Scot Walker '90 February 16, 2017 10:30 AM updated: February 17, 2017 12:00 PM
Ray C. Arthur ’44 is the latest Aggie to be identified in the iconic photo of Aggies who Mustered at Corregidor in 1946.
The identification of Arthur brings the number of identified persons in the photo to 112, and brings the “unknowns” in that photo down to 15.
At Texas A&M, Arthur majored in chemical engineering. According to his daughter, Ellen LeBlanc, "His first year [of wartime military service] was spent working on the atomic bomb, though he did not know it at the time. He knew something was up, and sent his commanding officer a note asking questions. He never received an answer. After a year, his group was divided up and half were sent to New Mexico, and the other half sent to the South Pacific. My father was an aerial photographer for the rest of the war. He also took many photos on the ground, which I still have."
The Association of Former Students maintains a page at AggieNetwork.com/Corregidor that tells the story of that 1946 Muster in the Philippines, of the Muster under fire in 1942 that inspired the 1946 Muster, and of the famous 1946 photo taken by James T. Danklefs '43.
The page includes the identity of every person in the photo whose name is known. Until now, Arthur was not among those. LeBlanc learned about the page through the Aggie Network.
"My husband and I hosted a Super Bowl party for a group, most of them in their 30s, and many of them were Aggies," she said. "I pulled out the photo taken in front of the tunnel -- I didn't know it was famous -- and they told me all about it and directed me to your website.”
Arthur died in 1990 at the age of 68. "It feels wonderful to hear this story, since he rarely spoke of the war," his daughter said. "I always have the photo on a table in my home, along with other A&M memorabilia. There is a special place in my heart for A&M."
The full roster of participants in the 1946 Corregidor Muster has always been known, as full records were kept at the time. However, matching the names on the roster to the faces in the photo was a much harder task.
The Association's efforts to identify every man in the photo began in earnest in March 1996, as part of preparations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1946 Corregidor Muster. The photo was published in Texas Aggie magazine with an overlay naming 32 people we could identify, and we asked readers to contact us if they recognized any other faces. Some readers contacted us after they recognized family members or Aggies with whom they had served; several men spotted them themselves in the photo.
Results of that initial 1996 effort resulted in the identification of 109 of the 127 people pictured, and it has taken more than 20 years to get three more confirmed.
If you can help us identify any of the remaining unknown faces in the photo, please email us at web@AggieNetwork.com.
A large lenticular version of the 1946 photo is featured in the Muster exhibit on the Neely Mezzanine at the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center. Also featured in that exhibit are the Aggie Rings of some of the men in the picture, as well as photos from more than 120 Aggie Muster ceremonies held around the world. The "Aggies" flag seen hanging at the mouth of Malinta Tunnel in the 1946 photo is also on display part of the year.
For information about visiting the Alumni Center: AggieNetwork.com/TheAssociation/Visit.aspx