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Allen Ross Culpepper

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Allen Ross Culpepper
AllenRossCulpepper.jpg
Allen Ross Culpepper
Nickname(s)Panther
Born(1944-07-21)July 21, 1944
Tuskegee, Alabama
Reared in Minden
Webster Parish, Louisiana
DiedMay 18, 1969(1969-05-18) (aged 24) 
Long Khanh province, Republic of Vietnam
Buried
Allegany Cemetery in Allegany, New York
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1966–1969
RankCaptain, USA
Unit7th Battalion, 9th Artillery, 54th Artillery Group
Commands heldC Battery, 7-9 Artillery
105mm howitzer battery at Fire Support Base Husky
Battles/warsXuan Loc, Vietnam War
AwardsBronze Star
Purple Heart
Distinguished Service Cross
RelationsNancy (wife)
Rebecca (daughter)
Steve C. Culpepper (father)
Marjorie Stephens Culpepper (mother; c. 1921-2015)
Douglas Orville Culpepper (brother)

Allen Ross Culpepper (July 21, 1944 – May 18, 1969), was a United States Army captain in the Vietnam War.[1] He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, Class of 1966, and was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.[2]

Citation[edit]

Presented posthumously for actions during the Vietnam War.

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Captain (Field Artillery) Allen Ross Culpepper, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Battery C, 7th Battalion, 9th Artillery, 54th Field Artillery Group. Captain Culpepper distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 18 May 1969 while serving as commander of a 105 millimeter howitzer battery. Soon after midnight a Viet Cong force launched a mortar and rocket attack, followed by a ground assault on the perimeter. Without hesitation, Captain Culpepper moved through the battery area to organize his troops. He quickly deployed a reaction force and directed the retaliatory fusillade of his men. When one of the howitzer emplacements was struck by rocket-propelled grenade fire wounding the section members, Captain Culpepper immediately proceeded to the damaged gun section to assist in removing the casualties. As he left his vehicle and heroically ran through the hostile barrage toward a wounded soldier, he was fatally wounded by enemy fire. Captain Culpepper's extraordinary heroism 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 himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

—Headquarters, U.S. Army, Vietnam
General Orders No. 2949 (August 4, 1969)[2]

Hometown remembers[edit]

Captain Allen Culpepper plaque at Veteran's Monument on Turner's Pond in Minden, Louisiana

The Minden Press-Herald cited Culpepper's heroism in its Memorial Day issue in 2017. Larry K. Madison, who served with Culpepper, wrote on the Virtual Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall that he felt "certain the safety and welfare of his men was his primary concern and his heroic actions saved the lives of many of his men, including, most likely, mine."[3] Philip Owen Benham, Jr., who served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968, was Culpepper's roommate at West Point and best man at his wedding. “I pay final tribute to him invoking a refrain from our alma mater, and when our work is done, may it be said 'well done ... be thou at peace,'” Benham said.[3]

His name is in place on the Washington Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Panel 24W, Row 39) as well as on a plaque on the Veterans Monument at Eagle Park, Minden, Louisiana.[3]

References[edit]

  1. Gulledge, James (November 11, 2011). "A Hero Remembered". Minden Press-Herald. p. 1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Military Times, Hall of Valor. "Valor awards for Allen Ross Culpepper". Gannett Government Media Corporation. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Bates, Michelle (May 29, 2017). "Cpt. Allen Culpepper died a hero in Vietnam". Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved June 2, 2017.


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