Name: John Andrew Jablonski
Rank: Sergeant / Specialist Five
Pay Grade: E4 Posthumous Promotion
Home of Record: Webster, MA
Birth Date: January 29, 1943
Religion: Roman Catholic
Death Date: August 8, 1968
Cause of Death: ground casualty multiple fragmentation wounds hostile;
Died in Long An at age 25
The body was recovered.
|Comment||Distinguished Service Cross Recipient, Posthumously.|
John and I were together at Ft. Benning before heading to Ft. Lewis. He had a positive, can-do attitude about everything he did and embraced life's challenges. John was bright, warm, caring and self-confident in a way which allowed him to put himself in service to others. He was as good a man as I've ever known.
If John didn't make it into Heaven; I haven't got a prayer.
|Comment||[Karl Lowe's history of the 31st Regiment]|
One of those killed, Specialist John A. Jablonski, a well-liked college man in the 2nd Platoon, earned the Distinguished Service Cross. Sadly, his award, like all others in the battalion before him, was posthumous. An extract reads: "Specialist Jablonski distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 8 August 1968 during a reconnaissance in force mission near Can Giuoc. His Company came under intensive fire and was pinned down by a company of Viet Cong in well-fortified positions. Observing that his platoon's point man, Specialist Leslie Tegtmeier, had been wounded, Specialist Jablonski ran through the enemy fusillade to provide covering fire for a medic who was trying to reach the injured soldier. Discovering that the man had been fatally wounded, Specialist Jablonski assaulted a bunker and destroyed it with a hand grenade. Returning to the platoon with the body of his fallen comrade, Specialist Jablonski voluntarily assumed the point position. Remaining calm and alert, he detected four more Viet Cong bunkers and before the enemy had time to react, his platoon engaged and destroyed the emplacements. After serving in the precarious position for two hours, Specialist Jablonski was ordered to the rear by his platoon leader. Ten minutes later, his platoon again came under intense enemy fire, sustaining two more casualties. Without hesitation, Specialist Jablonski rushed through the enemy fire and destroyed a second Viet Cong bunker. Maneuvering to one of the casualties, he carried the wounded man to safety through a hail of fire. Returning immediately to the front, he provided covering fire for other members of his platoon who were maneuvering to destroy the remaining bunkers. As his element moved forward, Specialist Jablonski again assumed the point position. A short time later, he spotted two Viet Cong trying to escape. He ran forward to engage the fleeing enemy, firing his weapon and throwing hand grenades as he moved. He had killed one of the Viet Cong when fire from an unseen bunker mortally wounded him. His dedication and indomitable spirit prevented many casualties and served as an inspiration to the men of his company."