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Jon E. Swanson



Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky,
    Gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh,    
    Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hills,
    From the sky.
All is well, safel
y rest,
    God is nigh.

Then good night, Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn
    Shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear,
  Friend, good night.

Arlington National Cemetery

BORN:  May 1, 1942 at Boulder, CO

Entered Service in the US Army from Boulder, CO

Earned The Medal of Honor During the Vietnam War For heroism on February 26, 1971 at Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia

DIED:  February 26, 1971 at the age of 29

Captain Swanson was flying an OH-6A aircraft in support of ARVN Task Force 333 in the Kingdom of Cambodia. With two enemy regiments known to be in the area, he was tasked with pinpointing the enemy's precise positions. He flew at treetop level at a slow airspeed, making his aircraft a vulnerable target. The advancing ARVN unit came under heavy automatic weapons fire from enemy bunkers 100 meters to their front. Exposing his aircraft to enemy fire, Captain Swanson engaged the enemy. After destroying five bunkers he observed a .51 caliber machine gun position. With all his heavy ordnance expended on the bunkers, he did not have sufficient explosives to destroy the position. Consequently, he marked the position with a smoke grenade and directed a Cobra gun ship attack. After completion of the attack he found the weapon still intact and an enemy soldier crawling over to man it. He immediately engaged the individual and killed him. His aircraft sustained several hits from another .51 caliber machine gun but again he marked the target and directed a second Cobra gun ship attack. As he attempted to fly toward another .51 caliber machine gun position, his aircraft exploded in the air and crashed to the ground, causing his death.



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