Joseph E. Bugar, Jr. was born on 9 September 1948 in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. He had three sisters and a brother.
Joe was an avid golfer and member of the Scott High School golf team since 9th grade. When not on the course practicing or playing, he was a part-time employee at the Coatesville Country Club’s clubhouse. During his senior year, and as captain of the
team, Joe won the title of ChesMont League Individual Golf Champion. He graduated from high school in 1966.
After completing studies at West Chester State College Joe entered the Army in October, 1968. Joe completed basic training at Fort Bragg, SC and advanced individual training at Fort Polk, LA.
Shortly after completing his training programs, Joseph received orders to report to the 5th Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division in the Vietnam (April 16, 1969). He was assigned to Company “B” which conducted operations in the Rach Kien area, approximately 10 miles south of Saigon in Long An Province.
On May 4, 1969 - just a few weeks after joining the the unit - Joseph was seriously wounded while on patrol. He was evacuated to an Army hospital in Japan for over two months of treatment. Joseph was discharged from the hospital on July 7, 1969 and returned to Company “B”, assigned to its 1st Platoon to resume field operations against the enemy.
Joseph was a good addition to the platoon and soon gained the confidence of its' men and the Platoon Leader, Lieutenant Owens. During a patrol operation on August 20, 1969, Joseph was assigned to act as “point man” and walk ahead of the others to signal a warning if enemy activity was detected. Concealed enemy forces were detected and they opened fire on the platoon. Joe was hit by several rounds of the incoming small arms fire and succumbed immediately to his wounds at the age of 20.
Services and interment were held at the Parkesburg, PA Catholic Cemetery.
Research by Jim Wambold and Don Wambold, WCMSC
Contributor: LT Joe Beato, 1st Platoon Leader, Co “B”, 5/60 Inf, Vietnam 1969