In a letter to the Reed community later that spring, Knowlton wrote, "The men of the detachment were a fine lot in every way. They came mostly from west of the Mississippi with a few from as far east as New York. Disciplinary problems were completely absent and morale was high. Only men who as a group were of more than ordinary ability and industry could have carried the work. We are proud of them and glad to have had a part in their training. . . . They were not merely P.M.s at Reed College. They were Reed College students, welcomed, and glad to be so regarded."
Unfortunately, at least from the men's standpoint, as the war progressed the need for meteorologists became less critical. Upon graduation, the Reed P.Ms were divided into three groups: some continued meteorology training in a military program at Harvard, others went into communications and eventually ended up in a program at Yale University, and the last group joined the army specialized training program and was slated for additional coursework at the University of California-Berkeley. Instead of going to Berkeley, however, this group was directed to Europe to become infantry riflemen. A plaque in Eliot Hall lists the names of the four Reed P.M.s killed in the war. At least one other, Joe Bruemmer, saw constant combat as a rifleman with the U.S. Army as it fought its way into Germany before returning home.
Harry Bernat, another graduate, was one of a dozen or so P.M. servicemen who returned to Reed this past June for the 55th reunion of the AMP program. He says, "Most of us had the good fortune of surviving the war and having productive careers. Many of us became doctors, professors, college deans, and company presidents. I don't believe Reed College realizes the overwhelmingly positive influence it had in 1943 on the lives of so many young men."
Paula Barclay is editor of Reed.