The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, PFC James Vincent Lawlor, who died in the service of his country on April 25th, 1967 in Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms/AW. At the time of his death James was 19 years of age. He was from Chicago, Illinois. James is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 18E, Line 86.
The decorations earned by PFC James Vincent Lawlor include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
(From the May 2, 1967 Chicago Tribune)
Mass for Army PFC James V Lawlor, 19, 11208 Indiana Avenue will be said at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow in Holy Rosary Catholic Church., 113th Street and South Park Avenue. Lawlor was drafted November 17, 1966 and was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division. He graduated from Mendel High School in June, 1966. Surviving are father Richard H and his mother Maybelle; three sisters, Patricia, Margaret, and Pamela; and a brother, Richard. Internment will be at St. Mary's.
I knew Jimmy growing up in Roseland, Chicago, where we attended Holy Rosary Irish school through the 8th grade. We lived in a nearby neighborhood. I remember, in 1966, we spent my high school Prom night at the local Pizza place. I went to Mercy HS and our prom was on a Wed. night, couldn't get a date, so me and a couple of other girls went to the Pizza place and I ran into Jimmy, who also didn't go to the Prom. On a Saturday, in 1967,he stopped by to see me at work, to tell me that he had enlisted in the Army and was being shipped out. I gave him a rose and told him to take care and be safe. Shortly afterwards I had heard that he was killed in Vietnam. Everyone, including my mother were devastated by the news. Jimmy, may not have been as big as the other guys, John, Thurston and Bobby, but he sure had more guts and courage than anyone. I think about you often my friend. Thank you for your sacrifice. I'm sure your with God. Love Sheryl(Shirley).
(This is a contribution from Carl Gigilo who also kindly contributed the picture of James)
Jim and I went to Mendel Catholic High; started in 1962 and graduated in 1966. Jim was a very easy going guy, average student, played baseball and football. We all did the usual things in high school. Jim went into the service right out of high school. I will remember Jim for his loyalty to his country.
I knew Jim during my high school days. He was a great looking guy who was well liked by all. I heard many years ago that he had been killed in Vietnam but had never verified that this was true until now. After reading his personal information page I find it shocking that he was in country for three weeks when he was killed. That seems like an unimaginable tragedy. Did he have the time to reflect on what danger his life was in before his death? Did he have a perspective on taking life that could have helped him face his own death? All the men and women who have served our country in all our wars deserve our unfailing gratitude for their faith in us and their sacrifice. Thank you Jim.
(His Silver Star Citation)
General Orders 1659, Award Of The Silver Star, 4th Division, 30 June 1967
For gallantry in action while engaged in military operations against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. On 25 April 1967, Private First Class Lawlor distinguished himself by heroic action while serving as a rifleman with the 2nd Platoon of C, 1/35th Infantry, which was conducting a search and destroy operation through several villages near Duc Pho. As the platoon approached one village, it was attacked by heavy automatic weapons fire coming from a complex of bunkers near the village. The platoon returned fire and had begun to maneuver toward the village when Private First Class Lawlor,s squad was hit by recoilless rifle fire and had to split up. One element of the squad was pinned down by the heavy machine gun fire from a bunker seventy-five meters from their position. Private First Class Lawlor, with the remainder of the squad that could still maneuver, saw the danger that his comrades were is. Under intense enemy fire he got up and ran across approximately fifty meters of open rice paddy to the machine gun bunker. Once he was knocked down by the blast from a recoilless rifle round, but recovered and continued his assault. Once near the bunker, he threw a grenade which eliminated the machine gun and its crew. Private First Class Lawlor was mortally wounded immediately after he threw the grenade, but with the machine gun destroyed, the platoon was able to move into the village and mount an effective assault on the enemy. Private First Class Lawlor's inspiring display of aggressiveness, devotion to duty, and personal bravery is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the Armed Forces of the United States.