James Asente

LTC 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.