THOMAS E VAN HOUTEN - PFC
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- February 15, 1947
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- January 24, 1967
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Thomas Van Houten was born on February 15,1947, to Bertha and John Van Houten. His home of record is Nutley, NJ. He had two brothers, John Jr., and Richard. Thomas attended Spring Garden and Nutley High Schools, graduated from Nutley High School in 1965. The family was a member of Vincent Methodist Church. Thomas worked at the Park ShopRite in Nutley. He was one of the best bowlers on the ShopRite team.
Van Houten entered the US Army on May 16, 1966. Thomas and brother, Richard, were drafted together and completed basic training at Fort Riley, KS, before advanced infantry training.
Richard and Thomas were both automatic riflemen with the 5th Battalion, 60th Infantry, Ninth Division. They were assigned to different platoons, but saw each other every day. Thomas was assigned to Company C where he attained the rank of Private First Class (PFC/E3).
In the fall of 1966, Thomas received orders for Vietnam. Richard was to have stayed behind in the States, but he didn't want to be separated from his brother and applied for special permission to be given a similar assignment.
On January 24, 1967, Van Houten was killed in action in South Vietnam when a mortar or grenade exploded near his foxhole in the Mekong Delta. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
Military funeral services were held at the Fulcoli Home. Interment was in Soldiers' Plot, Glendale Cemetery in Bloomfield.
Information provided by Anthony Buccino (author of Nutley Sons Honor Roll) and NJVVMF, Photo from VVMF.
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