John Edwin Lutze

Private First Class
Army of the United States
06 September 1948 - 08 November 1968
Flint, Michigan
Panel 39W Line 037

Silver Star

Combat Medic

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

The database page for John Edwin Lutze

09 Jul 2001

"Jackie" and I were born 13 days apart, our fathers were brothers. Our folks would visit at least once a week; most of the time it was more like two or three times a week. Summertimes were the best time, our folks would put a tent in the back yard and we would sleep out. Other times we would go across the road to the woods to play cowboy or soldier. There always seemed to be enough kids and adults to get up a ball game in the backyard.

In 1962, I remember coming home from school as my father was just going out the door to the hospital. That night, as I lay in bed, my father came home. I remember these words he said to my mother "He's gone". His brother, your father, had died. That was the first and only time I heard my father cry.

The spring of 1968 brought the draft to both of us, to a place halfway around world, to place we never heard of.

As I remember I received a letter from a girlfriend. In it she asked, "Do you have cousin named John? if so he was killed in Vietnam." It hit me like a ton of bricks.

After coming home from the Army I tried to go to the cemetery to your grave, but I couldn't. See, I never got to say goodbye to cousin who I grew up with and loved.

A few years ago my family and I visited the "Wall" in D.C. Seeing your name, touching it, was like touching you after so many years. Yes, it seems like only yesterday that we were doing all those fun things kids do.

Yes ... only yesterday.

Larry D Lutze

The Silver Star, which is the nation's third highest combat medal; the Bronze Star; and the Purple Heart were presented posthumously Thursday to the mother of a Flint medic who was killed in Vietnam November 8th.

He was PFC John E. Lutze, 20, the son of Mrs. Jerry McFarlin. His father, Vern Lutze, died in 1962.

The Silver Star was awarded to PFC Lutze for gallantry in action while serving with the 25th Infantry Division. According to the citation, his company came under intense attack on Nov 8, and two of his comrades were wounded.

With complete "disregard for his own safety" the citation states, "Lutze exposed himself to the withering hostile fire as he began crawling through the bullet swept area to the aid of his comrades. Lutze was mortally wounded."

The Bronze Star was presented for PFC Lutze's "outstanding meritorious service" in Vietnam since Sept 7, 1968.

PFC Lutze was born in Flint MI and was graduated from Mt. Morris High School in 1966. He worked for Buick until entering the service in April.

From his obituary

Visit the 25th Infantry Division at

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 08 Nov 1968 four men were killed in an action 17 kilometers southeast of Tay Ninh City:
  • SGT James A. Hardman, San Leandro, CA; A Co, 2/22nd Infantry;
  • SP5 Ernest M. Plattner, Marathon, NY, 44th Infantry Plt (Scout Dog);
  • CPL Donald J. Hertrick, Philadelphia, PA; A Co, 2/22nd Infantry; and
  • PFC John E. Lutze, Flint, MI; D Co, 2/22nd Infantry (Silver Star).

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

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 9 Jul 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009