Jon F. Warmbrodt (1969/01/25)
He went to war wearing a uniform that had belonged to the chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Jon Frederick Warmbrodt was born on April 2, 1946, to Mr. and Mrs. Godfried J. Warmbrodt. Information regarding his family and early life is not available; however, it is believed that he spent a portion of his formative years in Santa Monica, California. Following high school, Warmbrodt enrolled in the University of California in Santa Cruz with the Pioneer Class and graduated from Cowell College in 1968.
While an undergraduate, he became a friend of UCSC Chancellor Dean McHenry, who in a 1987 interview, recalled his former student:
“He [Jon] joined the Marines, went through boot camp, and despite a slight physical disability, a kind of club foot, a slightly club foot, he managed to get an exemption and went to Quantico [Virginia Marine Corps Training Center], and graduated a second lieutenant, [through] platoon leader's class. He was here Thanksgiving and visited with us [and] we took him out to dinner one night… [Before being shipped to Vietnam] He came by and picked up my last set of Marine uniforms; we're the same size.”
Lt. Jon Warmbrodt entered the service from Santa Monica, California and after completing the USMC platoon leader school, received orders to Southeast Asia. Jon arrived in Vietnam on December 3, 1968, and was assigned to L Company, 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines serving in Quang Ngai province. When he joined his company, it was participating in Operation Bold Mariner, a sector sweep to locate enemy troops, equipment caches and to clear boobytrapped tunnels.
In January Second Lieutenant Jon Frederick Warmbrodt led his platoon into one final operation. For his leadership in that action he was posthumously awarded a Silver Star with a commendation that stated:
“On 25 January 1969, elements of Company L were operating in Quang Ngai Province when the Marines moved into an enemy minefield. Observing that the unit had sustained several casualties in the initial explosions, Second Lieutenant Warmbrodt fearlessly rushed across the hazardous minefield to assist the wounded men. Realizing the necessity for removing the injured as soon as possible, he immediately requested medical evacuation aircraft and commenced directing corpsmen to treat the more seriously wounded. Prior to the arrival of the evacuation aircraft, he established a landing zone and disregarding the dangers involved, personally cleared a path to it, enabling the safe extraction of the seriously injured. Concerned with the safe removal of the remainder of his men from the minefield, he was directing a tank in clearing a path from the hazardous area when he was mortally wounded by the detonation of an enemy explosive device.”
His body was returned to California and following a military funeral, was interred in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.
(VVMW; VVVW; USDVA; WRP May 7, 1970 2:3; SC Guard.com, Vietnam Weekly Casualties January 2, 1969 http://www. scguard.com/museum/docs/vietnam/1969/January1969. Dean McHenry, Vol. III, UCSC Early Campus History 1958-59, http://library.ucsc.edu/reg-hist/McHenryvolume3.pdf, http:// siris-artinventories.si.edu/ipac20/ipac.jsp?uri=full=3100001~! 328977!0#focus, [15 May 2007 approx.]; Military Times Hall of Valor (http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient. php?recipientid=24002, [October 28, 2009])