R. J. Del Vecchio
Biographical Information: R. J. Del Vecchio
|R. J. Del Vecchio|
Known to friends as “Del”, he was born of immigrant parents in Bridgeport, CT, and raised in a tradition of patriotism and strong Catholic values. Five of his uncles served in WW2, and he was proud of that family tradition. His older brother went to college on a Navy ROTC scholarship and served on a carrier for several years. Del was interested in military history, and did extensive reading about both WW2 and the Korean War, and, while in college studying Chemistry, became interested in the conflict in Viet Nam. He joined the Marines because all the other services wanted to make use of him as a chemist. The Corps bureaucracy noticed this, and assigned him to be a photographer instead of a grunt. After a year working at the Quantico Photolab, he was able to arrange transfer to Viet Nam, and joined the 1st Marine Division Photolab outside Da Nang. From there he went on field assignments with units of the Division, working as a Combat Photographer.
In May of ’68 he was wounded as a bullet smashed through one hand and into his camera. He was operated on at a field hospital, recovered, and was back in the field by August. His term of service was up that November and he returned to CONUS to begin a career as an industrial chemist.
After decades in corporate work, he became an independent consultant, and has been in that practice since 1990. He became active in veteran related matters after many years of sealing away the war’s memories, and has been deeply involved in studying and discussing the war’s history for the last 15 years. He co-authored an introductory booklet for students of the war, Whitewash/Blackwash: Myths of the Viet Nam War, which has been found useful by teachers of the war and many others.
He believes strongly in the need to correct the largely inaccurate and often falsely reported history of the war, as a duty to the nation and its history, and to the memories of all those who served.