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Excelsior Fallen Pilots

The Class of 1945 memorialized the names of their classmates who perished in World War II by placing two plaques in their honor. Each were mounted separately on the walls of the foyer in the auditorium.  One plaque pictured an American eagle and read, "THIS MEMORIAL DEDICATED BY EXCELSIOR UNION HIGH SCHOOL, CLASS OF 1945,  TO HONOR THOSE VALIANT EXCELSIOR PILOTS WHO GAVE THEMSELVES IN SERVICE AND SACRIFICE FOR GOD AND COUNTRY.  IN MEMORIAM".
The second plaque, which lists the names, is graphically reproduced above.  The two panels in the lower center of the picture contained the words, "STUDENTS" and  "FACULTY" and each had a cardholder, presumably where updated numbers could be placed.  What follows the letter T is unknown, but because it proceeds the word "SERVICE", I have presumed it to be the word "THEIR".

Several years ago, an Excelsior graduate perked my interest in reproducing the plaques on our website.  The young woman's interest lead to a meeting with a representative from the Norwalk-La Mirada School District at the campus.  The foyer of the auditorium had been freshly painted, and we assumed that plaques had been taken down for that purpose and carefully placed nearby.  The foyer held no plaques.  I remember the plaques from my time at Excelsior in the 1950's, and they are large, at least two feet high and four feet wide.  They could not have been slipped under a rug and disappeared from sight.  We broadened out search to the auditorium classrooms, but to no avail. Then we searched the stage area, top to bottom, each dressing room, every closet, even the trap door area beneath the stage.  The plaques had mysteriously disappeared.

Unknow to us, Brian Marcroft, Class of 1972, had previously photographed the plaques while attending an all class picnic. The whereabouts of other photographs, if any, are unknown.

Years later, Donna Welch, Class of  1966, started the Excelsior Union High School group on facebook, a social network website which is a great place to share news of ourselves and images of our high school memorabilia.  Brian posted his memorial plaque photographs on the site, probably unaware of how valuable they would become.  Donna further assisted in this restoration by supplying the names and class affiliations of two of the partially missing entries.