JOHN J FOLEY

JOHN J FOLEY - LCPL

  • HOMETOWN:
  • plainfield
  • COUNTY:
  • Union
  • DATE OF BIRTH:
  • June 11, 1947
  • DATE OF CASUALTY:
  • June 11, 1967
  • BRANCH OF SERVICE:
  • Marines
  • RANK:
  • LCPL
  • STATUS:
  • MIA
  • COUNTRY:
  • South Vietnam

Biography


John J. Foley III was born on June 11, 1947, in Niskayuna, NY, to John and Bernice Foley, Jr. His home of record is Plainfield, NJ. He had one sister, Sandra. He attended Hubbard Junior High School and Plainfield High School graduating in 1966. He was voted class flirt and most popular. His activities included Track, Varsity Football, Key Club and Wrestling. He also worked at Arthur's Department Store in Plainfield.

Foley enlisted in the US Marine Corps on October 5, 1966, where he attained the rank of Lance Corporal (LCPL). He was assigned to 3rd Recon Company, 3rd recon Battalion, 3rd Marine Division.

Foley was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal,the Republic of Vietnam Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Purple Heart Medal.

Foley remains missing in action/presumptive finding of death as of June 11, 1967, when the helicopter he was riding in burst into flames and crashed as a result of enemy fire.

Synopsis (from the POW Network) as to the circumstances behind being listed as MIA:
On 11 June 1967, 1LT Curtis Bohlsheid was the pilot of a CH 46A helicopter inserting a seven-man Marine Force Recon team into a predesignated area 11.5 nautical miles northwest of Dong Ha, South Vietnam--right on the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). A total of four aircraft were involved in the mission, two CH46's and two UH1E helicopter gunships. Bohlscheid flew the lead aircraft. His crew included MAJ John S. Oldham, LCPL Jose J. Gonzales (crew chief), and PFC Thomas M. Hanratty (crew chief).

Members of the 3rd Recon Company, 3rd Recon Battalion, 3rd Marine Division who were being inserted were CPL Jim E. Moshier, LCPL Dennis R. Christie, LCPL John J. Foley III, LCPL Michael W. Havranek, LCPL James W. Kooi, PFC Charles D. Chomel and PFC James E. Widener.

The flight departed Dong Ha at about 11:15 a.m. and proceeded to the insertion location. The gunships made low strafing runs over the landing zone to clear booby traps and to locate any enemy troops in the area. No enemy fire was received and no activity was observed. The lead aircraft then began its approach to the landing zone. At an estimated altitude of 400-600 feet, the helicopter was observed to climb erratically, similar to an aircraft commencing a loop. Machinegunmen had been waiting for the opportune time to fire on the aircraft. Portions of the rear blades were seen to separate from the aircraft and radio transmission was received from the aircraft indicating that it had been hit. The helicopter became inverted and continued out of control until it was seen to crash by a stream in a steep ravine.

Subsequent efforts by ground units to reach the crash area failed due to a heavy bunker complex surrounding the site. The ground units inspected the site from within 500 meters through binoculars and observed no survivors. All eleven personnel aboard the helicopter were therefore classified Killed In Action, Body Not Recovered. Other USMC records indicate that the helicopter also burst into flames just prior to impacting the ground.

Sources: Bernice Foley (mother), POW Network and NJVVMF.

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