Hill, John Edwin, 1LT

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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1970-1970, 1542, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment/C Company
Service Years
1968 - 1970
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Cold War Certificate


First Lieutenant

One Overseas Service Bar

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CW5 John Harris (Green Delta 19) to remember Hill, John Edwin, 1LT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Apr 07, 1970
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Tay Ninh
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Fairview Cemetery - Buchanan, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
12W 103

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord 25th Infantry Division

 Unofficial Badges 

Gold Star

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

Parachutist (Basic)

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1968, 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Brigade, Infantry Officer Basic Course (Fort Benning, GA), A
 Unit Assignments
Army Ranger SchoolAirborne SchoolUSAG Hawaii3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment
25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning Division)
  1969-1969, 1542, Army Ranger School
  1969-1969, 1542, Airborne School
  1969-1970, 1542, USAG Hawaii/Schofield Barracks, HI
  1970-1970, 1542, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment/C Company
  1970-1970, 1542, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning Division)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1970-1970 Vietnam War/Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

John Edwin Hill
First Lieutenant

  Home of Record:  Buchanan, VA
  Date of birth:   06/20/1946
  Service:         Army of the United States
  Grade at loss:   O2
  Rank:            First Lieutenant
  ID No:           229543277
  MOS:             71542: Infantry Unit Commander (Airborne Qual)
  Length Service:  01
  Unit:            1ST PLT, C CO, 3RD BN, 22ND INFANTRY, 
                               25TH INF DIV, USARV
  Start Tour:      02/15/1970
  Incident Date:   04/07/1970
  Casualty Date:   04/07/1970
  Age at Loss:     23
  Location:        Tay Ninh Province, South Vietnam
  Remains:         Body recovered
  Casualty Type:   Hostile, died outright
  Casualty Reason: Ground casualty
  Casualty Detail: Gun or small arms fire
URL: www.VirtualWall.org/dh/HillJE03a.htm
ON THE WALL        Panel 12W Line 103

VIRTUAL WALL ®   www.VirtualWall.org

Vietnam Wall Panel coords 12W 103

1 LT John Edwin Hill, most likely nicknamed "1-6" was a member of 1st Plt, C Co,
3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, "The Regulars".
On 7 April 1970 our company attempted to assault a U-shaped wooded area from an 
open field at the front edge of the southern portion of the Straight Edge Woods
at XT179293; we were opposed by an unknown number of North Vietnamese Army (NVA)
troops. On this date First Platoon was led by 1LT John E. Hill, who was an Army
Ranger. They were to cover the left flank. A few yards into those woods the
point man (SP4 Michael Paulsen) was killed by one NVA soldier hidden in well
concealed bunker and the LT was wounded in one leg.  The LT saw that his point
man was alive but thrashing about in the woods there. He attempted to pull Mike
Paulsen to no avail.  Sgt Danny Jojola attempted to pull the LT out of the
woods by the ankles but was unable to due to the LT being caught in some vines
from his web gear. Danny went back to get help and then Danny and another
soldier tried again to pull the wounded LT out. Danny asked the LT to lift
himself a little bit to help clear the vines he was caught in. When he did this,
the NVA soldier in the bunker opened up with a full clip of AK-47 fire ending
the lives of the LT and Danny.  It is unknown what happened to Mike Paulsen
after these tragic events.  
Second Platoon (my platoon) formed on line and opened up at the known location
where the NVA soldier was thought to be. The next day when we went back in to
retrieve our men, it was noted that a arm hung out of the enemy bunker so its
safe to say the solider was eliminated.  We called in the Air Force to napalm
the front of the woods which killed several NVA snipers but not at the left side
of the woods. 
A "Dust-Off" (medivac) helicopter was called in, but it was shot down and it
began to burn. With the exception of the pilot (1LT Douglas G. MacNeil, 159th
Medical Detachment), all of the crew was able to get out of the crashed UH-1
(hull number 69-15038), but all of them had multiple bullet wounds. Only the
on-board medic was not wounded.  The on board medic used a piece of the roto
blade to break out some of the front windshield to get out the wounded co-pilot. 
The co-pilot was shot in the legs and when the bird crashed he hit the battery
switch off and then the fuel pump switch which is backwards and thus with raw
fuel not being stopped, the ship caught on fire.  The ship had a bag of M-79
rounds up front and the launcher and the back cabin had an M-60 which all were
not to regulations.  I guess this was part of the crew training.  MacNeil flew
the bird from the left seat which is co-pilot and tried to land knowing the
enemy fire was on the left front seat side.  He did this protecting his co-pilot
who was on a training flight conducted by MacNeil. 
That night we pulled back and set up for a night time ambush. The NVA pulled out
in a long single file. We had no artillery support and only one single Air Force
plane came in to drop one bomb to no affect. The NVA went into Cambodia which
was only a few meters away with virtually no US resistance.
On the morning of 8 April 1970 second platoon members tied ropes to the ankles
of SP4 Paulsen and 1LT Hill and pulled them out thinking they might have been
booby trapped. Someone reported they saw a hand hanging out of a bunker at this
location which is assumed to have been the NVA sniper. Since our fallen men were
not booby trapped, they were carried out to the field along with Danny and SP4
Dale Erdman to wait for a chopper to pick up their bodies. Unknown to many of
us, the Huey pilot's body had been left in the burning helicopter the day
before; he had been killed by a single bullet wound to the head.
On 7 April five men were taken away from us forever including the Huey Dustoff
pilot. A memorial service was held at our Tay Ninh base camp a few days later.
Lt Hill served his country and Company C well and is remembered for giving his
life in an attempt to save another.  His leadership showed he took a commanding
officer training so he could have very well replaced our commander after May
1970 Cambodian campaign had he lived. 
This event is remembered by all of Company C that was there and is often talked
about at our reunions every two years.
I only researched and went to visit the grave sites of Hill and Erdman after I
saw a post on the virtual wall that Lt Hill was the strongest Christian I ever
knew from his best friend who had served the same time with the First Calvary
Division. They both were Army Rangers.  After my research I found out this
comment made was in fact very true.  Proof of this was the fact the church he
fixed up and helped to keep maintained by his family and his brother put in an
eternal flame and plate concerning LT Hill up front.  That was a great honor to
pay by a small community church in Virginia.  Also, it took several town people
there in Buchanan, Virginia to show where his grave was at and then I took
pictures of the grave and the surrounding area.   He certainly was greatly
missed by a lot of people in that town to this day. 
From another soldier in C/3/22d Infantry,
Gary A. Harding   Gary.harding@flightsafety.com
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