Michael P. Halpin Killed In Firefight In Vietnam
Private First Class Michael Patrick Halpin, of Brookdale Street, Nutley, N.J., died Jan. 19, 1968, in Tah Ninh, Vietnam "from injuries received while on combat operations when engaged with hostile forces in a firefight," the Army said.
Halpin, who would have been 22 on Feb. 28, is the fourth Nutley man to die in the war.
Born in Newark, Halpin received his early education at St. Thomas the Apostle grammar school, Bloomfield. He played Little League baseball for three years. He attended Nutley High School, and was active in the Catholic Youth Organization.
At Nutley High, Halpin's friends called him "Murf." He liked mathematics and pop records, was out for the football squad in senior year and a member of extracurricular clubs.
After graduation, he worked two years at a trucking company before enlisting in the Army in March 1967. His tour of duty would have been completed in March 1970. However, his family said that at times he contemplated making a career of the Army.
He also planned to marry his high school 'steady,' Carol Lucas of Center Street, Nutley, after his enlistment expired.
Halpin is survived by two brothers, Francis, a teaching Brother in the Order of the Sacred Heart, and John, of Clifton; and by a sister, Mrs. Kathleen Wirth of Nutley.
Adapted from the Nutley Sun.
Michael P. Halpin was born on February 28, 1946 in Newark, N.J. He lived there until age 5 when his family moved to Nutley.
was graduated from Nutley High School in 1965
where his interests included all sports, especially baseball and football. He played little league baseball and was a member of the high school
"Private Halpin was a member of a reactionary force of three armored personnel carriers and eight men that were deployed against the right flank of enemy positions.
"After making a quick evaluation of the situation he and two other individuals dismounted their APC and maneuvered toward enemy positions.
"As the three individuals maneuvered through the bullet riddled enemy kill zone they pinned down the Viet Cong force with their highly accurate fire.
"As they continued to close on the enemy emplacements Private Halpin fired on and killed one of the insurgents.
"As the first fight continued the men moved right into the enemy position, routing or killing all the Viet Cong. While in pursuit of the remaining insurgents Private Halpin was mortally wounded by intense automatic fire.
"Due to Private Halpin’s valorous actions the mission was successfully completed and the enemy force defeated.
Halpin’s personal bravery and devotion to duty are in keeping with the
highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon
himself, his unit, the 25th Infantry Division and the United States Army."
He was able to make friends very easily and was chosen to play
Santa Claus at Christmas for his platoon in the Army. He always loved to do
things that made people happy.
National Monument Panel 34E - Row 077
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