Captain John Dehaas Curran
Captain John D. Curran was commissioned an Armor Officer upon graduation from the
United States Army Armor Officer Candidate School, Class 23-67, Company C1, on 10 August
1967 at Fort Knox, Kentucky. His first duty assignment was as a Training Officer at the United States Army Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, for approximately 15 months during which time he volunteered for the Officers Rotary Wing Aviator's Course. Upon completion of the Primary Flight Couse he was sent to Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia, for the Advanced Flight Course. Following flight training he was sent to Fort Carson, Colorado, where he served as a company commander for approximately eight months until he received orders for Vietnam. There he was assigned to A Company, 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 52nd Combat Aviation Battalion, 17th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division as Operations Officer and later as First Platoon Leader.
He was a 1964 graduate of Glendale High School in Glendale, Arizona, where he was a star athlete lettering all four years in three sports and earned all-state wrestling honors. Prior to enlisting in the Army in September 1966, he attended the University of Arizona.
His military education consists of United States Army Armor Officer Candidate School at Fort Knox, Kentucky; United States Army Primary Helicopter Center, Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Course at Fort Wolters, Texas; United States Army Advanced Helicopter Center, Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Course at Hunter Army Airfield at Savannah, Georgia.
On 25 May 1971, Captain Curran was serving as co-pilot on a medical evacuation mission near Dac To, South Vietnam. His helicopter was embarked on a mission to rescue a seriously wounded survivor of a U.S. helicopter that had crashed the day before. This involved enduring intense enemy anti-aircraft fire since an estimated two enemy regiments surrounded the besieged firebase. Captain Curran knew the enemy situation and strength, but his concern for the life of a fellow American soldier overshadowed this knowledge. It was further learned that two ARVN soldiers were also critically wounded and in dire need of medical evacuation. Captain Curran's aircraft proceeded through the hail of fire to the firebase and picked up the seriously wounded American as well as the allied soldiers. Upon departing the firebase, his helicopter received heavy enemy fire and lost its engine before it burst into flames and crashed. Captain Curran's personal bravery and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit, and the United States Army. (Attribution: General Orders Number 3411. Award of The Distinguished Service Cross) | CPT Curran's awards include the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star Medal (Valor), Bronze Star Medal (Merit), Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Army Aviator Badge.
CPT John D. Curran is honored on Panel 3W Line 54 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and buried at the Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Section V, Site 2138.