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View a eulogy for Clair Hall Thurston, USMA '64, who passed away on November 8, 1965.

Clair Hall Thurston

West Point, 1964

Be Thou At Peace

Posted by Jack Price on August 18, 1998:

Clair and Dave Ugland were both seasoned combat veterans by the time
I joined them in Sept 1965 with the 173rd. I hadn't seen Clair since graduation,
and the reunion was actually kinda funny.

I was with 2/503 and Clair was with a different battalion. It took me
awhile to get time to go over to see him and, by the time I made it, he
was in the mash hospital recovery tent. So I go to see him.

He was in one of those GP tents with the sides rolled up and surrounded
by mosquito netting. I couldn't see real well until I pulled the netting
away to greet him. He'd been hit by a booby trap the week before and it
had sprayed his backside with a peppering of small shrapnel particles.
He was laying on his stomach, since it was the more comfortable position
and showing his backside to the best effect.

We spent a good 15 minutes discussing the beautiful greens and yellows
displayed around the shrapnel wounds and their possble attractiveness to
the opposite sex. Hard to believe, but he was in good cheer and looking
forward to rejoining his platoon.

Soon after his battalion was deployed and both he and Dave Ugland were
killed in heavy fighting. In going through his belongings to ship home,
I found the letter we all wrote at one time or another. It was a strong
reminder of our mortality.

Clair was one of us who would have worn stars. In a very real sense,
those of us who did, stand on the shoulders of those, like Clair, who didn't
make war's cut.

Although he's gone, the strands Clair wove into the fabric of our class
are still very much with us. I was up in Maine in 72 and tried to find
his parents, but was not successful. Rest easy, Clair. Well done.


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