Lorenzo Joseph Ioanni

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
20 February 1943 - 27 January 1968
Memphis, New York
Panel 35E Line 047


Lorenzo J. Ioanni

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Lorenzo Joseph Ioanni

22 May 2001

This brave Marine was born in Italy. He came to America when he was about 9 years old. The two proudest moments in his life were when he became an American Citizen and when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps to defend the country he loved and the rights of others to freedom.

Joy (left), Lorenzo (center) I was 7 and he was 9 when this photo was taken (and I still have that doll). He, the other little girl, and I were like the "terrible trio." He and I were terribly competitive. I was jealous because it seemed he could do everything better than me. He could run faster, swim farther, ride his bike faster, climb higher ... Poor kid, he was trying to impress me and I was such a brat. One time I put my arm through a window at a friend's house (French door; I was pounding and missed the wood). I severed an artery and had to have 12 stitches. I was quite the celebrity ... briefly. Not a week later he was running after someone when they ran into a grocery store and closed the door quickly and he ran right through a plate-glass window because he couldn't stop in time. He had 102 stitches and I was livid that he had outdone me again and stolen my star status. How we laughed about it years later.

He was a kind, gentle, generous human being. He was my friend since childhood and one of the truest and most loyal I've ever known. I am filled with pride that he called me "friend."

"Sleep sweet prince," for you are not forgotten.

All my love, and
All my heart, for
All my life -


28 Feb 2005

Lorenzo was born in Italy in 1943 in town called Venosa (Potenza) in the south of Italy.

His mother was a widow and he had five brothers and sisters. His family was very poor and his mother was convinced by a Catholic organization (Pontificia Opera Apostolica) to send him to the United States to study and to get a better future.

His mother saw him for the last time in 1952. She died recently without any further news from him but with the strong desire to know something about her beloved son.

On February 21st 2005, Lorenzo's brothers and sisters were in an Italian TV show called "Chi l'ha visto" (broadcast on National Italian TV). This TV show looks for missing people and they were looking for some news about their brother Lorenzo.

This is the URL for Lorenzo's report.

On February 28th 2005, the TV show will tell Lorenzo's story and also show this page on television.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.
Requiescant in pace.

Alessandro Gentilini
E-mail address is not available.

28 Feb 2005


lucano fiero di esserlo,
Luca Terranova

15 Mar 2005

A victim of human stupidity.
He died near me...
On his soul there was nothing of the soldier.
He beloved the life, the love and respected the others.
But some other had decided to give him an immature life.

From a friend and companion,
Frank Alexander Rispoli
Crandon, Wisconsin

11 Apr 2005

Lorenzo was killed while participating in a frontal assault on a well entrenched NVA force on the morning of January 27th, 1968. He was to my immediate left, no more than twenty feet away, when he was hit. He died fighting.

From a friend,
Paul J. Harris

A Note from The Virtual Wall

In mid-January 1968 the North Vietnamese Army moved elements of the 320th NVA Division into the area south of the DMZ, apparently in preparation for the Tet Offensive. On 24 Jan 1968 the 64th NVA Regiment ambushed a truck convoy moving west from Dong Ha toward Camp Carroll on Route 9. The Marines at Camp Carroll launched a reaction force consisting of two tanks, two M42 "Dusters", and an infantry platoon from Hotel 2/9 Marines. The reaction force itself was hit by the 64th NVA Regiment with five deaths:
  • Capt Daniel W. Kent, Auburndale, MA, Bravo 3rd Tanks
  • Cpl John H. Neal, Jersey City, NJ, Hotel 2/9
  • CPL Billy L. Strickland, Hendersonville, NC, C Btry 1/44th Arty (US Army)
  • Pfc Gilbert Ayala, Fresno, CA, 3rd Plt, Hotel 2/9
  • Pfc Clayton M. Holland, Altoona, PA, Hotel 2/9
The Commanding General, 3rd Marine Division, directed that the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, be sent to the area with orders to clear the ambush site and reopen Route 9. LtCol Lee Bendell, 3/4 commanding officer, and Mike Company 3/4 arrived at the ambush site at 1900. With darkness falling the colonel placed Mike 3/4 into a nighttime defensive perimeter along a ridgeline overlooking Route 9 and the Cam Lo River valley. At dawn on 25 Jan Mike Company moved into the valley, sweeping the site of the ambush. Initial contacts with the NVA resulted in three Marines killed in action against nine known enemy dead:
  • Cpl Arthur J. Klabunde, Omaha, NE
  • LCpl Johnny R. Mills, Matoaka, WV
  • Pfc Peter G. Nash, Monson, MA
As Mike Company moved against the enemy, most of H&S Company, India Company, and Lima Company 3/4 were brought into the valley by helicopter. By nightfall some 800 Marines were in place, anchored by the Mike Company position on a small hill. NVA mortar and artillery fire wounded 17 Marines, but the enemy did not attack the Marines' night defensive positions. The sweep continued on 26 January, with limited contacts resulting in a number of dead NVA with no Marine losses.

After nightfall, LtCol Bendell redeployed his Marines, with Mike 3/4 on what was now known as "Mike's Hill", India 3/4 on a hill about one kilometer west, and Lima 3/4 on a higher hill to the south. At about 0300 27 Jan NVA troops assaulted Mike's Hill from three sides. As dawn approached, the attack produced a confused melee on the hilltop. LtCol Bendell directed Lima 3/4 to attack the NVA from their position to the south and India 3/4 to move from the west toward Mike's Hill. India and Lima both encountered stiff resistance but managed to link up and by 1400 had broken into the NVA defensive positions. By 1700 the NVA force, estimated to be in battalion strength, had been forced from the field of battle.

The fight for control of Route 9 had been costly to both sides. Over 130 NVA dead and large quantities of enemy weapons were policed from the field, but the 3/4 Marines lost at least 20 men in the fighting:

  • H&S Company:
    • Cpl David D. Flanagan, Lincoln, NE
    • HN Keith R. Bacorn, Warren, OH
    • HN Ralph D. Wheeler, Trafford, PA (with India 3/4)
    • Pfc Donald L. Hunter, Salem, NJ

  • India Company:
    • Capt John L. Prichard, Oklahoma City, OK (Silver Star)
    • GySgt Micheal A. Mikitis, Lakewood, OH
    • LCpl Paul Christmas, Newark, NJ
    • Cpl Lester M. Ness, York, PA
    • Pfc Thomas K. Coleman, Big Chimney, WV
    • Pfc Emmitt Galloway, New York, NY
    • Pfc Lorenzo J. Ioanni, Memphis, NY
    • Pfc Christian A. Langenfeld, Oshkosh, WI

  • Lima Company:
    • Cpl William D. Hart, Philadelphia, PA
    • Pfc James M. Buck, Chandler, OK

  • Mike Company:
    • 2ndLt John R. Burns, St Louis, MO (Silver Star)
    • Cpl Christopher J. Toppi, South Portland, ME
    • Cpl Kurt F. Zimmerman, Durand, IL
    • LCpl Daniel Escobedo, Fremont, CA
    • Pfc William E. Donohue, Buffalo, NY
    • Pfc Thomas J. Pennington, Scott City, MO

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009