TIMOTHY JOHN DINEEN
Company C 1/22 Infantry
4th Infantry Division
Date of Birth Feb 18, 1945
From: VALLEJO, CA
Religion: ROMAN CATHOLIC
Marital Status: Single
PFC - E3 - Army - Selective Service
4th Infantry Division
MOS: 11B10 Infantryman
Length of service 0 years
His tour began on Nov 2, 1967
Casualty was on Feb 5, 1968
In KONTUM, SOUTH VIETNAM
HOSTILE, GROUND CASUALTY
GUN, SMALL ARMS FIRE
Body was recovered
Panel 37E - Line 35
Timothy Dineen was killed in
action during the Battle of Kontum City, Tet Offensive 1968,
at grid reference AR797917, approximately 3 kilometers north/northeast of Kontum airfield.
PFC Timothy Dineen's decorations
Photo from the 1963 Vallejo
Valley High School yearbook.
The above article is from the Valiejo News-Chronicle February 8, 1968
Tim Dineen's grandfather,
Timothy Patrick Dineen
For some years, Tim
Dineen's final resting place had been the victim of
Thieves had stolen the brass metal gate to the mausoleum where his body lay.
Tom Minero, of Fair
Oaks, California, discovered the vandalized tomb, and searched
for relatives of Dineen. When he found there were no living relatives, Tom took on the task
of raising funds and restoring the damaged mausoleum.
The following article was published in the newspaper during Tom Minero's efforts to raise funds for the repair and restoration:
Vallejo grad seeks to honor fallen G.I.
By Irma Widjojo/Times-Herald staff writer
A Vallejo High School graduate is on a mission to repair a vandalized mausoleum that is the home of a fellow alumnus and fallen soldier.
Tom Minero did not know much about Tim Dineen other than from his memories at The Plunge, a local public swimming pool.
Dineen was a lifeguard at the pool.
"There were other lifeguards there, but I just remembered him the most," Minero said. "He had this stern voice, and would yell
"Hey!" if he caught us doing something we weren't supposed to. ... But when he's not yelling at us he was a nice guy."
Minero was about eight years younger than Dineen, who graduated from the high school in 1963.
Fast forward to last Memorial Day, Minero was visiting the traveling replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall as it came to his city,
Fair Oaks, and saw Dineen's name on the wall.
Dineen was 22 when he died on the battleground in February 1968. He was killed in the Vietnam highlands around Pleiku
while on a search-and-destroy mission with the 4th Infantry Division, according to a past Times-Herald article.
He was just weeks shy of his 23rd birthday.
"Upon my return, I decided to search the web for information about Tim and others," Minero said.
The research led him to a man, who subsequently told him about Dineen's vandalized mausoleum.
Dineen's body rests in the St. Vincent Catholic Cemetery on Benicia Road.
The only son of a prominent Vallejo family -- Dineen's grandfather Timothy Dineen was a city councilman -- he was drafted
in June 1967 and assigned to duty with C Company, First Battalion 22nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, and was deployed
to Vietnam in November of that year.
Dineen attended Roosevelt and Highland elementary schools, and was on the varsity swim team at Vallejo High School.
He also continued swimming as he attended Solano Junior College.
His coach Frank Wetmore, who still lives in Vallejo, recalls Dineen fondly.
"He was always working so hard on the team," Wetmore said. "Just a very good kid."
After his death, Dineen's father set up a fund in Dineen's name to sponsor a swimmer from the team to go to college, Wetmore said.
"He was one of my better swimmers. He had a great attitude," he added.
As Minero was visiting his parents' graves at the All Souls Cemetery, just across the street from St. Vincent Catholic Cemetery,
he decided to visit Dineen's mausoleum, and said he was "shocked."
A thief, or thieves, had vandalized and stolen items from Dineen's and other family's mausoleums, including the brass gates.
Minero said the cemetery administrator told him that they had been unable to contact any family members
to let them know about the vandalism.
A cemetery spokesman confirmed that Dineen family members could not be contacted regarding the vandalism,
and that the Dineen's was one of two mausoleums whose doors were stolen.
Minero said there are five caskets inside the mausoleum, which is now secured by plywood, held up by two stacked casket containers.
His attempts to locate any family members have also been futile. Instead of giving up, Minero is taking this matter into his own hands.
He's begun collecting donations to fix the mausoleum, which according to estimate will cost about $2,600.
"He died for our country and this is what his resting place looks like?" Minero said. "It's awful. It has to be fixed, for his honor."
Minero has set up a memorial fund for the cause and has since collected about $1,500. Once it reaches $2,600,
Minero said the account will be closed and any excess donation will be returned to the senders.
The donors will receive a "thank you note" and their names could possibly be placed on a plaque on the mausoleum when it's repaired.
Those who have donated often accompany their checks with notes. Many of them described Dineen as a "gentle soul" and "quiet and polite."
Donations can be made to the Timothy J. Dineen Memorial Fund, U.S. Bank, ..........
Minero discourages wire transfers from other banks due to the service fees.
The reparation will begin as soon as $2,600 is collected, he added.
Contact staff writer Irma Widjojo at (707) 553-6835 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow her on Twitter @IrmaVTH.
The following article
was published in the newspaper describing the dedication ceremony
of the restored mausoleum:
Vandalized grave of
Vallejo fallen veteran restored
Friends, veterans contribute to fund
By Irma Widjojo
A ceremony to honor a local fallen Vietnam veteran Friday afternoon brought many people together for many reasons.
About 25 people gathered in
front of the Dineen family mausoleum at the St. Vincent Catholic
Cemetery, which is now
decorated with brand new black iron gates, an engraved memorial stone, and fresh plants. Inside the stone structure,
lies members of the Dineen family, including Timothy J. Dineen who died in an ambush on the battleground in February, 1968,
just weeks shy of his 23rd birthday.
The elaborate panels replaced a
plywood propped up with two stacked empty caskets, which used to
be placed in front
of the mausoleum for many years after a thief, or thieves, stole its doors.
A fellow Vallejo High School
alumnus, Tom Minero, found out about the vandalism last year and
made it a personal project
to collect the funds to restore Dineen's resting place, after being unable to find any living relatives. In a matter of a few months,
Minero, of Fair Oaks, had collected about $3,200 donated by about 60 people, including Dineen's friends and other veterans.
"I'm very appreciative of
the effort," Minero said during the ceremony. "I'm sure
Tim is smiling down on us right now."
Minero is eight years younger than Dineen and remembers him as a lifeguard at The Plunge, a local public swimming pool.
"He was an authoritative figure at the pool. But he would talk to us, and we thought he was the coolest lifeguard," he said.
Larry Holm said he was in the
varsity swim team with Dineen in high school and spoke at the
"I don't know if there's any gentler person than Tim," Holm said. "He was a great guy and fun to be with. ...
I'm proud to call him a friend." Although he now resides in Oregon, Holm traveled to Vallejo to attend the ceremony.
Dineen was the only son of a
prominent Vallejo family -- Dineen's grandfather Timothy Dineen
was a city councilman --
he was drafted in June 1967 and assigned to duty with C Company, First Battalion 22nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division,
and was deployed to Vietnam in November of that year.
Holm wasn't the only one who made a special trip for Friday's event.
Serendipitously, a Timothy G.
Dineen of Southern California heard about Minero's effort and
sent a contribution to the fund.
After talking to Minero, the retired U.S. Marine decided to attend the ceremony.
"I first saw his name on
the Vietnam Memorial Wall (in Washington D.C.) in 1998. I was
blown away. ... I hadn't thought of it
all those years," Timothy G. Dineen said. "I had never met anyone with the same name. The part that just stuck me
is that he doesn't have any relatives left. "This is lovely, what a tribute," he added.
The two Timothy Dineens are not related, but share the same birth year.
Minero said through the months
of contacting those who might know Timothy J. Dineen, he got to
find out more
about the soldier's life.
"I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to take on this project, to restore his resting place," Minero said.
The ceremony closed with the playing of TAPS.
From the Times-Herald
Saint Vincents Cemetery
Plot: Family Vault L171 L172
The restored burial crypt for Timothy Dineen
Photo by Teresa Finn from the Find A Grave website
The invitation to the dedication ceremony.
Stone tablet constructed under the
direction of Tom Minero, for Tim Dineen's grave,
with C Company 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry memorial coins and four quarters.
Each quarter signifies that the grave was visited by someone who was with the deceased when he was killed.
Charlie Company 22nd Infantry memorial
coins from Bud Roach ( C 1/22 Infantry 1967-1968 ),
showing the reverse side of two of the coins. These coins were left at Tim Dineen's grave.
Tom Minero, center, who was responsible
for the restoration of Tim Dineen's final resting place.
With Tom are four veterans of Company C 1/22 Infantry, who served with Tim Dineen.
Left to right: Jack Chavez, Mike Stokes, Tom Minero, Bill Boling, Fred Childs
Tim Dineen's final resting place inside the mausoleum.
Taps being played at the dedication ceremony.
Photo by Maureen Mo Mulroy-Kocourek
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