Curtis Edgar CothranSpecialist Four
HQ CO, 2ND BN, 502ND INFANTRY, 101 ABN DIV
Army of the United States
28 October 1947 - 08 September 1967
Avon Park, Florida
Panel 26E Line 034
The database page for Curtis Edgar Cothran
You were such an avid "Elvis" fan that the song "Blue Christmas" comes to mind every Christmas.
It still is a very blue Christmas every day since you left us. We love you and will be with you again someday...
Love from your sister,
Curtis Cothran came to our platoon in March of 1967. He was quiet and soft spoken. When I asked him where he was from, he mumbled his response and I could not understand what he was saying. I asked him his name 4 or 5 times and each time got more difficult than the last to understand. I finally asked him where he was from. He blurted out plain as day, "Spring City, Tennessee". I told him that's it, your new name is Tennessee. I was the squad leader and pointman for 3rd squad so what I said was law. Curtis loved his nickname and everybody warmed up to this kid like a little brother. He was one fine human being and a damn good warrior. He was always there when the stuff got thick. He never asked for nor got any quarter from anyone. He was a full fledged Recondo, hard as nails. He could sing well and he would entertain us in the rear when we came in from the field. He was a spark plug for the unit. He could motivate us in the worst of times. Curtis was a gift from God. He was a very special man. The Battalion Commander saw that aspect of Curtis and decided he should be his driver, a job that would increase his chances of survivial dramatically.
Then on Sept 8th, 1967, he was doing what he did best, helping others take care of business. They were putting up a 2 niner 2 (a tall radio antenna). Lightning struck the antenna. The two guys holding the antenna were killed. Miles Thomas was on the radio and he took a shock that nearly killed him. Curtis was one of the men who was outside holding up the antenna. He was dead. It broke my heart to hear of his passing.
I miss him and his smile to this day. A good-natured plucky kid who did his job as a man. I salute Curtis Cothran, "Tennessee", one fine soldier, one damn good warrior.
Airborne Curtis, all the way!
Brien "Rich" Richards
A Note from The Virtual WallThe two men killed by the lightning strike were SP4 Curtis E. Cothran and PFC William K. Elliott of Donnellson, Illinois.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 05 Dec 2005
Last updated 05/14/2006