Bruce Francis Anello

Army of the United States
24 August 1947 - 31 May 1968
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Panel 62W Line 004


Silver Star

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Bruce Francis Anello

30 Nov 2002

Bruce F Anello

The photo and following article are taken from The Philadelphia Daily News, special supplement entitled 'SIX HUNDRED AND THIRTY,' October 26, 1987. The special supplement was issued in conjunction with the dedication of the Philadelphia Viet Nam Memorial.

"Buddy" Anello was a combat-seasoned team leader with Company D of the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division [sic], but he was a poet first and foremost. The 1965 graduate of Milton Hersey School in Hershey, PA, was interested in wrestling and music, and after graduation worked for a year with Philadelphia Electric Company. Anello was drafted in October 1966 and sent to Viet Nam. He wrote home often, and his bitter-sweet poetry and prose reflected his deep feelings about the war. He wrote a long Poem during the 1967 Christmas truce which included the lines:
I gaze on glistening spider webs that decorate my tree,
And instead of balls and blinking lights,
Scars from bombs are what I see.
Anello went on R&R in Taiwan in early 1968, later confiding to a friend about three identical dreams he experienced during the three nights he vacationed there. "In the dream, Buddy said, he was walking up a long hill," the friend recalled. "There was thick elephant grass. "I was trying to walk out of Viet Nam,' Buddy said. 'I kept walking and I couldn't get out. I knew I'd be in Viet Nam the rest of my life.'" The 20-year-old sergeant died in a firefight with a Viet Cong unit near Hoi An, Quang Nam Province, on May 31, 1968. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star. Survivors included his father and three brothers.

From a native Philadelphian and Marine,
Jim McIlhenney

27 Mar 2005

I was there with Anello. I got wounded and sent home right before he died. He was our wild and crazy sergent. On a road sweep out of Baldy one day, he "borrowed" a motor bike from a South Vietnamese youth and rode around for 5 minutes and gave it back to the nervous kid. One day on Highway One, during a terrible battle with a sapper outfit, Bruce lost his little square sunglasses and we all had to go back and look for them, a whole squad.

He was a brave guy and I heard how he got hit, he was watching a helpless guy getting shot up by a sniper and Bruce sat there a while, just got up and ran after the wounded, getting killed in the process. We remember Bruce, we never see bravery like that back here in the states. It's only where the battles are, where our kids (and me once) are expected to do what's right, do our jobs and secure liberty for the peasants we go to protect so democracy can be theirs also. It seems that there is a lot of hurt and crying that goes on in the meantime. Bruce was a hero and if I was there that day, I would have been sad, but I never would have tried to stop Bruce. He was a great man.

From a fellow soldier with Bruce in D Company,
Sam J. Maggio

28 Mar 2005

Anello's Rifle

He was known as a Gung-ho guy.
He would laugh in the face of danger.
We'd just left the Que Son Valley - Valley of Living Death
80% casualties and he'd made it through.
Yesterday we'd gotten 15 replacements.
A few hours later we loaded them all onto a Medevac.
That evening I took rear guard, Anello and Cowell took point.
Cowell got hit in the chest and dropped back against his rucksack in an upright position.
The NVA began using him for target practice.
Anello calmly anticipated while chewing on crackers.
All the time he knew what a man's gotta do.
Lunging, he took one in the head.
But the story of that brave soldier was far from over.
Nearing midnight while on point, I ran into another firefight.
My M-16 jammed and I was given my last rites when Anello's rifle was thrust into my hands.
Gung-ho Anello saved my life that night but the darnedest thing was
He'd already bought the farm.

Sgt. Fred Leo Brown

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The two men killed in the incident described above were Sergeant Anello and PFC James E. Cowell of Chester, Illinois.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a native Philadelphian and Viet Nam Veteran,
Jim McIlhenney
30 Nov 2002

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 04/03/2005