VIETNAM - ORTIZ, JOHN

Ortiz, John

VIETNAM - ORTIZ, JOHN
ORTIZ, JOHN

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Unit: H Company, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

MOS: 11E – Armor Crewman

Awards: Silver Star, Purple Heart Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, United Nations Service Medal for Korea

Badges: Combat Infantryman Badge

Unit awards: Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm device

Note: Platoon sergeant 2nd platoon

Enlisted by: Regular

Date of birth: 23-Aug-1936

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Marital status: Married to Helen D. Ortiz, one son, one daughter

Campaign: Vietnam Conflict

Entered service: 15-Mar-1954

Start of tour: 23-Mar-1967

Incident date: 17-Jan-1968

Date of casualty: 17-Jan-1968

Age at death: 31

Cause of death: Hostile, died. Artillery/Mortar/Rocket. Artillery, rocket, or mortar.
John Ortiz died as a result of metal fragment wounds received while on combat operation as tank commander on a tank when anti-tank round fell in the area.

Location of fatality: Binh Long, South Vietnam

Place of interment: Mount Calvary Cemetery, Topeka, Kansas, USA

View this soldier‘s Find a Grave page (opens in a new window)

Vietnam Veterans Memorial panel and row: 34E 063 (view Vietnam Veterans Memorial link in a new window)

 

SILVER STAR

SILVER STAR
POSTHUMOUS

STAFF SERGEANT JOHN ORTIZ
17 JANUARY 1968
H COMPANY, 2nd SQUADRON
11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT

Staff Sergeant Ortiz distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action involving close combat against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Staff Sergeant Ortiz distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 17 January 1968, while serving as a Tank Commander with Company H, 2d Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, on a reconnaissance in force mission during Operation Fargo in Loc Ninh Province. Sergeant Ortiz’s tank, in the lead position, came under heavy recoilless rifle and automatic weapons fire from a numerically superior Viet Cong force. An anti-tank round struck his vehicle, causing it to burst into flames. Directing his men to abandon the flaming tank, Sergeant Ortiz covered their exit with highly accurate suppressive fire from his .50 caliber machine gun. When his men were safely evacuated, Sergeant Ortiz turned his main gun on the enemy fortification, destroying at least one of the recoilless rifle teams. While still firing devastating rounds into the insurgent positions, Sergeant Ortiz was mortally wounded by an exploding antitank round. Sergeant Ortiz’s extraordinary heroism in close combat against a numerically superior Viet Cong force was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
Headquarters, 9th Infantry Division General Orders No. 2280 (9 April 1968)

 

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