Boykin, Calvin C. Jr. (814th, 644th, 893rd)

Calvin-C.-Bonkin-2Calvin C. Boykin, Jr.

The following text was supplied by Cal’s daughter Anne. Additional information has been inserted from the 814th History, which he wrote.

Biography: Calvin Clay Boykin, Jr. passed away October 23, 2008, at his home in College Station, Texas. Cal was born March 1, 1924, to Rubye Opal (Heath) and Calvin Clay Boykin, Sr., in Roswell, New Mexico.

He attended public schools in Rochelle and Big Spring, Texas, graduating from Big Spring High School in 1942, a year later than his class so he could play football for one more year with his younger brother, Bobby. He enrolled in the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas in College Station for two semesters prior to volunteering for the draft in 1943.

Service Time: Cal served as an armored recon car gunner and Section Sergeant with the 814th Tank Destroyer Battalion, attached to the 7th Armored Division in Europe during World War II. He landed on Utah Beach on August 7, 1944. His service saw him through four campaigns in Europe including the Ardennes-Alsace, participation in the defense of St. Vith, Belgium, with Task Force Jones and in the occupation of Germany. At the end of the war, after the 814th was sending their men home, Cal was assigned to the 644th and then to the 893rd Tank Destroyer Battalions, serving as a section and platoon Sergeant.

After the war, he returned to A&M. In 1946, while a student at A&M, he met the love of his life, Rosemary Elizabeth DePasquale, a graduating senior at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. After their marriage in Dickinson, Texas, on June 30, 1946, Cal and Rosemary returned to A&M to continue Cal’s studies where he graduated with a B.S. degree in Range and Forestry in January 1949.Following graduation, Cal served for five years as a Range Conservationist with the U. S. Soil Conservation Service in West Texas, then returned to A&M with Rosemary, daughters Karen and Anne, and son, Clay.

In 1956 he earned an M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics also from A&M. He was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at A&M where he conducted research on the economics of range and livestock development, and taught farm management. In September 1959, Cal accepted a position as Agricultural Economist with the Economic Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. While there, Cal and Rosemary’s son, Thomas, was born.


Cal continued his research in range and livestock economics, transferring with the Economics Research Service to the University of California at Davis in 1961. He continued his research and further studies at the University of California at Berkeley commuting from nearby Pleasant Hill. In 1963, Cal was transferred to Texas A&M University, where he continued his research with the Economic Research Service in cooperation with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station.

Since 1963, Cal and Rosemary maintained their home base in College Station. From 1970 on, Cal participated in a number of foreign assignments under contract with U. S. and international agencies. These include the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the U. S. Agency for International Development, and two assignments with the European Development Fund of the European Economic Community.

His postings include: Iran(1970, 1971), Pakistan(1973, 1975, 1982), Syria(1979 – 80), Botswana(1981 – 85, 1987), Ecuador(1985), Yemen Arab Republic(1985), Somalia (1988),and Lesotho (1988 – 93).Although Cal retired from Federal service in 1985, he continued in his profession as a private consultant in domestic and international agricultural development. He also served as a research fellow with the Mosher Institute for Defense Studies at Texas A&M University.

Cal is the author or co-author of over 100 journal articles, bulletins, book reviews, congressional documents, and miscellaneous publications concerning the economics of livestock and range development. He was a charter member of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association. He was listed in “American Men and Women of Science” in 1977.

Periodically, since 1968, Cal studied creative writing through correspondence courses offered by the Independent Study Department of The University of Oklahoma. As a result of these studies he wrote a number of short stories, and in 1988, he completed a WWII based novel, as yet unpublished. In the field of military history, Cal has contributed, at the request of numerous military historians, a number of accounts about his World War II experiences.

With his tank destroyer battalion’s after action reports and historical writings about the 7th Armored Division in hand, plus his letters home during the period in Europe, as well as the personal accounts of the surviving members of the 814th TD, he wrote and published his division history, Gare La Bete: A History of the 814th Tank Destroyer Battalion, 1942-1945, C&R Publications, College Station, Texas, 1995. The book chronicles the group’s experiences including the Battle of St. Vith, one of the key battles of the Battle of the Bulge. The book is now in its fifth printing. Cal also published a monograph on Gen. Robert Bruce Jones, the founder of Camp Hood.

Cal truly believed in letter writing and for many years corresponded with the remaining commanders of WWII, various authors and historians including Gen. von Manteuffel, commander German Panzer Division. Cal served as first vice president of the Seventh Armored Division Association. He was re-elected First Vice-President at their annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee only one month ago. He also served in the Tank Destroyer Society and as president of the 814thTank Destroyer Society. Cal was the first two-part interview on Tom Turbyville’s “Veterans of the Valley” for KAMU. Cal was also interviewed by Bill Youngkin for his “Brazos Valley Heroes” appearing in The Eagle.

Reading was a favorite past time of Cal’s. He was rarely without a book in hand and several beside his chair. Most were military histories, philosophies and biographies. He read to his children when they were little. He read the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Voyage to Liliput in lieu of the more popular children’s books. He completed the Great Books of the Western World course and received rave reviews from his instructor.

Cal was actively involved in the early meetings that led to the end of segregation in the College Station schools. Years later, his retirement also allowed him the opportunity to serve his community as a management counselor with SCORE, a volunteer organization under the U. S. Small Business Administration; as president of the Emerald Forest Homeowners Association, and as an instructor of “Writing Your Memoirs” for XtraEd through the City of College Station Department of Parks and Recreation. Cal took a special interest in the Veterans Park and Athletic Complex from the early stages of its beginning. He actively contributed his thoughts and ideas to the Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial and the American Mile at Veterans Park. He befriended Brent Mullins and encouraged the young man in his quest to establish a museum for American G.I.s.

Cal also consulted with Brent in the restoration of the M8 tank destroyer similar to the one Cal rode on in WWII. Most recently Cal began writing his personal memoirs through his service years in WWII. Cal fought many battles In his military career but none equaled the personal battles he faced with chronic lymphatic leukemia, diagnosed in 1989, and African tick bite fever he contracted on assignment in Lesotho in1992. He told us recently that “the last 16 years have been gravy” and that he was truly thankful for his time on earth.

Rosemary followed Cal, literally, to the ends of the earth. No matter where he worked, Rosemary was not only with him but volunteering on and contributing to projects in their international communities. Rosemary passed away on Father’s Day, June 15, 2008. Cal and Rosemary were rarely apart in life. We are comforted in knowing that they will not be apart in eternity.

Cal is survived by his children: Karen Lee Peterson and husband, David, of Mission, Texas; Elizabeth Anne Boykin of College Station; C. Clay Boykin III and wife, Laurie Bell of Austin, Texas; and Thomas Heath Boykin and wife, Katyla Mariela of College Station. Cal is also survived by his seven grandchildren: Lance Arvid Peterson and wife Marcela Cardenas of Tecoman, Colima, Mexico; Daren Ray Peterson and wife Jennifer of Lubbock, Texas; and Ryan Peterson of Mission; Tamara Anne Gunter of Austin, and her brother, Thomas Arthur Gunter, his wife April of Austin; and Brandon Heath Boykin and his sister, Kensey Lee Boykin of College Station. Cal is survived by five great-grandchildren: Carmen and David Peterson Cardenas; Thomas Allen, Ava Delaine, and Forrest Calvin Gunter.

Other family members are Cal’s brother Robert Heath Boykin and his wife Camille of Plano, Texas; and his sister Jo Anne Boykin of Austin, Texas. Special friends of Cal’s from WWII are Enny and the late Theo Vromans Sanders of Maastricht, Holland; and Francoise Winieska, formerly of Rambouillet, France. We love you, Daddy!