JOSEPH S LA FASO - SP4
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- January 07, 1942
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- November 17, 1965
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Joseph Stephen La Faso was born on January 7, 1942, to Steven and Bernice La Faso and graduated from Garfield High School in 1960. He was a member of the school varsity baseball team (pitcher) and was named “outstanding player” the year he graduated. He had been drafted by the Yankees and was scheduled to play for them after returning from Vietnam. Joey was a mailman in Englewood, NJ before being drafted. He was engaged to Elaine Tedesco from Lodi. Joe went through 'basic' training in Fort Dix, N.J., then 'advanced' infantry training in Fort Devens, Mass. Soon after, they started to deploy troops to 'Nam'. Joey was a United States Army Specialist 4th Rank and served with Company C, Second Battalion, Seventh Cavalry, First Cavalry Division (Airborne) and was killed in action on November 17, 1965 during the Battle of Ia Drang, also known as “The Valley of Death”. He was one of the 234 young Americans who died in three days of fighting in LZ-Xray & Albany during November 1965. A friend of his, Nick de Gregory Sr., also in the Army, rented an apartment next door to Joseph’s parents and was there the day the Army came with the news of Joseph’s death.
His mother wrote to President Johnson requesting that her son be released from overseas duty and return home as she was in poor health. Unfortunately, the President said her son had to submit the request. He refused to do so, believing he was serving his country.
A requiem mass for La Faso was held at Our Lady of Mount Virgin Roman Catholic Church in Garfield. He is buried at St. Nicholas Cemetery, Lodi, NJ.
Information provided by Len Monesteri (cousin),Marie Sneddon (cousin), newspaper clippings and NJVVMF.
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