The SCROLL of Phi Delta Theta for May, 1943
Marine Captain at 22!
ONE of the three youngest men to hold his rank in the history of the Marine Corps is
the distinction which falls to WILLIAM PALMER OLIVER, JR., a captain at the age of 22!
The story of Brother Oliver's rise in this colorful branch of the service is nothing
short of phenomenal. Entering the Marine Corps School at Quantico, Va., immediately
upon graduation from the University of Missouri in midyear, 1941, he was commissioned
a second lieutenant on May 29. He was
promoted to first lieutenant on May 30, 1942,
and was shipped overseas shortly thereafter,
landing in the Solomon Islands -with, the
Marines when they took Tulagi and Guadalcanal on August 7. At this time he was again
the rank of captain. Brother
Oliver had reached his 22nd birthday not
quite three months May 18.
It has been reported that Captain Oliver's
artillery battalion was the first unit of artillery to go into action in the history of the
Marine Corps, and also that his artillery
battalion was the first unit to go into offensive action against the Japs in this war.
Captain Oliver, who, in the last year, has
received his commission in the regular Marine Corps, was known to be on Guadalcanal
as late as March of this a small
detail of artillery and flyers who remained
there after the main body of Marines had
vacated in favor of the Army which took
over after the Island had been conquered and
the Japs eliminated.
WILLIAM OLIVER, Wash. (St. L.)-Mo. '41
The record compiled by William Oliver,
One of three youngest in history.
Washington (St. Louis)-Missouri '41, as an
undergraduate, was also most impressive. Initiated by Missouri Gamma, he later transferred to the University of Missouri and, was affiliated by the chapter there. At Missouri
he held the presidencies of the chapter, Burrall dass. Mystical Seven; was a member
of Blue Key, A I the Savitar staff, and the varsity track squad; he was listed on the
Dean's Honor Roll and in Who's Who in American Universities.
LIEUT. DON GORDON GAYLOR, Iowa '40, has been
awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for
his courageous flying feats in the South Pacific
theater of war, according to recent announcement. Brother Gordon's specific duties consisted
of dropping supplies to advanced positions while
flying in an unarmed plane at low altitudes
under adverse weather conditions, and the evacuation of wounded men. His citation reveals the
fact that during the period from October 15 to
December 13 Lieutenant Gaylor participated as
pilot in 50 operational flight missions, on any
one of which hostile contact was probable and
Brother Gaylor has been overseas for more
than eight months and was first stationed in
the Hawaiian Islands. He received his wings at
Lubbock, Texas, in May, 1942.
CAPT. CLYDE.EDSEL HERRING, Iowa State '37, is
missing in action on the Tunisian front, according to word received by his father, C. L.
Herring, senior administrative assistant to the
Price Administrator and former Democratic
senator from Iowa. Brother Herring, originally a
National Guard officer, has been serving as an
intelligence officer in the infantry.