Milford Marvin Tognazzini

Construction Mechanic 1st Class
United States Navy
07 May 1934 - 07 August 1969
Santa Maria, California
Panel 20W Line 111


The database page for Milford Marvin Tognazzini

12 May 1999

Milford Marvin Tognazzini was born on May 7, 1934 and joined the Armed Forces while in Santa Maria, CA. He served as a Construction Mechanic in the Navy Seabees. He was in his third tour of duty with the U.S. Armed Forces. He served with the U.S. Army in Korea and later rejoined the Army. He joined the Seabees late in 1968.

On August 7, 1969, while serving with "A" Company, MCB-11, at Landing Zone Nancy, in the Republic of South Vietnam, he and three other Seabees responded to a call for assistance by an Army mortar platoon firing in support of a friendly unit engaged with the enemy.

When fire broke out in one of the mortar pits and began to spread rapidly to a large amount of ammunition stored nearby, the men, led by CM1 Milford Tognazzini, jumped into a water truck and drove to the burning pit. Simultaneous to this event, an armored personnel carrier, loaded with more ammunition, also caught fire. While attempting to extinguish the burning vehicle, Tognazzini was mortally wounded by exploding ammunition and Dutch Van Tassell, Peter Poillon and James Benge were wounded. MCB-11 was decommissioned a short time later and the men's paperwork, which included proof of their wounds, was lost for thirty years in the Archives at Port Hueneme. The men were finally honored with the Purple Heart on Memorial Day 2001.

From his daughter,
Joan Tognazzini Cox
E-Mail address not available

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009