Chandler and Melitta Bergen Scholarship
Chandler W. Bergen was raised in New Jersey and was working at IBM’s world headquarters in New York City prior to the outbreak of World War II. In 1941 he volunteered for the draft, joining the US Army. Half of his military career involved assignments with military skiing and mountaineering units. In the winter of ‘58-’59, he was the assistant to the coach of the U.S. Army downhill ski team in Europe. While in the service, he freelanced articles to military, outdoor and other publications. After his retirement from the service in 1963, he was the editor and director of the Western Horseman Magazine in Colorado Springs. Melitta E. Bergen was born and raised in Johvi, Estonia. In 1941, the invading Soviets arrested thousands of Estonia citizens and deported them to Siberia. In September 1944, Melitta was forced to dig defensive positions for the retreating German army. As a result, she was cut off from her home by the advancing Soviet forces and never saw her parents again. She escaped from Estonia to Trautenau near the Czech border where she was put to work in a German aircraft factory. In May 1945, she walked 300 kilometers in 11 days and finally reached freedom in the U.S. zone of Germany. She went on to work for the American Red Cross in Ansbach. In 1949, she sailed on a U.S. Army transport to Brooklyn Army Base. Melitta settled in Denver where she was a security bookkeeper for the International Trust Company. In June 1953, Chandler and Melitta married in Denver. They had met in Ansbach in 1948.