Courtenay Leonard Barrett, Jr.

NO. 17856  •  

Killed in Action September 27, 1950, in Korea, Aged 23 Years.


Bo has been gone almost four years now. Because of his death there will always be a certain emptiness in the lives of those who knew and loved him. He left behind many wonderful memories of a boy and a man full of fun and life, but with high ideals which he not only lived up to himself, but which he instilled into many other people.

As a boy Bo showed the qualities which were so evident all through his life. He was a leader with a great imagination and the ability to carry out his ideas. He organized our childhood gangs, as well as many other activities, ranging from a neighborhood newspaper to a lemonade stand In the summer. He liked sports and regularly attended meetings at the YMCA, as well as playing baseball and football at school. He was a good student and always enjoyed reading. As he grew up he collected books until he had a good-sized library of Poe, Shakespeare, De Maupassant, and other authors. Besides all his activItles, Bo had something he displayed throughout his life-a kind and loving personality. He enjoyed people-all people - and because he liked them he invariably brought out their good qualities. He seemed to gain something from each person he know, and in turn gave part of himself to them. He was completely unselfish and would do almost anything for a friend. When we were small he took it upon himself to be my guardian-Bo walked with me to and from school, and many times gave up his own play to see that I was safe. As we grew up he was more than just a big brothor-he was a confidante, adviser, teacher, and disciplinarian. Our grandparents, who raised us after our mother died, set an example for Bo by their unselfish devotion and generosity. He loved them deeply and always tried to live up to the bright dreams they had for him. There were times of course when he required a little discipline, for he was a normal boy with ideas and inventions, which once in a while were very impractical. On the whole, however, our family was very close-each enjoying and loving the others very much.

Bo went away to Kentucky Military Institute for high school, and for the first time our group was broken up. However, these school years were filled with many letters and wonderful summer vacations. During high school Bo found that the combination of his uniform and what he called his "charming personality" made him popular with the girls. So throughout these years there was a succession of love affairs -each one 'being "IT", but only for a short while. After his graduation from KMI, as a Cadet Captain, he was drafted and soon was sent to France as a member of the Army of Occupation. After serving a year in France and Germany, he received his appointment to West Point.

The following fall he passed his entrance examinations after a hard preparatory course at Amherst. His first year was the usual difficult one. He spent many hours on his first vacation astounding his friends and family, telling them of the hardship of a plebe. During this year however, a wonderful thing happened to Bo; he met Jacqueline Lowry, the daughter of Colonel Lowry, and this time he really fell in love. The next years went by swiftly and in his senior year he and Jackie became engaged. He made many good friends at the Point whom he regretted leaving, but at the same time he was anxious to be married and start his career. On the evening of his graduation, he and Jackie were married in the chapel at Fort Hamilton, New York where she lived. It was a lovely wedding and they were very very happy. They spent several weeks of their honeymoon with our family and several weeks with Jackie's family.

Just after graduation the Korean war broke out and orders came for Bo to leave immediately for Fort Lewis, Washington. When he left Bo was cheerful and determined. I'll always remember his telling us not to worry; that It was his job to help clear up the war quickly, and that he would be back soon. That was the middle of July. On September 27, 1950, he was killed in action. He spared us the terrible hardships in his letters, but we later learned that only two men from his company survived those battles.

After he was gone we were bitter for a long time. Why did he have to be killed when he had so much ahead of him- We asked ourselves this question a million times. We never received a direct answer but somehow we've come to know deeply that his death was not in vain. Sometimes only through the sacrifices of great and wonderful people in the name of freedom do we at home realize how precious our liberty is. God must have taken Bo because his job here was done. He instilled his leadership, his wisdom and his kindness into many people. To him we can give the greatest tribute possible - there are many people who are better and happier because he lived.

- His sister, Patricia