The Military Officers’ Club of Corvallis (formerly the Retired Officers’ Club of Corvallis) is the local chapter of the Military Officers’ Association, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to maintaining a strong national defense and preserving the earned entitlements and benefits of members of the uniformed services and their families. Members of the local chapter have served worldwide in all services, including the active duty, reserves, and National Guard. The World War II active base at Camp Adair brought many to the Willamette Valley. Local reserve and Oregon National Guard units as well as the ROTC detachments at Oregon State University brought many others to the area. The club’s past members include OSU faculty, lawyers, doctors, a judge, a retired dean from OSU, and a retired OSU president. Its members have served their country in the military service and the community in many capacities.
Over the years, the Military Officers’ Club of Corvallis has sponsored an annual fundraiser with all of the proceeds going to support scholarships for the cadets, midshipmen, and officer candidates of the three ROTC detachments at OSU. Some of the proceeds from those events have been used to establish a memorial scholarship.
The scholarships recognizes the contributions of the following departed members of the club: Dorothy E. Amport; LtCol Ernest M. Amport, USAF; LCDR Donald Anderson, USN; June Anderson; LTC Roy E. Anderson, USA; Dorothy Banks; Capt Gareld B. Banta, USCG; Hazel Barnes; Blanch Beamon; Major Eugene M. “Mitch” Beard; Col A.E. “Gene” Bench, USMC; LtCol Richard Berne, USAF; LTC George Beyer, USA; Margo Beyer; Col James A. Blodgett, USA; William E. Boyd, Col, USAF; Vicky Bryant; Col Edward Burchell, USA; Harriet G. Burull; Marjorie Burtchett; Col Donald Carter, USA; Lucille (Bobbie) Campbell; Col Warren Campbell, USAF; Wendie Chandler; LtCol Robert W. Chick, USAF; Mary Conklin; LtCol Edmund G. Coomes, USAF; Lois M. Coomes; Maj William E Detlefs; LTC Frederic H. Dickson, USA; Capt Ray Dorrah, USA; Maj Robert Down, USAF; Maj Charles Duncan, USA; Col Clarence Dunlap, USA; Ardyce Earhart; Helen Fishburn; Col Thomas Fishburn, USAF; Lorraine Forrest; CW0-4 William J. Forrest, USAF; Evonne Friedrichsen; Marjorie Friedrichsen; 1Lt Dorothy Fulsang, ANC; Col Ejner J. Fulsang, Jr., USA; Anna K. Gallagher; Col John Gallagher, Jr., USA; Cmdr William A. Gerth, USN; Helen Gerth; BGen Frank W. Gillespie, USAF; Margaret Gillespie; Col John S. Giffin, USA MD; LtCol Ivan Grimes, USAF; Verla Grimes; Dorothy E. Halm; 1Lt Robert Hamill, AUS; Emmy Hamill; LTC Robert C. Harper, Sr., USA; Cdr Joseph M. Healey, USA; LTC Jack Hermann, USA; Georgia Hermann; 1Lt George Heys, AUS; Capt John Hitchcock, USN; Margaret Hitchcock; Glen A . Hogland; LT Walter Kraft, USNR; Col Donald C. Landon, USA; Katie Landon; Capt John F. Ligon, USAR; Robena Ligon; Capt Albert V. Logen, USNR; Emily Logen; LTC Stephen C. Marks, USA; Col Cecil M. MacGregor, USA; Martha MacGregor; Dorothy Martin; Col Milton H. Mater, AUS; Col Robert W. MacVicar, USAF; LTC Wanita S. Millsaps, ANC; Alice M. Morse; Col Raymond J. Morse, USAF; Marge Munford; Maj Charles S. Nardello, USA; LTC Richard Nickerson, USMC; Patricia Nickerson; LTC Roderick Nielson, USA; Ursala Nielson; LtCol Robert E. Osmers, USAF; Col Louis Pearson, USAF; LtCol Jack R. Pinion, USAF; CWO Herschel Preston, USN; Col James W. Rainey, USA; Maj Roger M. Rickey, USAF; Capt Ellis B. Rittenhouse, USN; Maj Orvill Rugh, USA; LTC Howard Sanders, USA; Roy A. Sefton, LtCol, USAF; Capt Richard W. Shafer, USN; Col Clayton Shaw, USA; Capt Douglas S. Simpson, USN; Mildred Smith; CW# Aaron L. Sorensen, USA; CWO Donald Sylvester, USN; Col Mark Terrel, USA; Maj James R. Trower, USAF; Shirley A. Trower; Col Ray Vandiver, USAF; Beatrice Vandiver; 2ndLt Reider A. Waage, USAF; Capt Bryce M. Watson, USAF; Maj Ivan W. Weikel, USA; Betty A. Whipple; Maj Burdeth Whipple, USMC; LTC Alton G. Williams; Sue Williams; and Maj Charles Zimmerman, USAF.
Thomas Pierson Bays was born March 20, 1920, in Los Angeles, California, to parents Thomas Jefferson and Rosamond Bays. He attended grade schools in California until December 1930, then transferred to Lakeview, Oregon, grade school from 1931-1933, then Cogswell Creek Grade School from 1933-1934. He attended Lakeview High School from 1934-1938. Tom started at Oregon State College (now Oregon State University) in 1938, joining the Delta Upsilon fraternity and majoring in agriculture, animal husbandry, and specialized range management. He belonged to Alpha Zeta (agriculture honor society), Scabbard and Blade (ROTC honor society), and Withycombe Club. At OSU, Tom was in ROTC for four years and trained in field artillery. He spent the summer of 1941 at Fort Lewis attached to the 98th Field Artillery Battalion (Mule Pack). Tom graduated from Oregon State in May 1942 in uniform and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant.
In September 1942, Tom was called to active duty at Fort Sill, Oklahoma Battery Officers Class. He was promoted to First Lieutenant and sent to the 70th Infantry Division Artillery, Battery A, 725th Field Artillery Battalion, at Camp Adair, Oregon in March of 1943. In January 1944, Tom transferred to the Army Air Corps pilot training. He had preflight training at Santa Anna, California, and flight training at Visalia, California; however, he “washed out” of pilot training. In April 1944, Tom was ordered to Camp Roberts, California, Battery B, 54th Field Artillery Battalion, then went to Fort Still, Oklahoma, for training as a Naval Gunfire Liaison (a forward observer for naval gunfire landing with infantry.) In November 1944, he joined the 71st Joint Assault Signal Company (JASCO), at Fort Ord, California, and in December 1944, his unit was transferred to Camp Callan (just north of San Diego.) Naval gunfire spotters (field artillery men) trained at U.S. Amphibious Training Base, Coronada, California. In February 1945, Tom’s unit was taken by an Army troop ship to Noumea, New Caledonia, and his 71st JASCO was attached to the 81st Infantry Division, 10th U.S. Army, and loaded onto a navy ship which departed for Okinawa; however, when the ship was just out of port, it was ordered to return to Noumea. Then the 81st Division and its attachments were transferred to the 8th U.S. Army and transported to the island of Leyte, Philippines Islands, which had been secured from the Japanese. The 71st JASCO set up a base camp at Dulag, a town on Leyte.
In mid-1945, the 71st JASCO was transferred to the 6th U.S. Army, and then in July 1945, the Naval Gunfire Liaison Section was transferred to Subic Bay for final naval gunfire training prior to a planned landing assault on Kyusu, Japan. During a visit to the G4, 6th U.S. Army, Tom learned the name of the ship on which he would be transported to Kyusu. It was common knowledge that only 50% of naval gun fire spotters survived a landing operation such as the one planned at Kyusu. On August 13, 1945, he was promoted to Captain. In August 1945, the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan, the war ended, and Tom’s unit was shipped back to Dulag. In November 1945, the 71st JASCO unit was deactivated at Dulag, and Tom was transferred to the 668th U.S. Army, Medium Port Command, Tacloban, Leyte Island, Philippines Islands. He arrived on a Saturday, and then at midnight on Sunday he became the Night Superintendent of the Port of Tacloban. Tom eventually became a Ship Operations Officer directing up to 78 FS vessels (supply ships) serving all of the southern Philippine Islands. In March 1946, Tom was shipped to San Francisco aboard the troopship U.S.S. General R.E. Callan, then by rail to Fort Lewis, Washington. In July 1946, Tom was separated from active duty, to inactive, in the Army Reserve, Oregon Military District, Fort Vancouver, Washington.
In February 1950, he joined the 104th Infantry Division, 929th Field Artillery Battalion, in Salem, Oregon, serving as Battery Commander, S-4, S-3, EXO, and Battalion Commander. He was promoted to Major on 11 December 1953 and to Lieutenant Colonel on 20 March 1958. In June 1959, the 104th Division became a training division and Tom’s battalion headquarters became headquarters for the 414th Regiment. Colonel Nelson became the regimental Commander and Tom was the regimental Executive Officer. Colonel Nelson’s employer moved him to Florida and Tom became the Commanding Officer on 18 October 1962. Tom had one summer camp at Fort Ord, California, and two at Camp Roberts, California. Since he did not have Command and General Staff training at Fort Leavenworth, he could not be promoted to full Colonel, so he was relieved of duty in August 1965. In April 1966, Tom was ordered to the 364th Civil Affairs unit in Portland as Commerce and Industry Officer, then became a Property Control Officer. In May 1970, Tom retired and transferred to the Retired Reserve U.S. Army. He was honored with a parade at Fort Lewis, Washington, and awarded the Army Commendation Medal. He is now receiving retirement pay based on his active duty days and he appreciates Tricare for Life. All of this was a nice finale to a military career that began at ROTC at Oregon State College in 1938.
Tom’s military career was so eventful, that it is difficult to imagine how he found time to enjoy life as a family man and civilian, but find time he did. Tom met Mary Bloom in Albany during the summer of 1943 and they were married on December 17, 1943, at the Hector Farm in Granger, Oregon. Tom and Mary had five children: Richard, Kenneth, Carol, Christine, and Roger and were married for nearly forty-six years before her death in 1992.
In July 1946, Tom was employed as a loan officer for the Federal Land Bank making farm loans in Salem, Medford, and The Dalles, Oregon. In July 1949, he joined the staff of the Travelers Insurance Company in Salem, Oregon, working in the real estate loan department on farm, ranch, and timber loans. He became an Accredited Rural Appraiser in the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. He was president of the Oregon Chapter of the Society from 1967 to 1968 and also an Oregon real estate broker.
Tom has been in the American Legion since 1946, a member of the Elks since 1964, and in Rotary since 1973. He also belongs to numerous other military and professional organizations.
Mark H. Terrel was born May 27, 1920, in Chicago, Illinois, to John Ernest and Winifred Burns Terrel. The family moved to Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City; and finally Glendale, California, where Mark graduated from Hoover High School. He attended Brown Military Academy in San Diego, then the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. He graduated in 1942 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a commission as a second lieutenant in the Army. The following Fourth of July, he and Elaine Felton were married at Fort Benning, Georgia. He served with the 76th Infantry Division in Belgium and Germany during World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
After the war, he attended Princeton University, receiving a master’s degree in nuclear physics. He and Elaine were stationed in Turkey and Spain before he was ordered to Korea. After other tours of duty, he served in Vietnam. The couple then moved to Corvallis, where he was assigned as the Professor of Military Science at Oregon State University.
He retired from the Army in 1972 following completion of his tour at OSU. Colonel Terrel was active in the Corvallis Rotary Club, serving as president in 1979-80, and helped start the Rotary Club in Philomath, and he was an honorary member of both clubs. He was a member of the Military Officers Club of Corvallis and served as its president in 1975. He also served as president of the Oregon Council of Chapters for three years. He served as precinct chairman of the Republican Party and at the time of America’s two-hundredth birthday he served as chairman of the Benton County Bicentennial celebration. He enjoyed his family, reading, and fishing. Mark passed away on August 8, 2000, and is survived by Elaine, his daughter Katie, sons John and Douglas, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This memorial scholarship was established by his family and friends to honor his memory and support the education of the Army ROTC cadets at Oregon State University and Western Oregon University.