JAMES   LOSPINUSO

JAMES LOSPINUSO - SSGT

  • HOMETOWN:
  • brick
  • COUNTY:
  • Ocean
  • DATE OF BIRTH:
  • August 01, 1940
  • DATE OF CASUALTY:
  • January 10, 1972
  • BRANCH OF SERVICE:
  • Army
  • RANK:
  • SSGT
  • STATUS:
  • KIA
  • COUNTRY:
  • South Vietnam

Biography


James Lospinuso was born on August 1, 1940, in Manhattan, NY, to a third generation Italian/American family. His home of record is Brick, NJ. He had 12 brothers and sisters. He attended Central Islip High School on Long Island, where he was an outgoing leader. He enjoyed baseball. James played the guitar and the bugle.

James' family migrated to Brick, NJ, and that became home for James. His home of record is Brick, NJ. He was a devoted family man, both to his German bride and two children, and his huge Italian/American family. Growing up, James played baseball with the neighborhood boys. He became a star and was responsible for organizing inner town teams. He was a born leader. I have pleasant memories of James waking up our neighborhood playing revelry or taps on his bugle just before dawn. James could never focus on school and wanted to fast track to the next adventure in his life. He was a bit of a hellion and gave the teachers a run for their money. He had personality and good looks. He was popular with all the girls. James would serenade them with his guitar playing. He was small in stature, but a giant in his family's eyes.

I was one of those guys that Jimmie hung with when we were on Halley Lane CI [Central Islip, NY]. We played baseball from dawn till dusk on the "Bullfield." One summer day we all biked to wells to cool off--wells was a local swim hole in Hauppauge, NY--I was trying to swim across when I [became] tired and tried to rest on a fallen tree--The tree was slick and I went under. As I came up for a breath I saw Jimmie swimming toward me--I was in trouble and he pulled me out--I believe to this day that he saved my life--I was devastated when I heard the news of his passing--So young--I am 63 years old today and credit Jim for these past 50 years. This old Navy veteran salutes you my Friend.
-Written by Don (Donnie) Harkins of Halley Lane Central Islip New York

Lospinuso entered the US Army on February 12, 1962. Coming from that large Italian/American family where most of the men were devoted to the US Army, James followed tradition and the Army became his life. He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSGT). He was a proud career soldier. He was assigned in Germany where he met his wife, Hannelore. They had two children, Jurgen and Yvonne.

Lospinuso did his first tour of duty in Vietnam from August 1966 to August 1967. He was so moved by the impact of actual war and the devastation it had on the people, it was not uncommon for James to write home asking for clothing and care packages for the poor village people he came in contact with. His heart was larger than his body. James re-enlisted upon his completion of his obligation to the US Army and volunteered for a second tour of duty in Vietnam in May 1971. At that time he was assigned to E Company, 20th Infantry Transportation, 4th Command. James had only 3 1/3 months remaining in Vietnam before he was killed on January 10, 1972.

Lospinuso was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Lospinuso earned many medals during his career. These include: the Bronze Star, the Good Conduct Medal w/3 Bronze loops, the Vietnam Service Medal, the National Defense Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge and the Expert Rifleman Badge.

Lospinuso's Bronze Star citation reads:
For distinguishing himself by outstanding meritorious service in connection with ground operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam during the period August 1971 to January 1972. Through his untiring efforts and professional ability, he consistently obtained outstanding results. He was quick to grasp the implications of new problems with which he was faced as a result of the ever-changing situations inherent in a counterinsurgency operation and to find ways and means to solve those problems. The energetic application of his extensive knowledge has materially contributed to the efforts of the United States mission to the Republic of Vietnam to assist that country in ridding itself of the communist threat to its freedom. His initiative, zeal, sound judgment and devotion to duty have been in the highest tradition of the United States Army and reflect great credit to himself, his unit and the military service.

Sources: Cheryl Lospinuso Brown (sister), Veteran Don Harkins, and NJVVMF.

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