The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, SSG James David Stuessel, who died in the service of his country on January 22nd, 1969 in Plieku Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms/AW. At the time of his death James was 20 years of age. He was from La Puente, California. James is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 34W, Line 61.
The decorations earned by SSG James David Stuessel include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star with V, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
I was in NCOC School at Fort Benning with James.I see from an old company roster that James graduated as an E6, so he was a good soldier. We were in different platoons, so I didn't know him that well, but today, I feel compelled to leave this remembrance for him. Like the fifteen others in our class who gave their lives, James will never be forgotten by his classmates and brothers. Rest in peace, James. Your battle is over.
Posted by: Joseph Bogucki
James Stuessel and I were classmates once. We both trained to be Infantry Non Commisioned Officers at Fort Benning Georgia. We were in NCOC class 33 of the 71st Co. That of course landed us both in Vietnam.
Being in a different platoon than myself, I have no personal memories thirty years later. I look at his photo here in our classbook this morning and I see a young man with a big smile. A young man, like 15 others in our unit who died way before he should have. James was the fourth of sixteen out of our unit to die. I feel compelled to place some rememberance of him as I have the other 15 lost clasmates. I'm sorry James, for you and your family.
Posted by: SSG Steven D Houghton
(His BSV Citation)
General Orders 1004, Award of The Bronze Star For Heroism, 4th Division, 5 April 1969
For heroism in connection with military operations against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Staff Sergeant Stuessel distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader with A, 1/35th Infantry. On 21 January 1969, Company A was heavily engaged with an undetermined size force of NVA regulars in dense jungles near Chu Pa Mountain. The NVA were supported by rockets, mortars, and small arms fire. During the initial contact, the point element became separated from the remainder of the company and suffered several casualties and, due to the heavy enemy fire, was unable to move. Immediately, Staff Sergeant Stuessel, with complete disregard for his own safety, moved through the intense enemy fire to better position himself to place the most effective fire upon the enemy positions. Due to his very accurate fire the point element was able to recover their wounded and returned safely to the perimeter. As Staff Sergeant Stuessel was moving back to the perimeter he was mortally wounded by an enemy grenade. Staff Sergeant Stuessel's courageous acts, determination, and exemplary devotion to duty are in keeping with they highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.