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Army Capt. John F. Kurth

Died March 13, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

31, of Wisconsin; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, based in Schweinfurt, Germany; killed March 13 when his patrol was hit by an improvised explosive device in Tikrit, Iraq.

Mourners say farewell to Wisconsin man killed in Iraq

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Wis. — Flags flying throughout Columbus, even on children’s bicycles, provided the proper send-off for Army Capt. John F. “Hans” Kurth, a classmate told mourners.

Capt. Jeff Spear, who attended West Point with Kurth, said he found the display of patriotism “absolutely moving.”

“He was a good man, well-liked at school,” Spear said. “He will be missed.”

Kurth, 31, a Columbus native, was killed by a bomb March 13 while on patrol in Tikrit, north of Baghdad. Kurth, who was serving in the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, had been in Iraq less than a month when his convoy was ambushed.

Spear said about two dozen of Kurth’s West Point classmates attended the funeral, making the trip from as far away as Germany and Italy.

At Hillside Cemetery, they joined in singing “The Alma Mater,” a West Point tradition.

The flag that covered Kurth’s casket was given to his mother, Lauretta, at the graveside.

He’s leaves behind his 5-year-old son, John Jr., who was wearing a cherry red sweater at the funeral.

His friends said whenever Kurth got military leave, he would head straight home to his son.

“His son was his number one priority,” said Matt McCormick, 30, who was close with Kurth in high school. “He loved him tremendously. Every chance he got, he’d show him off.”

The boy lives with his mother in South Carolina.

Funeral services planned for Wisconsin soldier killed in Iraq

COLUMBUS, Wis. — Funeral services are planned for March 27 for the latest Wisconsin soldier killed in Iraq.

The funeral for Capt. John F. Kurth, 31, will be held at Columbus High School, with his burial afterward at Hillside Cemetery. His wake is scheduled for March 26 at Faith Lutheran Church in Columbus.

The West Point graduate was serving in the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment and had been in Iraq less than a month when a roadside bomb exploded March 13 at Tikrit, killing him and a Maryland solider.

The son of John and Lauretta Kurth of Columbus was a graduate of Columbus High School, and played on a state championship football team there.

He was the 12th person from Wisconsin to die while serving in Iraq.

— Associated Press

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