Thomas Antone Cincotta

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
02 July 1950 - 28 June 1969
San Rafael, California
Panel 21W Line 027


Silver Star

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Thomas Antone Cincotta

30 May 2005


All of us in Company L, 3d Battalion, 9th Marines who were there with you on June 28, 1969, remember how you took the point to lead us against the NVA dug in on that unknown hill. That unselfish action, so typical of you, is remembered often by all.

A name etched into a Wall wouldn't mean much to many. It means everything to those who had the honor of serving with you. In losing you, we can only find comfort in knowing that God has embraced you in his loving arms.

We remember, Tommy.

From a fellow Marine.
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

20 Dec 2005


You will never be forgotten and your actions more than likely saved my life even though I and many others were wounded in the firefight. God bless you and your family. You are one of the true heroes.

A Marine buddy

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Beginning on 23 June 1968 the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines were under operational control of the 3rd Brigade, 5th (US) Infantry Division, participating in Operation UTAH MESA. 3/9's role in UTAH MESA was to conduct search and destroy operations from Kuong Hoa sweeping toward Lang Hole. The terrain was mountainous, covered equally with double-canopy jungle and open areas of 15' high elephant grass. Even worse, the area was home to the 4th and 6th Battalions of the 27th NVA Regiment.

On 28 June Lima Company 3/9 tripped across an apparent NVA base area. The engagement, which began in late morning, continued through the day. The 3/9 Operations Log contains several entries regarding the Lima 3/9 action; although rearranged in chronological order, the words below are as they appear in the log:

  • 281115 [11:15 AM, 28 June] - Co L at XD865322 made contact with est 10 NVA. Co L spotted NVA on hill and opened up with S/A and Auto weapons. NVA returned fire with S/A, RPG's, and ChiComs [grenades]. AO [Aerial Observer] on station. Called fixed wing.

  • At XD865324 L3 [3rd Plt, Co L] crossed a stream and noticed a hill with fresh steps in a trail leading to the top. L3 formed a platoon line and crawled to the top. As they reached the top the NVA opened fire. L3 dropped packs and attempted to move forward. They received heavy AK-47 and auto .50 cal and ChiComs. Air and Arty was called. AO was on station. AO used all his ordnance in support. At approx 1145 L2 was committed to the attack on the left and became engaged to their front.

  • 2nd platoon Co L was committed to help the 3rd platoon in contact. L2 started up hill to XD866824 and made immediate contact which intensified as they went up hill. L2 and L3 remained in contact. Due to closeness of action, 15-30 meters, could not use air on NVA, which were in heavily fortified bunkers, fighting holes, and connected by trench network. The above reported by AO.

  • At this time it became apparent that Co L was engaged on 2 separate hills ajoined by a ravine. Shortly after fixed wing was on station but could not be used due to close proximity of friendlies to the enemy (approx 30 meters). Although averted a disaster [sic] the enemy was well fortified and armed in mutually supporting positions.

  • Withdrew from area to consolidate maintaining pressure on area. 1 friendly KIA (not recovered). The 1 KIA could not be recovered as he lay in a cross fire between supporting bunkers. Three attempts were made to recover him resulting in one WIA who got a hand on the body. Area to be searched in AM after arty and air strikes. Friendly WIA 12, F/KIA 1, Enemy KIA 14, probable 12.
With night coming on Lima 3/9 withdrew several hundred yards and established a night position, planning to reenter the area on the morning of the 29th. The Operations Log contains an entry for that too:
  • "291030 - At XD865324 Co L recovered the body of their KIA of 28 June. Continuing assigned mission."
The dead Marine was Pfc Thomas A. Cincotta, the 2nd Platoon's point man. A fellow Marine from 3rd Plt recalls "There's no way of knowing how many Marines he saved by drawing fire off 3rd Platoon or who was saved by his sacrifice." Pfc Cincotta was awarded the Silver Star for his actions on the 28th.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a fellow Marine.
E-Mail may be forwarded via the
30 Jun 2005

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 12/21/2005