|Birth: ||Jul. 5, 1942|
|Death: ||Aug. 19, 1985|
Private First Class James J. Machinsky, of 408 Lytle Street, Minersville, PA, died in Lexington, Kentucky, as a result of injuries suffered in a car-motorcycle accident. Born in Philadelphia, PA, he was the son of the late Ignatius and Helen Vadus Machinsky. His family moved to Minersville when he was a young boy, and he is a graduate of Minersville High School. He was also a member of the St. Francis of Assisi Church in Minersville, and of the Minersville Volunteer Fire Company.
A veteran of the Vietnam War, James had been a Specialist in Vietnam, but was administratively reduced in rank to Private First Class due to his long break of ten years between leaving the Army following Vietnam and his rejoining the Army in 1984. He was expected to merit promotion back to Specialist within a short period, since he exhibited enthusiasm and a strong ability to learn new skills quickly. His grave marker reflects the highest rank honorably earned, in accordance with Army policy.
James was an admin clerk in the Headquarters Company, 378th Supply and Service Battalion, based at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, when his unit deployed to Lexington Blue-Grass Army Depot, Kentucky for an exercise. The evening of his second day there, he went out with his friend, Specialist Walter L. Hafer, on Hafer's 1978 Kawasaki motorcycle, to explore the town. They were killed by a drunk driver, Roger W. Francis of Lexington, KY, who was traveling the wrong direction down the New Circle Highway in his Ford pickup truck. Near the Winchester Road overpass, they met head-on, with each traveling over 60 mph. Although both men were wearing motorcycle helmets, Hafer was thrown over two hundred feet and killed instantly. Machinsky survived approximately two hours, and died at the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Medical Center. Roger W. Francis was given a year in the Fayette County jail following conviction of two counts of vehicular homicide. Specialist Hafer is buried at the Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Pennsylvania.
Ignatius Machinsky (1886 - 1946)
Helen Vadus Machinsky (1902 - 1974)
Saint Francis of Assisi Cemetery
Created by: Kit and Morgan Benson
Record added: Dec 16, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12697214