Jerry Donatiello, KIA, Nov. 29, 1967

Lance Cpl. Jerry Richard Donatiello, of Frederick Street, was killed in action in Vietnam on November 20, 1967. He was killed by hostile rifle fire in the vicinity of Quang Namn on Nov. 20. He had been in Vietnam since Oct. 5.

Born on June 27, 1945, he enlisted in the Marines on March 3, 1965. He served with the USMC CO F 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine, 1st Marine Division. His service number is 225482.

He is the son of Mrs. Rose Donatiello. He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington, N.J.


Carl Mickens, KIA, July 4, 1970

(July 16-21, 1970) -- Pfc. Carl Lawrence Mickens, 26, son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl D. Mickens of 61 Wilbur Street, was killed in action on July 4 in Vietnam.

Private Mickens,  lost his life in a booby trap explosion while he was on a military mission, according to a telegram received by his parents. A lifelong Belleville resident, he had planned to be a vocational high school teacher.

Before entering the service, Pfc. Mickens had completed three years toward a teaching degree at Montclair State College. Earlier he attended night school at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He had also completed four years of apprenticeship as a tool and die maker at Western Electric Co., Kearny.

"He planned to finish college after his discharge from the service next year," his father said. "He hoped to put his experience as a tool and die maker, and his teaching degree, to use as a vocational high school teacher."

He was drafted into the army in July 1969. After completing basic training at Ft. Dix, he took advanced training at Ft. Lewis, Wash., and Ft. Benning, Ga.

Last April, Pfc. Mickens was assigned to Vietnam and became a member of the 101st Airborne Division.
"He was a good soldier and took the problems of war in stride," his father said. "He really did not want to go to Vietnam, but when the word came through, he went cheerfully."

While at Montclair State, Pfc. Mickens was a member of the Kappa Sigma Chi fraternity. He was also a member of the choir at Grace Episcopal Church, Newark. Pfc. Mickens leaves two sisters, Linda Gail, and Shirley Jean, both at home.

The Belleville Times
The Belleville Telegram


Raymond Deluca, KIA, June 27, 1968

(July 11, 1968) -- Army Spec. 4 Raymond P. De Luca, of Meacham Street, died June 27 as a result of wounds in a firefight in Vietnam. The date and location of the action were not disclosed.

A lifelong resident of Belleville, De Luca attended Essex Catholic High School, Newark, where he graduated as an honor student in 1966.

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William Branch, KIA June 6,1970

Capt. William A. Branch, 28, was killed in South Vietnam on June 6, 1970, when his helicopter was brought down by enemy fire.

Two men from Headquarters Company, 2/14 Infantry, were killed when OH-6A tail number 68-17366 was shot down 10 kilometers southeast of the Dau Tieng base camp - Captain William A. Branch and Captain William L. Byrd of Rossville, Ga.
Captain Branch was on his second tour of duty in Vietnam; his first was in 1966-67 when he served as a MACV Advisor with the 2nd Bn, 46th ARVN Infantry in Long An Province.
The Virtual Wall

A daughter's tribute


Paul Nelson, KIA, May 31, 1969

(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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Alfred Barnes, KIA, May 12, 1969

(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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Donald Murray killed in training mission

Chief Warrant Officer Donald S. Murray, 37, was killed in a mid-air helicopter crash April 14, 1996, during live Hellfire Missile drill on McGregor Range at Ft. Bliss, New Mexico.

A 14-year veteran, paratrooper Murray grew up on Moore Place in Belleville and attended Holy Family School.
CWO Donald S. Murray, photo courtesy of Neal Murray.

Albuquerque Journal (NM) - April 16, 1996

LAS CRUCES -- A team of Army investigators from Alabama arrived at Fort Bliss on Monday to examine wreckage strewn in the crash of two Army helicopters that killed three paratroopers. A fourth soldier who rode in one of the helicopters was treated at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss after the crash Sunday night. The soldier then was released back to his unit. Two OH-58 Delta Kiowa Warrior helicopters, each carrying two...

Albuquerque Journal (NM) - April 16, 1996

LAS CRUCES -- A team of Army investigators from Alabama arrived at Fort Bliss on Monday to examine wreckage strewn in the crash of two Army helicopters that killed three paratroopers.A fourth soldier who rode in one of the helicopters was treated at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss after the crash Sunday night. The soldier then was released back to his unit. Two OH-58 Delta Kiowa Warrior helicopters, each carrying two soldiers, crashed about 9:50 p.m. Sunday ...

Albuquerque Journal (NM) - April 19, 1996

AROUND NEW MEXICO LAS CRUCES -- The Army on Thursday released the names of two paratroopers killed in the April 14 crash of two helicopters on the Fort Bliss Military Reservation. Two of the victims of the nighttime crash, which occurred during aerial gunnery maneuvers, were identified as Capt. Joseph O. Reed III, 30, of Windermere, Fla., commander of Company B, 1st Battalion, 82nd Aviation Brigade; and Chief Warrant Officer Donald S. Murray, 37, of Belleville, N.J. ...
Albuquerque Journal

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Belleville Sons Honor Roll


Frank Canceliere, March 15, 1969

Corporal Frank A. Cancelliere of Sanford Avenue, was killed March 15, 1969, near Quang Tri Province in Vietnam.

According to the official report, he died as a result of fragmentation wounds to the head and body from a friendly grenade that was accidentally detonated in the chow line at the mess hall.

Born on June 27, 1948, he enlisted in the Marines, he began active duty on Sept. 13, 1967.

He served with the CO B 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, FMF RPO San Francisco.

He is buried in the Belleville Avenue Cemetery, Bloomfield, N.J.

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Donald Saunders, March 4, 1968

Another Belleville Son
Dies in Vietnam Battle

(March 14, 1968) -- "Since he had to leave this world, I'm glad he left it the way he did, with courage and fighting for his country."

There was little else for William D. Saunders of High Street, Belleville, to say. He is the father of Pfc. Donald Saunders who was killed in action in Vietnam March 4, 1968.

The young Saunders, only 20, died of wounds on his head and body from an enemy mortar fire in Quang Tri last week.

Saunders enlisted in the Marines two years ago on Sept. 28. It was a day that William Saunders will never forget as it was the elder Saunders' birthday.

Donald completed his basic training at Parris Island, S.C., and advanced infantry training at Camp Lejeune, N.C. He volunteered for duty in Vietnam.

When asked why, Mrs. Maisie Saunders, his mother, said, "Donald was never too talkative. He made his own decisions. I think he felt the boys were doing a good job and he should back them up."

"It was just a job that had to be done, for him," added Saunders, and he never complained. In all his letters there was never a word of complaint. He tried to reassure us, in fact."

The Belleville Times, March 14, 1968

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John Hoar, KIA, February 13, 1966

Pfc. John M. Hoar, a slender 20-year-old soldier who marched off to the  Vietnam war on Christmas Day 1965, returned home Sunday evening. He became the first (known) Belleville serviceman to give his life in that far-away conflict which no one understands.

His gray, flag-draped coffin arrived at 9:30 p.m. Sunday aboard a sleek military transport plane which landed at Newark Airport accompanied by Sp. 5 Bob White, a military escort provided by the army for its fallen warriors.

Pfc. Hoar died of a head wound inflicted by soldiers of the Viet Cong during a savage firefight at Bongson, 265 miles northeast of Saigon on the South China Sea.

His death, said an Army telegram from the Defense Department, ''... was incurred by small arms fire while on a combat operation.''

"When we came up here," he wrote before the fight, "we had 15 guys in the squad. Now we have nine. One was taken sick, another broke his leg, and three others were wounded."

Now Pfc. Hoar himself joins the list of America's honored dead who were killed in action.

He is survived by his grieving parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Hoar, 80 Cleveland Street, who sit quietly in their second-floor apartment and remember the days when their son was a laughing young man who had the world before him.

The Belleville Times Feb. 24, 1966


Helder Da Silva, KIA Feb. 7, 1966

Army Spec. 4 Helder Arthur C. Da Silva, 24, was killed in action on Feb. 7, 1966, in South Vietnam. 

Da Silva began his tour of duty on Sept. 12, 1965. His service number is 036285328. Da Silva was married.

The Wall: Panel 05E - Row 016
Sources: The Vietnam War Memorial Wall, The Wall-USA.com

NJ Vietnam War Memorial, Holmdel, N.J.


Roger Crowell, KIA, January 31, 1968

(Feb. 15, 1968) -- A military guard snapped to a salute as pallbearers removed the body of 20-year-old Roger Bryan Crowell from Holy Family Church in the bitter cold last Sunday morning following funeral services there.

Young Crowell is another Belleville victim of the Vietnam conflict. He was a product of the Belleville school system and his parents have been long-time residents of 100 Tiona Avenue.

The telegram of regret from the Army states that he died of gunshot wounds suffered during an engagement with the enemy Vietcong forces on Jan. 31. The body was flown back home to Belleville.

Crowell was known to his family by his nickname "Rog." He was an outstanding Little Leaguer and winner of many trophies for athletics.

He attended Grammar School 5 on Greylock Parkway, Belleville and went on to Belleville High School where he was especially active in football, baseball and basketball. He graduated from BHS in 1965.

Crowell was engaged to be married for several years to Gail Corino, his high school sweetheart. A draft notice precipitated the marriage but because their marriage was kept secret, the ceremony was held at three different times in as many different churches - in June, September, and December 1966.

The young couple had only four days plus Roger's leave time, to be together in all their married life. Their son, Roger Jr. is now 10-months old; he was born in Clara Maass Memorial Hospital. Roger Sr. was able to obtain leave and arrive to be with his wife and new baby the day after the birth.

The Belleville Times