Remains ID announced 12/03/2012

Name: John Robert Jones
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army Special Forces
Unit: Task Force 1, Advisory Element, USARV TAG SUP; Headquarters USARV
Date of Birth: 20 February 1949 (Louisville KY)
Home City of Record: El Paso TX
Date of Loss: 05 June 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 164111N 1064346E (XD844455)
Status (in 1973): Presumed Dead
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 1753

Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S.
Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families,
published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in 20202.

Other Personnel In Incident: Jon R. Cavaiani (released POW)


SYNOPSIS: In 1971, MACV-SOG's Command and Control North, Central and South
were redesignated as Task Force Advisory Elements 1, 2 and 3, respectively.
These titular changes had little initial impact on actual activities. Their
missions were still quite sensitive and highly classified. Each task force
was composed of 244 Special Forces and 780 indigenous commandos, and their
reconnaissance teams remained actively engaged in cross-border intelligence
collection and interdiction operations. The USARV TAG (Training Advisory
Group) supported the USARV Special Missions Advisory Group and was composed
of U.S. Army Special Forces and MACV advisors. SMAG formed at Nha Trang from
former personnel from B-53, the MACV Rcondo School cadre, CCN and CCS to
train the South Vietnamese Special Missions Force teams drawn from LLDB and
Ranger units.

Task Force 1 Advisory Element was forced from its Hickory Hill radio relay
site at Dong Tri in early June 1971. The Hickory Hill post had existed on
strategic Hill 953, in northwest Quang Tri Province at the edge of the DMZ
since June 1968. On June 3, heavy North Vietnamese artillery began battering
the bunkered Hickory Hill defenses.

On June 4, five wounded Special Forces and ten indigenous commandos were
medically evacuated, leaving SSgt. Jon R. Cavaiani and Sgt. John R. Jones
with 23 commandos defending the mountaintop. At about 0400 hours on June 5,
Jones and Caviani were in a bunker when a hand grenade was dropped through
the air vent, wounding Sgt. Jones in the leg. Jones left the bunker, and was
seen shot in the chest by an NVA soldier.

An NVA battalion stormed the summit and captured Hickory Hill on June 5 in
adverse weather which prevented air support. In the bunker, Caviani played
dead as NVA soldiers came in looking for survivors. As his bunker was set on
fire, Caviani ran, burned, to another bunker. He spotted a helicopter and
attempted to signal it, serving only to alert the enemy to his position.
Cavaiani was captured as the last positions fell.

Later searches failed to turn up any sign of John R. Jones, dead or alive.
He is among nearly 2500 Americans still missing in Southeast Asia. There can
be little question that the enemy knows his fate, yet the Vietnamese deny
knowledge of him. Evidence mounts that hundreds of these men are still
alive, captive, waiting for their country to bring them home. One of them
could be John R. Jones.

Sgt. Jon R. Cavaiani was released by the Provisional Government of Vietnam
on March 27, 1973. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his
attempt to defend Hickory Hill.

Jon Cavaiani and another veteran helped a joint JPAC and Vietnamese team locate John R. Jones’ remains last month.  They were members of a small team that was assigned the mission of securing an Army Security Agency (ASA) “Explorer site on Hill 950 (aka Hickory) that PAVN forces overran on 4 and 5 June 1971.  “Explorer” was the ASA code word for a set of classified equipment used to monitor communist radio communications.  Two other MIAs (Westcott and Crosby, Case 1808) were manning a different “Explorer” site on FSB Sarge when PAVN forces overran it during the night of 31 March 1972.

To read more about the site go to:




Vietnam MIA Remains Come Home

September 08, 2011


Remains believed to be of an American special forces soldier listed as missing during the Vietnam War have been repatriated after a fellow serviceman helped locate the body, a US official said Thursday.

After a ceremony Wednesday in the central city of Danang, the remains, along with others from a separate incident, were flown to Hawaii for further identification, said Ron Ward of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC)......

{Note - official ID not yet announced}

December 03, 2012

Soldier Missing from Vietnam War Identified

            The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

            Army Sgt. John R. Jones, of Louisville, Ky., will be buried Dec. 6, in Arlington National Cemetery.  On June 4, 1971, Jones was part of a U.S. team working with indigenous commandos to defend a radio-relay base, known as Hickory Hill, in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam.  When enemy forces attacked the site, Jones and another serviceman took up a defensive position in a nearby bunker.  The following morning, Jones was reportedly killed by enemy fire and the other soldier was captured and held as a POW until 1973.

            From 1993 to 2010, joint U.S.-Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), conducted several investigations, surveyed the site and interviewed multiple witnesses, including those involved in the battle.  During that time, analysts from JPAC and DPMO evaluated wartime records and eyewitness accounts to determine possible excavation sites.  In 2011, another joint U.S.-S.R.V team located human remains in a bunker suspected to be the last known location of Jones.

            For the identification of the remains, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, such as dental records and mitochondrial DNA that matched Jones' mother and brother.

            Since 1973 more than 900 servicemen have been accounted for from the Vietnam War, and returned to their families for burial with military honors.  The U.S. government continues to work closely with the governments of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to recover all Americans lost in the conflict.

            For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO website at or call 703-699-1169.


I am not sure if you want this information but you have John R. Jones that died in Vietnam as listed as being born in Louisville, Ky. His remains were found last year and he will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday. Checking the Kentucky birth records there was no John R. Jones that was born in Louisville, Jefferson County KY on February 20, 1949. However, there was a John R. Jones born in Hardin County, KY on February 20, 1949. Since Hardin County is next to Jefferson County that may had created the confusion or perhaps he moved to Louisville when he was a child.
Here in Louisville, Jefferson County, KY we have a memorial stone will all the names of those that were born in Louisville that were killed in Vietnam and his name is not on the stone. I am working on a project in getting pictures of the deceased heroes to place on the internet and that is why I checked on it.
Jack Koppel




Return to Service Member Profiles

On August 10, 2012, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC, now DPAA) identified the remains of Sergeant John Robert Jones, missing from the Vietnam War.

Sergeant Jones joined the U.S. Army from Texas and was a served with Headquarters, U.S. Army Vietnam. On June 4, 1971, he was part of a U.S. team working with Vietnamese commandos to defend a radio-relay base known as Hickory Hill in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam, when enemy forces attacked the site. He was killed in action during fighting the next morning, and his remains could not be recovered at the time. In 2011, joint U.S./Vietnamese teams located human remains in a bunker suspected to be the last known location of SGT Jones. Modern forensic techniques were able to identify the recovered remains as those of SGT Jones.

Sergeant Jones is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. 

If you are a family member of this serviceman, you may contact your casualty office representative to learn more about your service member.