The Culver Academies Museum & Gift Shop, 102 S. Main St., Culver, is home to a striking reminder of the impact of the monumental World War II Allied landings of D-Day on June 6, 1944: a Culver Black Horse Troop ring found on the beaches of Normandy on June 7, 1944, the day after the invasion.
The ring was sent to the museum in 2012 by John Carr Pierce, who said it had been found by his grandfather, Dr. Alexander Webster Pierce, a M.A.S.H. surgeon who served for four years overseas during the war and retired as a major. He was awarded a Purple Heart, among other commendations, for his service in the war.
Dr. Pierce, said his grandson, went on to serve as the head of the Texas Pediatric Association. His name is on a pediatric clinic at the hospital in Wichita Falls.
“This was the only item that he brought back,” Pierce said, “and I am sure that he would be happy to learn that it should be returned to to whence is came.”
Dr. Pierce passed away some years ago and though his grandson has no direct association with Culver, he noted he attended a military academy in San Antonio as well as The Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, graduating from Centre College in Kentucky.
And while it’s reasonable to assume the wearer was a Culver Military Academy graduate who fought on D-Day – which would narrow the field of possibilities considerably – even that much cannot be certain. The ring bears no name or other inscription indicating to whom it belonged, so for now its exhibit at the museum gives mute testimony to the sacrifices of the soldier who presumably once spent youthful days at study, work, and play at Culver.
“I think (the ring) might have served as a reminder of the horrors of war,” said John Carr Pierce, referring to his grandfather’s having kept it over the years, “yet still the dedication of our military service members, past and present.”