1LT James Ungaro and his Charlie Troop Family

Posted on February 18, 2013


Ungaro T1 1100X1170

Mary and Toni, Marchie (Marks wife), Laura and Mark. Mary, Mark and Laura are Jims' siblings

Mary and Toni, Marchie (Marks wife), Laura and Mark. Mary, Mark and Laura are Jims’ siblings

On Friday February 15, 2013 I received a comment on one of the Post (Mission Number 6) on my Blog. The comment came from Laura. She was wanting to hear more about James Ungaro and to see if anyone had more pictures of him.

James was a Scout Pilot in Charlie Troop 1/9 Cavalry. He just happened to be one of the Pilots that I consider a Hero. I responded quickly. At the same time, I posted a comment on Charlie Troops Yahoo site asking for anyone who knew James and may have pictures of him to let me know. I received several replies and forwarded them to Laura. Bruce Huffman and John Powell, both Pilots, knew Jim very well and considered him a true friend.

James Ungaro died May 27, 1983. It seems as though he did not talk to his family about his time in Vietnam. By uniting Larua with the men who served with him, a gap in his life (for his family) will be filled. The reason behind this Blog was to let the world know What and Who Charlie Troop 1st Squadron 9th Cavalry was and to help families learn about their family members from the men that served in this unit. The following are Comments made to Mission Number six and some email that went back and forth. Laura was kind enough to give me some pictures of Her and her siblings.

The following are some of the comments between myself and Laura:

What a nightmare…….. We are interested in any other information you may have regarding Lt. Ungaro. Any other pictures, stories. He was our brother, and he did not tell us of his experiences. Our Mother found his medals long after he returned from Viet Nam. He loved our country and was glad he was able to do what he could at the time. After returning from Nam, he was productive, contributing member to our community, had two children—his daughter became an Air Force officer. He was building an apartment complex he and his brothers owned when he died. About 500 people attended his funeral. Thanks.
Laura Ungaro


Your Brother Jim was Hero to men like me. I don’t know if you understand what our mission as a unit was or not. We were the 1st Cavalry Divisions Recon. Jim flew in a small helicopter known as an OH-13. He and a team of two enlisted men flew trying to find the enemy. They flew very low and very slow. The one thing that I will always remember and honor him for followes: We had been flown to a mountain top. Shortly after we moved in so did the rains. We were suppose to be there for 3-4 days. On the seventh day our food was gone, our ammunition was low and the batteries that we needed to operate our radio were almost useless. Several times they had tried to get supplies to us but they couldn’t. Jim had his two enlisted men get out of his helicopter and then had it loaded with food, ammo and the battries. The fog was so thick that Jim flew with the skids of his helicopter touching the tree tops as he ascended the mountain. As he neared us I called him on the radio and I would give him a count. He would listen to my count and determine which way to move to find us. As he got over the top of us the skies opened up a little. He hovered his helicopter off of the ground as the ammo and all was unloaded. Then he lifted back up and the skies closed again. He used the same manner of flight as he descended the mountain. It has his courage and his love for his fellow man that made him so special and really saved the day for us. I will notify several others who knew Jim and ask them to add their comments. If you want to talk to any of them just ask and I know they will be very happy to answer you by email or even by Phone. If you will tell me what state you live in I may be able to find someone from that state.

I consider your brother Jim to be a Hero, a Comrade in Arms and a Brother.

Thank you for responding to my blog. I am trying to honor all of the men I served with. If you or anyone has a story about Jim that you would like to share with us please type it and send it to my email address and I will post it to my blog on his post.Laura,

I understand that Bruce is travelling right now. I know he is looking forward to talking to you. I don’t know if you receieved an email from him or not but he and Jim were very close and they went on R&R together. R&R is Rest and Relaxation.

To view those two post and any of the others I have on there, when you get to the first page go over to the right hand side. Go down a little and click on any of the letters. The two I referenced are under J-K.

I will look because I think I may have some other pictures of Jim. If Not I will send an email to all of the guys and see if any of them have some.

Have a Great Day,


How do I thank you? Mr. Huffman has contacted me and says he will get back to me soon. Apparently he is traveling. Thank you for your number. I will contact you shortly, if you don’t mind. My number is (702) 248-6556. My brother Mark was zipped at the hip with Jim (we called him Giac [Jock] an Italian version of James. GiacandMark were one word til Jim went into the Army and then immediately upon his return to Las Vegas. He will be very interested in getting in on the conversation. We all will! It’s been a long 30 years since we knew anything about Jim.
Thank you again.


All the Thanks I need from you is for you and your family to be happy. I hope that by finding this site and being able to talk to the people who flew with Jim true happiness will be yours. However, if you have a picture of Jim with his family and maybe even a picture of him and you and your brother I would love to be able to get a copy so I can insert intyo his Post. Maybe in a year or two my wife. Carol, and I can come to Las Vegas to meet you. I would like that.Enjoy this site and enjoy the comments from the men who knew Him so well.

Love, Peace and Happiness to you and yours.


The following email came in from John Powell anothjer American Hero and a Scout Pilot in Charlie Troop:

Pat…ask her if she would like to talk to me. Her brother and I went to OCS and flight school together and were also stick buddies. I have a lot of photos of him both stateside and Vietnam. He also talked me into flying scouts and my first flight in VN was with him. He and I went to visit his parents in Vegas after we got our commissions. His greatest gift to me was introducing me to blue cheese salad dressing….lol….15/25….jpI am sure that John and Laura has gotten together by now as I forwarded this email and Johns’ email address to Laurs.

We have also heard from several Crew Members who flew with Jim. Scouts like, John Woodruff and Greg Jayne.

Posted in: Heroes