Paul Nelson Dies in Vietnam

(June 17, 1969) -- Pfc. Paul V. Nelson, 20, of Williams Street, was killed in action on May 31, in the northern part of South Vietnam, according to the Department of the Army.

Nelson was awarded the Silver Star “for gallantry in action against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam.”

PFC. Nelson “distinguished himself by intrepid actions” on May 31, while serving as a radio telephone operator with Company B, 1st Battalion, 52nd Infantry.

"On that date, the company was on a search and clear mission near Landing Zone Stinson when the point element came under intense enemy fire.

"Observing one of his comrades fall seriously wounded, Private Nelson, disregarding the danger involved, braved the enemy fire to assist in evacuating the wounded soldier.

"Returning to the area of contact, Private Nelson remained exposed to locate the enemy position. Despite the hostile barrage impacting all around him, Private Nelson located the insurgents’ position and then directed gunship fire on the enemy targets.

"At this point, Private Nelson was mortally wounded from the hostile fire. His timely and courageous actions were responsible for saving the life of his comrade and the defeat of the enemy force.

"Private Nelson’s personal heroism, professional competence, and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service, and reflected great credit upon himself, the Americal Division, and the United States Army. "

Pfc. Nelson joined the Army last June and had been in Vietnam for the last six months.

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Memorial Day in Second River ... 1942

Belleville author/blogger Norman Price has recounted life in Belleville six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

"... It is June 6, 1942. It has been barely 6 months since Pearl Harbor. The nation is at war, New Jersey is at war, Belleville is at war. The war has just become more personal here. The first war casualty from Belleville in an enemy attack had occurred two weeks earlier and was announced in this week’s paper. ..."

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John R. Gorman

(April 25, 1952) John R. Gorman, 24, was killed in action in Korea a year ago, the Defense Department declared recently.

His parents Mr. and Mrs. Francis H. Gorman, who moved to Nutley only a month ago from Belleville, were informed of the casualty by a telegram from Washington.

Pfc. Gorman had been listed as missing in action since May 18, 1951.

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Catalano Killed In Action At Anzio

(June 29, 1944) -- Pvt. Morris C. Catalano of Belleville Avenue, was killed in action at Anzio, Italy, on May 14.

The battle of Anzio, Italy, a beachhead invasion began in May 1944. Allied troops were held on the beachhead for five months before the breakthrough after Monte Cassino allowed the US 5th Army to dislodge the Germans from the Alban Hills and allow the Anzio force to begin its advance on Rome.

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Alfred Barnes, KIA, in Vietnam

(May 22, 1969) -- Lt. Col. Alfred Barnes of Ralph Street, Belleville, a 20-year career Army office, was killed during an enemy rocket and mortar attack in Vietnam on May 12.

Mrs. Sadie R. Barnes, his wife, was notified by telegram of the overseas tragedy.

Lt. Col. Barnes had a personal dream fulfilled when he assumed command of a battalion two months ago.

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