Alumni & Veterans

Hall of Fame

On October 5, 2005, Niagara University's ROTC department unveiled a Hall of Fame honoring members of its program that have distinguished themselves after college. The ROTC program has a long and illustrious history, producing many noteworthy men and women; these people deserve to be remembered for the pride they bring to our university. The first honorary inductees are the University’s two Medal of Honor recipients, Major General William “Wild Bill” Donovan and 2nd Lieutenant John P. Bobo. Both men were recognized by Congress for their heroism and outstanding leadership, making them the most recognizable names to graduate from Niagara ROTC and obvious entries as members of the Hall of Fame.  Read more about them by clicking on the links below.

2LT John P. Bobo:

Major General William "Wild Bill" Donovan:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_J._Donovan

Inductees have been selected through a process of nomination and approval by a panel of University and ROTC officials. There will be three to four inductees selected per year. Nominees must meet the first two criteria and one or more of the subsequent prerequisites:

  • Graduated from Niagara University.
  • Participated in NU ROTC with military service ending in an honorable discharge, retirement or funeral.
  • Performed military service that set a standard as an exemplary model.
  • Lives or lived in the model of St. Vincent DePaul (embracing service to the community, the poor and the downtrodden).
  • Made a significant contribution to the betterment of society.
  • Reached a high level position of authority, either civilian or military, that is worthy of recognition (ex. General Officer, Congressman, etc).
  • Gave their life for service (Killed in Combat).

To make a Hall of Fame nomination for the year, please send a quality 5 X 7 photograph of the nominee (digital preferred), a narrative of the individual’s achievements and any corroborating documents. The nominations can be e-mailed or sent to: Howard Morgan, Alumni Engagement, PO Box 2008, Niagara University, NY 14109 no later than May 1st or email to hmorgan@niagara.edu. Please include contact information.

 


Reverend Lieutenant Thomas Conway (Class of 1930)

Conway was born on April 5, 1908, in Waterbury, Conn. He was the oldest of three children born to Irish immigrants, Thomas F. and Margaret (Meade). Fr. Conway attended Lasalette Junior Seminary, in Hartford, Conn. In 1928, he enrolled at Niagara University, New York and received an A.B degree in 1930. On June 8, 1931, Conway enrolled in Our Lady of Angels Seminary, on the campus of Niagara University. May 26, 1934, he was ordained to the priest hood for the diocese of Buffalo, NY in ST Michael’s Cathedral, Springfield, Massachusetts.

For the next eight years FR. Conway served as a curate in the parishes of St. Rose of Lima, All Saints, St. Teresa, St. Nichols and finally St. Brigid. On September 17, 1942 Fr. Conway enlisted in the U.S Navy and commissioned a chaplain.

On July 30, 1945, the Rev LT. Conway’s ship was struck by a Japanese torpedo and sunk. Although nearly 900 of the 1,196 crewmen survived the initial attack, the men were left stranded in the ocean. For three days, Father Conway prayed with the survivors and said last rites for the dying, until he too, succumbed to hunger. Only a few hours after he passed away, a passing US Navy plane spotted those who remained alive.

The 316 survivors of the Indianapolis credited Father Conway with keeping their faith alive.

 

James R. Kellmurray (Class of 1940)

A member of the first official ROTC class at Niagara, Lieutenant Colonel James Kellmurray served in the 1st Infantry Division during WWII and saw action on Omaha Beach during the D-Day Invasion. Wounded in Belgium, LTC Kellmurray continued serving our country for 37 years.

James was born in Utica on May 5, 1917, the son of Gertrude (Lynch) and James M. Kellmurray. Jim attended St. Agnes and St. Francis de Sales schools. Jim graduated from Niagara University, Class of 1940 with a degree in business economics.

Jim was an officer of the ROTC Program and a member of its first graduating class. In 2006, Jim was inducted into the Niagara ROTC Hall of Fame. Upon graduation, Jim entered the U.S Army proudly serving his country in World War II.

Jim fought in the invasion of Omaha Beach, Normandy, “The Big One”, with the 1st Division Infantry. Jim was injured in the Herkin Forest awarding him a Purple Heart. Jim continued serving his country in an active reserve unit, the 414th Civil Affairs, retiring after 37 years of service to his country as a Lieutenant Colonel.

 

Major Patrick A. De Biase (Class of 1942)

Patrick A. De Biase graduated with the class of 1942. Pat was appointed Cadet Captain of his ROTC Senior Class. He led the Silent Drill Platoon at a ceremonial ROTC parade at the Niagara Stadium in the spring of 1942. He commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Quatermaster Army Corp.

He was put on active duty July 3, 1942 and assigned to Fort Warren, Wyoming. He served in the European Theater for over 2 years and was relieved of active duty as of June as of June 1946.

Pat’s service in the European Theater was in England and France. He was a supply officer on General Eisenhower’s staff, setting up and assisting in the operations of Supply Depots. He was involved in the “Dummy” staging area located near Dover, England from where the Germans thought General Patton was going to lead the invasion of Calais, Code Named, ‘FORTITUDE.” Pat was awarded the Bronze Star for his activity with the service of supply during the Battle of the Bulge.

After the war, Pat went on to work at a Sears store in Niagara Falls. He left Sears to go to New York City where he became Vice President Marketing of the Bigelow carpet Manufacturing Co. He held various Executive positions in companies before finally retiring in 1982.

 

Colonel Nicholas Grunzweig (Class of 1942)

Graduated in 1942, on the Deans Honor roll, from Niagara University with a Bachelors in Business, Administration, and Accounting. Grunzweig was a member of NU ROTC, Sigma Alpha Sigma, Delta Mu Delta, and a various clubs. He was inducted into the Niagara University Basketball Hall of Fame and the Canisius High School Sports Hall of Fame.

He served in the 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Division as commanding officer of A Company, and the Motor Transport Officer. He saw action in the African-Tunisian, Sicily, Naples-Foggia, and Rome-Arno Campaigns. He was wounded in action and received the Purple Heart. After recovering from his wounds he taught ROTC as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Ohio University, Athens Ohio.

In the Korean War he served as the Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment and as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G2 Headquarters of the 7th Infantry – Far East Command. His next assignment was as the Chief of Officers Branch – Procurement and Distribution-G1 of the Headquarters Continental Army Command, Ft. Monroe.

In military sports he was All Army Basketball Center, played on the Korean and Far East Army Basketball Championship teams. His many awards included: The Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, and Meritorious Service Unit Plaque. He retired after serving the United States for thirty years.

 

Brigadier General James Shanahan (Class of 1942)

Retired U.S Army Brigadier General James G. Shanahan, 76, as three war combat veteran died January 8th of cardiopulmonary disease arrest at his Mount Vernon home.

Shanahan was born in Pompey, New York, and attended Niagara University. He graduated and was commissioned through ROTC in June 1942. During WWII on Luzon in the Philippines, he commanded a platoon and company in the 1-35 Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.

He served as Division G2 in the Japanese occupation and served in the late 1940s in the Pentagon and as an aide in the Truman White House. His later service included battalion command of the 1-38th Infantry in Korea and command of the 3rd Brigade 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam.

He was one of less than 300 soldiers to earn a Combat Infantry’man’s Badge for combat service in three wars. As a General, he served as Assistance Division Commander of the 3rd Infantry Division in Germany. His last assignment was in the Pentagon as Deputy Director of Operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He retired in 1973.

 

1st Lieutenant Richard J. Dobmeier (Class of 1950)

1st Lieutenant Dobmeier graduated from Niagara University in May 1950 as a 2nd Lieutenant Army ROTC. In February 1951, he was called to active duty, reporting to Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was at this time, that he realized the excellent training he received with Niagara University ROTC.

Dobmeier served in the 40th Infantry Division (California) in the Medium Tank Co, His period of active duty was from March 29, 1950 thru January 10, 1953 as SN 022-00391 Infantry 1st Lieutenant. In the 160th Infantry Regiment he served in Chunchou, Mundug Valley and Heartbreak Ridge.

As a platoon leader he received the Korean Service Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge and the United Nations Service Medal. He was a PT instructor in Korea and while at Fort Knox he was a football player, assistant coach, and Post Athletic Officer.

1st Lieutenant Dobmeier served his country with pride and dignity; he respected his fellow soldiers and protected them throughout the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in January 1953. He kept the honor of those he served with alive by making sure this doesn’t become the “forgotten war.” In 2001, he was on the committee to resurrect a Korean War Moment at Niagara University, helping to raise funds for the project through a book of memoirs entitled “NU & The Korean War.”

 

LT William K. Bruce (Class of 1951)

LT Bruce was mild-mannered, fun loving guy that you were drawn to be near. He epitomized the meaning of the word goodness. Born in Brooklyn, New York on October 29, 1928 and was the son of William F. Bruce and Mary Bruce.

Bruce had enlisted the Army. Bruce served during the Korean War. Bruce had the rank of Second Lieutenant. His occupation was Field Communications Chief and his service number was 2041895. Bruce served with 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division.

Bruce experienced a traumatic event which resulted in loss of life on November 3, 1952. Recorded circumstances attributed to: “Killed in Action”. Incident location: North Korea, Battle of Triangle Hill

William is remembered at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington. Fare thee well Sir William of Bruce.

 

Colonel Thomas A. Blanchfield (Class of 1951)

Upon graduation and being commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, Tom entered active duty on 04 August, 1951 at Fort Benning, Georgia and was sent to Korea. His DD Form 213 verifies that he received, among other commendations/awards, a Purple Heart and a Silver Star Medal.

After being released from active duty, Tom Blanchfield joined the United States Army Reserve and served with both the 414th Civil Affairs Co. and the 389th Battalion in Utica, New York. He became the battalion commander of the 389th Battalion, which was part of the 98th Division with headquarters in Rochester, New York.

He retired as a full colonel. Colonel Blanchfield was honored with a burial at Arlington Cemetery with full “Presidential” honors.

 

1st Lieutenant John T. Mitchell Jr (Class of 1951)

John T. Mitchell graduated from Niagara University in June 1951 and upon graduation was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, branching Infantry. Shortly after graduation, John reported to Fort Benning, Georgia for the Basic Infantry Officer Course.

John was assigned as a platoon leader to a basic training company at Fort Dix, New Jersey. He was subsequently sent to Korea in August 1952, here he was assigned as a weapons platoon leader in Company K, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division.

John was highly thought of by all he worked with. John went on to apply to Harvard Business School before reporting to Fort Benning and received his acceptance while sitting on “Old Baldy.” John took the skills he learned in the G2 Section and transferred them to the variety of positions he held in civilian life.

John has made many contributions to Niagara University, but the most significant one was the desire to create something on the campus of Niagara University which would honor ROTC program and be a memorial to all Niagarans who graduated from the program and were called to active duty to serve their country.

 

LT William K. Bruce (Class of 1951)

LT Bruce was mild-mannered, fun loving guy that you were drawn to be near. He epitomized the meaning of the word goodness. Born in Brooklyn, New York on October 29, 1928 and was the son of William F. Bruce and Mary Bruce.

Bruce had enlisted the Army. Bruce served during the Korean War. Bruce had the rank of Second Lieutenant. His occupation was Field Communications Chief and his service number was 2041895. Bruce served with 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division.

Bruce experienced a traumatic event which resulted in loss of life on November 3, 1952. Recorded circumstances attributed to: “Killed in Action”. Incident location: North Korea, Battle of Triangle Hill

William is remembered at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington. Fare thee well Sir William of Bruce.

 

Lieutenant Samuel J. Rangatore (Class of 1951)

Samuel J. Rangatore, Niagara, NY, born 1929, US Army, Infantry, First Lieutenant, Serial Number 0-2041658, Killed in Action, November 26th, 1952.

In Memoriam: Excerpt by Tom Blanchfield

“Sam was my best friend at Niagara. He was a day hop. We were in some classes together, but never had more than a nodding acquaintance until we went to Fort Meade, ROTC summer camp between our junior and senior years. We were in the same class at Fort Benning following our commission. We spent our social times together, Phenix City, Panama City, Florida on Labor Day weekend and trips to the Officers Club.”

“Following graduation at Benning, we were on the same orders for FECOM (Far East Command). That meant we would spend at least six months in a unit in Japan and then Korea. Originally we were to go to Fort Dix, New Jersey.”

“Sam went to Korea in August 1952. He was assigned to the 3rd Division, 15th Infantry Regiment. He was on line from August to November, running patrols as a platoon leader. He was scheduled for R&R on November 22, but his orders were canceled. Sam bounced between companies in the 2nd Battalion, G,H, and finally E company. at 1615 on November 26, 1952, while waiting in line for chow on a reverse slope, an incoming artillery round killed him instantly.”

“His body was shipped home on January 16, 1953 and buried on January 19, 1953, a year to the day we left Niagara Falls. Full military honors were extended with a contingent of ROTC Cadets from Niagara.”

 

Captain William Lillis (Class of 1952)

William Lillis, a native of Niagara Falls, moved from St. Mary’s High School to Niagara University. He studied in the College of Business Administration and graduated from the university with a Bachelor of Science in Economics in the summer of 1952. He was commissioned in the US Regular Army as a Second Lieutenant.

He was called to active duty, trained, and sent into combat with US Army Forces in Korea in 1953. He is the only Niagara commissioned officer graduate from the class of 1952 to receive the Combat Infantry Badge and Bronze Star Medal.

Captain Lillis is distinguished among the many Niagara graduates from the class of 1952. He arrived earlier in Korea and engaged in the major final offensive campaigns. As a platoon leader in E Company, 180th Infantry, 45th ID on the combat outpost he was in the middle of the Chinese/North Korean attacks.

In 1955 Lillis resigned his commission and entered civilian life. His love of the military and his desire to serve lead him into the US Army Reserve where he would continue to excel in various commands and staff assignments with the US 95th Division (Reserve) until business commitments required that he resign.

 

Colonel Richard J. McManus (Class of 1952)

Served in the 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 11th Airborne Division, and the 101st Airborne Infantry Division. He retired with 28 years of service. McManus now works as an Administrator and Director of Human Resources for a variety of Washington Law Firms.

 

Colonel Richard M. Rodney (Class of 1952)

Colonel Richard M. Rodney class of 1952 served all four years in Niagara University ROTC, finishing as regimental S-1 and Distinguished Military Graduate. He was commissioned in the Regular Army. As with most of his class, he was called to active duty after graduation and was sent to Basic officer Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. He enhanced his military capabilities with Airborne and Ranger qualifications.

Served as 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment – Platoon CMD and REGT TNG Team. Served in the 2nd Infantry Division, Korea. Was a Platoon and Company Commander 38th IR during post truce period. Transferred to 25th Infantry Division as force reduction occurred and served as Platoon and Company Commander and in multiple battalion staff assignments with 3rd Battalion 35th IR Schofield Barracks, TH.

After thirty years his time was up and faced mandatory retirement, and so he did. His country was not through with him yet. His dedications to duty won him the top post in the Bulgarian Embassy, another sensitive component in the Russian sphere of influence. He served another two years and ten months; retiring a second time. This time permanently. His service to the state of Pennsylvania only reinforces the notion of his devotion to duty.

 

Major John Rubins (Class of 1953)

Cited for meritorious service during the period 12 October 1950 to 31 August 1965, while serving consecutively as Commanding Officer, Company D, and then, as Battalion S-3, 1st Battalion, 2d Training Regiment, Basic; Trainfire Committee Chief; and as Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General, Fort Leonard, Missouri.

As Company Commander, Rubin’s was responsible for the health, morale, welfare and training of approximately 250 basic trainees every eight weeks. Through his perseverance, he achieved a record first on an end of cycle proficiency test.

As Battalion S-3, he rendered invaluable assistance to unit commanders in their training programs. He enhanced harmony and teamwork and stimulated a strong competitive spirit and esprit de corps. As Trainfire Committee Chief, he substantially enriched the program for weapons qualification of trainee personnel.

In the fall of 1964 he demonstrated his astuteness in making exacting arrangements for ceremonies, conferences, and accommodations for the Army and Air Force Chiefs of Staff, high ranking military officers and prominent civilians who were participants or observers during the Joint Test and Evaluation Exercise Goldfire I.

Major Rubins’ outstanding performance of duty reflects great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

 

Colonel George F. Crowe (Class of 1955)

Colonel Crowe had a life of service of 84 years.  He served in the Navy Reserve while he was just a junior in High School.  

Called to active duty in 1951 serving as an Aviation Ordnance man 3rd Class.  A year later he returned and attended Niagara University ROTC and became a member of the National Honor Society of Scabbard and Blade, graduating in 1955. He served active duty in Korea with Co 1 31st Infantry Regiment, and transferred to Fort Devens, MA into the National Guard and later into the Army Reserves. Promoted to Colonel he became the Commandant of the United States Army Reserve School.  

He has raised 3 out of 5 children that have attended NU and two of his children have served active duty, one in the Army Reserve.  His eldest son, Terrence gave the ultimate sacrifice and was KIA on June 7, 2005.  Soon after Terence’s death this compelled him to develop a Memorial Scholarship Fund which represents Terry’s generous spirit and commitment to service. He and his wife have also developed a Nursing Scholarship at NU and are very committed, generous active members of our community today.

 

Lieutenant Colonel Edmund J. O’Grady (Class of 1956)

Served as a Field Artillery Officer in various positions including Platoon Leader, Battery Commander, Battalion Executive Officer and Training and Security Officer. He retired in 1976.

 

Colonel Martin R. Loftus (Class of 1957)

Colonel Martin R. Loftus graduated from Niagara with a B.S in 1957 as a Distinguished Military Graduate and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Regular Army of the United States. While at Niagara University, he was second in command of the ROTC Regiment. Active in student government, he was the student council president, a member of Alpha Kappa Psi (Business), Sigma Alpha Sigma (NU Honor Society) and was elected for Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.

After completion of Officer Basic Training at the US Army Surface to Air Missile School, Fort Bliss, Texas. He was assigned as Launcher Platoon Leader, D Battery, 4th Missile Battalion, 47th Artillery Van Nuys, California. He was then assigned to the US Army European Transportation Command as the Movement Officer for the US Army Subport, Rotterdam, Holland, responsible for routing all inbound supplies and ammunition to the US Army depots in Europe.

Upon the completion of the European assignment, he served as the Assistant Professor of Military Science at John Carroll University, Cleveland, Ohio. During this assignment he met and married his wife and began law school at the Cleveland Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University.

In 1986 Colonel Loftus retired. During his Army career he was awarded the Legion of Merit with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm and the Vietnamese Honor Medal 1st Class.

 

Colonel Paul Somerville (Class of 1957)

Colonel Paul F. Somerville was a four year member of the Niagara ROTC program. Graduating in 1957, he received a regular Army commission and went on to serve a distinguished thirty year career which included significant command assignments and combat tours.

Colonel Somerville has always been a proud alumnus and avid supported of Niagara. When not deployed overseas, he made every effort to attend his class reunions and alumni functions held in proximity to his then current assignment.

He and his late wife, Lucy raised three children, all of whom have been successful in their own careers. Their son Paul, also a four year member of the Niagara ROTC, was commissioned at his graduation with the class of 1985. Following his career, Colonel Somerville entered the business world and rose to senior management position as a Divisional Vice President in the insurance industry.

LTC Richard Walsh (Class of 1958)

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Walsh served in the 1st Battalion, 504th Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry retiring in 1976

 

Lieutenant Colonel John R. Fanelli (Class of 1959)

LTC John R. Fanelli, from Bayside, Queens, Long Island came to Niagara University at seventeen years of age on a scholarship from St. John’s Preparatory School, Brooklyn, New York Class of 1955. He enlisted in January 1956, while still seventeen, in the Army Reserve, active status in the 808th Chemical Detachment (TI) in Niagara Falls, and also enrolled in ROTC classes.

He was able to recruit seven classmates from Niagara to enlist. He pursued a major in Natural Sciences, had a student job, became a member of the Glee Club, the Booster Club, and the Student Counsel. In his senior year Fanelli was elected president of the student body. In ROTC, Fanelli was Captain of the Drill Team and participated around New York State in many parades and competitions. In the summer of 1958 he completed summer camp at Fort Brag, North Carolina with a final overall rating of superior in leadership and job performance.

He was assigned to the 5th General Hospital, Munich, Germany, and became the commanding officer of the 18th US Army Security Agency Field Station, located 50 miles south of Munich near the Austrian border. In recognition of his exceptionally meritorious service in support of the mission of the US Army Europe during 1964 through May, 1967, Fanelli received the Army Commendation Medal.

LTC Fanelli passed away suddenly on Friday, June 6, 1997 at age fifty nine. He was buried on June 10th in US Army uniform with five military honors and received his Army retirement posthumously, April 1998.

 

Colonel Donald H. Jones (Class of 1961)


Distinguishing himself in the classroom, on the Purple Eagle’s Basketball Court, and as a Distinguished Military Graduate of Niagara’s ROTC Battle Group, Colonel Jones graduated with a Bachelor of Science in business administration (major in accounting) and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. He subsequently accepted a Regular Army Commission and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Colonel Jones was a platoon Leader for 4th Platoon, B Co, B/327th Airborne Battle Group, 101st Airborne Division; Assigned to the 10th and 5th Special Forces Group; G3 with 3rd Armor Division; Army Staff College graduate; Procurement Officer in the Training & Doctrine Command; Deputy Chief of Staff in the Pentagon; Commander of the Defense Contract Administration Management Area.

Colonel Jones retired from active duty, June 1990 after 28 years of service to his country. Colonel Jones served on Niagara’s Athletic Advisory Board and is a member of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

 

Lieutenant Colonel John F. Fielding (Class of 1961)

John graduated in 1961 with a BA in History, a ROTC commission as a 2nd Lieutenant, Infantry, and a NY State Teaching Certificate. Before entering upon Active Duty in 1962, he earned a MA in History from the University of Connecticut. While at Niagara he was a member of the Basilian Literary Association, Charter Member, and President of the Alpha Phi Omega scouting fraternity, the Student Booster Club, Co-Chairman of Students for Kennedy, a member of the ROTC Drum and Bugle Corp, and served on numerous class committees.

Through 1962-1966, John spent the first four years of his 22 year active duty career assigned to the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, joining the unit in Thailand as a rifle platoon leader including an observation trip to Vietnam.

Upon redeployment of the 35th to Hawaii he held positions as Battalion Communications, Training and Intelligence Officer. In 1965 he attended the British Jungle Warfare School in Malaysia and deployed as a member of the 25th Division advance party which arrived in Pleiku, Vietnam on Christmas Eve 1965.

LTC Fielding retired after 22 years of active service to pursue a teaching career.

 

Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence W. Yager (Class of 1961)

During his four years at Niagara University, LTC Yager was active in many extra curricular activities: member of the Utica District Club, YCA, Nocturnal Adoration Society, Scabbard and Blade, and a contributor to the following events: Hazing Committee, Moving UP Day, and the Sock Hop.

LTC Yager graduated in 1961 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant at graduation. He received a BS in Mathematics. He later received a MBA in Operations Research (Quantitative Methods) from the University of Georgia, Athens in 1971.

LTC Yager was awarded the Purple Heart Award Recipient for being shot down and wounded during his assignment with the 128th Aviation Company; Flight Instructor; Operations Research Systems Analyst for the Transportation Combat Development Command; Assistant Program Manager for the production of the Black Hawk Helicopter System; Retired in 1983 after 21 years of service.

 

Colonel Frederick J. Scullin Jr (Class of 1961)

Chief Judge Scullin, a native Syracusean, attended and graduated from Niagara University in 1961 and Syracuse University, College of Law in 1964. In November of 1964, Chief Judge Scullin entered Active Duty with the United States Army, received training as a paratrooper and ranger, and thereafter served with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in the Republic of Vietnam. After release from active duty, continued to serve in the United States Army Reserve retiring in 1991 with the rank of Colonel.

Following military service, Chief Judge Scullin entered the private practice of law with the firm of Germain and Germain, Syracuse , New York. Thereafter, he served as an Assistant District Attorney for Onondaga County. In 1971, he was appointed by the New York State Attorney General as one of the original prosecutors of the newly formed statewide Organized Crime Task Force and in that capacity, served as the Assistant in Charge of the Albany Regional Office.

Chief Judge Scullin received his commission appointing him a United State District Judge for the Northern District of New York on February 10,1992, and took the oath of office on March 13, 1992. On April 6, 2000, he became Chief Judge of the Northern District of New York.

 

Colonel Terrence M. Wallace (Class of 1963)

Colonel Wallace served on active duty for 30 years, both in the United States, Germany, Vietnam, New Zealand, New Guinea and Australia. 

During his career, he earned numerous awards, to include the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Star Medals including one for Valor, the Defense and Meritorious Service Medals, the Air Medal and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and served on the faculty at the US Military Academy at West Point. 

He then joined the faculty at the US Army War College in PA in 1983, at which time he retired from the Army in 1993 but will continue his assignment until July 2022.

 

 General Walter Kross (Class of 1964)

General Kross served as a US Air Force Pilot flying over 158 combat missions as an F-4 aircraft commander, several Pentagon assignments over nine years and Wing Commander of C-5 Wing.  Directed the largest deployment, sustainment and redeployment of US and Allied military forces since WWII-Desert Shield. 

All land, sea and air transportation-military and commercial-500,000 troops, 42 M tons of air cargo and 350 shiploads. Director of Operations, US Air Force, Provisional Commander and Vice Commander, Air Mobility Command, Fifteenth AF, Director of Joint Staff, Commander in Chief of US Transportation Command and Air Mobility Command. Vice Chairman/Chairman of the Board, USBA, Inc.

 

Brigadier General Joseph F. Conlon III (Class of 1964)

“Jumping Joe”

Distinguished Military Graduate of ROTC Program at Niagara University; Platoon Leader; Company Commander Company C, 1st Battalion 504th Infantry 82nd Airborne Division; joined the Army Reserves in 1967; Commander of 340th and the 310th Military Police Battalion; Executive Officer and Deputy Commander of 800th Military Police Brigade and later assumed command.

Deputy Commanding General for Rear Battle Operations, Provost Marshal of the Eastern Provinces; Military Mayor of Khobar Village; Deputy Chief of Staff, Research, Development and Engineers, Headquarters, US Materiel Command. As a 30-year veteran, he retired July 6, 1994 and passed away June 23, 2009.

 

Colonel David “Duke” Schneider (Class of 1965)

A career Army veteran he retired from Eastern High School as a JROTC instructor. He received his Bachelor degree from Niagara University and a Master degree from Central Michigan University and was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church. He was a career Field Artillery Officer and his military schooling included Airborne, Ranger, Command and General Staff College, Defense Language School, and Army War College.

His active service included post in Vietnam 1969-1970, Italy 1967-1969, Germany 1972-1975, Japan 1985-1988, and Hawaii 1980-1991.

Colonel Schneider served at several overseas locations in Italy, Vietnam, Germany and Korea where he worked on air defense missiles and field artillery howitzers. He returned to United States in 1977 to Ft Meade, MD where he coordinated training for more than 3,000 Army units.  Advised and assisted training, organization, employee relations, logistics and the officer education system for the highest Commanding Officer in Massachusetts. In 1993, he became a senior instructor for JROTC Program in Kentucky where he helped prepare over 3,700 Cadets for life after school.

 

Captain Jim Hay (Class of 1965)

Captain Hay served in Vietnam commanding C Company, 1st Battalion, and 28th Infantry Regiment, directing arriving helicopter gunships’ fire onto enemy strongholds they gained vital fire superiority causing enemy withdrawal. Awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Purple Heart.

 

2nd Lieutenant William G. Jerro (Class of 1965)

Lieutenant Jerro served in the Marine Corp, received the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal. He was killed in action in Vietnam September of 1967.

 

1st Lieutenant Dennis F. Grace (Class of 1966)

Lieutenant Dennis F. Grace serve as a helicopter pilot for the Marine Corps while serving in support of a combat operation in Quang Nam, he was killed in action when his craft was shot down 11 March 1970.  

Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for boldly remaining and delivering machine gunfire from his dangerous exposed position with devastating effectiveness it suppressed enemy fire allowing friendly helicopters to enter the area and extract friendly troops.

He graduated from Niagara Falls High School then attended Niagara University, returning to Niagara Falls High School to teach history and economics before enlisting in the Marine Corps. He gave life to serve his country.

 

Brigadier General Robert J. Winzinger (Class of 1966)

Brigadier General Robert J. Winzinger was born January 23, 1945 in Brooklyn, New York. He belonged to the class of 1966 and served over 33 years in the Regular Army. He also received a degree in Accounting and Education during his time at Niagara University.

Headquarters Battery Commander of 3rd Battalion 43rd Artillery; Regional/Popular Forces Advisor with Advisory Team 18 Military Assistance Command; Prestigious Graduate of US Army War College; Reserve Officer; RSC Personnel Staff Officer; Inspector General; Deputy Chief for the Army Reserve in the Pentagon; Deputy Commanding General 77th ARCOM.  Retired in 2000.

 

Colonel Robert M. Aisello (Class of 1966)

Robert M. Asiello retired from the military on November 30, 1993 with the rank of Colonel. He had served more than twenty-seven years, including almost nine years in overseas assignments.

In 1992, the Army appointed Colonel Asiello to Faculty of Department of Command, Leadership, and Management at the U.S Army War College in Carlisle PA.  At this post, he also functioned as Director of Personnel Management Systems. Colonel Asiello designed graduate level curricula and lectures in strategic leadership, management of change and total quality management. He prepared and presented courses to senior military and civilian personal.

Upon joining the European Command, Col Asiello carried the title of Director – Enlisted Personnel Management. In this position, he coordinated and directed assignments for more than 180,000 enlisted personnel throughout Europe. Such a vast responsibility required Colonel Asiello to train, manage, and coordinate, a staff of 250 soldiers in dispersed locations throughout Europe and the USA.

 

Colonel Neal J. Delisanti (Class of 1967)

Served as Battalion Commander of the 51st Air Defense Artillery; Brigade Commander of the 69th Air Defense Artillery, Germany; Battalion Executive Officer, Artillery Group Operations and Department of Military Strategy at the US Army War College.

 

Colonel Kevin Harrington (Class of 1967)

Served as Operations Officer of the 800th Military Police Brigade; Commander of the 310th Military Police Battalion; Commandant of the 1154th United States Army Reserve School; Commander of the 5th Brigade of the 98th Division; Commander of the 344th Combat Support Hospital; founder of the Armed Forces Reserve Assistance Fund.

 

1st Lieutenant Ivo F. Peske (Class of 1969)

Lieutenant Peske served in Vietnam and Cambodia as a Infantryman platoon leader.  While serving he was quickly rewarded for his bravery, earning four Bronze Star Medals, three with Valor, four Purple Hearts, the Army Commendation Medal for Valor, the Air Medal and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. 

Currently, he is running his father’s business which started nearly 60 years ago.  He proudly reflects on his work giving back to the community serving as a Cub Scout Leader for 12 years and a soccer coach for 36 years.  He shares his love for his wife, Joan, which they have raised a wonderful loving family of five children. 

 

Captain Joseph Sheridan (Class of 1969)

Captain Sheridan served in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot and then a Cobra Gunship Pilot with the 101st Airborne Division. He also participated in 500 combat missions in Vietnam and Operation Lam San 719. 

He became the Headquarter Company Commander of Ft. Drum, NY. Left the Army and became a college assistant director and coach for the Elmira Men’s Basketball team. He then found his passion and started an independent consulting company called “Sher-Co” still thriving today. 

 

Brigadier General Anthony F. Caruana (Class of 1969)

Brigadier General Anthony F. Caruana was born in Buffalo, NY. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Science degree in Education from Niagara University. Additionally, he completed post-master level courses in education and educational administration and supervision at Niagara University, the State university College of New York at Buffalo, and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

In May 1969 as a Distinguished Military Graduate of Army ROTC at Niagara University, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant, Adjutant General Corps and entered active duty. During the Vietnam War, from January 1970 to November 1971, he served at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, as Chief, Casualty Branch, Office of the Adjutant General, and as Assistant Secretary to the General Staff, Headquarters Fifth US Army. Additionally, he served as Chief, Personnel Actions and Affairs Branch, US Army Garrison, Fort Sheridan.

In May 1972, Brigadier General Caruana entered the Army Reserves serving with the 98th Division. He has commanded at company, battalion, brigade, and division levels.

His military education includes the Adjutant General officers Basic and Advance Courses, the US Army Institute of Administration, the US Army Command and General Staff College, the Reserve Components National Security Course at National Defense University the resident US Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and the US Army Division Command Course, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

 

Reverend Rear Admiral Louis V. Iasiello (Class of 1973)

Commissioned as a Navy Chaplain Lieutenant in the Naval Reserves. First Chaplain Corps Flag Officer appointed Chaplain of the US Marine Corps, the Senate appointed him as the 23rd Chief of Navy Chaplains until retiring in 2006. He is now serving as a Professor of Humanities and Director of Formation at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, OH.

Assignments included Alaska, Korea, Norway, and the Persian Gulf. Served as a faculty member at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Past President of the Washington Theological Union. Currently a Humanities Professor and Advisor at Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus Ohio.

 

 

Major General Vincent E. Boles (Class of 1976)

Major General Vincent E. Boles soldiered his way through the various assignments in both company and field grade ranks while learning Ordnance fundamentals. When he received his first star his responsibilities became weightier. First, while in the US, he directed the gathering from both the US and abroad and deployment of equipment and supplies to support the war in Afganistan.

He sub-sequentially was sent to Kuwait to direct Logistical Support for the invasion of Iraq. As the war continued, he assumed command of the 3rd Corps Support Command for all Iraq.

Following his remarkable performance in the Mid East theater of war, he was promoted to Major General, and became the Chief of Ordnance at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. He progressed from there to the Pentagon as G-4 Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics where he was responsible for support of 1.1 million soldiers, with special emphasis on combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Served as an Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4 in the Pentagon; Deputy Chief of Staff for Ammunition; Commander of Army’s Field Support Command; Commander of Army Materiel Command; Commanding General of the 3rd Corps Support Command; Army’s 33rd Chief of Ordnance. He retired October 1, 2009 after 33 years of service.

 

Command Sergeant Major Fred Kirtchen (Class of 1980)

Served as the Senior Military Science Instructor of Niagara University ROTC Battalion; exemplary member of the US Army; Command Sergeant Major for the Special Forces.

Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters with letter “V” Device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal with 1 oak leaf cluster, Good Conduct Medal, 7th Award, Presidential Unit Citation, Army of Occupation Medal with Berlin Airlift Device, Vietnam Service Medal with 1 bronze service star with 1 silver service star, NCO Professional Development Ribbon with numeral 5, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 4, Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon with device (1960), Expert Badge with Pistol Bar with Rifle Bar, Parachutist Badge – Basic, Drill Sergeant ID Badge.

 

Lieutenant Colonel Scott J. Pautz (Class of 1980)

LTC Pautz graduated from Niagara University in 1980 and was awarded the President’s Trophy for being the most outstanding cadet in his ROTC class. After graduation, he attended Military Police School in Ft. McClellan, AL and joined the 411th. Shortly thereafter, Pautz assumed Commander duties of the HHD 720th MP Battalion and served in that role for two years.

During his four years in Fort Hood, LTC Pautz also earned a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from American Technological University in Kileen, TX.

Subsequent to completing active duty, Pautz enrolled in law school at Syracuse University and joined the 1209th USAG in Mattydale, New York where he served three years as Deputy Provost Marshall. After graduating from Syracuse Law School, he accepted a Prosecutor position with the Chemung County District Attorney.

In January 1991, Pautz’s unit was deployed to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri as part of Operation Desert Storm. Upon return, he remained with the 392nd for three more years before heading back to Mattydale, New York and joining the 403rd CA Battalion serving as Public Works Team Chief and eventually Commander of A Detachment.


Lieutenant Colonel Terrence Crowe (Class of 1982)

Terrence K. Crowe was born on 9 August 1960 to George F. and Mary Ann (Kumro) Crowe. Crowe was a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves 98th Division based in Rochester, NY.

On 7 June 2005, he was killed by hostile fire from insurgents while training Iraqi security forces in Tal Afar, Iraq, near the Syrian border in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Crowe was one of four U.S. soldiers killed in three separate attacks that day and was the fourth member of the Rochester-based 98th Division to die in Iraq.

Crowe, a father of two whose Army career spanned 17 years, including 10 years on active duty, left the construction company to become an Assistant Professor of Military Science at Canisius College in Buffalo, training ROTC cadets. A colleague there remembered Crowe as a fine instructor, whose cadets performed above the national average. 

Terrence (Terry) K. Crowe graduated from Niagara University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. Terry participated in the NU ROTC program and was commissioned as a 2nd LT in the United States Army upon his graduation from Niagara University. As a cadet at Niagara, Terry also completed Airborne and Air Assault School. Terry graduated Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia then served on active duty as a Rifle Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer with the 2nd Armored Division , in Carlstadt, Germany, followed by Rifle Company Commander, Assistant Division Operations Office, at Ft. Hood, Texas, and then as Observer-Controller at the Combat Maneuver Training Center, Hohenfels, Germany.

Upon his return to the Western New York area, Terry served as Recruiting Company Manager in the WNY Region. After Terry left active duty he served in the NY Army National Guard, 1st Battalion, 127th Armor Regiment and commanded Company “C,” 391st Regiment, 7th brigade, 98th Division in the US Army reserve. In 2001, Terry transferred to the 8th Brigade, 98th Division (SROC) to serve as Assistance Professor of Military Science, instructing ROTC Cadets at Canisius College. He was an operations and training officer responsible for the junior class cadets.

In October, 2004 Terry mobilized to Iraq as part of the Coalition Military Advising, Training and Transition Team where he commanded a Battalion Advisory team, serving as combat advisor to Infantry Battalions of the Iraqi Defense Forces. He died June 7th, 2005 and was buried with full military honors.

 

Colonel Sara T. Breckenridge-Sproat (Class of 1987)

Colonel Breckenridge-Sproat branched US Army Nurse Corp and serves as a military medical surgical nurse, senior nursing executive and is a registered nurse in the state of New York. 

Currently researching as an Associate Investigator for the TriService Nursing Research Programs.  Awarded the Legion of Merit, six Meritorious Service Medals, Army Commendation Medals, Conspicuous Service Cross, Order of Military Medical Merit and earned a Helen Tobin Writer’s Award Journal.

 

Major Vince Lombardi Jr. (Class of 1988)

Major Vince “Coach” Lombardi Jr, Niagara ROTC ’88. Vincent John Lombardi Jr. was born in Lewiston, New York on May 2, 1962. His long and distinguished career in the Army began on March 5, 1980. He spent his first five years as an enlisted soldier in the 75th Ranger Regiment and earned the rank of Staff Sergeant.

One of the events that demonstrated his service to his country was contributions in Operation Urgent Fury to liberate Grenada in 1983. After completing his enlistment he entered ROTC. In 1988, Lombardi graduated from Niagara University and was commissioned into the Infantry.

Lieutenant Lombardi served with the 1-503th Infantry Battalion in Korea and then 2-75th Ranger Battalion at Fort Lewis. As a Captain, he commanded two companies in the 24th Infantry Division and was the Commanding Generals Aide De Camp. Major Lombardi’s last assignment was at Fort Richardson, Alaska where he served as the Battalion Operation Officer and Executive Officer for the 1-501st Infantry Battalion.

Twenty-two years of dedication to the United States Army: serving both as an enlisted soldier and then as an officer. Major Lombardi received the nicknames “Coach” early in his career and it signified the respect and admiration that every held for a great leader. Major Lombardi fought for his country and inspired others.

Major Lombardi was a U.S. Army Ranger, involved in Operation Urgent Fury. Coach died from carcinoid cancer on 18 February 2003.