O'Sullivan, Christopher Joseph, CPT

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1964-1965, MACV Advisory Team 39
Service Years
1959 - 1965
Foreign Language(s)



Two Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Astoria, NY
Last Address
Astoria, NY

Casualty Date
May 30, 1965
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Quang Ngai (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Long Island National Cemetery - Farmingdale, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
1E, 128 / Plot: D, 800AA

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2017, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Senior Parachutist
Republic of Vietnam - Ranger

 Unit Assignments
Basic Airborne Course (BAC) Airborne SchoolArmy Ranger SchoolMilitary Assistance Command Thailand Military Assistance Command Vietnam MACV
  1958-1958, Basic Airborne Course (BAC) Airborne School
  1959-1959, Army Ranger School
  1960-1961, Joint United States Military Advisory Group, Thailand (JUSMAGTHAI)
  1960-1961, Military Assistance Command Thailand
  1964-1965, Field Advisory Element MACV
  1964-1965, MACV Advisory Team 39
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1964-1965 Vietnam War/Advisory Campaign (1962-65)
  1965-1965 Vietnam War/Defense Campaign (1965)
 Colleges Attended 
Fordham University
  1954-1958, Fordham University1
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

This is to Certify that
The President of the United States of America
Takes Pride in Presenting



The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Christopher Jo O'Sullivan (0-85063), Captain, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with the United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. Captain O'Sullivan distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 19 April 1965 while serving as Senior Advisor to the 39th Ranger Battalion, Army of the Republic of Vietnam, which was participating in a search and destroy mission in connection with Operation THANG 518. During the operation, the Ranger Battalion as lead element of a northern force moved west on one axis while another battalion of Vietnamese Marines and armored personnel carriers, which composed the southern force, also moved west on another axis. At 1700 hours, the composite battalion was attacked by a strong Viet Cong force and was forced to withdraw towards the 39th Ranger Battalion. During the initial contact of the friendly forces, Captain O'Sullivan, realizing the importance of command and control, attempted to stop the withdrawing troops and establish a defensive line to hold back the attacking insurgents. However, due to the heavy concentration of insurgent fire, his attempt proved futile and the friendly forces were forced to withdraw to another defensive position approximately four hundred meters to the rear of the first line. Upon establishing this hasty defense, Captain O'Sullivan, with complete disregard for his personal safety, continuously exposed himself to the hostile fire and moved from one position to another to effectively direct a hail of deadly fire upon the advancing insurgents. During the ensuing battle, Captain O'Sullivan personally accounted for fifteen Viet Cong casualties and as a result of his dynamic leadership and heroic actions, seventy five troops which were pinned down and trapped by the Viet Cong were rescued. Captain O'Sullivan's extraordinary heroism and gallantry in action were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the military service.
HQ USAPAC GO 195 1965 

Captain O’Sullivan Plaza

Christopher J. O’Sullivan (1936-1965) was born and raised in Astoria, not far from this triangular plaza at Astoria Boulevard, 25th Avenue, and 88th Street. He attended Immaculate Conception School in Astoria, graduated from Xavier High School in Manhattan in 1954, and enrolled in the ROTC program at Fordham University. After receiving his B.A. in 1958, O’Sullivan was commissioned a second lieutenant and enlisted in a special service course to become an airborne ranger. He took a break from his rigorous training to marry his hometown sweetheart, Eleanor Scott, and they had two sons, Michael and Stevie.

After six months’ service in Thailand, O’Sullivan took a thirty-day observation tour in Vietnam. In 1964 he returned to Vietnam as a military adviser. In May of 1965, Captain O’Sullivan led his 300-man force in a counter attack against the Viet Cong. Without warning, 800 of the enemy surrounded his men. While helping to carry the wounded to places of safety, directing air strikes by radio, and making an urgent call for more ammunition, O’Sullivan was hit by shrapnel. He died on Memorial Day, May 30, 1965, at the age of twenty-eight.

O’Sullivan was honored with a solemn funeral procession along Ditmars Boulevard on June 9 and with a ceremony at Governors Island on August 11. On behalf of her husband, Mrs. Eleanor O’Sullivan accepted six medals, including the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, and the Purple Heart. On November 27, 1967, Mayor John V. Lindsay signed the local law to name this plaza in memory of Captain O’Sullivan. Attending the ceremony were O’Sullivan’s father, William, and Jackson Heights Council Member Edward Sadowsky, who sponsored the law.

The Last Letter Home

Dearest Eleanor,

Tonight my heart is sadder than it ever has been. Tomorrow we are going to look for Don and his two sergeants. I can only ask your forgiveness because in this operation I am going to do all that is necessary to find Don or his body.
I promised you I would be overly cautious now that I am rotating so soon. I cannot keep that promise. Don has a young wife and a three year old daughter. If he was looking for me, you would want him to do the best job he could. By the time you recieve this letter, it will be all over one way or another. Tonight I pray it will be for the best. God have mercy on both of us.

Posted by: Fulton Rivers

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