Darrell Wayne Cowan

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
15 January 1950 - 02 February 1971
Fairfax, Oklahoma
Panel 05W Line 073


Army Engineers

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Darrell Wayne Cowan

26 Nov 2002

It has been 31 years since you lost your life. How time has a way of flying away. There has not been a day gone by since 2 Feb 1971 that you have not been in my mind. You were to go home, but you stayed to work one more day with your friends, to help them out, to cover them with a machine gun so they could finish a job repairing a bridge. You did all you could, and more, for your friends, and it cost you your life. For you the war was over, for me the nightmares have never stopped.

Rest in peace, my friend.

A memorial initiated by a friend and comrade in arms,
Billy Huddleston

28 Jun 2003

This is your sister-in-law Jackie; still missing your smiles and your brotherly kidding after all this time. The loss of your presence in our family remains difficult even today. I still have the pictures of yourself and Robby Breland and the letter stating how much you wanted to come home and that you would be home soon. I will never forget that devastating day you arrived.

I hope you knew I forgave your for accidently hitting me in the head requiring all those hideous black stitches that everyone made fun of at school. You not only left your mark on the world, you left one on me for sure.

Ralston hasn't changed much but there is a memorial in your honor in front of the school house where we all spent so much time. You brother James had a beautiful daughter and son and just recently became the grandfather to a handsome little boy. I have a grandson too; he recently turned 8 years old. He is the light of my life. I know your brother Jerry and your dad are with you now. As a young man, you probably didn't know just how much you meant to your family. I have, to this day, never wittnessed such pride. Knowing you are at peace helped many to just survive beyond your loss. As time has passed, that thought becomes even more comforting as those having survived that terrible battle have lived a tormented life.

I'll be seeing you again someday.

From his sister-in-law,
Jackie E. London
455 N. Brown, Vinita, OK, 74301-1802
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

5 Feb 2005

It's been 34 years today since school was canceled, the gymnasium filled to overflowing with the whole town in attendance to honor you and lay you to rest. The tears still flow. God, how I miss you.

It was not the homecoming we had prayed for. You were to be home by February 2, or at least to call and let us know you were safely in the States. Instead, the two men came in their jeep to tell us you had been killed. The decorations were taken down, the cake thrown away, and an eternal emptiness filled our lives.

I don't think you ever realized how special you were. A quiet, small-town boy, who felt he could not shirk his duty when his country called, not that you didn't have the chance. You lived by a code of honor. You said you wouldn't go to college just to avoid the draft because it had never been in your plans; when that rare opening was offered to you in the Fairfax National Guard, you gave it to a friend because you had never planned to join the National Guard and to take it then would have been what it was for so many - a way to avoid the draft. You lived your life on your terms; a pure man, a quiet man, my "big brother". I can still see your smile, hear your voice. The last words I ever heard you say on tape were "I just want to come home". You are home and surrounded by family and friends. You are not forgotten. You are loved beyond measure. But home has never been the same without you.

From his sister-in-law,
Desiree London Kuhn
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

A Note from The Virtual Wall

1LT Michael P. Austin, Belchertown, MA (B Co, 299th Eng Bn), and SP4 Darrell W. Cowan, Fairfax, OK (610th Eng Co), were killed in action on 02 Feb 1971. According to Mr. Huddleston's account on 1Lt Austin's memorial, the two men were in a jeep when a detail repairing a bridge was ambushed. The jeep was hit by a B-40 rocket, killing both men.

The "Holloway Database" of 1993, the most commonly used casualty database, indicates the two men were killed in a friendly fire incident. Official Army records confirm Mr. Huddleston's recollection that 1Lt Austin and SP4 Cowan were killed by enemy rocket fire.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his sister-in-law,
Jackie E. London
455 N. Brown, Vinita, OK, 74301-1802
E-Mail may be forwarded via the
26 Nov 2002

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 02/27/2005