Memory of U.S. Army Specialist Fourth Class
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
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
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.