William James Papa

Army of the United States
01 September 1945 - 05 May 1968
Garfield Heights, Ohio
Panel 55E Line 026


Bronze Star, Purple Heart (2 awards), National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
William J Papa

The database page for William James Papa


Ussleman and Billy at LZ English, 11/67

Billy at LZ Poly 11/67

Left to right:
Back row - Savarese and Longabardi
Front row - Bill and Ussleman.

Sergeant Young and Bill
Bong Son, November 1967

08 Oct 2003

Bill was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 1, 1945. He is the second of three children born to Salvatore and Teresa Papa. He has two sisters: Mary Rose and Josephine.

Bill attended St. Joseph School which was located on Woodland Avenue in Cleveland. From there, he went on to Benedictine High School for two years, later transferring to Garfield Heights High School. He graduated in 1963.

He enrolled at Cuyahoga Community College and became active in Sigma Phi Psi fraternity. It was here that he met his soul mate in 1965.

He volunteered through the draft in 1967 so he could get on with his plans for the rest of his life. When his service was finished his plans were to get married, have lots of children, a house, a good job.......

Bill was a good hearted, confident, wise, quiet, serious minded person, with such a gentle, teasing nature and an admirable sense of honor. He was always optimistic.

His humor was subtle, but right to the point. He loved deeply, doted on his nieces: Sharon and Lesley, adored his sisters and was a true and loyal friend to many.

How sad it is that he is not here today.

His final resting place is Calvary Cemetery in Cleveland.

Remembering a beautiful person who entered the army to "get it over" in order to "get on with his life". He did just that on May 5, 1968. His presence on this earth is greatly missed by all who loved him, who called him brother, friend, uncle, nephew, and sweetheart.


21 Aug 2004

"God sends each person into this world with a special message to deliver, with a special song to sing for others, and with a special act of love to bestow. No one else can speak your message, sing your song, or offer your gift of love."

I consider myself so very gifted to know my twin soul. I think of you often and can still see the twinkle in your eye! I am so grateful that you are still trying to protect me.

Happy Birthday


13 Oct 2003

Bill Papa

The photo above was taken at a fraternity New Year's Eve party December 31, 1965. The circled couple is Bill Papa and his date Mary Jo Larca ... they were engaged to marry in August 1968 when he was scheduled to return from Viet Nam.

From a fraternity Brother,
Bill Tomsick

10 Mar 2006

I have a NEW page dedicated to Bill and other friends who were lost in Viet Nam at

Greg Fisher, Bill Papa, Chuck Heydorn, Terry Kilbane
We miss you ALL.

From a friend,
Bill Tomsick

05 May 2007

Bill Papa

Gone 39 years ago today

We think of you every day Bill

Bill Tomsick

04 May 2008

Bill Papa
Terry Kilbane
Greg Fisher
Fred Vacha
We will never forget YOU

Bill, you have been gone for 40 years tomorrow. I have thought about you EVERY DAY - Protect and help us who are left behind to mourn.

From a fraternity brother,
Bill Tomsick
3470 Hitzing Ave, Ft Myers, Fl 33903

13 Mar 2006

Thank you for a job well done. Viet Nam still saddens me after all these years with a tinge of guilt when I see the names on the Wall because by the grace of God and a little luck I came back. There must be a reason or explanation for all this heartache each time Viet Nam creeps back into the recesses of my brain but as it happens each time I cannot cypher the content of this enormous loss. It is a search for a puzzle that apparently I will never solve.

With deepest affection for your loss,
William Carmack

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 8 Oct 2003
Last updated 08/10/2009