Joseph Thomas Tiefenthaler

Specialist 4th Class, U.S. Army


Company B 
1st Battalion
7th Cavalry Regiment
1st Cavalry Division

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: May 13, 1967
Buried at: 
Awards: Purple Heart

SPECIALIST FOURTH CLASS JOSEPH THOMAS TIEFENTHALER was born on October 19, 1945 to Mr. & Mrs. Francis Tiefenthaler. He grew up in Brooklawn NJ, at 228 Nansen Avenue. Known to friends and classmates as Tieffy, he graduated High School in 1965. He was drafted into the United States Army, and served our country as am infantryman.

SP4 Tiefenthaler began his tour of duty in Vietnam on August 2, 1966. On May 13, 1967 he was killed in action by small arms fire in Binh Dinh province, South Vietnam. He was one of three members of Company B lost that day, the others being Specialist 4th Class Gary R. Zywica of Detroit MI, and Private First Class Joseph Cavarocchi of Philadelphia, PA. He was 21 years old and was single. 

Specialist Fourth Class Tiefenthaler he was brought home to the United States for burial.

Joseph Tiefenthaler middle, Creek kneeling

Left:  James "Doc" Harkins 
                         & Joseph Tiefenthaler 

Click on Images to Enlarge 

is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
on Panel 19E, Row 114.

is remembered on the Virtual Wall at

is remembered by LZ Bravo

A Note from The Virtual Wall

B Company, 1/7th Cavalry, lost three men on 13 May 1967:

SP4 Joseph T. Tiefenthaler, Brooklawn, NJ;
SP4 Gary R. Zywica, Detroit, MI; and
PFC Joseph Cavarocchi, Philadelphia, PA.

Hey Tieffy, Just want you to know someone from the class of 65 still thinks about you and our other fallen classmates. Some of us made it back home and it doesn't seem fair that some of us didn't. I'll be sure to see you in the next go around.

From a classmate and friend.
08 Jun 2006

** Note that some of these messages are from years ago
and their contact information may not be good anymore **


Joe was in B company, 1st Bn., 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Division. Please visit our company website, Joe was in 1966-1967. I remember the day Joe was Killed, it was ulgy day and for the next 7 days too. We were caught on top of a hill on top of a NVA regiment tunnel system. The NVA kept coming up the hill for the next 6 nights, wave after wave. We called the hill FRAG HILL because we tossed atleast 10,000 frangs. I miss Joe, we were friends. God Bless him and his family. I hope to contact his family now that I know location.
Monday, August 16, 2004

Chuck Dougherty
Buddy in Vietnam
Portland, OR 97206 USA

Foxhole buddy

He was an outstanding, courageous trooper in B Company, 1st Battalion, 7th US Cavalry Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Division. This Fallen Hero Trooper paid the ultimate sacrifice serving our country in the Vietnam War. He fought for our country faithfully in the firm belief that doing so others may enjoy the liberty and freedoms that we treasure. Relatives, Friends & Countryman be proud that this OUTSTANDING TROOPER was an infantry soldier in the "Cav". The same 7th US Cavalry Regiment of General Custer fame. More movies and books have made and written about 7th US Cavalry Regiment than any other Military unit from the Indian War to Vietnam, with more to come. According to the History Channel, the 7th US Cavalry is one of the most decorated units in Military History. Most recent movie is "We Were Soldiers", starring Mel Gibson, an outstanding movie as to what some of the fighting was like in Vietnam War. The 1st Air Cavalry Division had the highest number of combat losses of all Division that fought in the Vietnam War at 5,408, the 7th US Cavalry Regiment had 1,418, Wounded-In-Action estimated at over 20,000. To the chagrin of the Marines we were the Division and the 7th US Cavalry was the Regiment that rescued the Marines out of Khe Sanh, relieving the 3,500 U.S. Marines besieged by nearly 20,000 NVA enemy soldiers. Proudly we fought side-by-side with the Marines at Hue City, A-Shau Valley near the Laotian boarder and many other battles. On 1 May 1970, the Cav. was "First into Cambodia" air assaulting into their Communist sanctuary. The 7th US Cavalry Regiment was the very last infantry combat unit to leave Vietnam in June 1972. The Cav was in Vietnam from August 1965 to June 1972, or 83 months of intense combat. A Very Proud, Loud and Hardy GarryOwen to you, from a fellow Grunt (1967-1968) in B-1-7, 1st Cavalry Division. Visit the following Websites B co., 1st Bn, 7th Cav. Website:  7th Cavalry Regiment:  1st Cavalry Division:  Ia Drang Valley Battle, LZ Xray 7th Cavalry re-cap webpage:

Charles Dougherty
Saturday, September 04, 2004

In Our Thoughts!

Dear Joseph, I didn't know you but I worked in a Deli that your Mom and Dad visited often. They were such a nice couple and you were the pride of their life. I'll never forget their awful sadness the day you died. I thought of you often over the years in their memory. You became my unknown soldier and my touchstone to the Vietnam war. I'm glad I found your name on this site may you all be together again one day. God Bless you. Al

Albert Patterson
Knew MOM and DAD
Haddon Heights, NJ
Wednesday, September 17, 2003.

Thanks to Charlie Keith for his help in creating this page.