Dedicated November 23, 1996, the San Diego State University War Memorial was commissioned and funded by the SDSU Alumni Association's War Memorial Committee. Located just west of the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union and north of the campus trolley station, it is recognized as one of the few free-standing tributes of its kind on a college campus in the United States.
The monument is a three-sided reinforced concrete monolith faced with Sierra White granite standing 25 feet high. The sleek column, its broken and jagged top symbolizing untimely death, was designed by former SDSU art professor Jesus Dominguez. Its three sides are etched with the names of 233 former San Diego State students lost in service to their country during military conflicts: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Supreme Sacrifice, Extraordinary Service
Profiles of SDSU Military Alumni
According to research completed in 2006 by historian and SDSU librarian Robert Fikes, almost half of those listed on the monument were pilots. Nearly a third were married and the average age at death was 25.6 years. The three youngest casualties were all age 19 and the oldest was 41. Among them are two Hispanic Americans, one Asian American, one African American, one Native American, and four who were born in foreign countries.
Fikes' research report says the monument presently "lists not only the names of alumni killed on the front lines of battle, but also those who died mostly in accidents both here and abroad while on active duty."
The research also reveals some interesting quirks in the memorial. Besides some inconsistencies in the spellings of names, Fikes found three alumni listed as dead who were still living when the monument was erected and two with no record of military service.
War Memorial News
Almost 70 years ago, aviator and inventor Clinton B. Gaty took off on a flight and never returned. His recently uncovered heroics have earned his name a permanent place on campus.
A blast so bright he could see his own bones – then a rain of irradiated debris. For decades Dan Leonard (’61) could not speak about what he had witnessed. Now he shares his story at SDSU.
New benches installed at the campus War Memorial match the monument’s design aesthetic.
Robert Cardenas was a 19-year old San Diego State student when he embarked on a career of service that has lasted a lifetime.
Billy Wood and Isaac Best are coming back to San Diego State this month, but not in a way either one might ever have expected.
More than 70 years after Robert Harvey and Mary Louise Thompson met and fell in love at San Diego State, their children returned to campus for a solemn ceremony and surprising discovery.
An exhibit depicts how, in the 1940s, a dedicated geography professor and his Montezuma Mesa-based newsletter formed a communication network that reached around the world to keep Aztecs connected during wartime.
It's been 60 years since the plane Carlynne Allbee’s (’71) father was piloting went down in the East China Sea. So why did it take so long to add his name to the War Memorial and how did she manage to finally get Robert G. Harvey enshrined on the campus monument?
Two more names were been added to the SDSU War Memorial that stands as a tribute to Aztecs who died in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.