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Photograph courtesy of JackFord

James Edwin Dolan
May 25, 1970
Age 23

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Distinguish Service Cross

I was in B/3/503 and grew up with Jimmy Dolan. He and I entered the Army together in April 1968. Together we went through basic, ait, jump school and some of special forces training. We both quit SF to go to to Viet Nam. I went to Nam before he did, hewent to the 82ND ABN for 9months before finally getting his orders for Nam.

I only was able to see Jimmy a few times in the short time he was there. He was 'gung ho' and was talking about signing up for November Rangers, I'm sure he would have been a good Ranger too. I was getting short and had landed a cushy job as company armorer. I remember the morning when Jimmy died and I knew he had died. I knew even before I got the names, inside I knew.

We got word that a Hawk team from B/1 Batt was in heavy contact and they had heavy losses. I said to myself that Jimmy was dead. My First Sgt knew I had a buddy in 1ST Bat and he brought over the early names on a list - Jimmy was the first name.

I just stood there and cried. My First Sgt was really cool about it, he gave me a hug and told me to get lost. Jimmy's dad "demanded" that I escort Jimmy home. The army did not want that. They could not find me [quickly enough] and said some other crap. His father said, oh he [Ford] must be AWOL then, "no Mr. Dolan," they said ... it's not that, the body is decomposing from the heat and we must get it home. He said I don't give a s..., the kids dead already, I want Ford to bring him home, find him. We were both on LZ Uplift so they didn't have to look far.

He received the DSC from what he did that day. I have a copy of the citation which I would like to send to you along with a picture if I could. He was a well liked guy who made friends easily. He is missed my many people still today. I think of him every day. His little brother Rich is due back from Iraq this month, Jimmy would be proud of him. This letter is a personal one and is not intended for any kind of print. Thank you.

Yours truly,

Jack Ford
"B" Co., 3st Bn., 503rd Parachute Infantry
173d Airborne Brigade (Sep.)

Note:Letter displayed with permission from it's author, Jack Ford

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