Let Freedom Roar! Celebrating Bearcat Heroes

Below are just a few of many University of Cincinnati alumni who contributed their intelligence, talents and lives for the good ole’ U.S. of A.

Alex Green (A&S '48)

Alex Green

In the midst of heavy naval fighting in World War II’s Pacific Theater, Alex Green made an invaluable contribution to the American war effort. By developing his first slide rule — a ruler with a sliding central strip, marked with logarithmic scales and used for making rapid calculations, especially multiplication and division — Green helped the U.S. identify Japanese ships during over-water flights, which resulted in American aircraft sinking half of the Japanese warships in two harbors, plus an 865-foot battleship. When he received a Medal of Freedom in 1947, the mission was called one of the “longest and most hazardous reconnaissance flights of the war.”

Later innovations by Green aided troops in hitting obscured targets, taking bomb-strike photos with less vulnerability, choosing suitable radar targets, determining the types of bombs and planes required to accomplish missions, and calculating the turn time and wind displacement of a plane. Green and his team fabricated the equipment and trained troops. His slide rules were vital to solving problems of the most technical military campaign of World War II. After the war, he served as a UC faculty member for seven years, then joined Florida State University, where he initiated its physics PhD program and its Tandem-Van de Graaff nuclear program.

Alexander Goode (A&S '34)

Rabbi Alexander Goode was one of four Army chaplains of different faiths who went down with the Army transport ship Dorchester when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1943. Standing on the ship’s deck with a Roman Catholic priest, a Methodist minister and a Dutch Reformed pastor, Goode distributed life jackets, helped terrified soldiers into lifeboats, and offered prayers to calm their fears. When the lifejacket supply dwindled, the chaplains surrendered theirs without hesitation, even though three of them also had wives and children back home, including Rabbi Goode. They never attempted to leave the ship.

“When the ship rolled, she rolled to starboard,” said survivor Jim Eardley, a medic at the time, “and there I saw the four chaplains standing, arm in arm, on the top of the boat. Then the boat took a nosedive, and they went right down with it. They were all standing side by side, looking up toward heaven. They knew their time had come, and they were waiting for it.”

The men were posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Service Cross in 1944, and a special Congressional Medal for Heroism in 1960.

Dr. Bill Wiesmann (A&S '68, Hon. Doc. '08)

Since the early days of warfare, soldiers have died from bleeding. For years, Dr. Bill Wiesmann and his team had been looking for a solution. He knew if he could develop something that would stop or slow bleeding, doctors would have enough time to get patients to the hospital for surgical care, with many lives potentially saved. Dr. Wiesmann’s advances have transformed medicine both on the battlefield and in civilian trauma centers. In 2004, the military named the UC grad’s 4-by-4-inch HemCon bandage one of the year’s “Top 10 Greatest Inventions” for its ability to stop seriously wounded soldiers from bleeding to death. Today, the revolutionary bandage is available to U.S. soldiers around the world and is commonly stocked by civilian medics nationwide.

Read more about Dr. Wiesmann and his team and the creation of the HemCon bandage here.

Pamela Bridgewater, (A&S ’70, Hon. Doc. ’06)

Pamela E. Bridgewater is a career Foreign Service officer who has been recognized for her important diplomatic work in South Africa, Ghana and Liberia. Bridgewater joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1980, serving as an analyst and diplomat. By 1990, she was appointed to serve as a political officer in South Africa. She worked closely with Nelson Mandela as apartheid came to an end, and was also a special coordinator for peace in Liberia at the height of its most recent civil war. Bridgewater was not only the first African American woman to be appointed to the region, but also the longest-serving American diplomat in South Africa.

Bridgewater served as U.S. Ambassador to Benin, Ghana and Jamaica between 2000 and 2013. During her many years in the Foreign Service, Bridgewater received two Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, the Department of State’s Superior Honor Award, and the Secretary of State’s Career Achievement Award, among other public recognition.

William Howard Taft (Law 1880, HonDoc ’25)


William Howard Taft was born in Cincinnati in 1857. His father, Alphonso Taft, was a U.S. Attorney General and Secretary of War. After graduating from Yale, then earning his law degree from UC and becoming a lawyer, Taft was appointed a judge while still in his 20s. He continued a rapid rise, being named U.S. Solicitor General from 1890-92 and a judge of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. He then went on to become the 27th President of the United States from 1909-13.

In 1921, President Warren Harding appointed Taft the nation’s Chief Justice, an office he had long sought. He resigned in poor health early in 1930 and died a month later. Taft remains the only person to be both a Supreme Court Justice and U.S. president, and he became the first president and Supreme Court justice buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Know a few other heroic Bearcats? Share their stories with us on social using the #ThyLoyalChildren!


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