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Sgt Joseph James Compa, Jr

Sgt Joseph James Compa, Jr

Pennsylvania, USA
Death 10 Jun 1965 (aged 34)
Cenotaph East Liverpool, Columbiana County, Ohio, USA
Memorial ID 93642411 · View Source
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In Loving Memory ... SSGT. JOSEPH JAMES COMPA, JR.
*** Staff Sergeant Compa was a member of 118th Aviation Company, 145th Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade. On June 10, 1965, he was the crew chief of a Bell Huey Utility Helicopter (UH-1B) bringing a team of advisors to Dong Oxai, Phouc Long Province, South Vietnam. As it took off, it went into uncontrolled flight, crashed and burned killing him. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in me, your brother, sisters and those who knew you and loved you. You will live on because we remember you!

Age: 34
Race: Caucasian
Date of Birth Jan 13, 1931
Marital Status: Married - Wife-Bea, Children-Camilla Jo, Joseph James Jr., (Jimmy) Eugene, Lou. Last known address, Newburgh, New York. Parents, Joseph J. (1900-1945) and Bernice L. Morrow Compa ( 1898-1960). Two brothers, William H. Compa (Died 196? - # 34163651) and Ralph E. Compa (Died 2008 - # 30011134).Sister: Catheryn Lorraine Yajko, 75, passed away Tuesday, March 9, 2010. Also Sister: one sister surviving, Emelene Sheets, also of East Liverpool.

***** "United States Census, 1940"
Name: Joseph J Compa
Event Type: Census
Event Date: 1940
Event Place: Ward 4, Beaver Falls, Beaver Falls City, Beaver, Pennsylvania, United States
Gender: Male
Age: 9
Marital Status: Single
Race: White
Relationship to Head of Household: Son
Birthplace: Pennsylvania
Birth Year (Estimated): 1931
Last Place of Residence: Same House

Household Gender Age Birthplace
Head Bernice L Compa F 41 Ohio
Son Ralph E Compa M 15 Ohio
Son William H Compa M 13 Pennsylvania
Daughter Emelene Compa F 11 Ohio
Son Joseph J Compa M 9 Pennsylvania
Daughter Katheryn Lorraine Compa F 5 Pennsylvania

SSGT - E6 - Army - Regular
Length of service 16 years
His tour began on Jun 10, 1965
Casualty was on Jun 10, 1965
Hostile, died while missing, HELICOPTER - CREW

Body was not recovered
Panel 02E - Line 4

Other Personnel In Incident: Robert L. Curlee, Craig L. Hagen, Walter L.Hall, Bruce G. Johnson, Fred M. Owens,
Donald R. Saegaert, (all missing)

On June 10, 1965, 1st Lt. Walter L. Hall, pilot, WO Donald R. Saegaert co-pilot, SSgt. Joseph J. Compa, Jr., crew chief and Sgt. Craig L. Hagen door gunner, comprised the crew of a Huey helicopter that departed Tan Son Nhut Airfield, Saigon to conduct the second emergency troop insertion into the area of the Dong Xoai Special Forces Camp.

Also on board the Huey were passengers, SSgt. Robert L. Curlee, medic; Capt. Bruce G. Johnson and SFC Fred M. Owens, advisors to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam's (ARVN) 5th Infantry Division. ARVN soldiers from this division boarded the transport aircraft and were airlifted to the Thanh Loi Rubber Plantation.

Shortly after 0900 hours, the flight of Hueys and their armed escorts flew to the plantation bringing in fresh ARVN troops. As the lead aircraft touched down and began to disembark its passengers, it came under heavy mortar and small arms fire.

As soon as all passengers were out of the Huey, 1st Lt. Hall pulled off and initiated a climbing turn while Sgt. Hagen and SSgt. Compa returned fire.

As the helicopter cleared some buildings it went into uncontrolled flight, dropped and crashed to the ground, then skidded into some parked vehicles at the edge of the airstrip and burst into flames.

Capt. Johnson established radio contact with a helicopter circling overhead and stated that all others on board were dead and his position was receiving incoming enemy mortar fire. The aircrew saw the mortars impact in the vicinity of Capt. Johnson before all radio contact ceased.

On 15 June 1965, a search and rescue/recovery (SAR) team was inserted into the Thanh Loi Rubber Plantation to search for survivors and recover the dead.

The team found no trace of the missing Americans or signs of fresh dug graves in or around the area. Villagers residing in the area were interviewed and they reported that the VC captured one American and carried off the bodies of the dead on the day of loss.

At the time the formal search operation was terminated, Bruce Johnson, was reported as Missing in Action while Joseph Compa, Robert Curlee, Craig Hagen, Walter Hall, Fred Owens and Donald Saegaert were declared Killed in Action and Body Not Recovered.



Family Members

Gravesite Details His Mother, sister and two brothers are all buried here..may have memorial headstone here..





  • Created by: Eddieb
  • Added: 15 Jul 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 93642411
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sgt Joseph James Compa, Jr (13 Jan 1931–10 Jun 1965), Find A Grave Memorial no. 93642411, citing Riverview Cemetery, East Liverpool, Columbiana County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Eddieb (contributor 46600350) .