"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Wednesday, October 16, 2002 Classicist was a Harvard man of the old school:Mason Hammond, a retired Harvard professor of Latin language and Roman history who died four months shy of his 100th birthday, attended morning chapel services for more than 70 years, and as an Army officer in the Second World War helped recover priceless art from the Nazis.
During World War II, Professor Hammond served as monument, fine arts and archives officer with Air Force Intelligence in Sicily, Italy, and Germany. Driving a small, decrepit car dubbed ''Hammond's Peril'' from battlefield to battlefield, he was among a cadre of art experts and intelligence agents credited with rescuing and cataloging vast amounts of Western classic art stolen and hidden by the Nazis.
At one point, he was in charge of the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti and other treasures of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum. But he said he could not enjoy the company of these masterpieces because they were always crated.
On another of his missions, he advised General George Patton in his attempts to minimize damage to monuments from US bombs or artillery.
He received three honors for his work during the war, the Croix de la Legion d'Honneur from the French government in 1947, the Cabaliere Ufficiale dell'Ordine al Merito della Republica Italiana, from the Italian government in 1959, and the Bronze Star from the US government in 1945.
A Harvard Gazettearticle on a fellow worshiper notes a row of pews in Harvard's Appleton Chapel has been named for Prof. Hammond, who attended morning services there for more than 70 years.