Memory of U.S. Army Specialist Fourth Class
Curtis Leland Williams was born September
13, 1951, in Webster, South Dakota, to Reuben and Esther
Williams. He had one sister, Bernice, and two brothers,
Duane and Raymond. He went to school at Webster High School
until the 11th grade then he joined the army. His nickname
through life was Corky because his brother, Duane, and he
couldn’t say Curtis when they were young. Curtis was always
filled with mischief and a smile.
Curtis Leland Williams entered the army on December 27,
1968. According to Curtis’ family, since Curtis was too
young to send to Vietnam, after his basic training at Ft.
Lewis, Washington, he was stationed at Ft. Rucker, Alabama.
SP/4 Williams was sent to Korea when he was 18 and after a
few months he volunteered to serve in Vietnam. On October
12, 1970, SP/4 Williams was sent overseas to Vietnam as part
of 178th Aviation Company, 14th Combat Aviation Battalion,
16th Combat Aviation Group, and 23rd Infantry Division.
Specialist Fourth Class Curtis Leland Williams died on
February 6, 1971, in Vietnam when the helicopter in which he
was door gunner experienced engine failure and crashed and
burned in Quang Tin Province, Vietnam. SP/4 Curtis suffered
from burns and died. He was 19 years old.
His family later received the following letter from the
Commanding Officer telling them the details of what happened
His body was returned to the United States and was buried
at the cemetery at Webster, South Dakota, on February 23,
Specialist Fourth Class Curtis Leland Williams was awarded
the Armed Forces Medal, Second Class, Bronze Star Medal,
Natural Defense Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal,
Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Aircraft
Crewman Badge, and Marksman Badge with rifle bar.
Current survivors of Curtis Williams are his sister,
Bernice, and brothers, Raymond and Duane, who said in
closing, “Speaking for the three of us, out youngest brother
is never far from out hearts.”
This entry was respectfully submitted by Tyler Ludens, 8th
grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota on
October 3, 2005. Information for this entry was provided by
Duane Williams (Curtis’ brother). More information came from
Vietnam Veterans Bonus Application. Profile approval by