DANTE VOLPONE - PFC
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- March 03, 1947
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- July 23, 1967
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Dante Volpone was born on March 3, 1947. His home of record is Newark, NJ. He attended St. Peter's Elementary School and Barringer High School.
Volpone served in the US Army as a member of the 4th Infantry Division, 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment. He attained the rank of Private First Class (PFC).
While stationed in Vietnam, he was assigned to a fire support base near Plei Ya Bo, in the Kontum Province. Volpone was a member of C Company, which held a position west of the fire support base. C Company platoons routinely conducted reconnaissance and search and destroy operations.
While on patrol on the morning of July 23, 1967, C Company's 3rd platoon became surrounded and was ambushed with intensive small arms and mortar fire. Later, C Company's 1st and 2nd platoons would also come under attack. B Company, itself performing a reconnaissance and search and destroy operation, proceeded towards C Company position and both units resisted assault against the C Company command post. B Company initiated an immediate counter-attack to the south and southwest of C Company's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd platoons. A Company, initially assigned to protect the fire support base, was airlifted into the area and joined the battle. Artillery fire and air support were also employed to assist the ground troops. The enemy was finally repelled and retreated after approximately five hours of battle. It was later determined that as many as 1200 men from the 4th, 5th and 6th Battalions of the 32nd NVA Regiment participated in the attacks on the 3rd Battalion companies.
The Combat Operation After Action Report states that 19 Americans, including Volpone, died and 53 others were wounded in the fight. At least 184 of the enemy were killed during the "Battle of Three Trees". The title, "Battle of Three Trees", is attributed to a chapter in a book, The War of the Innocents, written by Charles B. Flood. At the time, Mr. Flood was a war correspondent who covered the activities of the 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry and was present during the action which took place on July 23, 1967.
Volpone was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart. He was survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Carmine Volpone.
Dante Volpone was the guy in my neighborhood who I looked up to and I wanted to be like. Although two years younger, I realized Dante was smart, reserved and poised although the neighborhood was hardscrabble and tough at times. Dante was calm, cool and reserved. He and most of the guys in the neighborhood went to Barringer High School. I was lucky enough to go to Essex Catholic High School and find a world different than the young men who got drafted, and sacrificed their lives for the politicians who directed our fortunes.
I'll never forget sitting at home in 1967, sitting on the floor, in front of the TV watching the Friday Honor Roll of those from the tri-state area who were killed that week in Vietnam. As the scroll went by, there was Dante's name. My dad who knew Dante, and served in WWII, looked at me and said "Whatever you do, don't go."
Dante was the first of the Newark and Belleville guys I grew up with and went to St. Peter's Elementary School with that was killed in Vietnam. The others were Walter Queen, Gerald Brown, and Carl Mickens. Walter was an Eagle Scout I met at Camp Mochican. Gerry was a state champion fencer at Essex Catholic, and Carl was a fencer and fraternity brother at Montclair State College. Interesting isn't it that they were all working class kids from NJ's urban neighborhoods.
Written by Dave Bryer, Friend
Sources: George De Luca (cousin), Dave Bryer (friend) and NJVVMF.
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