• nutley
  • Essex
  • February 28, 1946
  • January 19, 1968
  • Army
  • RANK:
  • PFC
  • KIA
  • South Vietnam


Michael P. Halpin was born on February 28, 1946, in Newark, NJ, to Christopher and Mary Halpin. He had two brothers, John and Francis, and one sister, Kathleen. The family moved to Nutley, NJ, when Michael was 5. His home of record is Nutley. Michael attended St. Thomas the Apostle Grammar School in Bloomfield, NJ. "Murf", as he was called by friends, graduated from Nutley High School in 1965, where his interests included mathematics, pop records and all sports, especially baseball and football. Michael played little league baseball and was a member of the Nutley High Football Team. He was active in the Catholic Youth Organization. After high school, he worked for a trucking company before deciding to join the service. He also planned to marry his high school sweetheart, Carol Lucas of Nutley, after his service.

Halpin enlisted in the US Army in March 1967 and was assigned to 5th Infantry, 25th Division. He attained the rank of Private First Class (PFC).

He had a very nice personality and was very good-natured. Because of his stocky build and great strength, he was known as "Bear" to all his friends. He was able to make friends very easily and was chosen to play Santa Claus at Christmas for his platoon in the Army. He always loved to do things that made people happy.

On January 19, 1968, Halpin was engaged in a firefight against hostile forces when he was killed in action in Tay Nihn Province, South Vietnam. Halpin was awarded the Silver Star for acts of gallantry in combat.

Michael ended his life trying to help his buddies who were being fired upon by the enemy. That was the way he was all his life. He was always there to protect his friends and family, especially his brother, John.

His citation reads:
Private Halpin was on a road clearing operation when the armored column began receiving intense enemy small arms, automatic weapons and RPG2 rocket fire. Private Halpin was a member of a reactionary force of three armored personnel carriers and eight men that were deployed against the right flank of enemy positions. After making a quick evaluation of the situation he and two other individuals dismounted their APC and maneuvered toward enemy positions. As the three individuals maneuvered through the bullet riddled enemy kill zone they pinned down the Viet Cong force with their highly accurate fire. As they continued to close on the enemy emplacements Private Halpin fired on and killed one of the insurgents. As the first fight continued the men moved right into the enemy position, routing or killing all the Viet Cong. While in pursuit of the remaining insurgents, Private Halpin was mortally wounded by intense automatic fire. Due to Private Halpin's valorous actions the mission was successfully completed and the enemy force defeated. Private Halpin's personal bravery and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, the 25th Infantry Division and the United States Army.

Halpin was also awarded the Good Conduct Medal, the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Ribbon and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

Sources: Halpin (brother), Anthony Buccino (author of Nutley Sons Honor Roll) and NJVVMF.


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