Wall of Faces

A look at the virtual Wall of Faces that honor those lost in Vietnam

Cpl. Daniel Peter Cappello of Kane served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. He was lost on Dec. 6, 1967, in the Quang Tri province.

His name is on the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C., on panel 31E/ line 44.

And now, his photo and a brief biography are visible to anyone with the internet through a project of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

A virtual Wall of Faces is online so everyone around the world can honor the heroes who never came home from the Vietnam War. Recently, the last photo of the 3,150 Pennsylvania heroes who were lost was added to the Wall of Faces. The final elusive photo recently added was that of U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Matthew Harris Jr. of Philadelphia.

“It is incredibly gratifying to know that all 3,150 Pennsylvanians who died in Vietnam are now represented on the virtual Wall Of Faces where they can be honored by anyone, from anywhere around the world,” said Gov. Tom Wolf, in a press release issued Thursday. “We owe a debt of gratitude to the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs who led this effort, along with everyone they partnered with over the past four years, for tenaciously searching until the last photo was found. Completing this project demonstrates just how much pride Pennsylvania has in all of those who have served our great nation, and that no one will ever be forgotten.”

Among the lost are several from the local region, including Albert Carl Bachman Jr. of Turtlepoint, who served in the Navy and was lost June 8, 1970; Daniel Peter Cappello of Kane, who served in the Marine Corps and was lost Dec. 6, 1967; Bruce Alan Cobb of Bradford, who served in the Marine Corps and was lost March 25, 1968; Michael Ray Cuneen of Bradford, who served in the Marine Corps and was lost April 5, 1966; Christian Franz Feit III of Smethport of the Navy who was lost Jan. 25, 1968;; Lawrence Gary Grassi of Bradford of the Army who was lost Feb. 5, 1968; Charles Lester Gregory of Ormsby, a Marine who was lost Jan. 31, 1968; Ronald Lee Herbstritt of Bradford, a Marine who was lost June 25, 1966; Stephen Joseph Keesler of Hazel Hurst, who served in the Army and was lost May 12, 1970; Francis Earl Klaiber of Kane, who served in the Marine Corps and was lost July 13, 1970; Robert Dean Morris of Eldred, who served in the Marines and was lost March 23, 1970; James Keith Oxley of Bradford, a Navy man who was lost Nov. 30, 1967; James Vincent Ralston of Bradford, who served in the Army and was lost Jan. 19, 1967; and Floyd Studer of Port Allegany, who served in the Air Force and was lost Aug. 15, 1961.

From Elk County, the Wall of Faces includes Jerome Edward Bowers Jr. of Ridgway, an Army man lost April 18, 1970; Larry Wayne Gardner of Ridgway, a Marine lost Jan. 21, 1967; Michael Gigliotti of Johnsonburg, an Army man lost June 20, 1968; John Paul Paropacic of St. Marys, a Marine lost April 21, 1967; Jerome Robert Sain of St. Marys, an Army man lost Jan. 21, 1970; John Ellsworth Showers Jr. of Benezette, an Army man lost Oct. 8, 1967; Robert Glenn Willow, a Marine lost Sept. 6, 1967; and Paul E. Yonkie of Ridgway, who served in the Air Force and was lost Sept. 1, 1968.

From Potter County, the Wall of Faces includes Gerrith Lowell Kibbe of Roulette, who served in the Army and was lost June 24, 1967; Bruce Calvin Maynard of Coudersport, an Army man who was lost June 6, 1969; Edgar Erwin Nuschke of Austin, who served with the Air Force and was lost Jan. 21, 1967; Edward Ritsick of Austin, an Army man lost March 11, 1968; Donald Laveren Stiles of Coudersport, an Army man lost April 2, 1968; Gerald Duane Stonemetz of Shinglehouse, an Army man lost Jan. 8, 1969; and Edwin Franklin Tubbs of Coudersport, an Army man lost Jan. 12, 1969.

From Cameron County, the Wall includes Thomas Edward Clark of Emporium, an Air Force man who was lost Feb. 8, 1969; Anthony Angelo Gennocro of Emporium, an Army man lost April 28, 1966; and Albert Allen Peterson of Emporium, a Navy man lost April 26, 1968.

For the past four years the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has partnered with the VVMF in Washington, D.C., to find a photo of every Pennsylvanian whose name appears on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall — commonly referred to as The Wall. The VVMF has been posting the photos on a virtual Wall of Faces in order to put a face and a story to every name to help preserve their legacies.

“This was a great and incredibly important project that helps show the families and friends of the Pennsylvanians lost in Vietnam that their loved ones will not be forgotten,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the DMVA, in a press release issued Thursday. “We owe a huge thanks to all of the volunteers from around the country who have been instrumental in locating these photos and spreading the word about the Wall of Faces effort.

As an official partner in the Department of Defense’s Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, completing the Wall of Faces project is one way the DMVA is showing its support of the service, sacrifice and legacy of Vietnam veterans.

Since the VVMF launched the photo campaign in October 2009, the VVMF has located photos for more than 57,900 of the names inscribed on the memorial. To date, 44 states, two U.S. territories and the District of Columbia have found every photo for their fallen.

To view the virtual Wall of Faces, which includes all 3,150 Pennsylvanians, go to www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces.

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