This third article honoring CNC's First Decaders who served in our nation's various military branches begins with tributes to the college's second president, Marine Corps veteran James C. (Jim) Windsor, who fought in Korea, and CNC alumnus John Patrick (Pat) Giguere (B.S., 1972), Marine helicopter pilot who survived service in Vietnam only to be killed in action in Grenada in 1983. Unless otherwise stated, photos were supplied by the veterans themselves.
Photo left above is from the 1966 Trident; photo right is courtesy of CNU's Dr. Sean Heuvel. Jim Windsor joined the Marines after high school and served in Korea on an anti-tank platoon which also set and disarmed mines--dangerous work with frequent casualties. For him, the most difficult experience was losing friends: "When you are in combat," he wrote, "and getting shot at, your world shrinks down to the small portion of the earth you occupy, and to the few comrades on whom you depend. There is a strong bonding and you look after each other. You fear letting your buddies down more than you fear the enemy or death. We suffered a lot of casualties (dead and wounded) and were fully aware that we were living in harm's way. I was wounded, but not seriously and ... have felt since then that every day is a gift. Many of my comrades did not have the chance to grow up, and I have felt blessed all of my life.”
Sergeant Windsor was awarded a purple heart and the Commendation Ribbon for Valor for saving a tank and its crew during a fierce battle. Our website's tab ARCHIVES (left margin of HOME), in sub tab YOUR MEMORIES, has an article giving Dr. Windsor's memories of his service in Korea.
CNC alumnus Pat Giguere (USMC photo below) was posthumously awarded the Silver Star (photo above) for his heroic action in combat resulting in his death in Grenada on October 25, 1983, at age 33 and also posthumously promoted to Major. Then U.S. President Ronald Reagan awarded the star and read the following excerpt from the Citation:
While conducting an armed reconnaissance mission in support of ground forces, Captain Giguere's wingman was hit by multiple anti-aircraft artillery projectiles and forced down behind enemy lines. With full knowledge of their vulnerability as a single aircraft without a wingman's pro- tective cover and with total disregard for their own safety, Captain Giguere and his Co-Pilot exposed their aircraft to heavy anti-aircraft artillery fire while engaging enemy ground forces and preventing the certain capture of the helpless and gravely wounded crew. Requesting assistance from a rescue aircraft and organizing the rescue attempt, Captain Giguere and his Co-Pilot fearlessly continued to engage the anti-aircraft emplacements that encircled the zone protecting the more vulnerable rescue aircraft and buying enough time to effect a successful rescue. Purposely remaining behind until the rescue aircraft could escape the enemy fire, Captain Giguere sacrificed his life after a gallant struggle so that others might live. By his extraordinary courage, uncommon valor, and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of danger, Captain Giguere reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Above are the Boot Camp photos of Wayne A. Evans (left ) and Jack N. Spearman (right), both made at Parris Island, NC-- where they, like Jim Windsor and many more, learned to be Marines. Wayne served in the USMC and USMCR from 1958-66, while also beginning studies at CNC in 1962-63 and continuing them later--mainly through night classes between job transfers in and out of state. He left service as sergeant E5 and earned his BS in business at CNC in 1993.
Jack attended CNC first in1962-64. He was the photographer for CNC's first yearbook, the 1964 Trident. He then served in the USMC from 1964-67, including deployment in Vietnam, and was honorably discharged as corporal. He then attended CNC again while working in the chemical research lab for Dow Badische in Williamsburg.
James T. (Jim) Fronkier (photos above) served in both the Marines and the Army. He was first in the USMC 1964-67, including 13 months in Vietnam, leaving as corporal--after which he attended CNC 1967-69, where he was the first president of the first Veterans Club. Jim served also in the USMC Reserve 9 years, leaving as staff sergeant (photo left). In 1979 he transferred to the Virginia Army National Guard, where he served 15 years, moving from SSGT to 2nd Lt and retiring as a Major (photo right).
Like Jim Fronkier, Jay C. (Kit) Warren served in two military branches: the USMC and the Navy. He attended CNC one year (1964-65), then served three years (1965-68) in the USMC, including duty in Vietnam. The photo left shows Kit as a corporal on R and R in DaNang, outside a Marine Chapel during Passover. After a year in the Merchant Marines and other adventures, Kit served two more years as a Marine (1972-74). He was promoted to staff sergeant in August 1974 during a Mediterranean cruise (right photo). He then served in the Navy 1975-89, including deployment in Grenada. He retired as chief quarter master.
Updated December 11, 2020, this list includes 11 CNC First Decaders thus far known who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. It also gives (where known) their overseas deployments and ranks they held when they left service.
(D) = Deceased, (KIA) = Killed in Action, (PC)= Photo(s) & Content in article.