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Myron Diduryk was born on July 15, 1938. His home of record is Somerville, NJ. Myron attended St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City from 1952 to 1956. He lived just around the corner on Green Street. His family emigrated from the Ukraine before he was born..
Upon graduation from St. Peter’s Prep, he continued his education at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City. Myron took the required Army ROTC courses. He was a member of the select Pershing Rifles.
He served in the US Army and attained the rank of Major (MAJ). Diduryk was killed in action on April 24, 1970.
From the book We Were Soldiers Once …and Young:
Diduryk, Myron F., commander of Bravo Company 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry in LZ X-Ray and LZ Albany, completed his tour in Vietnam with Bravo Company in 1966 and later returned to Vietnam and the 1st Air Cavalry Division as a Major. Assigned as the operations officer of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry, Diduryk was killed in action on April 24, 1970, in a Huey helicopter at an abandoned fire base near the Cambodian border. The battalion commander had ordered his command helicopter to land and check out a North Vietnamese soldier killed by the door gunner. As the command ship touched down, other NVA soldier opened up; Myron Diduryk was struck in the stomach in the doorway of the chopper. Thus died one of the finest officers who fought in the Ia Drang. On November 27, 1965, Diduryk wrote a detailed account of Bravo Company’s actions at X-Ray for the ROTC students at his alma mater, St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, NJ. The instructor of that class, Colonel John F Jeszensky (ret.), provided the authors with a copy of Diduryk’s journal and maps for this book. Diduryk is buried at the Fort Benning cemetery; his widow, Delores, lives in Jacksonville, FL.
Ukrainian American Veterans Post 30 in New Jersey is named for Diduryk. Sources: Roger Knopf (veteran), Francis Browne (classmate) and NJVVMF.
|It was my privilege to have known and closely worked with Myron. This relationship began during Air Assault Training at Ft. Benning and continued during 1965-66 in Vietnam; ROTC duty at different universities in the 1st Army; and finally on our second tour in RVN in 1969-70. He was an outstanding leader, a soldier's "soldier", and a good friend. He will remain a part of my life forever.
|Posted by: Robert L. Barker, LTC, US Army (Ret)
Relationship: We served together
Sunday, February 11, 2001
|An outstanding combat leader. An outstanding company commander during first tour in 1965-1966. Led his company on helicopter assault landings, under fire to resolve perilous situations for other units.
|Posted by: Roger A Knopf
Relationship: Air Force FAC attached to his battalion.
Thursday, January 27, 2000
Myron Diduryk: a soldier once ... and young
"He was eager and aggressive yet totally professional; over the next three days he would emerge as the finest battlefield company commander I had ever seen, bar none."
Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore was describing Capt. Myron Diduryk, hero of the Battle of la Drang Valley in 1965, the first significant military engagement between American troops and the North Vietnamese Army. The citation is from Gen. Moore's battle memoir, "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young," co-authored by Joseph L. Galloway, and first published as a hardback in 1992.
The recently released Hollywood film "We Were Soldiers," starring Mel Gibson as then Lt. Col. Moore, is based on the book. Both the publication and the film are about the 457 men of Col. Moore's 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, being dropped into a small clearing in the la Drang Valley on November 14, 1965, and the bloody battle that erupted when they were immediately surrounded by 2,000 enemy soldiers under the command of Nguyen Huu An, today a lieutenant general in the Vietnamese army.
The assault raged for four days in two major areas of the valley, Landing Zone X-Ray and Landing Zone Albany in the remote highlands of Vietnam near the Cambodian border. When the smoke cleared, the Vietnamese had lost some 2,000 men, the United States 234. The number of Americans killed at la Drang, according to the authors, was more than the number killed in any regiment, North or South, in the Battle of Gettysburg. The names of the dead can be located on panel three of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington.
As commander of Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, Capt. Diduryk, called the "Mad Cossack" in the book, and his second command, Lt. Rick Rescola, were intially flown in as reinforcements for surrounded U.S. troops pinned down by enemy fire. "The Ukrainian Diduryk and the Englishman Rescorla," write the authors, "were destined, over the next 72 hours to become battlefield legends in the 7th Calvary - as much for their style as for their fearless leadership under fire."
Although the Americans won, the battle, remembered and fully described in a commemorative, 25th anniversary U.S. News and World Report on October 29, 1990, it was a "fatal victory." The battle convinced Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and other Washington bureaucrats that their "search and destroy" policy produced an acceptable 12 to one kill ratio that would eventually win the war. The Vietnamese knew better.
"The victory in the la Drang Valley degenerated into a decade of bloody frustration that sent 58,000 Americans home in shiny aluminum Army-issue caskets, ruined one American president, deeply scarred another, and turned the nation against itself", concluded the authors of the magazine article. Capt. Diduryk's exploits received considerable coverage in the report. Suspecting that the Vietnamese were sneaking up on his position under cover of darkness, he ordered flares to illuminate the sky. "Diduryk's men poured rifle and machine-gun fire on the attacking North Vietnames while Diduryk and Lund [his artillery observer] directed artillery fire back and forth across the killing zone. The North Vietnames broke and ran."
A biographical article about Myron Diduryk by Khristina Lew was published in The Ukrainian Weekly on February 3, 1991. Born in Muzhliv, western Ukraine, in 1938, Myron immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1950. He was a member of Plast and later joined "Siromantsi," a Plast fraternity. A beloved leader in Plast circles, Myron helped organize branches throughout northern New Jersey. He also worked part-time at Svoboda and Soyuzivka.
Myron graduated from St. Peter's College in Jersey City in 1960 with a degree in physics. While at St. Peter's he joined the ROTC, rose to the rank of brigade commander, and was one of the few ROTC cadets in his class to be commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. After serving in Europe for several years, he transferred to Vietnam.
Following the Battle of la Drang, he was promoted to major and returned for a second tour of duty. "Assigned as the operations officer of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry, Diduryk was killed in action on April 24, 1970, in a Huey helicopter at an abandoned fire base," write Messrs. Moore and Galloway. "The battalion commander had ordered his command helicopter to land and check out a North Vietnamese soldier killed by the door gunner. As the helicopter touched down, other NVA soldiers opened up; Myron Diduryk was struck in the stomach in the doorway of the chopper. Thus died one of the finest officers who fought in la Drang." Major Diduryk is buried at the Fort Benning cemetery. His widow, Delores, lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Everybody who knew Myron loved him. People who worked with him in Plast, like my wife, Lesia, or at Soyuzivka, like my sister, Vera, will never forget his friendliness, easy-going nature and dedication.
Capt. William Shucart, a medical officer met Capt. Diduryk in Vietnam. Col. Moore describes the officer's impressions as follows: "One of the people Shucart really liked was Myron Diduryk. 'He was wonderful. He loved military strategy. He got me reading S.L.A. Marshall, "Men Against Fire," all that. We would talk about what makes men in combat do what they do. He liked to talk like a tough guy off the New Jersey streets, but he was a very thoughtful, very clever guy. I was proud of the people I knew in the officer corps, very impressed with them." It is obvious that Myron Diduryk had an impact on many people. There are a total of 28 references to him in the index of the Moore/Galloway memoir.
In their prologue, the authors describe their book as "a love story. We were the children of the 1950s and we went where we were sent because we loved our country. We were draftees, most of us, but we were proud of the opportunity to serve our country just as our fathers had served in World War II and our older brothers in Korea."