Dennis Eugene Benedetti

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
10 February 1945 - 01 December 1966
Detroit, Michigan
Panel 12E Line 131

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Dennis Eugene Benedetti

12 Feb 2001

I never had the chance to meet my Uncle, he was killed 3 years before my birth. I only knew of him through stories and old pictures. He was my father's brother. There were four boys in their family, Uncle Denny was the second oldest. He chose to sign up for the Army on the "buddy system" with his friend, Jasper. They knew they would eventually have been drafted, this way they were able to be together.

To this date, I can still see the pain in my Father's and my Uncle's eyes whenever he is spoken of or whenever watching a movie about the war, trying to imagine what it must have been like for him. Did he suffer?

There were many letters that my Uncle Denny wrote while in basic training and also from Nam. And thankfully there were numerous letters from my Uncle's friends who had served with him, most of whom never knew my Dad, explaining the very heroic but very tragic death of his brother. The letters helped a lot and my parents were very grateful. Then in 1992 Jasper (I believe) made my father aware of a book written by S.L.A. Marshall titled "Bird" and in that book (on pages 156 to 158) it describes the happenings of that day, December 1, 1966, that led to his death. That along with the memoirs of his buddy, Jasper, helped paint the grim picture in all our minds. My father gave me a copy of both with a note stating:

"To Denni,

My darling daughter, this book is to
help keep alive the memory of the man
you never had a chance to know and love.

With love,

I cherish these items, and look forward to passing on the memories (good and bad) with my three children so, as my father puts it, we can keep the memory alive!

There are many memorials at my parents' house such as a minature of the statue of the Three Soldiers at "The Wall", a beautiful picture of a sobbing vet with his hand on the Wall and images of his fallen comrades staring back at him, and numerous videos documenting this tragedy of a war. And as you read above the greatest memorial they have is in me. I am asked very often how I got my unusual name (for a girl) and I respond, with pride, that I was named after my Uncle who was killed in Viet Nam. Some people respond with an awkward "Oh", some apologize for my loss, but most say that it is very nice.

I am very grateful to the many people who it must have taken to put this website together. A friend of mine e-mailed me this morning telling me about it. She said she looked his name up and then went to see if there were any memorials for him and there wasn't. That saddened me and I felt guilty because I reallly hadn't thought about him in a while. So I felt compelled to write this in honor of him and his bravery. I am not sure if it is Divine Intervention, I like to think so, but it wasn't until I looked up his name that it had occured to me that it was his birthday yesterday, Febuary 10th, he would have been 56 years old.


A Note from The Virtual Wall

Bravo Company, 5/7th Cavalry, lost six men on 01 Dec 1966 when they came across an entrenched enemy force while advancing through densely covered terrain. During the ensuing fight, PFC Lewis Albanese single-handedly cleared a number of enemy positions before running out of ammunition, then killed two more enemy troops in hand-to-hand combat before he himself was killed by rifle fire.
  • SP4 Dennis E. Benedetti, Detroit, MI
  • SP4 Xavier Fernandez, Los Angeles, CA
  • SP4 Walter D. Leach, Yakima, WA
  • PFC Lewis Albanese, Seattle, WA (Medal of Honor)
  • PFC Robert E. Butler, Utica, NY
  • PFC Stephen W. Day, Hygiene, CO

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his niece,
Denni Benedetti Tengler

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MI State Index . Panel 12E

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 12 Feb 2001
Last updated 11/12/2007