underhill was off the coast fighting off I-52 and I-53 Japanese submarines. Eventually, the Underhill was surrounded by Japanese subs and sunk. [2]
The bravery displayed by our Loomis boys is consistent throughout. Despite the mystery as to why some are almost “ghosts” and not present in the yearbook still isn’t clear, they still definitely represented Loomis well and made the school proud.

Frederick William Eaton, a former Loomis pelican, was a graduate in the class of 1940. Commonly known as “Fred”, “Bill”, or “Featon”, Frederick was an exceptionally valued member of the Loomis community. Born and raised in New Cannan, Connecticut, he made a large impact on the school community and participated in a variety of different sports and clubs. These activities include football, squash, tennis, rifle club, assistant librarian, soccer, Loomis Board, and music club. After graduating from Loomis in 1940, he attended Harvard where he spent the next 4 years. Upon getting his degree from Harvard, Frederick enlisted himself into the army where he became a member of the 183rd Field Artillery Group. He was killed in Germany on April 13th, 1945. A letter written by his commander to his family states, “Flying a watchful cover on reconnaissance in advance of an armored column, your son had directed artillery fire which punished the enemy severely,”. As a pilot, his job was to spot and destroy enemy installations and troops, a job which he was very good at. Frederick, a production of Loomis, died as a brave hearted soldier who consistently put his life on the line for his country. Needless to say, he was not only a valued member of the Loomis community, but he was also a great asset to the country.

[1] “Lieutenant Harold Hall Hartwell, Jr.” Together We Served – Connecting US Navy Sailors. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.

[2] Dace, Stanley W. “About USS Underhill.” About USS Underhill. Jay Crum, n.d. Web. 18 May 2016.

[3] Loomis Alumni Bulletin 1945

God Almighty

During the First World War, The Loomis School, led by the powerful orator Mr. Batchelder, steadfastly  worked to prepare itself and the nation for this conflict. Whether the patriotic Loomis students “conserve[d] a great deal of food,” or “stayed to help work at the farm,” [1] the efforts of all were noticed.

These deeds of the Loomis boys to assist in the war effort, however, were not solely patriotic. They did it for God, their heavenly father. In describing life, Mr. Howe, a regular speaker at the Loomis Sunday Services, exclaimed, “We have a debt to pay to Him from whom all blessings come.” [2] Sunday Services, weekly occurrences at the school, provided opportunities for the Head of School and other influential voices to spread their messages to the entire Loomis community. God, whose being was preached and glorified, was a popular topic of conversation during these services. These young men, who would grow up to define the post war generation, were constantly reminded of the presence of God, and therefore, carried out their actions according to His desires.

Additionally, the idea of believing in the same omnipotent God provided the Loomis community with a sense of unity. A 1917 editorial in the Loomis Log, a prominent news source for the school, highlights this fact, stating, “in entering the Great War, [the nation] will need to bend every energy and gather together every resource.” [3] Absolutely no one could successfully go through this conflict  alone. By “show[ing] their greatness, not in war necessarily, but in the biggest movement, Christianity,” [4] the Loomis students were given an earnest plea: work to achieve not only a victory on the battlefield, but a victory through a thriving religious community boosted by the togetherness of the war effort as well.

Although the Loomis students diligently contributed to the war effort, there was an obvious hesitancy expressed by Headmaster Batchelder. During one of the Sunday Services, Mr. Batchelder stated that “the influential leader of the world, the kings, and the mighty states-men, are not truly Christians” [5]. This message resonated throughout the entire Loomis community, and was heard by all. Throughout his many speeches, The headmaster clearly expresses that strong Christian values are obviously not present in the belligerent leaders of the world, claiming that “If they were [Christians], this present conflict would be an impossibility.” [5] Mr. Batchelder offers a solution to the present conflict,  calling all Christians to join this movement of faith to end the brutal Great War. one who listened to this demand would almost feel obligated to display favorable and exemplary Christian values in all aspects of their lives.Through Christianity, peace would be found.


[1] The Loomis Cellany, 1918

[2] The Loomis Log Vol. 2, December 13, 1916, No. 9

[3] The Loomis Log Vol. 2, April 11, 1917, No. 22

[4] The Loomis Log, Vol. 2, March 14, 1917, No. 20

[5] The Loomis Log Vol. 1, April 12, 1916, No. 17

Help From the Homefront

       The amazing selflessness and service by Loomis students during World War II was best exemplified through student interactions with other schools and young people (specifically refugees) during the Second World War.  Interestingly, the general tone and spirit of nearly all Loomis Log articles during wartime was centered on patriotism and enthusiasm.  Log writers encouraged other students to donate to charities such as the Newington Home for Crippled Children, writing, “We should feel proud of the fact that we have had the opportunity to help these charities… We should feel proud of the great service we have done for our country” [1].  Students also aided interned Japanese-Americans during the war. They were not only champions of patriotism on campus, but also put in incredible effort toward other schools and kids.


A picture of a Loomis Log issue remembering World War II [3]

While Loomis students were fortunate enough to help and serve the country during the war, students at Avon Old Farms were sent home, as the school was forced to close during World War II, and was used as a rehabilitation facility for wounded army veterans. One 1945 Loomis Log article titled, “Bind up the Nation’s Wounds”, detailed ideas regarding how Loomis students could offer help to these wounded veterans.  The writer explained, “We don’t see why it wouldn’t be perfectly possible for the students to get some sort of entertainment together…Are there any volunteers?” [2].  Again, students provided their community and the country with more than merely bodies, but rather energy, ingenuity, and benevolence.

       Loomis also undertook the responsibility of sponsoring a French school in need, called “Ecole du Montcel” near Versailles through the Save the Children Foundation. Loomis contributed a minimum of $150 yearly to the school, often donating much more. Loomis had a connection with the Montcel school from 1928 to 1938, when exchange students were sent there, so the donations seemed to have a truly meaningful purpose. During the exchange program, about five Loomis boys traveled to France every summer to study at the school for six weeks. One of these students commented, “We have come to know how valuable is the association of American and French boys together in the same school. This summer has made us realize how great a means it is in bringing two countries to know and understand each other.”[4]


A Class at Montcel [6]

       Both the Loomis and Chaffee schools became the foster parents of a 14 year old Italian refugee named Rosaria Lantrieina, made possible by the Foster Parents’ Plan for War Children. Loomis and Chaffee remitted $15 a month for the girl, and they received a photograph and description of the girl and her life. This description stated, “…for the last eight years her mother has been a poor struggling widow, and most of the time it was impossible for her to have Rosaria with her at the home in which she worked.”[5] Rosaria’s home was almost completely destroyed by bombs, and she was one of the few survivors of her area. Rosaria managed to escape even though the Germans attempted to force everyone to stay put.


[1] The Loomis Chaffee Log, October 28, 1944

[2] The Loomis Chaffee Log, January 12, 1945 no. 12

[3] The Loomis Chaffee Log, December 7, 1945, vol.31

[4] The Loomis Chaffee Log, April 6, 1945, no. 20

[5] The Loomis Chaffee Log, March 2, 1945