|Birth: ||Mar. 6, 1949|
|Death: ||Feb. 16, 1970|
Illinois CPL HMM-161 MAG-16 1 MAW Vietnam
DFC-BSM-AM & 58 GS-PH
Jan Garringer wanted to be an architect. He was graduated from Fenton High School in 1967 with that dream, but he thought there was something more important and pressing that had to be done before following his ambition. There was a war in Vietnam and Jan thought that he was needed there, Jan did not give up thought's of his ultimate goal of being an architect. Vietnam was just a little sidetrack that he had to go down before realizing his ambition.
While serving in Vietnam, Jan pursued his interests in architecture. He built a small drafting table and asked one of his brothers to send him drafting instruments.
Jan always was an ambitious boy. While attending Fenton High Scool he also held a full-time job. When the weekend rolled around a time when most high school students throw their care to the side to have a good time - Jan took on various part-time jobs. He was trying to earn enough money to enter in a good college.
Jan was more settled in his ways and much more serious thinking than many of his counterparts. His bravery in Vietnam as a helicopter crew chief showed that he was not a boy of weak character.
In less than two months of his arrival in Vietnam, Jan won the Air Medal certificate for 12 continuous days of combat duty.
On May 15,1969, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and honor seldom awarded to a noncommissioned officer. His citation reads: "With comlete desregard for his own safety, Marine Cpl. Jan Garringer boldly positioned himself at the edge of a helicopter ramp and fearlessly remained in his dangerously exposed position while pulling seven men of a rescue team and their gear aboard.
On May 17, 1969, two days later, Jan received a Bronze Star for leaving his helicopter and running after a reaction force which was heading for an enemy position instead of the Marines they were supposed to rescue. Garringer assisted with the evacuation of the Marines, personally carrying two of the injured men aboard the helicopter.
He was modest in his accomplishments. He didn't go over there to fight. Garringer said of his son, Jan was the crew chief on a helicopter which participated in rescue operation.
While in training in Memphis, Tenn., Jan had the opportunity to forestall his trip to Vietnam, He had been nominated for an appointment to the Naval Academy in Annapolis. He turned down the offer. His brother's tried to persuade him, but he was determined to do what he wanted to do. He wanted to make the country safe for his little brother and sister. He was set on going to Vietnam because he thought he had a job to do there. Last December he even extended his term of duty since he thought his job had not been completed.
In December Jan was made chief non-commissioned officer by his commanding officer. In his new capacity, Jan would not have to fly on many dangerous missions. In fact his main duty was to fly with crew chiefs new to Vietnam on their first flights and make sure they knew their jobs properly.
Marine Cpl. Jan Garringer was killed in a helicopter crash in the Thua Thien province of Vietnam. The crash was caused by a mechanical failure and was not the result of hostile action, according to the Defense Department.
The Zion Church in Bensenville installed "MegneBell" Tape player carillon and will be automatically set to play a pre-determined number of carillon selections at noon and 6 p.m. each day. It will also be played at special church services, according to the Rev. R. Miles, pastor. The memorial carillon to Cpl. Jan D. Garringer, was a gift from Cpl. Garringer's family.
It is hoped that this memorial will be a living tribute to a fine Christian young man, soldier, son, brother and friend", Pastor Miles said. "We want to remind those who pass by and listen to the Carillon Hymns that the freedom of our nation comes at great sacifice and the true peace of life everlasting comes only from God in the sarifice of his Son, Jesus Christ, on the Cross".
Cpl. Jan D. Garringer is survived by his father and mother, three brothers and four sisters.
Ref in part: The DuPage County Register, February 25, 1970 and May 8, 1970.
Vance E. Garringer (1919 - 2006)
Evelyn Marie Louise Koch Garringer (1922 - 1980)
Jan Douglas Garringer (1949 - 1970)
Michele L. Garringer (1953 - 2008)*
"Greater Love Hath No Man Than This That Lay Down His Life For His Friends!" John 15:19
Created by: Ruth
Record added: Oct 21, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 22373029