All-Sports Museum to exhibit 'Field to Front: Nittany Lions at War, 1917-1919'

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State All-Sports Museum has announced the opening of a new exhibit titled "Field to Front: Nittany Lions at War, 1917-1919." The exhibit, free and open to the public, is located in the museum’s upstairs changing exhibition space and will open April 23 and run through April 2018. 

Timed to coincide with the American centennial of World War I, "Field to Front" chronicles the contributions of Nittany Lion lettermen during the conflict and follows their service from training in the United States to fighting in France and Italy. Utilizing a variety of photography, letters and diaries, "Field to Front" provides visitors with a firsthand understanding of service provided by notable Nittany Lions such as Bob Higgins (football), James “Red” Bebout (football), Levi L. Lamb (football, wrestling, and track), and Harry C. Jester (basketball).   

While "Field to Front" follows former lettermen into the trenches of the Western Front, it also takes to the skies to introduce individuals such as Richard S. Davis (football) and William “Whitey” Thomas (football) who made names for themselves in the fledgling U.S. Army Air Service. On the ground, "Field to Front" includes the story of U.S. Army Ambulance Service Section 529 — a unit recruited at Penn State and whose enlisted ranks were entirely comprised of Penn Staters — and its service with the Italian Army.

In telling the remarkable stories of those Nittany Lions who fought overseas, "Field to Front" recognizes the supreme sacrifice made by eight former lettermen during World War I. In the course of the fighting in France, seven Nittany Lions fell in battle — Levi L. Lamb (football, wrestling, and track), Milton L. Bishop (basketball), Kirby B. Sleppy (basketball and track), Thomas E. Kriebel (lacrosse), James D. Bebout (football), Edward L. Moore (baseball), and Dr. James M. McKibbin (football) — while one, D. Blair Mingle (baseball), perished in an plane crash after the war. One of the oldest lettermen in France, McKibbin was mortally wounded while attempting to rescue a wounded soldier and posthumously received the Distinguished Service Cross.   

Opened in 2002, the Penn State All-Sports Museum is located at the southwest corner of Beaver Stadium and honors the achievements of the men and women who have built the proud tradition of Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is by suggested donation of $5 for adults and $3 for children, seniors, and students.

Dr. James M. McKibbin

Dr. James M. McKibbin, one of the oldest Penn State lettermen in France; he was mortally wounded while attempting to rescue a wounded soldier and posthumously received the Distinguished Service Cross. 

Image: Penn State All-Sports Museum

 

Last Updated May 16, 2017