Joseph John Pinto

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
10 January 1951 - 26 August 1969
Chicago, Illinois
Panel 19W Line 121


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Joseph John Pinto

02 Jul 2004

Joe, the last time I saw you was at graduation from St. Rita Catholic School in June, 1965. I remember your smile, and how my heart beat extra fast whenever I saw you! You walked me part-way to school many mornings, even though it was "out of your way".

I read the notice of your death in the local paper a few days before leaving for college, September of 1969. I was stunned, saddened, and a part of me died, too. I often wondered about you, and your death at such a young age. Then, in 1999, I had an opportunity to see the "Traveling Wall" here in Fort Lauderdale. My family was with me, my husband who had also served in Vietnam, and 2 of my 3 children. We found your name, and I could not stop crying . . . the tears just came and came.

Although I am earthbody and you are spiritbody, we continue to walk together. I feel your presence each and every day. Joe, you are still loved, and are still mourned.

From a friend,
Irene Nowak Lathrop

21 Jul 2005

From the dawn of your birth
To the sunset of your death
I honor you.

From the missions you completed
To your duties left undone
I honor you.

From the seasons of your being
Through the cycle of your life
I honor you.

From your time beyond the veil
'Til your earth entrance back again
May the angels support you
May my healing love reach you
From this moment until the end of time.

10 Jan 2006

Happy Birthday, Joseph. Today you are 55 years old.
The candle is lit, the prayers are said . . .


26 Aug 2006

I wrote your name on a piece of paper, but by accident threw it away.
I wrote your name on my hand, but washed it away.
I wrote your name on the sand, but the waves whispered it away.
I wrote your name in my heart, and forever it will stay.

Joe, my heart still aches.


From a friend,
Irene Nowak Lathrop
818 NW 10th Avenue, Dania, Florida 33004
E-mail address is not available.
25 Sep 2004

Photos courtesy of
Sharon Bragen

20 Oct 2004

Did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind?
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined?
Although you died back in 1916
In that faithful heart, are you forever nineteen?
Or are you a stranger, without even a name?
Enclosed then forever, behind the glass frame
In an old photograph; torn, battered and stained
And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame.
"William McBride" aka "Green Fields of France"
by Eric Bogle

From a friend,
Sharon Geisler Bragen

A Note from The Virtual Wall

In the middle of August 1969 the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines moved from Danang to Hiep Duc Valley (known as "Happy Valley") in Que Son District, Quang Nam Province, to join in the search for a North Vietnamese regimental headquarters. The NVA were there, occupying the mountains bordering the valley, and made their presence known by mortaring the 2/7 command post at FSB ROSS on a daily basis between 20 and 24 August. During the period 21-25 Aug the Marines conducted sweeps of the valley and the hillsides with sporadic contacts, but on the 25th and 26th they came across an estimated two regiments of NVA troops, well dug in and prepared to fight. As additional Marines and soldiers from the Army's 196th Infantry Brigade converged on the area of contact the NVA slowly withdrew further into the mountains, ending another inconclusive fight.

Twenty-two Marines and one sailor died in the fighting which took place between 23 and 26 August:

  • E Company:
  • F Company:
    • Sgt Earnest Allen, Houston, TX
    • LCpl Edward R. Grusczynski, Denmark, WI
    • LCpl Herbert C. Heintz, Portland, OR
    • Pfc Michael G. McGill, Pittsburgh, PA
    • Pfc Alfred D. Ruth, Alexandria, LA
    • LCpl Robert A. Ryan, Philadelphia, PA
    • Pfc James R. Shipman, Syracuse, NY

  • G Company:
  • H Company:
    • LCpl Allen L. Hites, Toledo, OH
    • Pfc Michael J. Lawrence, Maplewood, NJ (Silver Star)
    • HN Donald W. Parmley, West Point, MS (Corpsman, H&S w/ Hotel 2/7)
    • LCpl Gerald J. Rossow, La Crosse, WI
    • LCpl John J. Schmidt, Pocahontas, AR
    • Pfc James Stingley, Durant, MS

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 2 Jul 2004
Last updated 08/10/2009