John D. Inguillo (1969/06/06)
Sergeant Inguillo gave new meaning to the term Shake-and-Bake.
John Deogracias Inguillo, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Deogracias Inguillo, was born in Phoenix, Arizona, on August 10, 1947. His brothers Carlos and Stephen and sisters Dora, Dorothy, Raquel and Yolanda joined him in the Inguillo family. The family later moved to Watsonville, California, and in September 1961 he entered Watsonville High School. After graduating in 1965, he enrolled in Cabrillo College and supplemented the cost of his education by working at the local Value Giant store.
In February 1968, Inguillo was inducted into the US Army and sent to Fort Lewis, Washington, for basic training, and later to Fort Polk, Louisiana, for advanced individual training. The army saw leadership potential in Inguillo and selected him for their Non-Commissioned Officer's Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. This course, commonly referred to as shake-and-bake because of the accelerated nature of the program, was designed to turn the most qualified enlisted men into NCOs in the shortest possible period. On September 24, 1968, Inguillo graduated with other members of Class 41-68, 76th Company and was promoted to sergeant.
Following a leave and a temporary stateside assignment, John Inguillo left for Vietnam on January 8, 1969. On his arrival he became a squad leader in B Company, 4th Battalion of the 23rd Infantry Regiment serving in Tay Ninh Province. During his tour in "Nam," he was involved in a number of combat operations, was wounded and was awarded the Purple Heart. His leadership also earned him a promotion to staff sergeant and he became a platoon sergeant.
On June 6, 1969, while on a patrol near the Nu Ba Den Mountains in Tay Ninh Province, Staff Sergeant John D. Inguillo's platoon came under enemy fire and he responded immediately. According to the official report accompanying his Silver Star award,
“While on a reconnaissance in force mission, Company B encountered an enemy force of unknown size. In the initial exchange of fire, several men were wounded and pinned down in the enemy kill zone. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Sergeant Inguillo braved the intense hostile fire as he made his way to the wounded men. With complete disregard for his own safety, Sergeant Inguillo began placing effective fire upon the hostile positions. As the battle progressed, Sergeant Inguillo began treating the seriously wounded. He continued to aid the trapped men until he was fatally wounded.”
Sergeant Inguillo's body was recovered and returned to Watsonville for a military funeral and burial in the Pajaro Valley Memorial Park.
(VVMW; VVVW; WHSM; WRP May 23, 1969 8:1, June 13, 1969 2:2,)