SD Vietnam War Memorial Dedication Please Support the Memorial Soldiers, Heroes, and teachers information



In Memory of U.S. Army Specialist Fourth Class

Curtis James Kaupp

Gregory, South Dakota, Gregory County

 July 5, 1947 – November 21, 1968

Killed in Action in Vietnam

Curtis James Kaupp was born on July 5, 1947, to Oswald J. and Ellen L. (Gomke) Kaupp. He was raised as part of a large family, which included eight sisters: Sandra, Rachel, Linda, Christine, Charlotte, Diane, Marsha, and Lori, as well as four brothers: Oswald John, Jr., David, William, and Michael. Curtis attended school at Pleasant View School District #53 and later graduated from Gregory High School in 1965. He went on to attend Southern State Teachers College in Springfield for a year. He mostly took courses in agriculture. During his years in high school, Curtis was very active with the FFA and loved animals, particularly horses and cattle. Those who knew him describe him as outgoing, friendly, and helpful. Prior to entering the service, Curtis was employed in farming and ranching.

Curtis James Kaupp was drafted into the U.S. Army on September 12, 1967, and was sent for basic training at Ft. Lewis, Washington. Kaupp received additional training at Ft. Polk in Louisiana. He was sent overseas to Vietnam the following February and was stationed in the Republic of South Vietnam with Company A, 2nd Squadron, 5th Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry, RVN.

Specialist Kaupp was killed in action on November 21, 1968, as a result of wounds received while on combat operations when engaging hostile forces in a fire fight.

Specialist Kaupp was severely wounded by the enemy near the village of Phuoc Vinh in the Binh Doung Province of South Vietnam. For his heroic actions that day, Specialist Kaupp was awarded the Silver Star. His citation reads as follows:

The body of Curtis Kaupp was returned to the United States and funeral services were held at the Gregory Memorial Auditorium on December 2, 1968. He was buried with military honors at the IOOF Cemetery in Gregory.

In a letter to Curtis’ parents, James E. Mace, the Infantry Captain wrote, “Curtis’ enthusiasm and devotion to duty marked him as an outstanding soldier and as such, he commanded the respect of the officers and men of this unit. He displayed the finest example of soldierly bearing, discipline, and conduct. I am proud to have served with him.”

During his military service, Specialist Curtis Kaupp was awarded the Air Medal, the National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, the Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Sharpshooter Badge with Rifle Bar. In addition to the Silver Star, he was later awarded the Good Conduct Medal and the Purple Heart.

Current survivors are his siblings: Sandra (Darrell) Jones, Oswald J. Kaupp, Jr., David (Rita) Kaupp, Rachel Wilkinson, William Kaupp, Michael Kaupp, Linda Kaupp, Christine (Marlyn) Campbell, Charlotte (Gary) Engelmeyer, Diane (Herman) Rolf, Marsha Kaupp, and Lori Kaupp.

This entry was respectfully submitted by April G. Goodson, 10th Grade, Spearfish High School, Spearfish, South Dakota, October 4, 2005. Information for this entry was provided by Sandra Jones, the Gregory Times, and an application for a Vietnam Veterans bonus. Profile approval by Sandra Jones, sister.


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