In Remembrance of Fallen Frogs
TCU alumni killed in action since World War II are included in these biographies.
Marine 2nd. Lt Douglas Cowin was born Feb. 24, 1924, and was a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He attended TCU only one year (1942-43) and participated in the Mixed Chorus and the Meliorist Club. Lt Cowin was killed in an ambush near Anping, China, in July 1946 while leading a 42-man Marine detachment on a routine supply mission.
William Carey Hooser ’51
died when his plane crashed May 10, 1958, during takeoff from a Navy aircraft carrier in the Pacific. He was a football player and student body president (1950-51) at TCU as well as a member of Alpha Chi and Phi Gamma Mu. He earned the B.A. in political science from the University and a law degree from the University of Texas. Survivors included his wife and parents.
Capt. Ronald E. Tinsley ’57 was born Nov. 28, 1935, and earned the BA in psychology from TCU after attending Paschal High School in Fort Worth. He was in the Air Force ROTC, Sigma Chi fraternity and the Order of DeMolay young men’s leadership organization. He died in Vietnam on July 24, 1966, when his A1E aircraft crashed while on an escort mission. Survivors included his mother, wife and son.
Capt. Buddy Blake ’60 was killed April 6, 1966, during the test flight of a fighter plane at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. His plane crashed while making bombing passes at an air gunnery practice field. The official cause of the crash was metal fatigue. Capt. Blake was a member of the Air Force ROTC 845th Group Staff at TCU and earned the B.A. in history from the University. Survivors include his brother, Donald R. Blake ’63.
Capt. Charles M. Dansby ’60 was born March 30, 1937, and earned the BSC in marketing at TCU. He attended Arlington Heights High School and Arlington State College and was also a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He died April 24, 1965, in Thailand during the Vietnam War when his cargo plane crashed near Korat Air Base. He was survived by his parents, W.W. and Ona, as well as his brother and wife.
Jerry Dean Kopp ’61 was a member of the First Air Transport Squadron based at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. He was serving as navigator aboard a Military Air Transport Service plane bound for the Azores when the plane disappeared over the Atlantic on September 22, 1963. Despite a massive search, the crew was never found. Lt. Kopp earned the B.A. in economics from TCU. Survivors included his wife.
CPT George Markos ’61 was born on Oct. 13, 1939, and earned the BA in Math at TCU. He was in the Army ROTC and was named an ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate. CPT Markos was killed Feb. 7, 1965, in a Viet Cong attack on a U.S. helicopter base at Pleiku, Vietnam, and was survived by his brothers, Homer ’59 and Christopher ’71, wife, Billie ’70, daughter, Mary Ann, and parents, William and Evelyn. He was the first Tarrant County casualty in the Vietnam War.
Maj. Moyers S. "Squee" Shore II '63
died when his plane crashed into the Pacific during routine maneuvers on June 11, 1974. At that time, he was assigned to the Death Angels Squadron at Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station in Hawaii. As a TCU student, he was a member of Delta Tau Delta and a graduate of the Marine Platoon Leaders Program. He earned the BSED in secondary education in 1963 and the MA in history in 1964. Maj. Shore was a military historian and author of The Battle for Khe Sanh, published by the U.S. Marine Corps in 1969. Survivors included his wife, Marsha.
Capt. William Elmo Powell ’65 was born Dec. 10, 1942, and earned the BBA in management at TCU. The Gatesville, Texas, native was in the Air Force ROTC and was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. He died when his plane was shot down in Vietnam on Aug. 17, 1968. His remains were returned to his family in the 1980s. Survivors included his brother, Charley ’61, and his parents, Charles and Nancy.
Maj. Mitchell O. Sadler, Jr. ’65 was born Oct. 20, 1943, and earned the BA in government. The Oceanside, California, resident was also in the Air Force ROTC and a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He was lost over Laos in 1970 and was declared killed in action in 1976. Survivors included his wife, Darlene ’68, son, Mitchell, and parents, Helen and Mitchell Sadler, Sr.
Capt. Jon Michael Olsson ’66, was born Feb. 12, 1944, and earned his BBA in business management from TCU. He also lettered in baseball and was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. CPT Olsson served in the Air Force and was killed Dec. 19, 1969, when his plane went down in Quang Tri province in South Vietnam. Survivors included his wife, his brother, Peter Stutsman Olsson ’69, and his parents, Col. John S. and Lorraine Olsson.
CPT Tristan N. Aitken ’95 was born May 18, 1971, and earned the BA in biology at TCU. He was also in Beta Upsilon Chi Christian fraternity and was named a Distinguished Military Graduate of the Army ROTC. CPT Aitken was killed on April 4, 2003, during an ambush near the Baghdad Airport. He was survived by his parents, Ron and Ruth, sister, Terryl, and wife, Margo.
First Lieutenant Landon Casillas ’04 was born May 17, 1980, and earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice along with a Regular Army commission at TCU, where he met his wife, Jessica. He served as an aeromedical evacuation officer with the 50th Medical Company, (Air Ambulance), 159th Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. 1LT Casillas died June 9, 2006, in an Army training accident when his Blackhawk helicopter made an emergency landing at Clarksville, Tennessee. He is survived by his wife, his daughter, Arle, and his parents, Sgt. Richard and MayLing Casillas.
Capt. Robert Vallejo II ’05 was born March 12, 1980, in Beeville, Texas. He graduated from Brewer High School in 1998 and joined the Army ROTC at TCU. He graduated with a B.S. in communication studies from the University and was accepted into flight school at Fort Rucker, Ala., where he learned to fly helicopters. He died Sept. 18, 2008, when the Chinook helicopter he was co-piloting crashed near Tallil, Iraq. He and the other Texas National Guard members killed in the crash were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 149th Aviation, 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, based in Grand Prairie. Services were held for Capt. Vallejo at Robert Carr Chapel. He is survived by his wife, Hillary Ann Vallejo; parents, Robert and Juanita Vallejo; sisters, Valerie and Erica Vallejo, and Teresa Cagigal; and grandmothers, Tina Romero and Maria Vallejo.
Marine Lance Cpl. Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt ’10 was a native of San Antonio, Texas, and a graduate of Alamo Heights High School. He attended TCU from 2006 to 2008, majoring in history, and was a member of Phi Delta Theta. Lance Cpl. Schmidt was serving his second tour of duty in Afghanistan when he was killed on Oct. 6, 2011, while on patrol in the Helmand Province. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, and was based at Camp Pendleton. In his life insurance policy, he provided funds to create an endowment that will ultimately give a TCU graduate student in history a scholarship every fall. His survivors included his father, Dr. David Schmidt, and his wife, Teresa; his mother, Dr. Becky Whetstone; and his sister, Casey Schmidt.