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George Washington High School Alumni Association
Mailing Address: GWHS Alumni Association, PO Box 25453, Alexandria, VA 22313-5453
This page updated September 02, 2012

History of GWHS from 1935 to 1971: The first history of GWHS appeared in the 1936 Compass and many other versions have followed over the years. Martha (Marty) ZILMER Neely, GWHS Class of '57, and Ted Arthur, GWHS Class of '58, compiled, researched and wrote this history which has been referenced many times including today's GW Middle School. It is very interesting and informative.

World War II Monument: A monument is located on the school grounds at the southwest corner of the building. This memorial was a class gift to the school by the classes of ’43, ’44, ’45, ’46 and ’47.  It was erected in 1947.The Monument lists all the names of Alexandrians who lost their lives in combat during the war. This web page list the names with GWHS class by order of death and again in alphabetical order.

Time Capsule: On Saturday, September 17, 1949, Alexandria city officials buried the city's bicentennial time capsule at the flagpole at the north goal post in the GWHS football stadium. This is the story of this event as written by Sally WARD Stumpf, GWHS Class of '50.

Dixie Pig Restaurants: Located on Powhatan St Alexandria, Mt Vernon Boulevard and Route one, each one family owned  by a Griffin, as told by Addie Griffin, SMA Class of '57 and Jim Griffin, GWHS Class of '44.

The GW Crew: Rowing started at George Washington High School (GWHS) in 1947. This is their story as told by Richard Comisky, GWHS Class of '65.

Willard Scott, GWHS Class of '51:
Willard went to work for NBC at age 16, while still in high school, and remains in their employment more than 50 years later.

Donald Merrill (Don) Beagle, GWHS Class of '50:
Don attended American University, worked for WOL & WRC in Washington, then went to WTVR in Richmond in the mid-fifties and became “Dandy Beagle and Sooper Dog.” Inducted into the Richmond Broadcasters Hall of Fame

Jim Morrison, GWHS Class of '61:
Jim was a member of the music group called the "Doors" during the late 60s. This is his story.

Mama Cass Elliot, GWHS Class of '61:
"Mama Cass" was an original member of The Mamas & The Papas along with another GW-ite John Phillips, GWHS Class of '53. Her High School name was Ellen Naomi Cohen. While Ellen transferred between schools, she did attend GW in the late 50s and early 60s, and should have graduated in '61. This is her story.

Papa John Phillips, GWHS Class of '53:
"Papa John" was an original member of The Mamas & The Papas along with another GW-ite Ellen Naomi Cohen, GWHS Class of '61. His High School name was John Phillips. This is his story.

Francis C. Hammond, GWHS Class of '51:
"Francis was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for aiding and assisting in the evacuation of wounded Marines from Sanae-Dong during the Korean Conflict. The City of Alexandria named a High School in his honor and the Navy named one of their ships the USS Francis Hammond.
Francis Colton Hammond was born November 9, 1931, in Alexandria, Virginia, the son of Harry C. Hammond and Elvira Jenkins Hammond. While still in high school, Francis Hammond worked for his future father-in-law’s construction company and played guitar in a band, performing at local events. After graduating from George Washington High School in Alexandria, he worked with his father at Timberman’s Pharmacy, an Alexandria landmark owned by his uncle. Although planning to become a pharmacist, Francis Hammond decided to join the Navy on March 20, 1951.With the realization that he would soon be shipped out to Korea, he requested and was granted permission to marry his high school sweetheart, Phyllis Ann Jenkins on June 19, 1952.
Hospitalman Francis Hammond received his orders to Korea and arrived there on February 1, 1953. After heroic efforts to assist his fallen comrades and refusing orders to withdraw even though wounded, Francis Hammond was killed in action on March 27, 1953, two weeks prior to his scheduled rotation out of the combat area. His son, Francis C. Hammond, Jr., was born seven months later. 
Hospitalman Francis Colton Hammond was laid to rest with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. The Medal of Honor was presented to his wife and infant son on December 30, 1953.

Guy S. Gardner, GWHS Class of '65:
Guy was born on January 6, 1948, in Alta Vista, Virginia, and grew up in Alexandria, Virginia where he graduated from George Washington High School. He was selected as a pilot astronaut by NASA; worked in many areas of Space Shuttle and Space Station development; then flew in space as the pilot of the Orbiters Atlantis and Columbia during 1984 to 1991. Now Colonel, USAF, retired.

Harley E. "Skeeter" Swift, GWHS Class of '65:
Harley was born June 19, 1946 in Alexandria, Va.  He stood out playing both football and basketball  at GWHS during 1962-1965 and in basketball he earned first team All-State, and MVP Northern Virginia in both his junior and senior years. As a senior, he was a high school All American.. Following his high school career he chose East Tennessee State University where he received a full basketball scholarship. Skeeter excelled at East Tennessee where he played from 1966-1969 and became a three-time All-Ohio Valley Conference selection, and the Player of the Year in 1968. He played five seasons in the American Basketball Association as a member of the New Orleans Buccaneers, Memphis Pros, Pittsburgh Condors, Dallas Chaparrals, and San Antonio Spurs. He averaged 11.6 points per game in his professional career. in 2010,When his playing days were over, he coached the Elizabethton High School Cyclones and prestigious high school power, Oak Hill Academy. Harley was inducted into the Tennessee Hall of Fame in 2010.

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This page updated September 02, 2012 Send Changes to Dave Beach