John Francis Sanford

First Lieutenant
Army of the United States
19 February 1942 - 07 February 1966
Morris Plains, New Jersey
Panel 05E Line 015


Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign


The database page for John Francis Sanford

25 Feb 2005

John Francis Sanford died 3 days prior to his 23rd birthday after spending 22 days in Vietnam. Even now John is thought of frequently by our family.

John died living his life exactly as he wished to. Since his youth his desire was to be carreer military. A true patriot.

God Bless all who have fallen in defense of our nation.... Then as Now.

From his brother.
E-mail address is not available.

26 Feb 2005

I was 14 years old when the family was notified of your untimely death. After all, you had just gotten over there. It didn't really register until I was at the ceremony where Aunt Kit (your Mom) was presented with your Purple Heart. I have visited The Wall, found your name and am proud of your service and supreme sacrifice. You are missed and you are not forgotten.

Your loving cousin, Debbie

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 07 Feb 1966 Company B, 1/327th Infantry, ran into a meatgrinder in the tiny village of My Canh (2) in Phu Yen Province. As the men of B/1/327 approached the village they entered an area infested with mutually supporting, fortified, and camoflaged bunkers. In short order B/1/327 was pinned in place, unable to advance or retreat yet equally unable to stay where they were. A platoon from HQ Company, 1/327, was sent to flank and roll up the VC bunker line, succeeding only after bloody fighting in which the Platoon Leader, 1LT James A. Gardner, earned a posthumous Medal of Honor by leading his troops against the bunker complex. Elements of the 2nd Bn, 502nd Infantry, also were committed to the fight.

Although the combined force, with support from Allied air and artillery, was able to force the VC from the field, it was at high cost:

  • B Co, 1/327, lost 19 men
  • HHC, 1/327, lost 5 men
  • 2/502 lost 5 men
1LT John Sanford, a Platoon Leader in B/1/327, was among the 19 men from his company who died in the action.

The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial consists of 365 panels, one for each day of the year. The names of ten men appear on the panel for 07 February:
  • SSG Carlos Betancourt-Mojica, Jacksonville, NJ, A Co, 2/502nd Infantry (Army)
  • SP4 Helder A. Da Silva, Belleville, NJ, C Co, 1/16th Infantry (Army)
  • PVT John F. O'Shaughnessy, Jersey City, NJ, HHC 1/327th Infantry (Army)
  • 1LT John F. Sanford, Morris Plains, NJ, B Co, 1/327th Infantry (Army)
  • SP4 Isaiah A. Dobbins, Magnolia, NJ, 162nd AHC (Army)
  • PFC Barry E. Evert, Eatontown, NJ, B Co, 9thS&T Bn (Army)
  • SGT Jose G. Abara, Long Branch, NJ, 38th ARRS (USAF)
  • 1LT Robert C. Turnbull, Andover, NJ (Dist Svc Cross), C Co, 2/18th Infantry (Army)
  • PFC Robert L. York, Maple Shade, NJ, B Co, 5/60th Infantry (Army)
  • SP5 William V. Young, Rahway, NJ, 67th Evac Hospital (Army)
1LT Sanford's name also appears on the Lehigh-Northampton (Pennsylvania) Vietnam Veterans Memorial, because his official Home of Record is Coopersburg, Pennsylvania.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009