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 Vincent Robert Capodanno, Jr

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Vincent Robert Capodanno, Jr

  • Birth 13 Feb 1929 Elm Park, Richmond County (Staten Island), New York, USA
  • Death 4 Sep 1967 Vietnam
  • Burial West New Brighton, Richmond County (Staten Island), New York, USA
  • Plot Family plot
  • Memorial ID 7018039

Vietnam Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. In the years since his death on a Vietnam battlefield, there have been many tribues in his memory. Sons of Marines have been named after him, so have military chapels, city streets and a Navy frigate, which has since been decommissioned. He was born last in a family of nine, his parents Italian Americans. He attended Curtis High School where he was an avid swimmer and sports enthusiast. He went on to Fordham University and Maryknoll Seminaries in Illinois, Massachuesetts and New York. He was ordained a Catholic Priest in June 1957 by Cardinal Spellman, and served as a Maryknoll missionary in Taiwan and Hong Kong from 1958 to 1965. In December 1965, he received his commission as a Lieutenant in the Navy Chaplain Corps. While serving in this capacity with the Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, during combat with enemy forces in Quang Tri Province on September 4, 1967, he lost his life as he provided assistance and comfort to Marine casualties. His citiation reads "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Chaplain of the 3rd Battalion, in connection with operations against enemy forces. In response to reports that the 2nd Platoon of M Company was in danger of being overrun by a massed enemy assaulting force, Lt. Capodanno left the relative safety of the company command post and ran through an open area raked with fire, directly to the beleaguered platoon. Disregarding the intense enemy small-arms, automatic-weapons, and mortar fire, he moved about the battlefield administering last rites to the dying and giving medical aid to the wounded. When an exploding mortar round inflicted painful multiple wounds to his arms and legs, and severed a portion of his right hand, he steadfastly refused all medical aid. Instead, he directed the corpsmen to help their wounded comrades and, with calm vigor, continued to move about the battlefield as he provided encouragement by voice and example to the valiant marines. Upon encountering a wounded corpsman in the direct line of fire of an enemy machine gunner positioned approximately 15 yards away, Lt. Capodanno rushed a daring attempt to aid and assist the mortally wounded corpsman. At that instant, only inches from his goal, he was struck down by a burst of machine gun fire. By his heroic conduct on the battlefield, and his inspiring example, Lt. Capodanno upheld the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the cause of freedom". For his heroism on this occasion, he was posthumouly awarded the Medal of Honor by President Richard M. Nixon. His body was recoved and returned to his hometown and interred in the family plot in St. Peters Cemetery.

Bio by: Paul S.

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 17 Dec 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7018039
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Vincent Robert Capodanno, Jr (13 Feb 1929–4 Sep 1967), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7018039, citing Saint Peters Cemetery, West New Brighton, Richmond County (Staten Island), New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .