Carl Rankin

[2 JUN 1933 - G2 - 20548]



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[50th Reunion Bio]



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? - Carl Rankin - Jim Cutchin
[c1993]



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G-2 Firsties - 1st Row: Weden - Patterson - Wood - Martling (CO) - Stan Johnson - 2nd Row: Brokenshire - Wildermuth - Jackson - Dick Hawkins - Sheldon - 3rd Row: Hollensbe - Horst - Lichtenberg - Rankin - 4th Row: Ginter - Bullard x55 - Crancer (Absent: Finger and Olvey)



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2012 AOG Online Register Entry

Register Glossary



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How I got my appointment to West Point

Prologue

In 1917, my mother was an instructor at a nursing school in Pittsburg. She was also a member of the American Red Cross Reserve Nurse Corps and in early 1918 was activated and sent to Washington D.C. to await assignment with the Army Surgeon Generals Dept.

Chester A. Bolton was an Ohio National Guard officer who was activated in late 1917 and assigned to the War Department. His wife Francis Payne Bolton was from a prominent Cleveland, Ohio family and had extensive experience in the nursing profession. She was acquainted with the Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker, who was also a prominent Clevelander. She volunteered her services in connection with the newly assigned American Red Cross Reserve nurses and persuaded Secretary Baker to establish an Army School of Nursing to train nurses for their duties with the Surgeon General's Dept.

In early 1918, the Army School of Nursing was established at Camp Jackson, South Carolina. Mrs. Bolton participated in the selection of the faculty for the school and my mother was selected to be the assistant director.

After the war, Chester A. Bolton and his wife returned to Cleveland and eventually he was elected to Congress from the 21^st District of Ohio. He served several terms and died in office in 1940. In a special election, his widow, Francis Payne Bolton was elected to fill his seat. She was the first congresswoman from Ohio.


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In the fall of 1950, I began my senior year at our small rural high school. It was time to think about life after graduation.

Some friends of my parents often spoke of a friend of theirs-- a widow whose last name was Posvar. More particularly they talked about the achievements of Mrs. Posvar's son Wesley who had graduated from West High School in Cleveland, received an appointment to West Point from Congresswoman Bolton, graduated No.1 in the Class of 1946, was commissioned in the Army Air Force, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, completed pilot training and married Mildred Miller who also had graduated from West High School and had become a promising mezzo soprano. I had learned of some of this myself from local newspapers.

These friends suggested to my parents that a service academy might present an opportunity for me. After some discussion, however, we concluded that the problem of obtaining an appointment was insurmountable.

Then, in early October, my mother learned that Congresswoman Bolton would be speaking at a town hall meeting in our high school auditorium. We attended the event and afterward were able to speak to Congresswoman Bolton who remembered my mother by name from 32 years earlier. My mother introduced me and mentioned that I was interested in a service academy appointment. Congresswoman Bolton told me to give my name and address to a staff person who would send me information. I received the information and sent Congresswoman Bolton a formal request for an appointment. At the same time I followed the advice I had received and sent requests to our two U.S. senators, Senator John W. Bricker and Senator Robert A. Taft (the son of our 19^th president, William Howard Taft).

Congresswoman Bolton and Senator Bricker quickly advised me that all of their appointments had been filled. Senator Taft, however, advised me that he based all of his appointments on a competitive examination given by the Civil Service Commission and that I should arrange to take the examination in December. I traveled by bus and streetcar to downtown Cleveland where I took the examination at the Main Post Office. I was surprised to find that only about 10 other candidates were taking the exam. Most of these were already in college.

In early 1951 I was advised that I had been selected as Senator Taft's second alternate candidate for West Point and that I should take the entrance exam, medical exam and physical aptitude test at Walter Reed Army Hospital in March in the event that neither the primary candidate nor the 1^st alternate was admitted. I did so.

On the morning of June 2, 1951, my 18th birthday and the day of my high school graduation, I received a telegram from West Point advising that I had received Senator Taft's appointment. Astoundingly, an unlikely chain of events had led to a magnificent opportunity and the defining moment of my life.


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Epilogue

*Capt. Wesley Posvar *was assigned as an instructor in the Social Science Dept. at West Point in about 1953. His wife, Mildred Miller had joined the New York Metropolitan Opera and gave a concert at West Point during June Week of 1955. Capt. Posvar later became an associate professor in the Social Science Dept. A few years later he became head of the Social Science Dept at the Air Force Academy. He retired from the Air Force in 1976 as a Brigadier General and became Chancellor of the University of Pittsburg. He died in 1997.

*Congresswoman Francis Payne Bolton *remained in Congress until 1957. Her son Oliver Bolton was also in congress for several terms The Francis Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University was named in her honor.

*Senator Robert A. Taft *ran for the presidency in 1952. He was defeated by Dwight D. Eisenhower. His grandson, Bob Taft, became Governor of Ohio in 1998.

*Senator John W. Bricker *remained in the Senate for several terms and then founded the prestigious Ohio law firm of Bricker, Barton and Eckler. In 1962, I graduated from The College of Law of The Ohio State University with his son, John W. Bricker Jr.

Carl A. Rankin
16 AUG 2010


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Local Classmate Assistant (LCA) Information

Class Remembrance: Charity

Preferred Charity: Shriners Children's Burn Center

Suggested LCA: Not Needed



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