Lynn Holt Camp

NO. 17700  •  27 March 1929 - 25 July 1950

Died July 25, 1950, At Tucson,  Arizona. Aged 21 Years


It was a bright sunny morning late in July in a little cowtown of Willcox, Arizona, but everywhere there was sadness and gloom in the air. Today one of Willcox's heroes was to be buried. Lieutenant Lynn Holt Camp came home to be laid to rest. The largest crowd ever assembled at Lynn's home Methodist church was there to tell him good-bye.

There were the West Point graduates, Lt. Frank Borman, Lt. Ross Mayfield, Lt. Jack Magee, Lt. Al Crawford, Lt. Geo. Cannon, Lt. Joe Love, and Lt. John Hurst, to be his active pallbearers. Davis Monthan Air Base had sent its representatives to be the Guard of Honor. There in the family pew sat his parents, Lynn and Edith Camp, and his two sisters, Helen and Janet -- whose grief everyone shared and hoped that their thoughts and prayers would comfort the Camps in their trying hour.

Many people throughout the state were horrified when they read their papers on July fifth to see that Lt. Lynn Camp and his fiancee, Miss Diane Holley, had plunged off the bridge at the ill-famed Cienga Wash in southern Arizona.

Lynn and Diane had left for Tucson early that July morning, to make plans for their impending wedding. There was a slight drizzle of rain and as the car came around the curve it slid over the edge of the bridge and plunged down the canyon for a distance of 200 feet. Rushed to Tucson, Diane and Lynn fought for their lives. They were both given a very slim chance to survive. For twenty days Lynn carried the fight but the Lord called him on July 25th. Diane is presently at the KessIer Institute in West Orange, New Jersey, where she is improving until she can come back to Arizona to make her home.

Lynn was born March 27, 1929 in Superior, Arizona. His early grammar school days were spent in various schools throughout Arizona until his folks made their home in Willcox. Already noted for a very keen mind, Lynn, upon entering high school, began to devote much of his time to music. Blessed with a very fine voice, he was very much in demand for singing engagements in the church and school. Also, at an early age, he choose the trumpet as his musical instrument. He became known as one of the finest trumpeters in the state, appearing in music concerts and festivals. "The Teen-Agers", a high school swing band, was formed and directed by Lynn, and supplied dance music for Willcox and the surrounding communities during war.

Athletics were not slighted by Lynn because of his musical career. In his freshman year he was the first string center on the football team, a position he held until he graduated. Also, he was a three year letterman in basketball. track, and tennis, and a one year letterman in baseball. He holds the distinction of being one of the three men in Willcox's history to win five letters in one year.

His scholarship was unexcelled in high school, and he finished the work in three years instead of four. He led his class throughout those three years and on graduation night, Lynn gave the valedictory address for the class of 1946.

All kids have dreams as to what they want to be when they grow up, but Lynn had only one goal in mind - to attend West Point. He was young when he graduated from high school, being only seventeen years old. He applied for his appointment, took the examinations and was relegated to the position of alternate. The chance came sooner than expected because the boy ahead of him failed his physical examination, and in July 1946, Lynn was West-Point bound.

The surroundings were new for the Arizona boy, but with determination and this inward motto, "To try to surpass one’s seIf should be an occupation as long as life itself', he assumed the task of becoming an Army officer.

First came his nickname, "Bongo", and then his interest in the very fine West Point musical organizations. He sang all four years with the Glee Club and Chapel Choir. In his last two years he was choral director of the "100th Night Show". He also served as Secretary -  Treasurer of the Dialectic Society.

Lynn didn't lose his desire for sports activity at the Academy. There, with the many fine facilities available he became adept in many skills that he had not had the chance to develop while in Willcox. He played on the B squad team in football for two years. His valuable experience in tennis added much to Company D-1's championship team.

In June 1950, Second Lieutenant Lynn H. Camp had reached his first goal - graduation from West Point. Next came his orders to report to the Air Force at Randolph Field, Texas, for flight training. Another ambition had been fulfilled. Then came the trip to Arizona for a vacation before reporting for duty.

Last on the calendar of Lynn's life was the fateful accident while he was home before going to Texas. Looking back over Lynn's past life we will always be able to say he fought the good fight -- his family, his community, his state, and his country gained much by his devotion and his loyalty to them.

- Written by Marvin "Swede" Johnson