04/29/2016 by militaryphonies
Joseph Stanley Imperato is involved with several veteran’s organizations in Clifton, New Jersey.
He has even held office with these organizations. Below is a photo of him in a Deputy Vice Commander uniform, as evidenced by his name tag.
Point is, Imperato has held high offices within these organizations which speak to a high level of trust inherent to these positions.
It has been reported that Imperato tells the story around town that he was wounded in Beirut, Lebanon. The story goes that he was stationed aboard a submarine that was off the coast of Beirut in 1983 and when he went topside, he was struck by shrapnel from an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade).
In this case, we rely upon others in Clifton New Jersey to corroborate these stories and can always obtain the affidavits if need be. There exists more compelling evidence of Imperato’s claim.
Namely, the entry for Joseph S. Imperato’s Purple Heart in the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor database.
Imperato claims that he was in the Navy from 1980 to 1991. Later, his service dates will be confirmed so this is not in dispute. From his Facebook timeline:
Imperato posted this photo of his earlier days in the US Navy. This photo clearly shows that he is a Radioman 1st Class Petty Officer (E-6), designated by the three stripes below the “crow” and the radioman rating insignia of lightning bolts.
We will address the Purple Heart in a minute, but first would like to underscore the rating of RM1 (E-6). Since it is established that Imperato was in the US Navy from 1980 to 1991, it would be difficult for him to make E-6 in under 4 years so it is highly likely that the above photo was taken after 1984, which would have been after the US Forces left Beirut, Lebanon.
There is no Purple Heart medal in the above photograph and there would be if he had received one in Beirut, Lebanon for being wounded in 1983. Although it is plausible that he could have gotten the Purple Heart awarded years after the fact, one would have to start earmarking exceptions to Imperato’s story.
For convenience, the medals worn in the photo above are detailed here and will be later supported and accounted for by his official military service record. No Purple Heart.
Since several people inquired about Joseph Imperato, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was initiated.
. . . . .
FOIA RESULTS – SELECTED
. . . . .
FOIA RESULTS – COMPLETE
. . . . .
SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION
E-5 vs. E-6
The photo spoken about earlier shows a rank of E-6 but his FOIA results show a discharge rate of E-5.
Prior to his records being ordered via the FOIA, an effort was made by a third party doing research on Wounded in Action / Purple Hearts in Beirut, Lebanon 1982-1984 to reach out to Joseph Imperato and ask him about his Purple Heart. This was based on his name showing up on a list as potential Purple Heart recipients from Beirut. The request sought confirmation from Mr. Imperato. This was Mr. Imperato’s response.
While Imperato did say he was in Beirut Lebanon, he avoided the question about the Purple Heart award other than to say that he didn’t think he was the person they were looking for.
NATIONAL PURPLE HEART HALL OF HONOR
The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor was contacted and asked about their protocol. The director said that they require documentation of the Purple Heart award before it is listed in their database. A FOIA was made to obtain the documentation for Mr. Imperato.
The response is included below:
So there is an ongoing effort to obtain the documentation that Joseph Imperato supplied to the Military Order of the Purple Heart. That documentation will prove to be very interesting since a Purple Heart was not supported in his official military records.
USS ANDREW JACKSON (SSBN-619)
The military records show that Imperato was on the USS Andrew Jackson (SSBN-619) during the years that the US was involved in Lebanon — 1982-1984. This submarine was stationed out of Scotland and had two teams – a BLUE and GOLD team. Imperato was on the GOLD team. The sub would do a patrol and alternate teams. It is plausible that the patrol could have included Beirut, Lebanon as either routine or due to the circumstances of the conflict there, namely the bombing on 23 Oct 1983. We are still trying to locate ship’s logs for the USS Andrew Jackson but may have to file another FOIA request.
In addition, several members of the crew from that time period have been contacted to inquire about these circumstances.
[EDIT – 05/21/2016] Since this blog has been published, we’ve been provided reliable information that there have been successful efforts in reaching out to past Commanding Officers of the USS Andrew Jackson (SSBN-619) as well as Gold and Blue team members from 1983. These interviews reveal that the submarine’s deterrent patrols were conducted in the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean and would have no reason to be in the Mediterranean Sea in 1983. The closest that the ship got to the Med was Lisbon, Portugal. Several, including a past Commanding Officer of the vessel, pointed out that if the USS Andrew Jackson had been off the coast of Beirut during a time of conflict then sailors on board would have been awarded the Navy Expeditionary medal. Joseph Imperato does not have a Navy Expeditionary Medal in his official military record. He also does not have the medal shown in the photograph above. The Navy Expeditionary medal is pictured below for reference.
In addition, submarine sailors have weighed in on this and said that the USS Andrew Jackson was a “boomer”, or a ballistic missile submarine, and therefore would have a responsibility of deep water deterrent patrols so would not be near a hostile port.
If the sub were there, it would have to have been close enough to shore to be struck with an RPG, or have been close enough to be hit with shrapnel from an RPG exploding on shore.
An RPG has a maximum effective range of 500 meters but is usually most effective within 100 meters. It’s a shape charge, so it will focus the blast in the same trajectory path that the round is traveling. It does not blast out in all directions. The RPG would have to hit something in order to explode and have the shrapnel projected from it.
In order to believe the story put out by Joseph Imperato, one would have to accept the following facts:
- The USS Andrew Jackson was close enough to the shore of Beirut to be struck by an RPG.
- The crew was allowed to go topside on the sub. Was it a part of R&R and some kind of swim call? Or was it a critical need for the skills that he had as part of an operational requirement?
- The RPG would have had to have impacted either the submarine or an object in immediate proximity to it to explode and send shrapnel in Imperato’s direction.
- Someone on the crew would have heard about the incident of a crewmember being struck by shrapnel from an RPG. This would rise to the level of being legendary. Nobody on the crew that we’ve spoken with can recall a story such as this. Still checking, however.
- The bizarre circumstances of this story would have been included in several if not most books on the US intervention in Beirut, but no incident such as this is mentioned. No newspaper articles mention it either.
- The wounds would have to escape the scrutiny of being entered in a member’s records to receive the Purple Heart award. This omission would also have escaped the scrutiny of the member on final discharge. The importance of the award would speak against being overlooked, but it is possible.
The bottom line is that Joseph Stanley Imperato’s service claim of the Purple Heart is not supported by his official military records.
Perhaps the documentation that he supplied to the Military Order of the Purple Heart would exonerate his claim? If so, Imperato would do well to make sure this supportive documentation also makes its way to the National Personnel Records Center since they have no record of a Purple Heart award for him.
Even though we cannot identify a photo of Imperato displaying a Purple Heart, it leaves us wondering why he has an entry into the database of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and by proxy the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor? Both of these respected organizations require documentation substantiating the Purple Heart award.
. . . . .
PHOTOS and SOCIAL MEDIA
. . . . .
American Legion Post 8: https://www.facebook.com/QRP8TAL/ (deleted)
(Clifton, New Jersey)
National Purple Heart Hall of Honor link for Joseph S. Imperato: http://www.thepurpleheart.com/recipient/RecipientDetails.aspx?rid=195860a8-feb9-4c72-aa66-86c14cf93d32&aid=37E5 (now deleted) [pic]
. . . . .
This Ain’t Hell: http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=65529