Walter Colpitts II

Colpitts was the son of Charles and Grace. He was born in New York City but the family soon moved to Teaneck and he graduated from THS, class of 1934. The Colpitts family lived at 283 Warwick Avenue. He was the editor of the Te Hi news while there and his nickname was "The Boss".  Colpitts went on to Rutgers University. He was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, ROTC, and the crew team and graduated with the Class of '38.

Colpitts enlisted in July 1939 in the Air Corps and was sent to the Philippines in November 1940. He was a 1st Lieutenant pilot who was in charge of aircraft movement at Nichols Field, the 27th Material Squadron. When the Japanese conquered the islands, Colpitts became a P.O.W. After being held at Cabanatuan for two and a half years, Colpitts was among some 1800 prisoners loaded on the Arisan Maru for transport back to Japan as forced labor.  This ship also held Ernest Bridgman of Teaneck!    The ship was sunk in the South China Sea by an American submarine which had no inkling that the ship held Allied POWs as it was not marked. His loss is memorialized at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.

WWII Scrapbook

  1. July 30, 1942
  2. February 18, 1943
  3. March 15, 1943
  4. May 4, 1943

High School Yearbook

  1. 1932 Yearbook, Page 77
  2. 1933 Yearbook, Page 56
  3. 1934 Yearbook, Page 26, Page 48, Page 53, Page 68, Page 77, Page 111, Page 117

Te-Hi News (Teaneck High School Newspaper)

  1. May 6, 1931
  2. November 23, 1932
  3. March 8 1933

Rutgers University Yearbook

  1. 1938 Scarlet Letter, Page 34, Page 136, Page 197, Page 202, Page 266

  1. 1920 United States Federal Census
  2. 1930 United States Federal Census
  3. 1940 United States Federal Census
  4. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 - Hackensack, NJ, City Directory 1931
  5. World War II Prisoners of War, 1941-1946
  6. World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans Interred Overseas

American Battle Monuments Commission Website

  1. Walter W. Colpitts II

Rutgers University Oral History Archives

  1. Page from Some Gave All: World War II

Find A Grave Website

  1. 1Lt Walter W Colpitts, II