John Howard Waalen

Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States
06 March 1948 - 20 May 1970
Seattle, Washington
Panel 10W Line 073

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for John Howard Waalen

15 Sep 2002

John was a great person, he was well liked, and had an upbeat attitude. We were in Cambodia and were seeing a lot of contact, he was in 2nd platoon, when we were being logged, we all used to sit around and roll a cold one on a block of ice, and when we were in the rear we used to play whisp, we were all proud to serve with the 1st Cav, and especially with the "Black Knights". He was from Seattle, and I had relatives in Auburn, Washington, so we had a common bond. That day we lost John I cried, and there were many others who shared my sentiments. He is not forgotten!!! May God Rest Your Soul, Black Knight, Battlin Bastards,Scunion to the Onion!!! Take Care Sky Trooper.

From a member of same unit (Black Knights),
Alfred M. Cummings (aka Eskimo)
Houston, Alaska

16 Feb 2005

John was my best friend. He was the Platoon Sergeant for 2nd Platoon, and I was his RTO. We were preparing to do a sweep around a bunker complex where we had contact the day before, and John told me that I would be carrying radio for the platoon leader instead of him because the LT's RTO was having trouble with his feet, and the guy who was the substitute RTO had issues with the LT, and so to keep down the conflict, they were trading RTOs.

At the time I didn't like it, but as it turns out, John may have saved my life. He and I were a team, and John didn't believe in sending someone else out to check a bunker, or to face any other danger, he'd do it himself, and of course as his RTO I'd go along.

On that particular day, he was killed doing what he did, and the fellow carrying his radio was severely wounded, going "back to the world". In the ensuing firefight, I got a medal for heroism and lived to fight another day, but I lost so much that day: a friend that I never will forget.

From a friend,
Don Hill

22 Jun 2007

My name is John Miles Waalen. My father named me after his older brother because he did and still does look up to him so much.

I'm here to find as much information about my late uncle as I can, so please send me anything that you think would help.

Thank you all and thank you for all the kind words you've said about John.

From his nephew,
John Miles Waalen

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 15 Sep 2002
Last updated 08/10/2009