John Robert Jones

Army of the United States
20 February 1949 - 05 June 1971
El Paso, Texas
Panel 03W Line 066


Combat Infantry

Bronze Star (2 awards), Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign


The database page for John Robert Jones

This is the last known history of Sgt. John Robert Jones, U.S.Army Special Forces:

Status (in 1973): Presumed Dead, (at age 22).

SYNOPSIS: In 1971, MACV-SOG's Command and Control North, Central and South were redesignated as Task Force Advisory Elements 1, 2 and 3 respectively. These titular changes had little initial impact on actual activities. Their missions were still quite sensitive and highly classified. Each task force was composed of 244 Special Forces and 780 indigenous commandos, and their reconnaissance teams remained actively engaged in cross-border intelligence collection and interdiction operations. The USARV TAG (Training Advisory Group) supported the USARV Special Missions Advisory Group and was composed of U.S. Army Special Forces and MACV advisors. SMAG formed at Nha Trang from former personnel from B-53, the MACV Recondo School cadre, CCN and CCS to train the South Vietnamese Special Missions Force teams drawn from LLDB and Ranger units.

Task Force 1 Advisory Element was forced from its Hickory Hill radio relay site at Dong Tri in early June 1971. The Hickory Hill post had existed on strategic Hill 953, in northwest Quang Tri Province at the edge of the DMZ, since June 1968. On June 3, heavy North Vietnamese artillery began battering the bunkered Hickory Hill defenses.

On June 4, five wounded Special Forces and ten indigenous commandos were medically evacuated, leaving SSgt. Jon R. Cavaiani and Sgt. John R. Jones with 23 commandos defending the mountaintop. At about 0400 hours on June 5, Jones and Caviani were in a bunker when a hand grenade was dropped through the air vent, wounding Sgt. Jones in the leg. Jones left the bunker, and was seen shot in the chest by an NVA soldier.

An NVA battalion stormed the summit and captured Hickory Hill on June 5 in adverse weather which prevented air support. In the bunker, Caviani played dead as NVA soldiers came in looking for survivors. As his bunker was set on fire, Caviani ran, burned, to another bunker. He spotted a helicopter and attempted to signal it, serving only to alert the enemy to his position. Cavaiani was captured as the last positions fell.

Later searches failed to turn up any sign of John R. Jones, dead or alive. He is among nearly 2500 Americans still missing in Southeast Asia. There can be little question that the enemy knows his fate, yet the Vietnamese deny knowledge of him. Evidence mounts that hundreds of these men are still alive, captive, waiting for their country to bring them home. One of them could be John R. Jones.

Sgt. Jon R. Cavaiani was released by the Provisional Government of Vietnam on March 27, 1973. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his attempt to defend Hickory Hill.

Used with permission from the
POW Network

A memorial from two who remember,
Suds & Bttrfly 
15 Mar 2001

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Sergeant Jones's remains were repatriated on 07 Sep 2011 with positive identification announced on 11 Aug 2012. According to a DoD Press Release issued on 03 Dec 2012, he will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
two who remember,
Suds & Bttrfly

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 15 Mar 2001
Last updated 12/04/2012