Joseph Steven Meisburger

Specialist 4th Class, U.S. Army


B Company 
2nd Battalion
503rd Infantry Regiment
173rd Airborne Brigade

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: February 8, 1967
Buried at: Section 51, Site 2027
                  Arlington National Cemetery
                  Arlington VA
Awards: Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster

SPECIALIST FOURTH CLASS JOSEPH STEVEN MEISBURGER  was born on March 24, 1947. He grew up in Philadelphia PA. The youngest of seven children, Joseph S. Meisburger enlisted in the United States Army a few months after his 1965 graduation from Roxborough High school in Philadelphia PA.

Specialist Fourth Class Meisburger shipped out for Vietnam in April 21, 1966. His military specialty was 11B20, Light Weapons Infantry. He had been wounded once already and had returned to his unit when he was killed in action by small arms fire on February 8, 1967 in Binh Thuy province, on the first day of the 1968 Tet Offensive. His death was reported in the February 14 edition of the Camden Courier-Post and other local newspapers.

Joseph Steven Meisburger was survived by his mother, Mrs. Elva Meisburger, of the Lakewood Manor Apartments in Blackwood NJ. He also left four brothers, three of whom were serving in the armed forces at the time of his death, and two sisters. They were Staff Sergeant Charles F. McDonaugh, who was in Vietnam; William J., stationed with the Navy in Scotland; Peter F., in England with the Air Force; Henry J., of Philadelphia; Mrs. Betty Miller, of Fort Riley KS, and Mrs. Elva Daley of Philadelphia.

His body was accompanied home by Sergeant McDonaugh and buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington VA on February 20, 1967. 

Philadelphia Inquirer - February 14, 1967

Roxborough Graduate Dies in Vietnam Battle

Spec./4 Joseph S. Meisburger, Roxborough High School graduate killed in Vietnam on February 8, always wanted to be a soldier. Meisburger, a paratrooper with the 173d Airborne Battalion, was the youngest of two brothers, a half-brother, a nephew and brother-in-law all in the military services.

"He was the baby of the family, but he always wanted to become a soldier," said his sister-in-law, Mrs. Charles F. McDonaugh, from the home of his widowed mother in Blackwood, N.J.


Young Meisburger would have been 20 years old on March 29. His one-year tour in Vietnam would have expired on April 17, but Mrs. McDonaugh said he was going to sign up for another year so he could be near his half-brother, her husband Sgt. Charles F. McDonaugh.

"Joseph and my husband were stationed about five miles apart in Vietnam," Mrs. McDonaugh said. "They used to see each other after a battle."

Meisburger's mother received a last letter from her son Thursday-a day before she was notified by the Defense Department he was killed. "He said in his letter everything was going all right," Mrs. McDonaugh said.


Other members of the family in the service include Joseph's two brothers, William, 26, in the Navy aboard a submarine in Holy Loch, Scotland, and Peter, 29, with the Air Force in England: nephew Lance Cpl. Charles F. McDonaugh Jr., with the Marines in Camp Lejeune, N.C., Mrs. McDonaugh's son, and a brother-in-law, Sgt William S. Miller, an 18 1/2-year Army veteran stationed in Fort Riley, Kan.

Philadelphia Daily News - February 1967


The former Philadelphia resident was due to come home from Vietnam in April 1967, but extended his tour of duty so he could be near his stepbrother, who was stationed about five miles away. The 19-year-old Army specialist four, an assistant machine gunner with Company B of the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, had enlisted in September 1965 after attending Roxborough High School. Meisburger died on February 8, 1967. In addition to his stepbrother, he was survived by his mother and three brothers.

is honored on Panel 15E Line 010 of
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.