Jonathan Peter Kmetyk

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
17 August 1947 - 14 November 1967
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Panel 29E Line 096



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Jonathan Peter Kmetyk

11 Dec 2001

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Lance Corporal Peter Kmetyk was assigned to C Company of the 1st Recon Battalion, 1st Marine Division in Vietnam. On November 14, 1967, he and his unit were conducting a long-range reconnaissance patrol 25 miles southwest of Da Nang. The patrol was operating in very rugged terrain characterized by thick growth of thirty-foot high trees and six to seven foot underbrush. The patrol was 10 miles from the nearest friendly force and the only way to get into or out of the area was by helicopter.

At about 1030 hours on November 14, the patrol was taken under fire by a Viet Cong force. Peter was hit by enemy small arms fire and he was instantly killed. Attempts were made to get a helicopter to evacuate his body, but monsoon season weather was such that the helicopter could not make the evacuation. The patrol members carried Peter for over a mile through the jungle to a pre-planned extraction point. At approximately 1130 a.m. on November 15, while the patrol was still proceeding to the the landing zone, the rear of the patrol was hit by automatic weapons fire, and the Marines carrying Peter had to put him down and seek cover.

Repeated efforts were made to recover Peter's body, but each time the effort was repulsed. One member of the patrol was wounded in the last attempt. An additional search was made from November 20-24, but with negative results.

Peter Kmetyk is listed with honor among the missing because his remains were not recovered for burial in the country he served or his homeland.

From the
POW Network

From two who wear his MIA bracelet,
Hal and Maddy Laffin
19 May 2002


From one who wears his MIA bracelet,
Drew Garvey
Former Sergeant, USMC
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

05 Apr 2006

You are not forgotten.
Semper Fidelis!!

Cleveland N. Williams
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

18 Feb 2007


by his cousin,
Marc Kmetyk
04 Jun 2007

I served with Pete Kmetyk in Charlie Co. 1st Recon Bn. I was in third platoon and Pete was in second. I still remember the feeling we all had at losing him to a sniper and not being able to bring his body out of the bush. I wasn't on that patrol but remember when his fellow patrol members came off the choppers and how much anguish there was that day. I was a burial escort immediately before I was deployed to Vietnam and knew very well the impact of not being able to bring home his remains.

I have his framed picture on my office wall at home (the same one posted at the top of this site). Below it I have a photo I took of his name on the Wall, and the rubbing I got while on a visit to the memorial.

I want those friends and loved ones who miss Pete, to know that he is remembered elsewhere too.

From a fellow 1st Recon Marine,
Wayne Parker

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The text of the Madden's original memorial is taken verbatim from the POW Network site as linked. The mission was established by 1st Recon Bn Operation Order 611-67 dated 09 Nov 1967. Both the Op Order and the post-patrol report for RT PANAMA HAT are contained in the 1st Recon Bn's Command Chronology for November 1967, as are the 1st Recon's daily Situation Reports. While there are no major differences between the POW Network description of events and the Chronology the latter does contain additional information.

According to the report the team consisted of 1 USMC officer, a Lieutenant Langdon; 10 USMC enlisted; 2 USN Corpsmen; and one US Army soldier - but the patrol member list contains 15 names. There are two officers, the patrol leader LT Langdon and a LT Kelley (service unknown). The US Army soldier was a SP4 Rosenberg. Neither the Op Order nor the post-patrol report explains who LT Kelley was or why an Army attachment was on the patrol, but the inclusion of Army personnel was not uncommon.

PANAMA HAT departed from LZ FINCH and for insertion into the Hiep Duc Valley ("Happy Valley") at 1300 11 November. The first engagement was at 1850 14 Nov at ZC166631, when a single enemy trooper shot and killed Lance Corporal Kmetyk. The team broke contact by fire and moved to the north-northwest. Between 1200 and 1330 15 Nov in the vicinity of ZC164646 PANAMA HAT was twice engaged by two separate enemy teams of 4-5 men each. From the Situation Report for 15 Nov:

  • "151200H: 4 VC firing on patrol from rear on team vic ZC164646. Dark uniforms and back pajamas and automatic weapons. Patrol had to leave friendly KIA due to heavy fire. Fire mission [artillery] called. Results unknown."
  • "151330H: 5 VC vic ZC164644 ambushed patrol when patrol returned for friendly KIA. VC were set up around friendly KIA. Patrol could not recover body of friendly KIA. VC wearing khakis and had 5 automatic weapons."
  • "151545H: Team extracted by Scarface 2-3 and 3-2 [UH-1s from VMO-3]"
The US Army soldier (Kelley? Rosenberg?) was wounded during these engagements. The team once again broke contact and was extracted at 1600 15 Nov from an LZ at ZC165650.

On 18 Nov 1967 1st Recon OpOrd 626-67 was signed out directing a patrol from 2nd Plt, A Co, 1st Recon to be inserted on the 20th with the primary mission of recovering LCpl Kmetyk's body from the vicinity of ZC164645. Although the patrol leader was a SSgt Mills, LT Langdon accompanied the BURLAP team - 1 officer, 10 USMC enlisted, and 1 USN Corpsman. BURLAP went in at 1020 20 Nov and was extracted at 1745 22 Nov. The post-patrol report states that "Although the assigned area was covered by the patrol, they could find no trace of the missing KIA [LCpl Kmetyk]".

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his cousin,
Marc Kmetyk

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Canadian Index . Panel 29E

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 10 Dec 2001
Last updated 12/23/2007