An American Town and the Vietnam War: Stories of Service from Stamford, Connecticut

An American Town and the Vietnam War: Stories of Service from Stamford, Connecticut

by Tony Pavia, Matt Pavia

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Overview

Hundreds of young Americans from the town of Stamford, Connecticut, fought in the Vietnam War. These men and women came from all corners of the town. They were white and black, poor and wealthy. Some had not finished high school; others had graduate degrees. They served as grunts and helicopter pilots, battlefield surgeons and nurses, combat engineers and mine sweepers. Greeted with indifference and sometimes hostility upon their return home, Stamford's veterans learned to suppress their memories in a nation fraught with political, economic and racial tensions. Now in their late 60s and 70s, these veterans have begun to tell their stories.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476674469
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 11/21/2018
Pages: 273
Product dimensions: 9.80(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Tony Pavia is a retired American history teacher and the former principal of Stamford High School, Trinity Catholic High School, and New Canaan High School. He lives in Naples, Florida. Matt Pavia teaches English and American studies at Darien (Connecticut) High School. He lives in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Stamford, Connecticut, at the Start of the War 2

About the Interviews 5

Stamford’s Sacrifices 7

The Lives of the Fallen: Alfons Bankowski 9

One • 1964–1965: The War Hits Home 13

The Lives of the Fallen: Richard E. Broadhurst 16

Woody Broadhurst, Jr. 17

Anthony DiGiacomo 19

Diane DiGiacomo 24

The Lives of the Fallen: William B. Mitchell 27

The Lives of the Fallen: Norman J.G. Spenard 29

Mike Harding 30

Two • 1966: Guns and Butter 33

Ralph Del Vecchio 36

The Lives of the Fallen: Stuart M. Andrews 41

Alan Weisel 42

The Lives of the Fallen: William B. Nickerson 46

Bill Ferri 48

The Lives of the Fallen: Kent E. Gandy 51

Frank LiVolsi 52

The Lives of the Fallen: James A. Branson 56

Chris Munger 57

The Lives of the Fallen: Alfred A. Kaspaul 59

Three • 1967: The War Escalates 62

The Lives of the Fallen: Richard Rich 64

A Letter from the President 65

The Brothers Five 66

Donald Hunter 68

Larry Hunter 71

Lenny Hunter 72

The Rotary Club Surprise 75

The Lives of the Fallen: Duncan H. Fleming 76

Bob Doyle 77

The Lives of the Fallen: Fergus F. Connors, Jr. 80

Lt. Barbara Kesckes Pitkin and the Army Nurse Corps 82

The Lives of the Fallen: Robert K. Dwyer 83

James Sparrow 84

The Lives of the Fallen: Roger R. Cauthern 89

Wayne “Nubby” Garner 90

The Lives of the Fallen: Charles D. Kerr 93

Four • 1968: The Turning Point 95

Dan Doyle 97

The Lives of the Fallen: Charles E. Richards 102

Stewart Sprouse 103

The Lives of the Fallen: Eugene L. Manselle III 107

Frank Passero 109

Dennis Clayburn 112

Jackie Robinson, Jr.’s Long Road Home 114

Alan Sosnowitz 117

The Lives of the Fallen: Thomas R. Morris 120

Richard Prowse 121

The Lives of the Fallen: Kurt K. Jobst 127

Peter Samperi 128

The Lives of the Fallen: John P. Pellegrino 132

Douglas Baker 134

The Lives of the Fallen: Andrew D. Chowka 138

Rita Miller 139

Five • 1969: The Peak 143

The Lives of the Fallen: Jerold J. Shelton 146

Frank Ambruso 147

The Lives of the Fallen: Ronald L. France 152

Harvey Melzer 153

The Lives of the Fallen: Willie C. Davis 155

Daniel Burke 157

The Lives of the Fallen: Isaac Sapp 161

Stamford Man Refuses Induction 163

Charles W. Coleman, Jr. 164

The Lives of the Fallen: Douglas A. Arcano 169

Francis Cuddy and the Silver Star 170

Dennis Doshna 171

Moratorium 1969 173

Six • 1970–1972: “Vietnamization” 175

Greg Sigler 182

James Tessitore 186

The Lives of the Fallen: James J. Pastore, Jr. 190

William Forker 192

The Lives of the Fallen: Michael J. Vagnone 195

Dom Plateroti 196

The Lives of the Fallen: Robert J. Kiser 200

John Michaelson 201

The Flag Case of 1971 205

Richard Keeshan 206

Seven • Coming Home 211

Bill Ferri 211

Ralph Del Vecchio 212

Lenny Hunter 212

Richard Prowse 213

Frank LiVolsi 213

Jimmy Sparrow 214

Dan Burke 214

Alan Sosnowitz 214

Charlie Coleman 215

Donald Hunter 215

Doug Baker 215

Greg Sigler 216

James Tessitore 217

Frank Ambruso 217

John Michaelson 218

Richard Keeshan 218

Dom Plateroti 219

Dennis Clayburn 219

Dan Doyle 219

Stewart Sprouse 220

William Forker 220

Peter Samperi 221

Anthony DiGiacomo 221

Wayne “Nubby” Garner 221

Eight • 1973–1975: The End 223

A Ray of Light 226

Rita Romano 227

Paul and Maria Nakian 230

Chris Nakian 233

“I died in Vietnam and didn’t know it”: Paul Reutershan and the Legacy of Agent Orange 235

Rita Hornlein Ratti 236

The Trial of Roger Ligon 239

The Many Mysteries of Richard Flaherty 240

From Stamford to Saigon: Roy Nirschel 242

Stamford at the End of the War 244

Epilogue: Shattering the Myth 247

Postscript: Memorial Day 2016 251

Chapter Notes and Sources 253

Index 259

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