SigEp Military History


This Week in SigEp Patriot History
August 5-11, 2013

(The complete version of this work including photographs can be viewed at


05 AUG 1917
OH Gamma Brother Robert Lester Tavenner was commissioned a second lieutenant and infantry officer on this date, and went on to serve in France and Belgium during WWI. At OSU, Brother Tavenner was Junior Class President and Captain of the Company of Cadets. Captain, USA.

11 AUG 1975
World War I, World War II and Korean War Veteran, Hero of Bastogne, SigEp Citation Recipient and WV Beta Brother General Anthony Clement "NUTS!" McAuliffe, U.S. Army (Retired) died on this date in Chevy Chase, Maryland at the age of 77. He was laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Section 3, Site 2536.

Born in Washington, DC in 1898, Brother McAuliffe was a student at West Virginia University from 1916 to 1917, before attending and graduated from West Point in NOV 1918. He rose through the ranks from second lieutenant in 1918 to his promotion to four-star general in 1955.

On D-Day, Brother McAuliffe was serving as Commander of Division Artillery of the 101st Airborne Division when he parachuted into Normandy. He subsequently entered Holland during Operation MARKET GARDEN in a military glider. In DEC 1944, when the German army launched the surprise Battle of the Bulge, General Maxwell D. Taylor, commander of the 101st Airborne Division, was away, attending a staff conference in the United States.

In Taylor's absence, acting command of the 101st and its attached troops fell to (then) Brigadier General McAuliffe. At Bastogne, the 101st was besieged by a far-larger force of Germans under the command of General Heinrich Freiherr von Luttwitz.

On 22 DEC 1944, through a party consisting of a German major, captain, and two privates under a flag of truce that entered the American lines southeast of Bastogne, General von Luttwitz sent the following ultimatum to General McAuliffe:

"To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne.

The fortune of war is changing. This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Our near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet. Libramont is in German hands.

There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note.

If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours term.

All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity.

The German Commander."

According to various accounts from those present, when General McAuliffe was told of the German demand for surrender he said "Nuts!" At a loss for an official reply, Lieutenant Colonel Harry Kinnard suggested that his first remark summed up the situation well, which was agreed to by the others. The official reply: "To the German Commander, NUTS!, The American Commander" was typed and delivered by Colonel Joseph Harper, commanding the 327th Glider Infantry, and his S-3, Major Jones, to the German delegation. Harper had to explain the meaning of the word to the Germans, telling them that in "plain English" it meant "Go to hell."

In Memoriam
In Bastogne, there is McAuliffe Square where a "Nuts!"" festival takes place every year. A bust of Anthony was unveiled in 1967 and is located next to a tank at a corner of the square.

In the 1997, the Nuts McAuliffe Society was formed and consists of extremely dedicated volunteers.

A southern extension of Route 33 in eastern Northampton County, Pennsylvania, completed in 2002, was named the General Anthony Clement McAuliffe 101st Airborne Memorial Highway, and in 2009 the post headquarters building at Fort Campbell, Kentucky opened and was re-named McAuliffe Hall.

Our Brother left us with quite a lot to think about as to how to react and respond in incredibly stressful situations.

05 AUG 2002
World War II Veteran and NC Delta Brother Staff Sergeant Clifton Robert "Tip" Faucette Jr., U.S. Army died on this date. He was 88 years old. Tip served as an Army medic during WWII.
Respect can be paid to Brother Clifton at Mountain View Cemetery, Ridgeway, Virginia.

09 AUG 2007
U.S. Army Korean War Veteran PA Epsilon Brother Philip J. Sievering Jr. died on this date in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.

05 AUG 2008
VA Pi Brother Captain Robert May, U.S. Army retired on this date.

06 AUG 2008
TN Beta Brother Fred Avil Allen III, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary died on this date. Fred was always proud to have earned Eagle Scout status and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity in college.

11 AUG 2009
On this date, NH Alpha Brother Captain Timothy Francis Farrell, U.S. Marine Corps died in Frankfurt, Germany while working for the State Department as Vice-Consul in the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt. He was 35 years old. After graduating from Dartmouth, Brother Farrell joined the Marine Corps in 1997, and was a decorated Marine stationed in San Diego, deployed to Japan and the Mideast. He also served on the USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49) as a logistics officer.

At Dartmouth, Brother Farrell was a member of the track team, and a four year recipient of the Inter-Collegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (ICAAAA). He was also elected to the All-Ivy League Team, First Team, in 1992-1993 and 1994-1995. In 1995, he received the prestigious Nathan D. Bugbee 1925 Track Prize.

In memoriam, donations can be made to the Timothy Farrell Memorial Fund, Township of Ocean School District, 550 West Park Ave., Oakhurst, NJ 07755, β„… Julia Davidow. Brother Farrell joined Brother McAuliffe and more than 25 other SigEp Patriots known to be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery (Section 7-B, Row 4, SITE 1).


  • U.S. Air Force Korean War Veteran and OH Epsilon Brother Harold β€œHal” Walker Look, Jr., 83, passed away 21 JUL after a period of declining health. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Rockland Congregational Church Abiding Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 554, Rockland, ME 04841, or the charity of one's choice.
  • Korean War Veteran and IN Gamma Brother Richard Matthew Worthman, 80, passed away 27 JUL in Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Yesterday, U.S. Army World War II Veteran and Prisoner of War PA Delta Brother Edgar A. Waite, Jr. was laid to rest at Hillside Cemetery, Roslyn. He passed away peacefully at home on 05 AUG 2013. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to: Liberty Bell Chapter of America Ex POW, 61 New Pond Lane, Levittown PA, 19054-3819 or to the Alzheimer's Association, 100 N 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and chapter brothers of SigEp Patriots Look, Worthman, and Waite. While they are no longer with us, SPP pledges they will always be remembered.

  • 06 AUG - U.S. Army First Lieutenants CA Theta Brother Adam Wilson, KS Beta Brother Matt Cavanaugh and VA Omicron Brother Andy Ryan learned they had been selected for promotion to Captain. Congratulations to Brothers Wilson, Cavanaugh and Ryan!
  • This week - Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Veteran AL Theta Brother Lieutenant Colonel John Hopson, U.S. Army (Retired) received the Volunteer Excellence Award from the MO Eta Alumni Volunteer Corporation.

Have great news? SPP would love to share it with everyone! Just send an email to
Fraternally and Respectfully,
Brother Ed Jones, NY Eta '96
Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy Reserve
Founder, SigEp Patriots Project