Lt John M. Hartley, Jr
Forward Observer for B/2/35; TOC Liaison for 2/35th Bn
Tributes/comments from those who knew him:
Lieutenant Hartley was my boss in the liaison section to 2/35 Infantry TOC.
He took over the section up North before we airlifted down to the Special
Forces base in Polei Kleng which was West of Kontum. He was still in that
position when I left for home in Sept. 1968.
sure about his first name - he was always "Sir" to me. I think
he came from Ohio.
Jim Connolly (2/34th TOC)
John Hartley, Jr.
took my place as FO for B-2/35 somewhere around the last of October or 1Nov67.
He stayed with B into the early part of 1968 because he was with them on January 1,
1968 (2Jan68) when B took on an NVA unit superior in numbers. They were out of C/2/9 range.
After FOing with B-2/35,
John was made (TOC) Artillery Liaison with 2/35. At the time we were
working with units other than the 3rd Brigade and I remember how well John
handled himself, especially with the politics that went with that position.
I spoke with John about
10 years ago and got the impression that he was not too interested in this
reunion stuff. None the less I always considered him a friend and a good
officer. He is somewhere in Ohio as best I recall. John was in OCS Class 1-67.
Jim Hartley was the 2/9th Liaison officer to the 2/35. He was in charge of
the Arty support of the 2/35 and was my boss for about 6 months, also Mike Kurtgis
and Don Blankin's boss and other FO's who's names escape me. He was LNO from
June to October, but probably started earlier since that was my contact with
SERVING IN COMBAT WITH CAPT JOHN PIPIA, B/2/35, BATTLE OF 2JAN68
On 2Jan68, we were sent well out of
artillery support range over my objections because we knew what could
happen. It did, big time. We went in with a strength of about 70, I'd guess
(approx 2 understrength platoons and company command group). Ultimately,
I believe we wound up facing an NVA regiment or, at least a reinforced
battalion. They were deeply dug in In trenches and bunkers. The gunships
at one point said "they were coming out 9f the hills like ants. ...."
We'd guess now they were staging for TET.
Fortunately, we did have gunship support and it was really terrific, it saved
us. Fought our way in and then out to an Old French Fort as our final defensive
position since we no longer expected exfiltration. We expected hand to hand and
actually fixed bayonets. We fought all day, several hours, and never had relief
or reinforcements. Never understood why this battle was never picked up in
the Bn logs, it was the largest contact up to the date. Anyway, it
doesn't matter now except to those of us who were there and survived.
John was a terrific officer and a great
FO. I've thought of him many times over the years and always wanted to connect
with him. He was so good when my 1st Platoon leader was wounded and had to be
med evac'd. I asked John to go down to take the 1st Platoon. I
remember recommending him for a CIB because I believed he earned it, that day
alone. Didn't happen. Should have. I was really sorry to see him go. John was in
place when I joined B Co in Duc Pho although we moved north fairly quickly,
leaving Duc Pho to relieve the Marines and coordinate with the South Vietnamese
John carried a carbine and when he fired,
the sound was so different, we all whirled, thinking the NVA were among
us. I told him to ditch the carbine, TO&E or not, so someone wouldn't wax
him in error.
Captain John Pipia, Company Commander, B/2/35
Lt John M Hartley, Jr
5940 Turnberry Dr South Lyon, MI 48178-7088
Courtesy info from:
Randy C. Dunham (10-69)
FAOCS Alumni Chapter
Fort Sill, Oklahoma
faocsalumni facebook page