Famous Veterans Birthdays – April 13th
April 13, 2021
Famous Veterans Celebrating Birthdays Today (April 13th):
Famous Veterans Born April 13, 1945:
Bob Kalsu – Buffalo Bills Rookie of the Year – (Army Killed in Action in Vietnam) – Died: July 21, 1970.
Kalsu was a starting guard for the Buffalo Bills in 1968. He played the entire season and was the Bills’ team rookie-of-the-year. Following the 1968 season, to satisfy his Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) obligation, he entered the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant and arrived in South Vietnam in November 1969 as part of the 101st Airborne Division. He was killed in action on July 21, 1970, when his unit came under enemy 82-millimeter mortar fire at FSB Ripcord near the A Shau Valley. His family has declined to talk in detail about the circumstances surrounding his death.
When he had left for South Vietnam, Kalsu had to say goodbye to his wife, Jan, and his daughter Jill. On July 23, 1970, two days after his death, Jan Kalsu gave birth to his son, James Robert Kalsu Jr, at the Kalsu home in Oklahoma City. Kalsu’s wife was informed that he had died only hours later. Kalsu and former Cleveland Brown Don Steinbrunner were the only professional football players to be killed in action during the Vietnam War.
Kalsu was the last NFL player to be killed serving as a soldier in a war until 2004, when Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan. Earlier, Al Blozis formerly of the New York Football Giants was killed in action in World War II.
Famous Veterans Born April 13, 1935:
Lyle Waggoner – Actor: The Carol Burnett Show, Wonder Woman – (Army Radio Operator) – Died: March 17, 2020
Waggoner joined the United States Army, serving two years in West Germany as a radio operator.
Born April 13, 1923:
Famous Veterans Born Adams – Actor: Get Smart – (Marine Corps) – Died: September 25, 2005.
During World War II, Don Adams joined the United States Marine Corps. Adams participated in the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942 in the Pacific Theater of Operations. His combat service was short-lived. He contracted blackwater fever, a serious complication of malaria, known for a 90% rate of fatality. He was evacuated and then hospitalized for more than a year at a Navy hospital in Wellington, New Zealand. After his recovery, he served as a Marine drill instructor in the United States.