JOHN L JONES - PFC
- jersey city
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- July 01, 1947
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- October 21, 1967
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
John L. Jones was born on July 1, 1947. His home of record is Jersey City, NJ. John graduated from Ferris High School in 1966. Throughout high school, he worked at the A&P in the downtown section of Jersey City.
Jones served in the US Army and attained the rank of Private First Class (PFC). He was assigned to the 1st Cavalry, 1st Squadron, A Troop.
Jones was killed in action on October 21, 1967. He is buried at Macpelah Cemetery in North Bergen, NJ.
John was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star.
John Lewis Jones was born on July 1, 1947, in Jersey City, NJ. Even within the first minutes of his birth, his personality came shining through as he let his twin sister, Joanne, be born first. Johnny's mannerisms, easy-going style, soft speech, everlasting willingness to help, and a friendship you could actually feel, all went together to make up Johnny's loving personality. He had four sisters, Joanne, Marge, Sharon and Pinky, and one brother, Donald.
Most of his friends were in the scouting world. He was a 12-year veteran of Boy Scouting. John became an Eagle Scout, a member of the Order of the Arrow and the Assistant Scout Master of Troop 31 in Jersey City.
After graduating from high school in 1966, he became a draftsman for Western Electric in Kearny. John loved to draw. It was at Ferris High School that John realized his talent for drawing, which he constantly worked at improving. One of his best works - a laughing clown - hangs in the summer house (an A-frame which John spent many hours helping to build) of his good friend and Scoutmaster, Edward Ibold. Another of his drawings is an Indian Chief with full headdress done up in pastel chalks. John got his inspiration for this idea from his Grandma Jones, who always told her grandchildren that we were part Creek Indian.
John was drafted and entered the Army on October 21, 1966, and was assigned to A Troop, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry. As a machine gunner on an armored cavalry assault vehicle, he was called forward to provide security while the platoon Sergeant's beleaguered vehicle withdrew with a casualty. John and his Commander dismounted to knock out a bunker, which was firing on the other vehicle. The Commander tossed a grenade into the bunker, which the enemy promptly threw back. It landed only a few feet from the Commander. John retrieved the grenade and threw it back into the bunker, saving the life of the Commander, killing one enemy soldier, and destroying two weapons. Two more grenades were thrown by John into another bunker, killing the enemy. He then saw a grenade launcher, which had fallen from another vehicle, and he was running to retrieve the weapon when he was mortally wounded by enemy fire. He was killed in action on October 21, 1967, a year to the day he entered the Army. John was 20 years young.
Private First Class John L. Jones was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart, which hang proudly today on his Father's living room wall.
All of his letters from boot camp and from Vietnam to his family were always upbeat. There was a feeling of adventure, challenge and purpose in those letters. In many of his letters, he would ask, "How are the beautiful four???" referring to his four sisters.
John handled the challenge of going from a young man fresh out of high school to an adult in a matter of months. Think about it...graduating from high school in June...drafted in October...and sent halfway around the world to fight in a war in less than a year. John did it willingly and bravely.
As John's good friend, Barry Dress, expressed in his memorial to John - "His twenty years with us were enough time for John to earn the greatest reward any of us can achieve: the love and respect of many, many friends and family." We've read the phrases he closed all his letters with, "Take it easy," and we try to. As Edna Vincent Millay wrote: "Life must go on, though good men die; Life must go on, I forget just why."
Written by Margie and Pinky, Sisters
Sources: Marjorie MyKuluk (sister), Denis Onieal (friend) and NJVVMF.
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