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The Dartmouth Squadron?

On Pearl Harbor Day, let’s celebrate alumni who flew in the Second World War under the College’s colors — in addition to the Stars and Stripes. We have previously noted the existence in the Pacific of a Navy fighter squadron named the Dartmouth Indian Unit. The outfit was mentioned in the Alumni Magazine obituary of one of its members, William H. McElnea Jr. ‘44, but no one seems to know anything about it. In the more recent NYT death notice of 90-year-old Robert L. Steiner ‘45, another Dartmouth formation is noted, a bomber squadron flying in the European Theater of Operations:

Steiner2.jpgRobert L. Steiner, independent economist, former President of Kenner Products Company and Senior Staff Economist at the Federal Trade Commission, died on Saturday, October 26th in Washington, D.C. Raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Steiner graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College. A member of the “Dartmouth Squadron”, Steiner flew 35 missions over Germany, serving as Navigator and First Lieutenant on a B-17 bomber in the 8th Army Air Force during World War II. He was awarded the Air Medal and five clusters After receiving his MA in Economics from Columbia University in 1948, Steiner joined various family-owned manufacturing businesses in Cincinnati, the most successful of which was Kenner Products, Co., the toy manufacturer of which he became president… Steiner’s business experience was the impetus for developing a “dual stage” theory of economics, in which manufacturers and retailers competed both horizontally and vertically and the margins at the two stages were often inversely related. After a lecture at Harvard Business School, Steiner was appointed Senior Staff Economist at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. in 1978. Steiner authored over 40 articles in scholarly journals in antitrust, economics, marketing and advertising. His books include Visions of Cable Vision, 1972. Steiner’s last article, Management, Market and Antitrust will be published in the Antitrust Journal later this year.

A life well lived.

Addendum: It is still the fashion on campus, as it was in my time, to mock the Old Dartmouth as provincial and out-of-touch. But today’s know-it-alls might ask how many present-day students will live a life as extraordinary as the one enjoyed by Robert Steiner ‘45.

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