Curtis Lamar Duck

Company A 1/22 Infantry

4th Infantry Division

KIA 02/16/67

 

 

 

Private First Class Curtis Lamar Duck was a member of A Company, 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry,
4th Infantry Division. His tour of duty began on January 3,1967.
He was killed in action on February 16, 1967, at grid reference YA598614, in Kontum Province, South Viet Nam,
during Operation Sam Houston. As listed in the 4th Division Yearbook for Vietnam,
Curtis Lamar Duck received the Bronze Star Medal.
He was a single, caucasian male who died at the age of 19.
His casualty was hostile, gun, small arms fire.
His body was recovered. His religion was Protestant.
His MOS was 11B10 Infantryman.

His name is engraved on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. on

Panel 15E Line 41

 

Curtis' grave.....photo by Angela Kraft

 

Angela Kraft writes:

 

On a warm day in May, I searched the names of headstones looking for my mother’s.
Just down the row I noticed a sizeable group of ducks sitting on some headstones.
As I neared the stones the ducks began to move away, and I read the names on two graves:
Curtis Lamar Duck. At first this was comical, for obvious reasons.
But after a moment it became a significant event in my life.

Curtis Lamar Duck was the name of both a father and son. The first died 3 years after his son.
  For some reason I cannot explain, I felt drawn to pay my respects to the Ducks
each time I came to pay a visit to my mother’s grave.
After 10 years, I was suddenly and out of the blue in need of more information about the Ducks.
As it were, I went on a “Duck hunt”. The information I am including in this page
is just a portion of what I learned about the younger Duck.

Lamar Duck ( I later learned that he went by his middle name), was the first born son of Curtis and Irene Duck.
  Though he was not born in California, he spent his childhood in National City.
He had 3 younger brothers, Robert, Rodney, and Eric.
Of every email correspondence I received, one thing was the same: everyone loved Lamar.
He was basically an all around good guy who had a close and loving family.
He was very likeable and good natured. The positive recollections about him all run along these lines.
And the remaining feelings are this: he was too young and he is sorely missed.

Lamar’s brother Robert had a friend named Tom who wrote this to me:

“I also grew up with Lamar and his brother Robert…for your information,
Lamar was just like the rest of us kids growing up.
He wasn’t an honor student, nor was he the best athlete in school, though he was better than average at both.
He was just a kid who grew up with a sense of duty and honor. I feel he fulfilled the former with the latter”

Lamar was sent to a location referred to as 3 Tango. It is where the borders of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam met.
While there he made a friend named Harold “Pinky” Penxa. Of Lamar he said this:

“My first thoughts are, that the time I had to know anyone was short.
Yet a few stand out from that time and for me Duck was one. I remember talking with him about surfing.
Don’t know if he ever did it…but he talked a good story. My being from Michigan kind of took me out of the surfing crowd.
He was a handsome guy. His smile was infectious, his laugh was easy and natural.
He had a cocky aura about him, but not arrogant. I suspect he was a real lady killer.”

Lamar was in 2nd Platton and was on point when his unit was ambushed on February 16, 1967.
He had been in country just over a month, and was 3 weeks shy of his 20th birthday.
He was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star Medal for Valor.  
However, it is my thought that the life given for service is not done meritoriously, but with valor.

In my quest to know the Ducks, I learned as much as a stranger could ever hope to.
In memory of Lamar and the sacrifice he made, my family was honored with supporting A Co. 1/22
during their first deployment to Iraq.   For all I’ve learned, and all I’ve felt, thank you, Lamar.
But you’ll always be Curtis to me!

**********************

 

PFC Curtis Lamar Duck's decorations

 

 

 

 

This is the "Regulars Prayer" which was read at the memorial service given for
the 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry on September 12, 1967:

 

Almighty and Merciful God grant to the "Regulars" of the 22nd Infantry,
brave in battle and strong in Faith,
who always give example of courage in fighting for God and country alike,
and who are ever prepared for the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in combat,
grant them new power, success,
and happiness in your all seeing providence watch over our Battalions.
Help our men in all ways so that it can be truly said of them,
"They are good Troopers", They are "Regulars".
Make them strong and brave,
ready to give their best for that cause which their country fights.
Watch over and protect them.
Preserve them from the wounds and dangers of battle.
Keep them proud of their Unit, proud of their Commander,
proud of "Old Glory", proud of their Country,
so that in war or in peace they may always stand ready
to protect the God given rights of This, their America.

 

**********************

 

Curtis Lamar Duck was born on March 6, 1947.
He grew up in National City, California,
and graduated from Sweetwater High School in 1965.
He is buried at La Vista Memorial Park,
in the section by the pond called the Freedom Lawn.

 

You, like so many, have been lost for so long. I am glad I found you. -- Angela

**********************

 

In a span of less than a month, Curtis Duck's unit was in two major actions,
both of which resulted in high casualty rates for the unit.
The first was February 16, 1967, the day Curtis died, and then again on March 14, 1967.
These days fall two days after Valentine's Day,and three days before St. Patrick's Day, respectively.

 

 

 

Burial:
La Vista Memorial Park
National City
San Diego County
California, USA

Grave marker for Curtis L. Duck

Photo by Michael Taylor from the Find A Grave website

 

 

 

The following was written by Angela, inspired by the dates of those actions:

 

Oh, Saint Valentine,
You were the last to see my love shine
For two days went by and then he left
And oh how my poor heart wept.

Oh, Saint Patrick, too
You have grieved
For three days before you,
My sweet love took leave

No more hearts of love beguiling
No more Irish Eyes a'smiling
No more sadness, that's not true
For every day, I still miss you

 

 

Copyright Angela Kraft 2003, all rights reserved.

 

**********************

 

Gil Garcia wrote:
  I remember Lamar from high school. He and I had classes together at Sweetwater.
He was one of the cool surfer type dudes. He had a great sense of humor and a fun person to be around.
Since he was a graduate and one of a few to die in 'Nam from National City I will always remember him
and his sacrifice.I joined the Army in '68 and also served in Vietnam. I was lucky and came home okay.
Even after all these years Lamar will always remain in my prayers.    

Gil Garcia
1st Air Cav (Airmobile)
2/20 Arty.

 

**********************

 

To view a tribute to Curts L. Duck click on the following link:

Leaves of Heritage

 

**********************

 

 

Editor's note:

Angela is appropriately named, as she is the Angel watching over Curtis,
and insures that he will not be forgotten.

For all she has done for Curtis and the other Regulars of 1st Battalion,
we give her our eternal gratitude.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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