• irvington
  • Essex
  • December 23, 1947
  • March 01, 1968
  • Army
  • RANK:
  • PFC
  • KIA
  • South Vietnam


John C. Hill was born on December 23, 1947, in Newark, NJ, to Earl and Julia Hill. His home of record is Irvington, NJ. He had a brother, Earl, and a sister, Elaine. He attended Newark public schools. In high school, he was on the baseball team for two years. He graduated from Arts High School in Newark in 1965. John enjoyed fishing, even ice fishing in the winter.

John was a friendly loving guy. Known by the nickname of "Johnny" to his family and friends, he was well liked by all. He delighted in his nieces and nephews. If anyone needed help, John was always there to give it.

John was a member of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Newark, NJ, having been confirmed there in 1961.

John went to work after graduation for the New Jersey Commission for the Blind in Newark, where he was an Assistant Librarian. After six months, he left and became an underground splicer's helper with Public Service Electric and Gas Co. in Irvington, NJ. He had planned on returning to that job when he was discharged from the service.
John had many plans for the future - these included marriage to his special lady someday.

Hill served in the US Army and he attained the rank of Private First Class (PFC). His service began on August 2, 1967, and he completed his basic training at Fort Dix, NJ, and advanced to infantry training at Fort Jackson, SC.

John arrived in Vietnam on January 10, 1968. He was there just six weeks when, on March 1, 1968, he was involved in a firefight in Thau Trien Province, South Vietnam and died of gunshot wounds.

Hill was survived by his parents, brother and sister.

Hill was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism and the Purple Heart.

His Air Medal citation reads:
For distinguishing himself by meritorious achievement while participating in sustained aerial flight in support of combat ground forces of the Republic of Vietnam during the period January 1968 to March 1968.

During this time he actively participated in more than twenty-five aerial missions over hostile territory in support of counterinsurgency operations. During all of these missions he displayed the highest order of air discipline and acted in accordance with the best traditions of the service. By his determination to accomplish his mission in spite of the hazards inherent in repeated aerial flights over hostile territory and by his outstanding degree of professionalism and devotion to duty, he has brought credit upon himself, his organization, and the military service.

His Bronze Star Medal citation reads:
For distinguishing himself by meritorious service in connection with ground operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam during the period January 1968 to March 1968.

Through his untiring efforts and professional ability, he consistently obtained outstanding results. He was quick to grasp the implications of new problems with which he was faced as a result of the ever changing situations inherent in a counterinsurgency operation and to find ways and means to solve those problems. The energetic application of his extensive knowledge has materially contributed to the efforts of the United States mission to the Republic of Vietnam to assist that country in ridding itself of the communist threat to its freedom.

His initiative, zeal, sound judgment and devotion to duty have been in the highest tradition of the United States Army and reflect great credit on him and on the military service.

His Army Commendation Medal for Heroism reads:
For heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Private First Class Hill distinguished himself by heroism in action on 1 March 1968, while serving as a rifleman with Company B, 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry during a search and clear mission near Ap Trach Pho, Republic of Vietnam. When his unit became heavily engaged with a large enemy force, Private First Class Hill exposed himself to the hostile as he placed effective suppressive fire on the enemy emplacements. While engaging the enemy force, Private First Class Hill was mortally wounded. His display of personal bravery and devotion to duty was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

Sources: Elaine Henning (sister) and NJVVMF.


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