Starting at the upper left corner and then clockwise: Curt Brown (Army), John Olsen (Navy), Bob Crawford (Navy), John Goodwin (Army) and Sam Cupp (Army)
In 1963 the Wilmington Morning News sent a reporter out to write an article, with pictures, about of one of the winningest high school basketball teams in Delaware: Alexis I. DuPont. The five players pictured would later become Vietnam War veterans. One of those five players, 1st Lt. Werner Curt Brown II, was killed in action at Quang Tin province while serving with the 198th Light Infantry Brigade on Sept. 29, 1968. Brown was an infantry unit commander during one of the most hostile Vietnam War periods. His awarded medals include: the National Defense Medal, a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, the Vietnam Services and Republic of VN medals.
The other players in the picture all read about his death while serving in the military. Only veterans can describe what it was like getting bad news from home while serving. Each man pictured remembered that day and what he was doing when he read the news about Curt’s death. Goodwin got the news while handing out the mail at Army Basic Training in North Carolina, Cupp was in Army Officers (OCS) Training in Oklahoma, Crawford was in Naval Training in Illinois and Olsen was stationed with the Naval Security Group at Guam.
Today, 54 years later, Curt is remembered at reunions and get-togethers as a special person who added something unique to everyone’s life. For those who played sports with him, he was a good if not great teammate, and a better friend.
I have written a book, "Beyond the South: A Route Less Traveled,” on my year (1968) in Vietnam.