Ernest Wayne Gajdosik

Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States
24 September 1945 - 20 February 1967
Bay City, TX
Panel 15E Line 065


Ernest W Gajdosik


Bronze Star, Purple Heart (2 awards), National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Ernest Wayne Gajdosik

Sgt. Ernie Gajdosik Killed in Viet Nam War

By Bud Chambers Tribune Managing Editor

Army Sergeant Ernest Wayne "Ernie" Gajdosik, 21, became Bay City and Matagorda County's third Viet Nam war death this week. The former Bay City football star was killed Feb. 20. The mother of the outstanding young soldier, Mrs. Leslie V. Adams of the West Columbia Highway in Bay City, was notified of her son's death Wednesday evening by an Army representative. The veteran of combat in Viet Nam since June, 1966, Gajdosik held two purple hearts for wounds suffered while in action against the Viet Cong. The preliminary report of Ernie's death, however, was that the fatal occurence did not take place in combat. Rather, it involved the accidental discharge of a weapon while an Army convoy was in motion. Gajdosik, a member of the 1st squad of the 4th Cavalry in the 1st Infantry Division of the U. S. Army, was a 1964 graduate of Bay City High School. He was awarded the Most Valuable Player trophy his senior year at BCHS for his outstanding play and leadership on the Black Cat football team. Ernie was an all-district guard for the 1963 Black Cats. The Bay City man joined the U. S. Army not long after his 1964 graduation and had risen to the rank of sergeant at the time of his death. Ernie's father, W. V. Gajdosik, resides in Pledger. Both previous Matagorda County deaths in Viet Nam occurred during the second half of 1965 when the active involvement of U. S. ground troops in the war went into high gear. Pfc. Johnny Winfrey was the first Bay City combat fatality in Viet Nam in Sept., 1965, and Pfc. Joseph R. Hilliard, also of Bay City, was killed Nov. 17, 1965. Now, just slightly over 15 months later, the name of Ernest Gajdosik once again brings the daily tragedy of the Viet Nam [war] near to home. At press time today, no details were available on funeral arrangements or when Gajdosik's body will arrive from Viet Nam.

THE DAILY TRIBUNE, February 23, 1967
Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas

Ernie Gajdosik Rites Saturday

Funeral services for Staff Sergeant Ernest Wayne Gajdosik, who was killed Feb. 20 in Viet Nam will be 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the First Christian Church. Interment will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park [Van Vleck, Matagorda County, Texas] with full military honors. Rev. Don Larick will officiate for the services. The 21-year-old lifelong resident of Matagorda County is survived by his father, W. V. Gajdosik of Pledger; his mother, Mrs. Leslie Adams of Bay City; sister, Mrs. Barbara Helen Popek of Bay City and two brothers, William Gajdosik of Bay City. Services are under the direction of Taylor Brothers Funeral Home.
THE DAILY TRIBUNE, Friday, March 3, 1967
Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas

A Viet Nam Letter

Not long ago, Army Sgt. Ernest Gajdosik wrote a letter to his church, the First Christian Church of Bay City, thanking the membership for a card sent him in Viet Nam. Ernest Gajdosik's life was taken away in Viet Nam on Feb. 20, and it somehow seems fitting to share with the world his own words concerning that conflict before he died in the service of his country:
Members of First Christian Church:
I want to express my gratitude and appreciation for the card you sent me. I was very glad to know that there are people back home who still think about the boys over here in Vietnam. It takes away the loneliness and shows the troops more about what they are fighting for. The people back home don't realize the hardships the people over here live in. I didn't realize it until I went to one of the many villages that is terrorized by the Vietcong. It is a horrible sight! The Communist agression is horrible itself. I guess I let myself run away with the thought of the Viet Cong. I pray that everyone is in good health. I pray also that everyone knows the good life you have in the United States. May God bless you and keep you well.

Sincerely, Ernest Gajdosik Sgt. US Army
THE DAILY TRIBUNE, March 3, 1967
Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas


Mrs. Leslie W. Adams is shown holding the Bronze Star presented posthumously to her son, Army Staff Sergeant E-6 Ernest W.Gajdosik. Mrs. Adams received the medal for Ernie's gallantry in action at a presentation at the U.S. Army National Guard headquarters in El Campo Sunday. The former star Black Cat footballer and all-around outstanding young man was cited
"for participation in numerous operations as commander of an armored assault vehicle which he directed into Viet Cong infested regions. His unwavering dedication to mission caused Sergeant Gajdosik to repeatedly risk his life in successfully inflicting severe loses of personnel and equipment upon the Viet Cong. During one encounter, Sergeant Gajdosik was painfully wounded, but refused medical attention and moved to assist more seriously wounded comrades while continuing to fire against the enemy force force until it was routed. The courage and personal initiative demonstrated by Sergeant Gajdosik were of immeasurable significance to the overwhelming victories his unit achieved against the Viet Cong."
Mrs. Adams also has received a resolution of tribute to Sergeant Gajdosik from the Texas House of Representatives. A rising vote of the House was taken on March 16 upon the motion of Rep. Otha Birkner of Matagorda County.
Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas


Mrs. Leslie V. Adams, the mother of the late Ernest Gajdosik who was killed in Vietnam, received an Armed Forces Honor Medal from Vietnam Forces Saturday from Captain Chaplin Olson. The award was for Gajdosik's performance while serving his country in Vietnam. The award goes to "Industrious servicemen who always displayed an exemplary spirit of devotion to duty, good will and close cooperation. With broad experience and great professional ability, they assisted the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces in an effective and outstanding manner, thereby bringing about excellent results." Mr. Adams looks on as his wife received the medal.

THE DAILY TRIBUNE, September 25, 1967
Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a member of the Matagorda County, Texas Historical Commission.
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25 Sep 2002

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 10/01/2002