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Bataan Death March World War II Veteran to Speak at Montreat College

September 23, 2013

Montreat College invites the community to two presentations by Colonel Ben Skardon, retired and decorated Army veteran, on Monday, October 7 in Gaither Chapel. At 10 a.m., Colonel Skardon will present “Survival, Loyalty, & Faith,” and at 7 p.m., he will engage in a conversational interview with Dr. Bill Forstchen, faculty fellow, author and history professor. Both sessions are free and open to the public.

Colonel Skardon was born in 1917, the son of an Episcopal minister. He served as an U.S. Army infantry solder in World War II, survived the Bataan Death March and was held as a Japanese POW until 1945. Colonel Skardon is decorated with a Silver Star with OLC, a Bronze Star with 3 OLC, a Purple Heart, and a Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and served as an instructor of tactics for the Infantry School in Fort Benning. Following his overseas assignments in Korea from 1951-52, and Germany 1956-59, Colonel Skardon retired from the Army in 1962.

Colonel Skardon graduated from Clemson University in 1938 and received his M.A. in English from the University of Georgia in 1964. He taught English at Clemson University until his retirement in 1983. In 1977 he was honored with the Clemson University Alumni Master Teacher Award and later honored with the 2003 Clemson University Distinguished Alumni Award.

Colonel Skardon’s grandson, Benjamin Skardon Smith, is an adjunct instructor at Montreat College in the music and business departments and is the director of the Montreat Chamber Orchestra.

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