Du Bois, Pennsylvania, USA
U.S. Marine Corps
CPL, I CO, 3RD BN, 9TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV, III MAF
3/30/1967, Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam
Cpl Loweranitis’ full name is: John Leon Loweranitis, but his friends and family called him “Jack”. I believe the bronze plaque that is going on the building being dedicated to him will say John “Jack” L. Loweranitis. The portrait is outstanding! We have not received the actual copy in the mail yet, but hopefully will by tomorrow afternoon.
There was a hold-up on the sending of the Marine gear, because the Ops wanted to add a couple of School of Infantry items in there that we had to track down. I will have it in the mail tomorrow morning. Again, we can’t thank you enough for your contributions to the School of Infantry and the families of our country’s fallen heroes.
Navy Cross Citation:
The Navy Cross is presented to John Leon Loweranitis, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Company Messenger of Company I, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 30 March 1967. The company was engaged in establishing platoon night ambush sites against communist insurgent forces in the Quang Tri Province when the company command group and a small security element were attacked by a North Vietnamese reinforced company utilizing heavy automatic weapons and mortar fire. At the initiation of the action Corporal Loweranitis moved through intense fire to the 60-mm. mortar position, reorganized the crew and delivered effective fire on the machine gun positions that were raking the Marine positions. When the mortar ammunition was expended he again exposed himself to small-arms fire and grenades as he moved from position to position evacuating wounded to the reverse slope of the hill. When the North Vietnamese Army attempted to overrun the Marine positions, he moved to the most threatened point and personally accounted for five enemy kills. Although wounded by small-arms fire and grenade fragments on two separate occasions, he refused to leave his position and resolutely covered the withdrawal of the command group to a more tenable position until he fell, mortally wounded. His heroic action, with complete disregard for his own life, allowed the Marines to gain the new position and account for numerous enemy casualties. By his outstanding courage, exceptional fortitude and valiant fighting spirit, Corporal Loweranitis served to inspire all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.