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Bruce Francis Anello was born 24 August 1947, in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, the Son of Joseph W. Anello and Alice V. Anello. His Mother died in 1952.
Not long after her death, Bruce and his three brothers, Allen J., Donald W. and William, were enrolled in the Milton Hershey School. Bruce was called Buddy by his Family and Friends. From the age of 5, Bruce F. Anello attended the Milton Hershey School. At the High School level, Bruce F. Anello was a member of the Wrestling Team. He was a gifted writer, and often expressed his thoughts and feelings with poetry. He also had a deep love and interest in music, and was a drummer in the High School Band, and the High School Orchestra. Bruce Francis Anello graduated from Milton Hershey School in 1965 and received the John Pillip Sousa Band Award.
After graduation Bruce F. Anello was employed by the Philadelphia Electric Company, for a year, then spent three happy months in San Francisco, California, visiting his oldest Brother, Don. Then reality came crashing in when Buddy received word that a Draft Notice for him, had arrived at his Father's home in Philadelphia. Buddy returned to Pennsylvania and was formally inducted into the U.S. Army in October 1966.
He was sent for training, and was then assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry, 198th Infantry Brigade. On 04 October 1967, orders for overseas duty were issued to his unit.
On 16 October 1967, PFC Bruce F. Anello's Company shipped out for Vietnam, leaving from San Francisco, California, and landing at a base camp in Vietnam, on 23 October 1967. Buddy began keeping a Journal, a Diary, to record his thoughts and feelings. The Diary became his place to express his emotions, his place to rage, and to hope.
On 24 January 1968, PFC Bruce F. Anello became a graduate of the Army's "Instant NCO" school for non-commissioned officers, and was Promoted to Sergeant, a Rank he didn't particularly seek, or expect.
"Buddy" Anello was a combat-seasoned team leader with Company D of the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. The official record of his death states that Sergeant Bruce Francis Anello died on May 31, 1968, as the result of wounds suffered during a firefight while in a night defensive perimeter position in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. The true circumstances of his death can only be told by other soldiers who were there and witnessed his Heroic Actions.
http://www.vvmpaddleout.org/stories/stories.htm (by Kurt McFadden) When I got off the bus at Fort Gordon, Georgia, reporting for A.I.T., I met my best Vietnam friend, Jim "Moose Mechanic" Cowell. We went through 8 weeks of A.I.T., went home for 30 days, then reported to Fort Lewis, WA. We rode the plane to Vietnam together. We landed at Cam Rahn Bay for a 5 day stay. From there, we were airlifted to Chu Lai and spent 9 days together in a training camp. Then we were assigned to our units and arrived at that location together in a jeep. We were both assigned to the 1/6th, 198th LIB of the Americal division. On May 30th, 1968, we arrived in the morning and were given our infantry supplies; a pack, grenades and an M-16. Jim was assigned to C Co. and I was assigned to E Co. Recon. Again together, we were taken to the helipad for our trip to the Que Son Valley or the Valley of Living Death. The helicopter took us both to LZ Bowman where I was dropped off. At this point we were separated, as the helicopter took Jim into this valley. It was an NVA stronghold. On May 31st, Jim volunteered to walk point on his second day in the field. In the early afternoon, Jim was shot in the chest by a sniper and fell backwards on his rucksack in a sitting position, where the NVA sniper used him for target practice. Another soldier, Bruce Anello, who was in D Co., 1/6th, was walking second man when Jim was hit. He jumped toward him to save his life and was also shot and killed.
He was known as a Gung-ho guy.
He would laugh in the face of danger.
We'd just left the Que Son Valley - Valley of Living Death
80% casualties and he'd made it through.
Yesterday we'd gotten 15 replacements.
A few hours later we loaded them all onto a Medevac.
That evening I took rear guard, Sergeant Anello and
PFC James E. Cowell of Chester, Illinois took point.
PFC James E. Cowell got hit in the chest and dropped
back against his rucksack in an upright position.
The NVA began using him for target practice.
Sergeant Anello calmly anticipated while chewing on crackers.
All the time he knew what a man's gotta do.
Lunging, he took one in the head.
But the story of that brave soldier was far from over.
Nearing midnight while on point, I ran into another firefight.
My M-16 jammed and I was given my last rites when
Anello's rifle was thrust into my hands.
Gung-ho Sergeant Anello saved my life that night,
but the darnedest thing was....He'd already bought the farm.
Sgt. Fred Leo Brown
The written records of his Unit State:
From 22 April to 28 May 1968, soldiers from the 1st Bn 6th Inf participated in Operation WHEELER/WALLOWA.
29 May 68. At 1200 hours the 1-6 Inf assumed the control of LZ Bowman and Headquarters 1-46, Operation Burlington Trail. The 1-46 Inf returned to the control of the Chu Lai Defense Command.
30 May 68. C Co 1-6 Inf engaged 1 VC wearing a green uniform at BT177121 resulting in 1 VC KIA, and web gear and 2 Chicom grenades CIA. A Co 1-6 Inf assaulted a bunker complex at BT177121. Results of the action was 1 KHA (PFC Johnnie E. Powell), 5 WHA and two dogs wounded. The enemy broke contact and evaded south with unknown casualties.
31 May 68. C Co 1-6 Inf received heavy automatic weapons fire from bunkers at BT212103. Artillery and gunships were used in support while C Co assaulted the enemy positions. The action resulted in 7 enemy KIA and 4 AK-47 captured. [Casualty reports indicate that PFC James E. Cowell (Co. C) and SGT Bruce F. Anello (Co. D) were KHA on 31 May.]
Sergeant Bruce Francis "Buddy" Anello was posthumously awarded the Silver Star,
but it was not for his Heroic Actions as he died. Two months earlier, on 21 March 1968, he had distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepid actions against a hostile force. His Award of the Silver Star was issued as follows:
FOR GALLANTRY IN ACTION AGAINST A HOSTILE FORCE ON 21 MARCH 1968 IN THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM. SERGEANT ANELLO DISTINGUISHED HIMSELF BY EXCEPTIONALLY VALOROUS ACTIONS WHILE SERVING AS A TEAM LEADER IN THE 3D PLATOON OF COMPANY D, 1ST BATTALION, 6TH INFANTRY. ON THAT DAY, SERGEANT ANELLO'S COMPANY WAS ENGAGED IN A SEARCH AND CLEAR MISSION WEST OF HOI AN, WHEN THEY CAME INTO CONTACT WITH A LARGE ENEMY FORCE OF UNDETERMINED SIZE. FIRING FROM WELL CONCEALED AND FORTIFIED POSITIONS, THE NORTH VIETNAMESE ARMY REGULARS BROUGHT DEVASTATING FIRE UPON THE COMPANY. SERGEANT ANELLO IMMEDIATELY TOOK CHARGE OF HIS MEN AND LED THEM TO THE FRONT OF THE PLATOON. AS TWO OF HIS MEN ASSAULTED A BUNKER, SERGEANT ANELLO WOULD RUN UP TO THE HOSTILE POSITION AND TOSS A GRENADE INTO IT. IN THIS MANNER SERGEANT ANELLO AND HIS MEN CLEARED A LARGE NUMBER OF ENEMY POSITIONS. DURING ONE SUCH ASSAULT, SERGEANT ANELLO WAS KNOCKED DOWN AND WOUNDED BY AN EXPLODING GRENADE. WITH COMPLETE DISREGARD FOR HIS PAINFUL INJURY AND HIS OWN SAFETY, SERGEANT ANELLO CONTINUED TO PRESS THE ATTACK. LATER ON IN THE DAY, SERGEANT ANELLO WAS AGAIN WOUNDED, BUT REFUSED TO BE EVACUATED AND CONTINUED THE MISSION UNTIL THE AREA HAD BEEN CLEARED OF THE ENEMY. SERGEANT ANELLO'S PERSONAL GALLANTRY AND DETERMINATION TO COMPLETE HIS MISSION WERE AN INSPIRATION TO THE MEN OF HIS UNIT AND WERE IN KEEPING WITH THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS OF THE MILITARY SERVICE AND REFLECTED GREAT CREDIT UPON HIMSELF, THE AMERICAL DIVISION, AND THE UNITED STATES ARMY.
The Silver Star Medal is the United States' THIRD HIGHEST award exclusively for combat valor, and ranks fifth in the precedence of military awards behind the Medal of Honor, the Crosses (DSC/NC/AFC), the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (awarded by DOD), and the Distinguished Service Medals of the various branches of service. It is the highest award for combat valor that is NOT unique to any specific branch; it has been bestowed by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marines. It may be given by any one of the individual services to not only their own members, but to members of other branches of service, foreign allies, and even to civilians for "gallantry in action" in support of combat missions of the United States military.
(There are currently only 655 Recipients of the Silver Star)
The body of Sergeant Bruce F. Anello was returned to the U.S. and he was buried in George Washington Memorial Park Cemetery in Plymouth Meeting, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
Sergeant Bruce Francis "Buddy" Anello was survived by his Father, Joseph W. Anello; and by his three Brothers, Allen J.; Donald W.; and William Anello; and other relatives.
But Buddy's story doesn't end here. SOMEHOW, Buddy's Diary was "FOUND", travelled to Hanoi, and then came home to the U.S.
Buddy had one last STORY to tell. His Own, in His Own Words.
Buddy Anello's Diary was published in WIN Magazine in June of 1971. His Diary can now be found at:
ON May 31, 1968, Sgt. Bruce F. Anello-Buddy, to his family and friends — was killed in action in Vietnam. A diary he was keeping was picked up on the battlefield and made its way to Hanoi. In the course of conversations with the NLF, American anti-war activist Bob Greenblatt learned about the existence of the diary. Upon seeing a copy of it, Bob convinced the Vietnamese to turn it over to the American peace movement (the NLF had been concerned about the propriety of releasing such a document)
Upon receiving it, WIN first went to Buddy's father and step-mother in Philadelphia and got their permission to publish it. The Anellos also lent many of the photographs and other material included here.
'Buddy, born August 24, 1947, was the third of four brothers. When his mother died in 1951, Buddy's father found himself unable to both support and adequately care for his sons, so Buddy and his brothers were sent to the Milton Hershey School for orphaned boys. It was here that Buddy lived from age four until he finished high school, except for short happy vacations at home. Particular interests he developed during those years were music and wrestling. He was considered an outstanding performer on both drums and piano, but in Vietnam he seemed able to play whatever instrument came to hand.
After graduation Buddy worked for the Philadelphia Electric Company for a year, then spent three happy months in San Francisco visiting his eldest brother Don. In Haight Ashbury, his first real taste of independence, he met a girl he hoped to return to, and probably smoked his first marijuana. When his father sent word an induction notice had come, Buddy returned to Philadelphia.
The diary stops several weeks before Buddy was killed. Buddy was awarded the Purple Heart, the Silver Star, the Military Merit Medal and a marksmanship citation. He was also given, posthumously, a medal from the Army of South Vietnam. When he died in Dragon Valley, Vietnam, Sgt. Bruce Anello was twenty years old. -Editor
Any Additions, Corrections, and/or Clarifications to Buddy's Story are Welcomed and Encouraged.
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