Curtis C. Colyear (1970/08/17)

Friendly fire can be anything but friendly, as Curtis would discover.

Curtis Craig Colyear was born in a tent on July 18, 1950 at Sequoia National Park, California, while his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Colyear, were camping. He grew up in Santa Cruz County with his brothers Colburn and Charles and sisters Rosalind, Roberta and Karen. Curt attended Capitola and Soquel elementary schools before enrolling in Santa Cruz High School in September 1963. While in high school, he played on the football team. Following his graduation in 1968, he was employed at a Standard Oil station.

Colyear enlisted in the US Marine Corps in June 1969 and completed his basic and school-of-infantry training at Camp Pendleton, California. During this period, he became engaged to Patty Perry and the couple made plans for a wedding to take place upon his discharge.

In July 1970 Curt Colyear received orders sending him to Southeast Asia, and he arrived in Vietnam on July 20th. He was assigned to Company M, 3rd Battalion, 7th Regiment 1st Marine Division serving in Quang Nam Province.

“During the summer [1970], elements of the 7th Marine Regiment entered two major large-scale operations. Pickens Forest, a search and clear mission which centered in the Thu Bon River valley, generated little reaction from the enemy and ended on 24 August. Imperial Lake was undertaken a week later. The 2nd Battalion and elements of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, combed the central Que Son Mountains, looking for the evasive enemy. Units of the 7th Marines captured a NVA battalion command post and found the bodies of four senior commanders in a destroyed bunker. Imperial Lake, as it turned out, was the last operation of the war for the regiment.”

When fragments of allied mortar rounds struck him on August 17, 1970, Corporal Curtis Craig Colyear became a Non-Hostile, Ground Casualty caused by Accident. His body was recovered and returned to Santa Cruz for a funeral and burial at Oakwood Memorial Park.

(VVMW; SCSn August 21, 1970 1:8; August 25,1970; 7th Marines History, [16 Sept 2008])

Creator: Nelson, Robert L.
Source: Remembering our own: the Santa Cruz County military roll of honor 1861-2010. Santa Cruz, CA: The Museum of Art & History, c2010.
Date: Undated
Type: OBIT
Coverage: 1970s
Rights: Reproduced by permission of Robert L. Nelson and The Museum of Art & History.
Identifier: RO-COLYEAR


Nelson, Robert L. “Curtis C. Colyear (1970/08/17).” Remembering our own: the Santa Cruz County military roll of honor 1861-2010. Santa Cruz, CA: The Museum of Art & History, c2010. SCPL Local History. Accessed 30 May 2023.