Courtesy of his classmates, United States Military Academy
Altus Emory Prince
No. 13324 • 12 October 1919 – 20 August 1971
Died in Fairfax, Virginia, aged 51 years
Interment: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
ALTUS EMORY PRINCE responded to being called Emory or “Em” throughout his life. He was born on 12 October 1919 in Washington, D.C., where he spent his early manhood years. A true patriot, he was always conscious of having lived at the seat of our government, and knew early in his life that he wanted to serve his country in some way. His parents were his stepfather, Jeremiah M. Enright, and his mother Dorothy E. Garner, who served together in the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the Department of Labor.
Emory attended Western High School in the District of Columbia, graduating with hard-earned letters in football and baseball. Then he started down the road that would lead him to West Point, attending Millard Preparatory School in Washington, D.C., for one year and serving four months in the Illinois National Guard of the 124th Field Artillery. As a consequence of his thorough, earnest preparation, Emory won a competitive appointment to USMA from U.S. Representative Scott M. Lucas of Illinois.
He enthusiastically joined with his future classmates at West Point on 1 July 1939. While there, Em was soon recognized as one of the most likeable among his classmates. As his roommate wrote in the Howitzer:
“But who would not want him for a friend? — not one who has met him!”
He attained the rank of corporal in his second year and sergeant as a first classman. Not big enough for football, Em went out for baseball where he was a fine second baseman, earning a monogram each year. During 1942 he fell in love with the lovely Jane Constance Schilling of Pelham Manor, New York, who was attending William and Mary College at the time. By graduation on 19 January 1943, Emory’s continuous smile became even wider as Jane accepted his marriage proposal. They were engaged to be married when Emory went overseas with the 100th Infantry Division to Europe. Jane suffered many anxious moments as Emory served with distinction, being awarded two Silver Stars, each for a battlefield skirmish in which he demonstrated gallantry in action. He gained a promotion to captain and a well-earned assignment as a rifle company commander. Unquestionably a brave and true leader, he led his men courageously, receiving a Unit Presidential Citation for contributing to the 399th Infantry Regiment’s successful capture of a hill at Tete de Reclos, France, in November 1944. He was taken prisoner by the Germans in January 1945 and released in May 1945 as World War II came to a close.
Then Emory hurried home so that he could finally take Jane as his bride. They were married on 10 July 1945 in a beautiful wedding at the Cadet Chapel at West Point. They then enjoyed a respite at Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, followed by brief assignments at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands, New Mexico. They happily greeted their first born, Carol Ann, as she came into the world at Fort Totten, New York, on 14 September 1946. In 1948, Emory took his family to Hawaii where carried out an ROTC assignment at the University. While there, they joyfully received the next family member, son Lawrence Emory, who was born on 28 January 1952. Emory’s next assignment returned them in July 1952 to his hometown area as he undertook a choice assignment in the joint headquarters in the Pentagon of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project involving policies and procedures for the storage and handling of classified weapons. In 1956, Emory then went overseas again, this time to Vietnam for an unaccompanied tour. In 1957, he rejoined his family at Fort Ord, California, in the Combat Development Command where he worked on tactics that later proved useful in Vietnam.
With a loving, sincere interest in people and infinite patience, Emory was a born teacher. The Army’s recognition of this led to his next assignment in Southeast Germany, where he taught a NATO Nuclear Course at the U.S. Army School in Europe from 1960 to 1963. This was an enjoyable assignment for the family as they, among other things, took in the Passion Play at Oberammergau. Then they returned to the United States where Emory served his final Army tour at the Defense Atomic Support Agency until his retirement as a Colonel on 1 August 1967. As Emory himself put it, during this time a strange, delightful happening occurred in the person of another son, Stephen Garner, who was born at Fort Belvoir on 18 July 1965.
Emory and Jane decided to live in Fairfax, Virginia, where they readily became one of the more popular couples and families among a good number of classmates and wives who also settled in the Washington, D.C., area. With his evident knack for teaching, Emory taught mathematics at Northern Virginia Community College as he worked his way up to the head of the Developmental Mathematics Department.
Then tragedy struck as Emory unexpectedly died of a heart attack on 20 August 1971. Jane and her children courageously bore up under the strain and stress of his untimely death, keeping their home in Fairfax and making the best of a difficult situation. Nine years later, Jane also died unexpectedly on 8 July 1980, joining her beloved husband at Arlington National Cemetery where they are buried together.
At the time of this writing, they are survived by their three beloved children and one grandchild: Carol who is married to J. Michael Montana, living with her husband and daughter Megan Michele in Carmel, California; Lawrence, who continues to reside in Fairfax, Virginia; and Stephen, who is a student at San Diego State University. A special blessing for the family continues in that Emory’s best friend since high school, Paul Browning, Jr., of Washington, DC, has remained in close touch with them. He has been like a father to them and like a grandfather to Megan, giving them a feeling of closeness to Emory. The love that Emory had given so freely is thereby being returned many times over.
Thus, Emory, along with his beautiful wife Jane, leaves with us who remember them best a legacy of love for all, particularly their family of which they were so fond. We will always remember Emory for that love along with his love of country, his devotion to duty, his delightful sense of humor, and his kindness to all. Whoever met you, Emory, was a better person for just having known you.
— A classmate
PRINCE, ALTUS EMORY
- COL USA ELM SDO5800 DASA WASH DC INF USA
- DATE OF BIRTH: 10/12/1919
- DATE OF DEATH: 08/20/1971
- BURIED AT: SECTION 8 SITE 8405
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard