Curtis Duco

HHC 1965 – 1966


From: Clark, Dan [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 12:17 PM
Subject: Passing of SGM Duco, 327 IN Vietnam, 1925-2016


I provided the above reference on SGM (Ret) Curtis Duco to your website several years ago.  I was informed by former colleagues back in Tuscaloosa, AL that he passed away this morning.  I’m attaching a photo of him from 1972 when he was the Senior Military Instructor at the University of Alabama.

Of interest, SGM Duco had a CIB with two stars (WWII, Korea, and Vietnam).  He also made combat jumps in all three wars.  His first jump was Operation Market Garden into Holland in Sep 1944, from which he earned his first Silver Star.  Duco was a member of General Eisenhower’s personal security team immediately after WWII.  I believe he was the last remaining WWII paratrooper alive who had earned the CIB with 2 stars and combat jumps in 3 wars.

The Army ROTC battalion at The University of Alabama commissioned 287 lieutenants during his tenure as the Senior Military Instructor.  He was a mentor to all and tough on them in training.  Of the 287, 10 (3.4%) went on to earn stars.  That’s a higher percentage than almost any West Point class – a stark reflection of the Soldier Duco was.

When we relocated to Florida from Alabama in 2012, SGM Duco tried to give me his M1 Garand as a farewell gift.  I refused, insisting he give it to one of his grandsons.  The passing of my friend and longtime mentor has really shaken me up.  But I’ll see him again on the other side.

Thanks for allowing me to vent to you.

I will miss my old friend and mentor.  Best to you all.  Thanks.  Sincerely,


LTC (Ret) Dan N. Clark, Ed.D.
Senior Army Instructor, Army JROTC
Lyman High School
865 S. Ronald Reagan Blvd
Longwood, FL 32750
[email protected]
W:  407-746-2033


Status of SGM (Ret) Curtis Duco, 2009 Update, click HERE

Sat 4/7/2007 2:37 PM

Reference this website I noticed SGM (Ret) Curtis Duco’s former soldiers had sent in their impressions of him. I’m pleased to report to you that SGM Duco is 82 years old now and living in Duncanville, near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. SGM Duco was the Senior Military Instructor for the Crimson Tide of the Army Battalion (Army ROTC department) at The University of Alabama during the 1970s and retired from the Army here. Our department has 3100 living alumni and he is-by and large-among the most beloved instructors to ever serve in this battalion. Many of his former soldiers and our alumni frequently check in with him to see how he’s doing.

SGM Duco’s wife of 61 years passed away in July 2006 after a long illness and he took it very hard. However, our old friend has started visiting our Army ROTC department with more regularity and our cadets absolutely love hearing him speak. Indeed, only a rare man can command the undivided attention of over 100 college students for an hour. A long-time benefactor to our program, we named our historical collections room in his honor. SGM Duco’s only request is that our cadets and instructors carry him to rest when his time comes, a request we will sadly but respectfully grant.

I completed my doctoral studies here at Alabama after Gulf War I and enjoyed SGM Duco’s acquaintance during that time, never dreaming I’d someday return as the Army ROTC commander. Each time we talk I am awed by this great man’s character and intellect. SGM Duco is a living legend and we are blessed to have him in our lives. He’s listed in the phone directory for Tuscaloosa, AL and would enjoy hearing from his former Screaming Eagles comrades.

Thanks. Sincerely,

Major Dan N. Clark
Professor of Military Science
The University of Alabama
[email protected]

SGM Duco was our Bn SGM in 65 when we went over on the Eltinge. Even though he was not a Command Sergeant Major, Duco was the toughest SGM I ever served under. He had master jump wings with three combat jump stars and a chest full of decorations from WWII, Korea about every “cold war” police action there was. He was a totally “NO BULLSHIT” guy and although feared, he was highly respected by all who knew him. The story throughout the Bn was that if Duco liked you, you could call him God.

Jim Foster
HHC ’65-’66

WOW, a name from the past! Was a 17 yr old E-2 B Co 2/327
I remember his voice when I got off the bus from replacement det.
Looked for a rock to get under .
Jim Kwasniewski ( SKI )
B Co 2/327 65 -66
L Co 101st
ABN Dept

About SGM Duco:

He was a very tough NCO and I can remember when he had a dump truck bring a big rock to Battalion HQ for the Goon Platoon to bust up with sledge hammers.

But he was fair man.

Houston Wedlock
B-2/327 ’65

For those who knew SGM Duco, one of the hardest SGM I ever knew, he is
doing fine. I just spoke with him via phone. He’s 80 and as sharp as a
tack and I could hear in his voice that he is still as feisty as ever.

Adam Dunaway
1 & 2/327th
61 – 67

Duco was one of the few people who received the Combat Infantry Badge for W.W. II, Korea and RVN.

Yes he was hard but I always found him to be fair & willing to help younger NCO’s.

Here’s an article from the “Shield & Circle” dated Apr 16, 1965 just prior to our
deployment. Click HERE.

Bill Keller
S-4 Sgt 2/327th Inf. 64 to 6-66.