April 14, 1933 (Danbury, CT) – August 24, 1966; 33 years old
Married to Faye Tarsi; three children, Michelle, Dona, and Fosta
Last local address: 215 Liberty Square, East Norwalk (1940 census)
Enlisted on May 1, 1965; MOS: 11B40, Light Weapons Infantry
Tour Start Date: August 5, 1966 (killed just 19 days into his tour in Vietnam)
Service number: 19738173
1ST INFANTRY DIVISION, 26TH INFANTRY REGIMENT, 1ST BATTALION, C COMPANY
Casualty Location: Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam
Awarded the Purple Heart Medal
U.S. Navy 1952 – 1956 and Norwalk Police Department 1959 – 1960.
William had enlisted in the Army, entering via Regular Military. Served during the Vietnam War. He held the rank of Staff Sergeant. Occupation or specialty was Light Weapons Infantry. Served with 1st Infantry Division, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry, C Company. Tarsi experienced a traumatic event which resulted in loss of life on August 24, 1966. Recorded circumstances attributed to: “Died through hostile action, explosive device”.
From The Norwalk Hour August 29, 1966
A former Norwalk policeman, U.S. Army Sergeant William J. Tarsi, became the city’s third Vietnamese war victim last week when he was killed in action Wednesday by metal fragments from an exploding land mine. Sergeant Tarsi, 33-years-old, had moved his wife and three daughters to Cheyenne, Wyoming when he departed for South Vietnam early this month. He had been in that country two weeks at the time of his death. Sergeant Tarsi was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Tarsi of 25 Fort Point Street, and had lived in Norwalk for most of his life. He was graduated from Norwalk High School in 1951. While there, he was a varsity catcher on the baseball team and also played on the school’s soccer team. Following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served four years during the Korean crisis. He was appointed to the Norwalk Police Department on July 21, 1959, and stayed with the force until he resigned on August 16, 1960, to enlist in the U.S. Army. Besides his parents, he is survived by his wife, Faye, and three daughters, Michele, Dona, and Fosta, all of Cheyenne; a brother, Orlando, and a sister, Mrs. Thomas Massaro, both of Norwalk and other relatives in Danbury. Burial will be Thursday at Fort Logan National Cemetery, Denver, Colorado. A requiem mass will be said here Saturday at 10 a.m. in St. Thomas the Apostle Church, East Avenue.
From The Norwalk Hour August 5, 2001
DECEASED CLASS OF ’51 GRADS ARE MISSED
Graduating as they did during the U.S. military emergency created by the Korean War, several young men and a few women of the Norwalk High School Class of 1951 served in the armed forces. One of them, William J. Tarsi, a handsome young man as a student in the Commercial Course, made it through the war with the U.S. Navy unscathed. After returning home, he and his best friend, Anthony “Babe” Capuano, of the NHS Class of 1950, operated a couple of local watering holes, the Wee Tavern on Woodward Avenue and the Yankee Clipper on West Avenue. Mr. Tarsi subsequently joined the Norwalk Police Department for a few years before enlisting in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He was killed by a land mine in Southeast Asia while serving as a military policeman, the only class casualty to war service, and ironically in a war few classmates were called upon to serve. Mr. Tarsi had been the starting catcher during the last three years on the baseball team and had been a junior varsity and varsity basketball player for three years.
Staff Sergeant Tarsi is buried in Fort Logan National Cemetery, Denver CO; Section Q, Plot 1630.