John Anthony Penna

United States Marine Corps
01 December 1945 - 15 June 1967
New York, New York
Panel 21E Line 108


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for John Anthony Penna

29 Feb 2008

John, left, and Dominick


I am his cousin Dominick. We served together. He was like a big brother. He always called me "junior Flip". John is a true Marine. He always performed his job with enthusiasm. John would always give you the shirt off his back.

He was the father of John who was 17 months old and a loving husband to Teri. He is now grandfather to Nick, John and Stephanie and will be a great-grandfather in August 2008.

We all miss him greatly!!

The Penna family,
Teri, John, John Jr. Nicky, Stephanie and cousin Dominick

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Corporal John Penna died of wounds on 15 June 1967. The date he was wounded is not known with certainty.

The 7th Motor Trans Bn's Command Chronology for June 1967 does not identify Corporal Penna by name but it does contain two entries which seem to apply to him. The first entry says

"19 June - Memorial services were conducted at 7th Motor Transport Battalion for one member of the battalion who died as a result of of wounds received while on a convoy from Chu Lai to Quang Ngai."
The second entry is a spot report which (when translated) says
"At 8:15 AM on 6 June at grid BS564993 an M-54 truck in convoy ran over and detonated one mine. Mine presumed to be pressure type. M-54 severely damaged. No small arms or automatic fire received. Two men were killed and 4 wounded. Medevac was called and received. Army unit proceeded to probe area for more mines."
Grid coordinates BS564993 fall on Highway QL-1 south of Chu Lai and about 7 kilometers northwest of Binh Son. Highway QL-1 is the coastal highway between Chu Lai and Quang Ngai City.

These two entries lead The Virtual Wall to believe that Corporal Penna was one of the four men wounded in the 06 June mine incident. The spot report says two men were killed in the incident, and indeed two US Army soldiers died in Quang Ngai Province on 06 June - one is coded for an "explosive device", the other for "fragmentation wounds". The Virtual Wall therefore believes that three deaths resulted from the mine strike:

  • SP4 Willie L. Page, Buffalo, NY, G Trp, 2nd Sqdn, 11th Armored Cavalry
  • Cpl John A. Penna, New York, NY, A Co, 7th MT Bn (DoW 06/15/1967)
  • SP4 Billy L. Tobias, Houston, TX, C Trp, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cavalry

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 29 Feb 2008
Last updated 08/10/2009