1958 Lt. Colonel David Kurtz, U. S. Army retired

Lt. Colonel David Kurtz, United States Army, retired, was born on 28 September 1898.  He was a native of New York City and a graduate of Columbia University.  David was a veteran of both World War I and World War II, serving also during the Korean War.

8th Army Shoulder Patch

Purple Heart

Colonel Kurtz enlisted in the New York Army National Guard and served on the Texas/Mexican border during 1916 when a German invasion through Mexico was suspected, though never materialized.  During World War One, he enlisted with the Active Army and served in France with the engineers.  David was subsequently commissioned in 1925 and served during World War Two with the Army Air Force.

In 1945, Colonel Kurtz was stationed in San Diego where his son, Richard, was born.  During 1946 and 1948 he was apparently stationed in Los Angles.  During 1948 and 1950, David was stationed with the Eighth Army in Yokohama, Japan.

Mexican Border Service Medal

While stationed in Japan, Colonel Kurtz was the Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Yokohama Masonic Lodge.

The year 1951 finds him in Seattle, Washington.  During the Korean War, Colonel Kurtz commanded a replacement center.  It is probable that this is the location of the replacement center that he commanded.  David’s awards and decorations include the Purple Heart.  His other decorations are unknown, but included also the Mexican Border Service Medal.

Colonel Kurtz retired from the Army on 31 August 1954, and moved to Mesa, Arizona.  He was a charter member of our chapter, then called The Retired Officers Association (TROA), serving as our Legislative Chair the first year.  David was our 3rd Chapter President, serving during 1958.

Colonel Kurtz was a 32nd Degree Mason, and belonged to the Far East Lodge in Tokyo and the Oriental Lodge 20 of Mesa.  David was also a Past Commander of the Papago Chapter of the Heroes of ’76, a member of the Phoenix Chapter of the National Sojourners, and was one of the organizers and a Founding Member of the Board of Directors of the Mesa YMCA.

Colonel Kurtz died on 14 August 1964 at the Whipple Veterans Administration Hospital in Prescott, Arizona.  He is buried in the Mesa City Cemetery in Section 548, Lot 5, Grave 3.  David was survived by his wife, the former Ruth A. Gower, and his son, then PFC Richard Gower Kurtz, United States Army, Fort Lee, Virginia.  Funeral arrangements were conducted by the M. L. Gibbons Mortuary, 33 N. Sirrine, Mesa.

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