An Aggie Hero
Charles Benton (C.B.) grew up in
Alpine, Texas. The son of Dom and Lucille Adams, he played football on the high school team, along with a friend by the name
of Sherman Newsom, with whom I corresponded in 2003. Mr Newsom sent me a great photo of their high school football team and shared stories about his childhood memories. When they were about 12 years old, C.B. and Sherman dug
water wells around Alpine, just for fun. Some were as deep as 50 ft.
Later, C.B. went to Texas A&M
College in College Station where he graduated in 1940. In 1939, he won the Trophy for the Best All Around Cowboy at
the A&M Rodeo. As an officer in the Army Air Corps, he few a P-51 in the Philippines. The local newspapers
carried the tragic news about his death. Posthumously, he was awarded the Air Medal and two oak leaf clusters for action in the Pacific.
On Memorial Day, in 1999, about
twenty family members, including his sister, Margaret, gathered at the family cemetery in Alpine, Texas to memorialize
CB's life. We said a prayer, and sang songs from the era. I was honored to read the letter from his commanding officer to his mother about what happened. We concluded with the Aggie War Hymn, with
ten of us, all Former Students, swaying back and forth as though we were in Kyle Field.
Any Aggie would understand.
C.B.'s name is on the large bronze plaque at the entrance to the Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M
Gig 'em when you walk by.