1LT Curtis Edward Chase
In memory of our fallen brother
few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he to-day that sheds
his blood with me shall be my brother"
35th Infantry Regiment
"Not For Fame or Reward
Not For Place or For Rank
But In Simple Obedience To
Duty as They Understood It"
The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, 1LT Curtis Edward Chase, who died in the service of his country on May 6th, 1967 in Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Helicopter Crash. At the time of his death Curtis was 23 years of age. He was from Hingham, Massachusetts. Curtis is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 19E, Line 48.
The decorations earned by 1LT Curtis Edward Chase include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star with V, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
Curtis had previously been a Plt Ldr with A,2/35th.
Below is an article involving Lt Chase's sister.
By Eileen McNamara, Globe Columnist, 11/9/2003
Sue Edgecomb's students will sit at her feet tomorrow, as they do every November, to hear a story that she hopes will impress upon them the pride and the pain that is the heart of the Veterans Day holiday.
It will be more difficult this year to keep her tone even and her eyes dry when she reads "The Wall," Eve Bunting's illustrated children's book about the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., to her third-graders.
The downing of three US military helicopters in Iraq in the last two weeks has brought it all back: the telephone call, the weeklong wait for her brother's body to be escorted home to Hingham, the funeral that lent ceremony, not closure, to the life and death of First Lieutenant Curtis E. Chase.
"The events in Iraq are a constant reminder of a wound that never heals in spite of the time that has passed, as it will be for these new young families who are getting the knock on the door," says Edgecomb.
She lives in Needham now, but she confronts her brother's ghost whenever life pulls her back to the South Shore town where the three Chase kids grew up safe and carefree until May 6, 1967.
Just how idyllic a childhood it was is captured in a note left years ago by a childhood pal at the base of Panel 19E, under Line 48, where Curt Chase's name is engraved on the long, black Wall.
"The skating on the pond in winter, the hunting for frogs in summer, the bike rides up and down Garrison Road, the visits to Mr. MacGoldrick's garage, the romps through the cornfield and the games played in the apple orchard -- these memories will never be forgotten."
It was a grenade, not unlike those suspected of blowing a Chinook and two Black Hawk helicopters out of the sky over Iraq, that killed Curt as his helicopter lifted off from a field in Vietnam 36 years ago.
Only 10 days before, he had been in Hong Kong on a brief, restorative visit with his bride of one year. He was due home for good that August. He was 23.
"It is so painful to read that those soldiers were on their way home for some R&R," Edgecomb says of the 16 Americans killed last Sunday when their helicopter was downed in the city of Falluja in the single deadliest attack on US forces since the war began.
On Friday, the third chopper shot down in two weeks claimed the lives of six more Americans.
"The numbers are still small compared to the more than 58,000 on the Wall, but every number is someone's son, husband, father, brother," notes the veteran teacher, her eyes welling with tears. "It never goes away. I know the journey these families are just beginning and I know that it never ends."
Her mother, who died last year at age 90, held as tightly to Curt's memory as she did to his medals. She was there when his picture was hung in Town Hall, the first Hingham resident to fall in Vietnam.
She was there when a town baseball field was named in his honor, there when a memorial was dedicated bearing his name at Bowdoin College, Curt's alma mater. She kept the letter from Harvard Business School that arrived three days after the funeral notifying him that he had been accepted for the September term he would never see.
His sister was less comfortable with the public events that commemorated Curt's life. She was heartened, though, when her daughter, Sarah, chose to attend Bowdoin, creating a connection to the uncle she never knew.
Sue Edgecomb will gather a group of 9-year-olds around her and read "The Wall" tomorrow because, she says, "every generation needs to relearn the cost of war."
Maintaining her composure will be a particular challenge this year. November 11 is not only Veteran's Day. It is First Lieutenant Curtis E. Chase's birthday. He would have been 60 on Tuesday.