On Friday, May 30, 1975, over 1,300 Midshipmen in the Class of 1978 set out to scale the 21 foot Herndon Monument in the annual ‘plebes no more’ ceremony. The academy began recording times in 1959. In 1962, Midshipman 4th Class Ed Linz scaled the monument with the aid of a cargo net. Using such devices is now banned. The record was set in 1969 when Midshipman Larry Fanning made the climb in 1 minute and 30 seconds. However, the monument was not greased. Midshipman 4th Class Michael J Maynard of the Class of 1975 scaled the monument in 20 minutes in 1972, believed to be the fastest time since the tradition of greasing the monument began.
The Class of 1978 took 81 minutes to scale the monument and Michael Spencer (19th Co.) replaced the Dixie Cap with a Midshipman combination cover. Michael was carried away by the class forgetting to obtain the Superintendent’s shoulder board. Vice Admiral Mack sent it to him later.
Joe Stanik (23rd Co.) converted an 8 mm video of the climb to a digital format and can be viewed here.