Cowan, Kay Kipling, COL

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Colonel
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
5505-Information Officer
Last MOS Group
Adjutant General (Officer)
Primary Unit
1967-1968, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense Public Affairs (OASD/PA)/American Forces Information Service
Service Years
1938 - 1968

Infantry

Colonel



Five Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Year of Birth
1914
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSG Trey W. Franklin to remember Cowan, Kay Kipling, COL USA(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Alexandria, VA
Last Address
Altus, OK

Date of Passing
Aug 29, 2005
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Sec: 64, Site: 4239

 Official Badges 

Belgian Fourragere Infantry Shoulder Cord US Army Retired (Pre-2007) Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961

Office of Secretary of Defense


 Unofficial Badges 






 Additional Information
Last Known Activity


Kay Kipling Cowan, 91, a retired Army Colonel and former military assistant to Senator Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), died Aug. 29 at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital of respiratory arrest and complications of bladder cancer. He was a longtime Alexandria resident.


Colonel Cowan was born in Altus, Oklahoma, the youngest of nine children. He graduated from Oklahoma A&M College (now Oklahoma State University) in 1938 and was commissioned in the Army Reserve. He received a bachelor's degree in 1947 and a master's degree in 1948, both in journalism from the University of Missouri at Columbia.
 
In 1938, he became a reporter and sports editor for the Altus Times-Democrat, a newspaper he had delivered on horseback as a boy. He stayed at the Times-Democrat until June 1941, when he enlisted in the Army. After basic training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, he underwent ski training in Wisconsin.


A company commander, he led his unit into combat as part of the Normandy invasion on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Wounded six days later while fighting in the French hedgerows, he returned in August to command B Company of the 2nd Division, 23rd Infantry, at Brest, France. He recalled the early days of the Battle of the Bulge in written accounts for his children: "My company was in fierce fights for several days holding off several German attacks, including tanks, with practically no antitank weapons, no artillery support and no air support -- cold, wet and snowing!"


Colonel Cowan stayed in the Army after the war and served as a military observer supporting the United Nations peacekeeping force in the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan. After completing advanced infantry and paratrooper training at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1952, at 38, he served as secretary of the general staff at 1st Army headquarters on Governor's Island in New York. He also was chief of the public affairs division in Germany and commanding officer of the 2nd Battle Group, based in Bamberg, Germany.


He was deputy director of Armed Forces Radio and Television Service from 1962 to 1967 and deputy director of the Office of Information in the office of the secretary of defense in 1967-68. He retired in 1968.


His military awards included the Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart and two awards of the Bronze Star.


In 1968, he became military assistant to Thurmond, a position that allowed him to combine his devotion to the Army and concern for the welfare of its soldiers with his interest in journalism. During more than two decades on the senator's staff, he helped write legislation that benefited service personnel, including the Survivor Benefit Plan. He retired again in 1991.


Colonel Cowan was a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Alexandria. His pastimes included tennis, golf and bridge.


Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Maxine E. Cowan of Alexandria; four children, Nancy C. Joseph of San Antonio, Carol A. Daly of North Augusta, S.C., Carmen J. Fielding of Fairfax City and Mark S. Cowan of Columbia, S.C.; nine grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

   
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 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Parachutist (Basic)

 
 Unit Assignments
US Army Reserve Command (USARC)2nd Infantry Division23rd Infantry RegimentNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
Infantry Officer Advanced CourseFirst Army (1st Army)Command and General Staff College (CGSC) Resident CourseUS Army Europe (USAREUR)
8th Infantry DivisionArmed Forces Radio and Television/Armed Forces Network (AFRTS/AFN)Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense Public Affairs (OASD/PA)/American Forces Information Service
  1938-1941, US Army Reserve Command (USARC)
  1941-1945, 2nd Infantry Division
  1942-1945, 3rd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment
  1949-1951, United Nations Mission for the Referendum
  1952-1952, Infantry Officer Advanced Course
  1952-1955, First Army (1st Army)
  1955-1955, Command and General Staff College (CGSC) Resident Course
  1955-1959, US Army Europe (USAREUR)
  1959-1961, 8th Infantry Division
  1959-1962, 2nd Airborne Battle Group, 504th Infantry
  1962-1967, Armed Forces Radio and Television/Armed Forces Network (AFRTS/AFN)
  1967-1968, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense Public Affairs (OASD/PA)/American Forces Information Service
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1945 World War II
  1944-1944 Operation Overlord/D-Day Beach Landings - Operation Neptune
  1944-1944 Northern France Campaign (1944)/Battle for Brest
  1944-1944 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Northern France Campaign (1944)
  1944-1945 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Ardennes Alsace Campaign (1944-45)
  1944-1945 Ardennes Alsace Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of the Bulge
  1945-1945 Central Europe Campaign (1945)/Victory in Europe Day (VE Day - 8May45)
  1945-1945 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Central Europe Campaign (1945)
 Colleges Attended 
Oklahoma State UniversityUniversity of Missouri-Columbia
  1934-1938, Oklahoma State University
  1946-1948, University of Missouri-Columbia
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