Philip Lawrence Jewell

Army of the United States
09 October 1949 - 21 November 1969
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Panel 16W Line 106

Combat Medic

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Philip L Jewell

The database page for Philip Lawrence Jewell

31 Jan 2001

Philip Jewell and Johnny Trainham were my friends.

On the day he died Johnny was my squad leader. Because we were short handed that day and had been pushing very hard in the days just before his death, Johnny volunteered to walk point that morning even though, as our squad leader, he was technically exempt from that duty. The job should have been mine that day, but he knew that one of the other squad members and I were totally beat from walking point in heavy elephant grass all day the day before. Another squad member was armed with a sniper rifle, not really suitable for point and the last squad member had such poor vision and was so accident prone that no one felt comfortable with him at point.

We were on a hilltop from which a group of NVA soldiers had battered our sister company the day before. We had hurried to their assistance that day and spent the night before on the side of the hill where they had encountered the NVA and spent the day fighting to dislodge them from the hilltop where they were dug in. My company spent the night watching the helicopter gunships and jets pound the hilltop and having their expended brass rain down on us as they made their runs.

At first light we moved up to relieve our sister company and take the hilltop which was deserted by now except for some dead enemy soilders. The company that had first encountered the NVA force on the hilltop had lost several killed and wounded and had had one MIA who was found dead by the third company in our battalion as they moved in from the opposite direction that morning. Our company stopped on top of the hill and were assigned to follow a likely escape route back down the hill.

The situation was very scary and everyone was waiting apprehensively when the order of march was given and our squad was assigned point. Johnny sized up the situation and assigned point to himself. It was a gesture of kindness to me since he knew I was dead tired and would not likely be at my best and that we might find the NVA we were searching for on the trail. I was assigned the "slack" position just behind Johnny. When we stood to get started Johnny stepped out beyond a large boulder we had stopped by and in his first step he was gunned down by a full magazine of automatic weapon fire from an NVA soldier who had been waiting patiently behind the boulder. No one else but me was even on their feet yet and we were all paralyzed with shock and fear. Johnny was shot perhaps 20 times through the chest from no more than a foot or so away and he fell down the steep trail he had been starting down just beyond where anyone could reach him without exposing themself in the same way.

We returned fire ineffectively since no one could get a position that exposed the back side of the boulder. Our medic came up and tried to reach Johnny but it was really futile already. We made a quick plan that included tossing a hand grenade around the rock and trying to spray fire in that direction as much as we could. The medic, Phillip Jewell, exposed himself momentarily after I had fired an M79 "shotgun" round around the edge of the rock and others fired over him to try and supress anyone who might be still down hill. When "Doc" Jewell made his move he was shot in the same way as Johnny was but in the head. I was able to grab his body and pull it back but he was already dead as well.

We spent several hours trying to get at the back side of that boulder but when we finally did so the enemy soldier had escaped.

That was the saddest day of my life and I still relive it often 30 years later.

To anyone who reads this please know that Johnny and Philip were heros and that they will never ever be forgotten. I love them both dearly, and hope that someone somewhere can know what great men they were.

A memorial from his friend,
Robert Wren

06 Jun 2003

To my Cousin Skip -

Have heard so many stories about you, have heard what a wonderful person you were, if only I could have met you, I know in my heart you would have had a special place in our life. My mother misses you terribly along with many other family and friends. You were cheated out of life, and we were cheated because we never got to know you. Want you to know, you will live on in our lives by family memories and stories, and we are all so proud of you for what you did for your Country and your fellow man. May peace be yours.

Love You.
E-mail address is not available.

10 June 2003

Philip "Skippy" Jewell was my nephew but at less than two years apart we were much more like brother and sister. I just recently found out about this site and have had contact with Robert who served with Skip and was with him the day he was killed.

Having this contact and reading the complete events of that day has been a very difficult yet enlightening experience for me and Skip's brothers and sisters. Both of his parents are dead - having both died in their 60's. I have missed Skip for 34 years and still love him very much.

We were never really sure what happened to him. We weren't allowed to view his body. I held on to the hope for probably 20 years that he was still alive somewhere and would find his way home to us.

Finally, I know the story. Finally, I can thank God for the time I had with him in my life and know that he is now with God.

What an awful war. What awful memories for those of you who did survive to come home and 'grow up', have loves, families...

I don't know why this has come into my life at this point and time but I'm grateful. I'm grateful to a wonderful lady, Bev, who made contact with Robert and I'm grateful to Robert for showing me where Skip is remembered, honored and memorialized on the internet!!

God bless all who were affected by that horrific war!
May God bring peace to your hearts!

Skippy's Aunt, Myrna

05 Jun 2006

Thank you to those who shared the poem written about the day Skippy was killed. I believe my grief over not having him in my life is as great today as it was when it happened. I miss him so much! Reading the poem was painful but brought Skip closer again. As a Christian, I count on being reunited someday - someplace.

May God bless each of you who support this memorial and keep the memories of all the soldiers and families who were/are so intensely affected by it.

Skippy's Aunt Myrna

From his aunt,
Myrna Postal
13 Jun 2003

To My Big Brother Skippy

I was so young when you were killed in Viet Nam, but I love you so much and miss you every day. Through contact with some of your army buddies, I have been able to get to know the big brother I wish I still had. Their stories and memories of you have meant the world to me. I feel a real connection with them. They loved you, as we all did. Your courage and compassion will never be forgotton. Although I knew you for such a short time, and then as a small child, I know without a doubt that my life is richer and I am a better person for having had you as my brother. I often see your kindness, compassion and love in my own childrens' eyes and know completely that you live on in the people who loved you.

I know that as the oldest of the six of us, you took on a great deal of responsibility, taking care of us, making sure we were all taken care of. I can't imagine what our lives would have been like without you. You were our guardian angel, and still are. Looking over us, keeping our family strong with your love. You will never be forgotten, Skippy. I love you, now and forever.

Your Little Sister, Kathleen

24 Aug 2003

How proud are we of our cousin Skip??

I never knew Skip - and thought of him only as the sad looks or heavy sighs that his name produces in our family.

Knowing real information about his courage and the way he lived his life is a wonderful connection to him. I'm so grateful for the chance to learn my cousin's history. Thank you.

From a cousin.
E-mail address is not available.

24 Nov 2003

Philip's family, friends and comrades remember.
For more information about Philip, go to his
Memorial page
on the
1-22 Infantry

From a comrade-in-arms,
George Heidt
E-mail address is not available.

30 Apr 2005

This photo of my friend Phil Jewell was taken at a going-away
party before he left in the spring of 1969.

Hi Phil -

Over the years I have thought about you often. I searched for you on the internet; when I saw your picture the memories flooded back. All the good times - drinking beer in your old Plymouth; singing in the basement - you wanted to be a singer.

You didn't want to carry a gun, you wanted to be a medic to help people. I know that you lived up to this.

At your service, no viewing was allowed - we couldn't say goodbye. I wished and hoped that it was a mistake, that it wasn't you. I know you died as you lived, true to yourself and helpful to others. You will never be forgotten.

Goodbye, Friend.


15 May 2005

I ran into a old friend of my brother Skip yesterday at the K-Mart in West Duluth. I shared with him how Robert Wren had shared with our family the story of what happened the day Skip was killed. His friend asked if I would forward a picture of Skip and read the note I received.

We then just talked about how time stands still in some ways - we have a quarry up from where we all lived, and how it was the hanging place for self expression. I have shared that spot with my kids, and Skip's friend has shared it with his children. It seems to keep us connected to all the great times we had with such a wonderful brother and friend. It is a place we all felt good!! I miss my brother, as do his friends. Skip had a lot of soul, and I feel his love moving among us all!! - Jenny

From his sister,
Jennifer Blazejak

Visit John Dennison's
Medics on the Wall
memorial which honors the
Army Medics and Navy Corpsmen who died in Vietnam.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his sister,
Kathleen Griesy

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 31 Jan 2001
Last updated 11/13/2010