James Asente, retired, at one time commander of the legendary Project
Delta of the 5th Special Forces Group, now rests with the Nationís heroes
at Arlington National Cemetery. He made his final muster on August 19,
1985 at Falls Church, Virginia. He left behind a wife and three children.
James Asente was born to Sicilian Immigrant parents on October 8, 1930 in
Akron Ohio. He grew up there and attended the University of Akron where he
played football. Times were not always good then and James dropped out of
school to support the family and care for his terminally ill mother.
Later, he returned to the University, and while working at night at the
Goodyear tire manufacturing facility, completed his studies. He scouted
for West Point after college.
James, like his three brothers, who fought in World War two, was destined
to be in the military, and enrolled in the ROTC program while in school.
In 1953, he graduated the University of Akron and was commissioned a 2d LT
of Infantry in the US Army Reserve. He met his wife Mary Floyd when she
was a student nurse at Emory University, and went on to complete a
successful military career, retiring in the grade of LTC.
While on active duty, James spent more than half his military service
outside the zone of interior. Six of these years were spent in Southeast
Asia. James served in Iceland, Germany, Okinawa, Korea, and Vietnam.
During this time he commanded Company C, 2d Inf BN; Hq Co, 2d ARB, 54th
Inf; Operational Detachment B, Co C, 1st Special Forces Group; Operational
Detachment B-52, 5th Special Forces Group; 2d Bn, 31st Inf; and 3d Bn, 32d
Inf. James also served as the Executive Officer of the 2d Bde, 2d Inf Div.
His military awards include the Combat Infantry Badge, Senior Parachute
Badge, Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC), Bronze Star
w/OLC, Air Medal w/6OLC, and the Army Commendation Medal. He was awarded
the Cross of Gallantry with Gold and Bronze Star, the Medal of Honor First
Class, and Parachute Wings by the South Vietnamese Government.
While on active duty, James completed the Defense Language School where he
studied Korean and Vietnamese. He was also a graduate of the Command and
General Staff College. He retired at Ft Myer, Virginia after 22 years of
service in August, 1975.
After retiring, he worked as Marketing Director for a private firm, served
on the Vestry of the Church of the Apostles, Fairfax, Virginia and
sponsored an Ethiopian brother an sister in their escape to America. He
belonged to the International Cultural Society of Korea.