View KIA

Name: John David Lonsdale
Panel/Line: 11W/132
Force: Army
Company: D
Rank: PFC
Pay Grade: E3
Home of Record: Stuart, IA
Birth Date: July 24, 1949
Race: Caucasian
Gender: M
Religion: Methodist
Married: N
Death Date: May 8, 1970
Cause of Death: "ground casualty by gun, small arms fire"; wounds
Died in Cambodia at age 20
The body was recovered.
John David Lonsdale

Add Comment


Left to Right - John Lonsdale - Cliff Macomber - Miller. Picture submitted courtesy of John Bayer.

Comment[Karl Lowe]

PFC John Lonsdale of Stuart, Iowa was not technically a member of our company since he was the radio operator for our artillery forward observer and a member of D Battery 2-4th FA. Technicalities meant nothing. He was one of us in every respect, always eager to get into the fray alongside the men of the 2d Platoon among which he had made a number of good friends. John was a shy, likeable kid who wanted desperately to be accepted by his peers and respected by his superiors and he soon earned both. He kept his radio well supplied with batteries, often carrying two extras and a spare antenna to make sure he would be prepared if an emergency arose. He took a lot of ribbing from his buddies about being a "lowly artillery puke," but in a firefight everyone relied on John and his radio to bring in the long-range indirect fire that often meant the difference between life or death for infantrymen. John always watched Lieutenant John Bayer intently and seemed to ask a million questions working hard to learn how to be a forward observer on his own in case his lieutenant became incapacitated or worse. That time came in Cambodia when the 2d Platoon went off on an airmobile raid apart from the rest of the company. Without hesitation John asked me if he could go along since they might run into trouble and would need someone to call for artillery. I told him I would agree if Lieutenant Bayer did so off he went happily joining his buddies in what would be his last operation. As the platoon entered Chantrea on 8 May the lead squad came under fire from a lineof hidden bunkers just inside the tree line marking the town's perimeter. Every other member of the squad took cover on the right side of the road but John ran across the road to get a better look. As he rose to fire a bullet struck his rifle and deflected into his chest killing him instantly. When we retrieved John's body he had a serene look on his face almost a grin like he wore in life. He died as he lived--loved as a friend and brother infantryman.