Born 16 July 1912 to a prosperous farming family in Vincennes, Indiana, Joseph H. Stangle excelled in academics and sports in high school (lettering in varsity baseball). He won a scholarship to Purdue University in 1930 and enrolled in Army ROTC. He completed his bachelor of science in electrical engineering in 1934 and was commissioned through the Thomson Act on 18 August 1936—one of 50 cadets throughout the United States to win active duty commissions with the U.S. Army Reserve. His first assignment was at Camp NP-4-C at Estes National Park in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, where he supervised young men employed in the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was a New Deal era employment program administered and managed by Army officers.
On 1 July 1938, Stangle accepted an appointment to the Regular Army as a Field Artillery officer. Later that year he embarked at New York on the S.S. St. Mihiel for duty at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii where he served as a battery commander. In November 1940 he was transferred to Fort Ord, California where he served as Battalion Executive Officer and Battalion Adjutant of the 31st Field Artillery Battalion.
Promoted to major, Stangle assumed command of the 387th Field Artillery Battalion of the 104th Infantry Division (Timberwolves) in November 1942. The division organized and trained at Camp Adair, Oregon and arrived in Europe in October 1944. The 104th entered combat the following month and fought through northern France, Holland, and finally into Germany at Cologne. The 104th Division earned the distinction of serving more continuous days in combat than any other combat division in the U.S. Army in Europe. Promoted to lieutenant colonel in May 1943, his rapid rise demonstrated both his talent as well as the needs of a nation at war. By V-E Day, Stangle had earned campaign credit for battles in Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe.
After the war he served in various staff assignments in occupied Japan, the 2nd Armored Division, Fort Hood, Texas, and in an ROTC assignment at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. Promoted to colonel in August 1952, he completed the Command and General Staff Course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (where he was subsequently an instructor) and graduated from the War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. In August 1955 the Army assigned him as Chief of Mission in Teheran, Iran, where he advised the Iranian National Police (Gendarme.) In January 1957 he returned to the United States to accept the assignment of Chief, Public Affairs Division at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
In August 1958 he accepted his final active duty assignment as Professor of Military Science at St. Bonaventure University. He retired from active service in August 1962. Upon completing his military career, he accepted a position as instructor in the Mathematics Department at St. Bonaventure, where he taught until retiring in 1974. He also taught at Christ the King Seminary and published an article in Vox Regis (the official seminary journal.) Colonel Stangle died on 10 January 2001 and was survived by his wife, Helen Marie Brown and daughters JoEllen Stangle Coppersmith, Mary Jane Storms, Sarah Sue Stangle; eight grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.
His military awards include the Bronze Star Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Army of Occupation Medal with Japan and Germany Clasp, American Campaign Medal, American Defense Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.
A Distinguished Military Graduate of St. Bonaventure University, John P. Caruso earned his Bachelor of Science degree and was commissioned a field artillery second lieutenant through the Army ROTC program in 1953. He completed the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, and was assigned to the 135th Field Artillery, 37th Infantry Division, Camp Polk, Louisiana. Earning jump wings in March 1954, he held a number of positions in the 82nd Airborne Division’s 456th Field Artillery and married the former Alice Bishop of Little Valley, New York at the St. Bonaventure Chapel. Caruso completed the Surface-to-Surface Missile Battery Officer Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in June 1957 and was assigned to the 557th FA Missile Battalion (Corporal) in Ansbach, Germany, where he commanded a firing battery, was promoted to captain and was battalion S3 until he attended the Field Artillery Officer Advanced Course.
In June 1957, he was assigned to the Nuclear Weapons Employment Division, where he instructed for two years. Attending the Civic Action Advisor Course, Fort Gordon, Georgia from March to May 1963, he was assigned to Advisory Team 41, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam at Song Mao, where he advised the operations officer of a Civil Guard Training Center and was an Advisory Team staff officer during a one-year tour. Promoted to major in June 1964, the next three years included completion of the Military Assistance Training Advisor Course, six months of Persian Farsi study, duty as S1 of the 6th Special Action Force, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, award of the MOS Prefix 3 (Special Forces Officer) and assignment as Assistant Chief of Staff, JFK Center for Special Warfare. Selected for promotion to lieutenant colonel, he graduated from Command and General Staff College in June 1968, and in August assumed command of the 2nd Battalion, 73rd Artillery (Honest John), 3rd Armored Division, Hanau, Germany. Caruso joined the 1st ROK Army Detachment, Korea Military Advisory Group at Camp Long, Wonju, where he served as Deputy Senior Advisor to the Commander of the 1st ROK Corps and later as Senior G1 Advisor to the Commanding General, First ROK Army and Detachment G1.
Caruso was assigned to USSTRICOM (later U.S. Readiness Command), MacDill Air Force Base, Florida in April 1971 as Unconventional Warfare Plans Officer in the Plans and Policy Division, J5, Plans and Policy Directorate. He developed, tested and published a joint Unconventional Warfare SOP that was incorporated in JCS Pub 10, Joint Procedures and joined the Centurion Club of the Airborne Association upon completion of his 100th parachute jump before being assigned as Deputy Commander/Chief of Staff, Southwestern Regional Recruiting Command, Fort Sam Houston, Texas in May 1974. Promoted to colonel in 1975, he completed the Army War College and a master’s degree in public administration at Penn State, Capitol Campus. He returned to Korea in 1976, served as Deputy Artillery Officer, I Corps (ROK/US) Group, Uijongbu, was involved in the response to the Panmunjon Incident and developed artillery fire procedures that were incorporated into FM 6-40, Field Artillery Gunnery.
He became an instructor in the Industrial College of the Armed Forces’ Department of Resource Management in 1977, and later served as the director of that department and as the Dean of Students and Administration/Deputy Commandant. Having reached the 30-year limit for years of maximum service, Colonel Caruso retired on 31 July 1983. His awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (2 OLC), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (10 OLC), National Defense Service Medal (1 OLC), Vietnam Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (Three Awards), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Master Parachutist Badge, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation With Palm and two Overseas Service Bars.
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