MICHAEL P ALONGI JR
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HONORED ON PANEL 40W, LINE 70 OF THE WALL

MICHAEL PETER ALONGI JR

WALL NAME

MICHAEL P ALONGI JR

PANEL / LINE

40W/70

DATE OF BIRTH

01/15/1943

CASUALTY PROVINCE

TAY NINH

DATE OF CASUALTY

11/01/1968

HOME OF RECORD

ELMWOOD PARK

COUNTY OF RECORD

Cook County

STATE

IL

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

SP4

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR MICHAEL PETER ALONGI JR
POSTED ON 4.1.2019
POSTED BY: wkillian@smjuhsd.org

Attack on FSB Rita – November 1, 1968

Fire Support Base Rita was located near the Cambodian border in Tay Ninh Province, RVN. The location of the base was part of a U.S. strategy to deprive the North Vietnamese Army from being resupplied from Cambodia on its way to Saigon. Headquarters and Battery B of the 1st Battalion, 5th Artillery (105mm, towed), commanded by LTC Charles C. Rogers, and Battery C, 8th Battalion, 6th Artillery (155mm, self-propelled), were located at FSB Rita. On November 1, 1968, about three months after Rita had been established, it was attacked by a North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong Regiment/Battalion with sappers estimated at 800 men. The attack began at 3:30 AM on the west-northwest perimeter of the base. The assault reportedly followed a scheduled "mad minute" reconnaissance-by-fire by the Americans defending Rita. As the troopers were busy reloading their weapons, the enemy initiated their attack. The enemy was able to penetrate the defensive perimeter after they threw Bangalore torpedoes across the wire, opening a path straight in whereupon they destroyed an ACAV armored personnel carrier and its ammunition, and quickly knocked out two machine guns. The enemy also succeeded in taking one of the 155mm howitzer battery positions. This prompted an American counterattack and the bunkers were retaken. A second attack and penetration were made at 5:15 AM against the southwest perimeter. Again, the enemy was beaten back by an aggressive counterattack, and the defensive positions were reestablished. When the enemy attempted to regain the initiative by attacking the northern perimeter with a third charge, the 105mm howitzers were swung to the north and lethal barrages were fired into the massed assaulting enemy. The enemy body count could not be obtained, but it was estimated that at least 200 bodies lay in the woods around the fire support base the following morning. As the sun rose through the tree line in the near distance, the enemy bodies could be seen nailed up in the branches by flechette rounds that had been fired at point blank range. The ferocious intensity of the battle, with frequent concentrations of enemy mortars impacting in the fire support base until 8:00 AM, was attested to by the massive quantity of ammunition expended by U.S. forces. The field artillery fired 1300 rounds in direct fire and 800 rounds in indirect fire. After the battle, the word on the ground was that there were only two rounds left in the battery in two tubes, the last of the ammo as the fight died out. The defense of the base was supported by air strikes and innumerable strikes by helicopter gunships and fire teams from the 1st Infantry Division. During the battle, U.S. forces suffered fourteen men killed. The lost Americans at Rita included CPL William K. Alameda, SP4 Michael P. Alongi Jr., SGT Thomas W. Bayonet, SP4 Thurl G. Carter III, SGT James M. Ciupinski, SP4 Charles G. Costin, SP4 Ronnie Courtney, SGT James E. Graves, SP4 Wayne K. Laine, PFC James E. Martin, SGT Wendell D. McBurrows, SSG James R. Norris, SP4 Marvin N. Propson, and SP4 Lester Williams Jr. LTC Charles C. Rogers directed the defense of the base with such heroism he was awarded the Medal of Honor. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org, 4thcavassoc.org, and an article by MG David E. Ott in Field Artillery Journal (May-June 1976); also, information provided by Joe Treadway at dvidshub.net]
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POSTED ON 7.18.2017
POSTED BY: wkillian@smjuhsd.org

Final Mission of SP4 Michael P. Alongi Jr.

Fire Support Base Rita was located in the "Fishhook" area near the Cambodian border in Tay Ninh Province, RVN. It had been established to block NVA infiltration from Cambodia into South Vietnam. On November 1, 1968, FSB Rita was occupied by units of 8th Battalion, 6th Artillery; B Troop, 1/4th Cavalry; and 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry. Just after 0300 hours on November 1st, FSB Rita came under attack by North Vietnamese Army units. At the outset, the base was subjected to heavy mortar, artillery, and RPG attack, followed by a human wave assault against the northwestern defensive perimeter. Sappers and enemy infantry penetrated the perimeter, resulting in fighting within the northwestern section of FSB Rita. The artillery commander, LTC Charles C. Rogers, rallied his men and beat back the initial assault. A second massed assault followed, and again LTC Rogers led a successful defense. As dawn broke, a third massed attack was launched. Rogers, now with three serious wounds, no longer was able to physically lead his men but continued to direct the defense, and once again the NVA were repulsed. The battle continued until about 0800, when increasing air support forced the NVA to break off the attack and retreat across the border to sanctuary in Cambodia. While one Medal of Honor (LTC Rogers) and one Distinguished Service Cross (SP4 Lester Williams Jr., posthumously) were won that morning, the attack cost the lives of fourteen American soldiers: SP4 Thurl G. Carter III, SP4 Charles G. Costin (an 18-year-old cook who volunteered to man one of the .50 caliber machine guns on the perimeter), SP4 Ronnie Courtney, SGT James E. Graves, SGT Wendell D. McBurrows, SP4 Lester Williams Jr., SP4 Michael P. Alongi Jr., SP4 Wayne K. Laine, SP4 Marvin N. Propson, SGT Thomas W. Bayonet, SGT James M. Ciupinski, CPL William K. Alameda, SSGT James R. Norris, and PFC James E Martin. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org, vvmf.org, and info provided by Mack Easley at vvmf.org (November 2003)]
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POSTED ON 8.27.2016
POSTED BY: Lucy Conte Micik

Remembered

DEAR SPEC 4 ALONGI.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AS AN ARMOR RECONNAISSANCE SPECIALIST. YOU DIED ON ALL SAINTS' DAY. ON THAT DAY, YOU JOINED THEM IN PARADISE.
REST IN PEACE.
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POSTED ON 6.24.2016
POSTED BY: Dennis Wriston

I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

Specialist Four Michael Peter Alongi Jr., Served with B Troop, 1st Squadron, 4th Calvary Regiment, 1st Infantry Division.
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POSTED ON 1.20.2016
POSTED BY: Robert Sage

We Remember

Michael is buried at Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery, Hillside,IL.

Plot: Queen of All Saints, Tier 2 Crypt 10112
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