• north arlington
  • Bergen
  • April 11, 1925
  • February 10, 1968
  • Marines
  • RANK:
  • MSGT
  • KIA
  • South Vietnam


John D’Adamo, Jr. was born on April 11, 1925.  His home of record is North Arlington, NJ.  John graduated from North Arlington High School in 1943, but his sister accepted his diploma for his as he enlisted in the service.  He liked football, bowling and playing the drums. 

John enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1943, and attained the rank of Master Sergeant (MSGT).  D’Adamo initially served 16 months in the South Pacific with the First Marine Air Wing.  At the end of WW II, John joined the Marine Reserve.  In 1949, he returned to active duty.  John saw action in the Korean Conflict in 1953, and aided in the evacuation of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base during the 1962 Cuban crisis.

John married Florence Pires while he was stationed in Oahu, Hawaii.  They had four children.

D’Adamo was listed as missing in action February 10, 1968, but after five days his status was changed to killed in action.  He died in aerial flight while serving aboard a Marine aerial refueling transport of Squadron 152 of the First Marine Aircraft Wing during operations against the enemy.  While delivering a load of JP-4 fuel bladders to the besieged Marine base, Khe Sahn, his aircraft was hit by intense North Vietnamese machine gun fire.  Despite the fire, fumes and smoke which rapidly spread through the aircraft, MSGT D’Adamo remained in the cockpit and assisted the pilot, enabling the aircraft commander to safely land the transport and allowing several of the crew members to escape before the aircraft burst into flames. 

D’Adamo is buried in Hawaii.  He is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, HI.  He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

John D’Adamo was born in Jersey City, April 11, 1925, and moved to North Arlington as an infant.  He was one of eight children, 6 sisters and one brother.  John graduated from North Arlington High School.  He was active in all sports, but his love was football.  He joined the US Marine Corps as soon as he turned 18 and he left in May 1943, one month before graduation.  His older sister received his diploma for him.  He served sixteen months in the South Pacific 1st Marine Air Wing.  After WWII ended, he left the Marines and joined the Reserves, only to return to the Marine Corps in 1949.  He served at Bay of Pigs in Cuba, The Korean Conflict and Vietnam.  Stationed in Oahu, he met and married Florence Pires.  They had four children, and are still living in Hawaii today.  His wife never remarried as she said, “She had the best husband and he could never be replaced.”  His love for his children prompted his forming a blood bank to save two brothers with Coole’s Anemia.

He was a member of the 152nd Maintenance Contingent.  He was flight navigator aboard a Workhorse C130.  It was hit making a landing in Khe Sanh Air Strip.  He helped the pilot land the aircraft and risking his life, helped get four young recruits out, and then went back to help others when the plane exploded.  Stories and pictures of the aircraft were in Life Magazine dated 2/23/68.  John had planned on retiring in 1968, after 25 years of Marine life so he could spend more time with his family.  No one could have been more proud to be a Marine than John.  He died being, and doing, what he loved. 

-- Written by Molly Fullone, Sister, May 2004

Sources: Molly Fullone (sister), Kandy Pires (niece), newspaper clippings and NJVVMF.



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