Honoring Those Who Have Served

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Last month, we asked you to help us build out our list of Ohio Zeta servicemen and veterans in observance of Veterans Day (Nov. 11). Several of you spoke up with additional information, and we thank you. Please honor our Ohio Zeta men of service by clicking below, reading through the list and leaving your own tribute. If you have longer stories and photos to send, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Charles J. Maag ’41 — U.S. Navy
Two-sport athlete (football and basketball), playing in Ohio State's first NCAA basketball tournament. He was the skipper of a PT boat during WWII. CLICK HERE to read his obituary.

Don Scott ’41  — U.S. Army Air Corps
“After entering Ohio State in 1938, Scott participated in baseball, track, basketball, and most notably football. In addition to being on the Players’ All American team for football and the first Big 10 Championship for basketball, Scott was also elected to sophomore, junior and senior Honor Societies as well as being a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. After enlisting, by May 1941, Scott, along with other OSU athletes were stationed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Air Corps Training Detachment. By October, Scott had completed training and had advanced to get his wings and commission in the Army Air Corps. He was eventually promoted to a Captain. CLICK HERE for a YouTube video showing a poster of Don Scott's accomplishments.

Unfortunately, on October 1, 1943, at the age of 23, Scott was killed in a bomber crash over England. This marked the 100th alumnus or former student to give his life in World War II. One week after his death, on October 8, his wife gave birth to their child, Don Sands Scott.” In 1949, Don Scott Field was at OSU and was used by the Navy until the end of the war. CLICK HERE to read the full story.

Lenny Thom ’41 — U.S. Navy
Brother Thom served as president of Ohio Zeta and was an Ohio State football player from Sandusky, Ohio. He served his country as executive officer of the PT 109 alongside its skipper and his friend, Jack Kennedy. "On the night of August 2, 1943, PT 109 was on night patrol in an area of the Solomons known as Blackett Strait. Idling on one engine to keep its phosphorescent wake to a minimum (Japanese float planes frequently found that the wake helped to make the PT boats a great target), the 109 was suddenly struck by the Japanese destroyer, Amagari. Historians have claimed in recent works that the crew was relaxing and some were even asleep and that this was why the 109 did not see the ship until it was too late. Lenny told Kate [his wife] later that it was ridiculous for anyone to hint that the crew of the 109 was not alert. “We were on Patrol!” he said. The darkness of the pacific nights, the confusion among the other boats all point to the fact that the 109 was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. The destroyer sheared off a large section of the 109, causing an explosion seen by Dick Keresey on the 105, some five miles distant. Two of the crew, Harold Marney & Andrew Kirksey were killed. Lenny helped round up the others and bring them back to the hull of the 109." Lenny would receive the Purple Heart for injuries he sustained in his efforts to save the crew. He was tragically killed in 1946 when his automobile was hit by a train. CLICK HERE to read more.

Maurice C. Padden ’52 — U.S. Air Force
“In 1953, he began his 34 year career in the United States Air Force eventually achieving the rank of Major General. He was a Master Navigator serving on B-47 and B-58 combat crews. His military career included tours in the Air Training Command, Strategic Air Command, Air University and the Military Aircraft Command. He was Deputy Base Commander at Norton AFB, CA (1974-1975) and Base Commander at Scott AFB, IL (1976-1978). As the first navigator in the history of the Air Force to serve as a Wing Commander of a combat flying wing, General Padden was the Wing Commander at Altus Air Force Base from 1978-1980. He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1980 and assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, DC. General Padden pinned his second star in 1983. In 1985, he was named Vice Commander in Chief, North American Aerospace Defense Command, and Vice Commander, Air Force Space Command. In October 1986, he assumed the command of Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base, CO. After his distinguished and extensive military career, General Padden spent 10 years as the Executive Vice President and Treasurer of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association in Reston, VA.” CLICK HERE to read his full obituary.

Charles K. Humbert ’53 — U.S. Air Force

Richard N. Maxwell ’64 — U.S. Marine Corps
“Dick graduated from North High School in 1960, attended school at OSU and went into the Marine Corps reserves. After completing boot camp, he returned and played football in the OSU intramural fraternity league for the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. In the early evening of November 18, 1963, he saw a chance to score a touchdown and went diving into the end zone. He received a spinal cord injury and was paralyzed from the neck down. Woody Hayes saw a paragraph about the accident in the student paper and went to the hospital to see him. After visiting him several times, Woody said "He's a fabulous youngster. If we win the Michigan game, I'm going to give him the game ball." On November 30, 1963 OSU beat Michigan 14-10 and Dick became the proud owner of the signed football. Dick received his rehabilitation from a wonderful staff at Dodd Hall and continued his college education receiving his bachelor degree in business in 1969. After graduation, he served as Patient Services Coordinator at Dodd Hall. In 1971 he was honored as one of the Columbus Citizen-Journal "Top Ten Men of the Year". In 1972, Dick began work as administrator in the OSU Office for Disability Services where he worked with students, who had physical disabilities and served on campus committees creating awareness and providing knowledge of disability issues.” CLICK HERE to read his full obituary.

Joseph A. "Al" Lofton ’66 — U.S. Marine Corps
It is believed that Brother Lofton is the only Buckeye Phi who was killed in combat in Vietnam. A 1st Lt. from Akron, Ohio, he was killed on Nov. 12, 1969, when the Cobra gunship of which he was co-pilot was shot down.

Jesse J. Trotter Jr. ’66 — U.S. Army
Colonel (retired).

John Jacobs ’84 — U.S. Marine Corps

Robert J. Gaddis ’86 — U.S. Army
Graduate of Troy State University in international relations and affairs (1993) and the United States Army War College (2009). Has served as a psychological operations officer and exercise planner for Special Operations Command South in Panama, a battalion operations officer and battle staff planner in Germany and chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation for Senegal and West Africa. More recently, Col. Gaddis was the deputy director of Security Assistance for the U.S. Army Southern Command in Miami. Today, he is a Deputy J5 and the senior strategic planner and contingency plans officer for SOCSOUTH (Special Operations Command South) at the Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida.

Robert L. Anderson ’89 —  U.S. Marine Corps.
Major and communications officer.

Samuel Addison Gray ’99 — U.S. Navy
Lt. Commander and Naval aviator. Graduate of the U.S. Navy War College.