Pfc Craig M. Simeone
Hero Profile - Vietnam
Address when enlisted - 34 Bancroft Rd.
Date of Sacrifice May 30, 1969 - Age 21
Member of The Cohasset High School Class of 1966
Text of Memorial Dedication on November 11, 1996
Good afternoon, ladies and gentleman. My name is Captain Robert Jackson, United States Naval Reserve. I would like to welcome you to the dedication of the Craig Michael Simeone Memorial Square.
The Reverend John R. Mulvehill will now give the benediction.
We gather at this time to dedicate this Square to Craig Michael Simeone. Craig Simeone was born March 7, 1948. After graduation, from Cohasset High School of 1966, Craig was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division.
Private First Class Craig Michael Simeone gave his life while in service to his country on Memorial Day, May 30, 1969 in the A Shau Valley, Republic of Vietnam. Private First Class Simeone’s military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with V for valor, with the Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of his second award, the Purple Heart Medal, The Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Parachutists Badge, Combat Infantry Badge, along with numerous other campaign and unit awards.
I will now read from citation, which speaks more eloquently than I ever could, to the measure of the man we honor here today.
Reading of the citation:
Man has no greater love than to lay down his life for another. Therefore, we remember Craig today, with his Memorial Dedication, as a son, brother, friend, classmate, neighbor, and fellow veteran, never to be forgotten in our hearts.
Department of the Army
Headquarters 101st Airborne Division
APO San Francisco 96383
19 July 1969
AWARD OF THE BRONZE STAR WITH “V” DEVICE (FIRST OAK LEAF CLUSTER) (POSTHUMOUS)
1. TC 320. The following award is announced.
Simeone, Craig M. 026-38-4607 PRIVATE FIRST CLASS Company B 2d Battalion (Airborne) 501st Infantry APO San Francisco 96383
Awarded: The Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device (First Oak Leaf Cluster)
Effective Date: NA
Date Action: 30 May 1969
Theater: The Republic of Vietnam
Reason: For heroism in ground combat against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam on 30 May 1969. Private Simeone distinguished himself while serving as a grounder in Company B 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry. Company B was conducting ambush patrols near Dong Ap Bia Mountain, on the western border of the A Shau Valley, Republic of Vietnam. Private Simeone’s platoon moved into an ambush site along a trail and began to wait for possible enemy troops that might move along the trail at night. At approximately 2215 hours on the cited date, several North Vietnamse were spotted moving towards the platoon’s position. When they were in range, Claymore mines were detonated, killing four of the hostile troops. Several troopers were sent out to ascertain the result of the ambush and were immediately were taken under fire by the other enemy troops that had survived the ambush, killing several friendly troops and wounding several others. Private Simeone volunteered to attempt to reach the other wounded men, who were unprotected from enemy fire. He and his platoon leader crawled forward to aid the stricken men but were observed by the enemy force. Private Simeone was mortally wounded as he neared the casualties. Private Simeone’s personal bravery and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Authority: by direction of the President of the United States under the provisions of Executive Order 11046.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
Dale H. Hayes
Chief of Staff
5-CO, B/2/501st Inf
5-Co, 2/501st Inf
5-CO, 2d Bde
1-TAGO ATTN: AGPB-AC
An article about Pfc Craig M. Simeone orginally printed in the Cohasset Mariner.
Memorial Day is a time for the town to pay its respects to veterans who have paid the ultimate price in the name of freedom. For friends and family of Cohasset resident Craig Michael Simeone, Memorial Day will likely bring mixed emotions, as it marks with pride the way he selflessly served his country during the Vietnam War, but is also the anniversary of his date of sacrifice.
Born March 7, 1948, Simeone was born and raised in Cohasset. He lived at 34 Bancroft Road and was a member of the Cohasset High School graduating class of 1966. He was well-liked by his classmates and his best friend, former state Sen. Bill Golden, said he remembers everyone wanting to be friends with Simeone, who had a great sense of adventure and was always full of excitement. Simeone's zest for life sparked an interest for car racing and his aunt Anna Abruzzese remembers how he used to race his Barracuda (a 60s model sports car)in New Hampshire on the weekends.
Perhaps it was his infectious nature that led fellow classmate and neighbor Maureen Brennock to ask Simeone to be her date for the senior prom. The two walked to school together every day, and when Brennock posed the question, Simeone of course said yes.
But it wasn't just Simeone's enthusiasm that drew friends to him, Golden said it was the way he would always go out of his way to ensure everyone felt included. However, Simeone's young life came to an end too soon, as shortly after graduation, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. He would never return home to the town he loved. On May 30, 1969, Simeone, a grounder in Company B 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry, was conducting ambush patrols near Dong Ap Bia Mountain, on the western border of the A Shau Valley in Vietnam. His platoon moved into an ambush site along a trail and began waiting for possible enemy troops that might move along the trail at night. At about 10:15 p.m., several North Vietnamese were spotted moving toward the platoon's position. When the enemy forces were in range, Claymore mines were detonated, killing four of the hostile troops. That in turn led American forces to emerge to assess the result of the ambush. The Vietnamese who survived the attack immediately retaliated, killing several friendly troops and wounding several
others. Simeone volunteered to attempt to reach the wounded men who were unprotected from enemy fire. He and his platoon leader crawled forward to aid the stricken men, but were observed by the enemy force. As he neared the casualties, Simeone was mortally wounded. He was only 21 years old.
Vietnam took a heavy toll on the town, as eight men were killed, including Peter J. Albiani, Jr., Peter Cogill, Allen F. Keating, William C. Laidlaw, John Paul Lyon, Edward R. Maree, and Dennis J. Reardon. Cohasset lost the same number of soldiers during World War II. The worst eight months of Vietnam were in 1969, when the town lost five men, four at six-week intervals. Simeone was one of three young men from the Cohasset High School Class of 1966 to sacrifice his life.
For his bravery and service in the war, Simeone was honored with many
military awards including the Bronze Star Medal with V for valor with the Oak Leaf Cluster in light of his second award, the Purple Heart Medal. He was also awarded the Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Parachutists Badge, Combat Infantry Badge, along with numerous other campaign and unit awards.
Simeone will always be remembered for his good-natured ways and love of
life. Even after his passing, he continued to inspire those around him.
Simeone's death had a profound impact on Golden who was studying at Yale while his friend was serving in Vietnam. Golden said losing Simeone made him realize he wanted to find a way to give back to his country, like his friend had done by serving in the military, and he decided he could serve his country well in politics. To ensure his memory is never forgotten, a memorial square has been dedicated in Simeone's honor, which residents drive by every day. Located in
a fitting spot, Simeone's memorial square can be found at the intersection of Lantern Lane and Pond Street, just down the street from his family home on Bancroft Road. The square was dedicated in his memory in November 1996.
Chairman of the Veterans Memorial Committee Glenn Pratt provided the Mariner with the information for this article. For more information on Craig Simeone or any of the Cohasset veterans who have paid the ultimate price in the name of freedom, please visit the Cohasset Veterans Memorial Committee Web
site at www.cohassetveteransmemorial.com.