Joseph William Barillo
Five men were killed at Con Thein on 6 July 1967 during Operation Buffalo, a battle that occured immediately to the north of the hill being defended. Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, had moved into the perimeter defense on 1 July after two days of hard fighting just north of the hill near the DMZ. Bravo Company, 1/9 Marines relieved Delta and was ambushed the following day in the same area where Delta Company had been the day before. Alpha Company, 1/9 Marines was engaged while aiding Bravo and sustained heavy casualties. The 26th Marines from Bravo Company were able to walk away from the ambush. Several battalions were brought in and the fighting became a battle involving thousands of men, hundreds of artillery pieces, dozens of tanks, and jets constantly overhead.
Marines said that it was hard to believe anyone could survive the rockets, artillery and mortars that rained down on the unit. The Marines lived in 6 foot deep zig zag trenching and sandbagged bunkers with 12 inch by 12 inch supporting beams. Still, direct hits took the lives of Marines daily. The Marines lost five men when a recoilless rifle hit one of their fighting holes. Captain Sasek's bunker took a direct hit on our fourth day on the hill.
The last time one of the Marines involved saw Captain Sasek, he was standing outside his bunker as several Marines were leaving to return to their positions. He pointed to the area of engagement in front of the hill and said: "Men, they (the North Vietnamese) bit off more than they can chew when they attacked us". He was a natural leader and his fighting spirit helped his men keep focus.
Five men of Delta 1/9 Marines identified as having died at Con Thien on 6 Jul 67 were:
CPL Barillo's mother, Ellen A Barillo (His father Michael passed away December 6, 1960) was notified of his death and the local area papers also published the notice of several other Western New Yorkers who died during that period. Records show CPL Barillo died as a result of fragmentation wounds to right arm, neck, chest and both legs from hostile artillery fire.
Visit the Memorial pages for the two other New Yorkers:
Corporal Joseph William Barillo was buried on July 27, 1967 in Saint Mary's Cemetery, Fremont, Steuben County, New York. His mother, Ellen was also buried there in 1997 and it is believed his father, Michael Mark Barillo, who passed away at age 45 on December 6, 1960, is also buried with his wife and son.
At the time of his death, CPL Joseph William Barillo was survived by his mother, Ellen Donnelly Barillo, two brothers, James and Michael, Jr., and one sister, Mary Ellen, all of Hornell.
- - The Virtual Wall, August 8, 2014
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