THOMAS H JONES - PFC
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- February 14, 1948
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- June 11, 1968
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Thomas H. Jones was born on February 14, 1948, at Salem Memorial Hospital in Salem, NJ, to Hubert and Jane Jones. His home of record is Salem, NJ.
Thomas enlisted in the US Army shortly after graduating from Salem Memorial High School in 1967. He had spent one year in Massanuten Military School, as a junior, then returned to Salem High School.
Jones served with 1st Division, Company C, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry. Jones attained the rank of Private First Class (PFC).
Jones was killed in action on June 11, 1968. While returning from ambush patrol near Lai Khe, his base camp, he came under heavy fire. Several of his comrades were wounded. While retrieving a buddy, Thomas was mortally wounded.
Jones was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star w/V device for valor, the Army Commendation Medal, the Vietnam Medal of Valor w/crossed Palms, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal.
Thomas is buried at Lawnside Cemetery in Woodside, NJ.
Tommy had become engaged shortly after graduation, to Patricia (Patti) Pate, promising to marry her when he returned. Six weeks into his tour of duty, he was killed in action. Patti, then a senior in high school, found out about the tragedy the evening before her graduation. After Tommy's death, Patti told us, "You may have lost a son, but you will always have a daughter."
On Valentine's Day in 1997, it was our 50th wedding anniversary, and Patti was legally adopted as our daughter. Both of her parents were no longer living at the time.
Written by Hubert Jones, Father
Jones' Army Commendation Medal reads:
For the performance of exceptionally meritorious service in support of the United States objectives in the counterinsurgency effort in the Republic of Vietnam during the period May 1968 to June 1968.
Through his outstanding professional competence and devotion to duty he consistently obtained superior results. Working long and arduous hours, he set an example that inspired his associates to strive for maximum achievement. The loyalty, initiative and will to succeed that he demonstrated at all times materially contributed to the successful accomplishment of the mission of this command.
His performance was in the best tradition of the United States Army and reflects great credit upon himself and the military service.
Jones' Bronze Star Medal with "V" device citation reads:
For heroism not involving participation in aerial flight, in connection with military operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: On this date, Private First Class Jones was serving as a rifleman with his platoon during an ambush patrol in War Zone C near Lai Khe Base Camp. As his platoon was returning to their night defensive perimeter from the ambush site, they were subjected to intense hostile rocket, grenade, and claymore mine fire. Private First Class Jones began returning rapid and accurate fire until he noticed that several of his comrades had fallen wounded in the enemy kill zone. With complete disregard for his personal safety, he maneuvered through the hail of hostile rounds until he reached a wounded man, and then carried him to a secure area for medial assistance. Private First Class Jones immediately returned to aid another casualty, and at this time, he was mortally wounded by the concentrated enemy fire. His example of selfless courage and deep concern for the welfare of his comrades inspired those about him to continue fighting vigorously until the insurgents were repelled. Private First Class Jones' outstanding display of aggressiveness, devotion to duty, and personal bravery is in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division, and the United States Army.
Sources: Hubert Jones (father) and NJVVMF.
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