From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Theodore Vivilacqua '68

Date of birth: August 22, 1946

Date of death: May 13, 1969

Age: 22

Lucky Bag

From the 1968 Lucky Bag:


From the September-October 1969 issue of SHIPMATE:

2/Lt. Theodore R. Vivilacqua, USMC, was killed in action on 13 May in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, while on a search and clear operation.

Born in Brooklyn, N. Y., 2/Lt. Vivilacqua was a member of the Thirteenth Company and participated in football and rugby before he was graduated from the Naval Academy in June 1968. Commissioned into the Marine Corps, he had basic training at Quantico and in March 1969 arrived in Vietnam where he was attached to Company H, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (REIN), Fleet Marine Force.

Survivors include his mother Mrs. Mary Steele of 17610 Cameron St., Huntington Beach, Ca. 92647, and a brother John A. Vivilacqua of 1826 Badillo St., Apt. #14, West Covina, Ca. 91790.


From Wall of Faces:

Vivi and I were classmates at the The Basic School! We were in 5th platoon and were sometimes referred to as ' F ' troop due to our fun times. Vivi was a great Marine, classmate and friend who always had this huge smile. Vivi I miss you and our platoon mate Gary Schank who also made the ultimate sacrifice. Rest in Peace! See both of you in another life. Tim Summers, 7/22/12

Ted you were such an enthusiastic football player at St. Rose of Lima where I served as a volunteer coach. I will never forget the midnight Christmas Mass when you approached me in your dress blues and thanked me for being your coach in elementary school. Ted I'm the one who needs to do the thanking ALBERT SONNENBURG, 3/10/08

Dear Vivi, We shared many memories while at basic school in Quantico. I couldn't have wished of a better room mate while during those six months. God, did we have some good times. I'll never forget the day of our graduation, when we were having a beer at Major Spooners pub and you gave me your Saint Christopher to keep me safe while in Vietnam. I told you at the time that you better keep it, that you needed it more than I did, but you wouldn't listen. It turns out that I should have made you keep it.

Two years ago, in October of 1998, I found your final resting place in Los Angeles, at a site that I had driven by at least 50 times without knowing that you were there. When I went to visit you I left it there for you. God you were a great friend. May your courage, never ending smile , and love be the joy and memory to all your friends and family. Rest in peace buddy, I'll see you again someday. Your Viet Nam and Marine brother, John. JOHN WALLING, GIDD1040@AIRMAIL.NET, 2/21/00

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Second Lieutenant Theodore R. Vivilacqua (MCSN: 0-106177), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company H, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on May 11, 1969. On that date, during a search and destroy operation in Quang Nam Province, Second Lieutenant Vivilacqua's platoon came under heavy fire from a North Vietnamese Army Force occupying well-concealed, mutually supporting bunkers. Reacting instantly, Second Lieutenant Vivilacqua, ignoring the hostile rounds impacting around him, maneuvered his platoon against the bunkers and, despite the extreme heat and dense tree lines, successfully assaulted and destroyed the fortified positions. As the engagement continued, the platoon accounted for thirteen hostile soldiers killed and captured five AK-47 rifles, sustaining no friendly casualties. Continuing his determined efforts, Second Lieutenant Vivilacqua, with complete disregard for his own safety, led his men against the hostile survivors. When his platoon's ammunition began to run low, he aggressively pursued the retreating enemy soldiers, firing at them with captured hostile weapons. His bold initiative and heroic efforts inspired all who observed him and enabled the company to capture a fortified enemy village. By his courage, aggressive leadership and steadfast devotion to duty, Second Lieutenant Vivilacqua upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: 11-May-69
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Company: Company H
Battalion: 2d Battalion
Regiment: 5th Marines
Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.), FMF

Related Articles

Thomas West '68 and John Hogan '68 were also in 13th Company.

Class of 1968

Theodore is one of 29 members of the Class of 1968 on Virtual Memorial Hall.