JEFFERY ALAN GOSS
on Oct. 6, 1948
From Lindon, UTAH
Casualty was on May 24, 1968
in QUANG NAM, SOUTH VIETNAM
HOSTILE, GROUND CASUALTY
GUN, SMALL ARMS FIRE
68E - - Line 4
(picture courtesy of Jeff's niece, Angie)
Jeffery Goss served with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines,
Mike Company. He was Killed In Action during Operation ALLEN BROOK.
He was awarded the Silver Star for heroic actions 7 February 1968
shortly after the TET Offensive. His name stands proudly on the
Mike 3/5 Wall of Honor.
Semper fi, Brother Marine. We will never forget.
Jef sent home from Vietnam, courtesy of his family
Goss, Jan. '68
3/5 Battalion Area south of DaNang 10 miles
Co. 3/5 Marines, Jef Goss is 3rd from right
a blown bridge on Hwy. 1 during TET 1968
Marines, Jef is on the right with radio
(picture courtesy of John Gundersen, I/3/5)
Man and True Friend
and I went into Boot Camp together as part of an all Utah Platoon.
He stood out from the rest in a way you can't really do justice
with words. It was his presence that caught me. He was my squad
leader in Boot Camp as well as each phase of training after Boot
wound up in the same battalion in Vietnam, 3/5. He was with Mike
Co. and I was with India Co. We saw each other fairly often, and
each time we did, he would offer to lead us in a religious service.
Just he and I. There weren't many Mormons there, so it had to be
that way. He even sang a song. He appeared to me to practice what
he preached. He always wanted to help people. He had genuinely loved
his fellow man. He had the ability to make me and all his other
brothers feel that they were his best friend.
one day on Operation ALLENBROOK, our companies were passing each
other and I heard a voice say, "Gundersen." I turned and
saw Jef sitting against a tree with his radio. I stopped and talked
with him for a few minutes. I told him I had just gotten a Purple
Heart. Of course, he was concerned for my well being. Then he told
me that he had gotten his third. That should have been his ticket
home. Three Purple Hearts and you were homeward bound. He told me
that he was staying because he was needed there. I jokingly said,
"Let me have two and I'll go home." He looked at me and
said he would like to.
ran to catch up to my squad after a quick prayer with Jef. A few
minutes later, Mike Co. came through our nighttime positions on
the old Railroad bed. I waved at Jef as they passed and disappeared
into a small vaillage. Moments later I heard some sniper shots,
then silence...then more shots, then silence. More shots, then silence
for the rest of the night.
next morning, they came back out of the treeline and back through
our perimeter. I didn't see Jef. I looked and looked, and finally
asked a Marine where Goss was. He got a sick look on his face and
told me Jef was shot while trying to retrieve a fallen Marine. The
sick look came on to me. I was sick with grief. My friend and mentor
have thought of Jef every day since then. My son carries his name,
and shows some of the same qualities of spirituality as his namesake.
bless your spirit Jef, and I'll see you again in time.
President of the United States takes pride in presenting the
SILVER STAR MEDAL posthumously to
CORPORAL JEFFREY A. GOSS
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following
conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving
with Company M, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine
Division (Reinforced), in the Republic of Vietnam on 7 February
1968. Lance Corporal (then Private First Class) Goss was a
member of a reaction force assigned to assist a friendly patrol
that had established contact with a numerically superior enemy
force on National Route One south of Danang.
the force arrived at the besieged unit's position, they were
taken under devastating enemy small-arms, automatic weapons
and mortar fire. Observing a wounded machine gunner lying
in an area dangerously exposed to enemy fire, Lance Corporal
Goss fearlessly ran across the fire swept terrain to the side
of the casualty.
After picking up the wounded man and machine gun, he began
maneuvering toward a Combined Action Platoon's perimeter 400
meters away. As he was brought under intense enemy fire, he
placed the injured man in a covered position and began delivering
a heavy volume of accurate suppressive fire on the enemy position.
by the enemy rounds impacting around him, he continued to
expose himself to provide covering fire while all the casualties
his bold initiative, gallant fighting spirit and loyal devotion
to duty, Lance Corporal Goss reflected great credit upon himself
and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of
the United States Naval Service.
of the Marine Corps
from Jef's Mom, Elodia Goss, to his fellow Marines
can't tell any of you Marines who served with Jef much about Jef Goss
the Marine, but maybe I can tell you something about my son, Jef,
that you didn't know before. About the little boy Jef, who when we
were at the Utah State Fair one year when a couple young Marines in
dress blues walked by. Jef told his Dad and me that someday he was
going to be a Marine like them. I made a joke about the fact that
the jacket and the pants were different colors, but he said he thought
they looked great.
visiting Jef when he was hospitalized with polio
there was the four-year-old Jef who had polio and was in the hospital
for a couple of months, and who laughed and joked with the nurses.
He tried to cheer up the other little boy in his room who cried
a lot, especially when his mother had to leave him. The other boy
did have a worse case of the dread disease and was in more pain
than Jef, but he also had his share of pain and shots and spinal
taps and all the other horrors that face a four-year-old away from
his family for the first time.
don't suppose any of you had much to smile about during your tours
in Vietnam, but Jef's ear-to-ear smile is something I can never
loved to play all the sports and there was always a great rivalry
between my three sons, and because they were so near the same age,
they often played on the same team. Jef was a good student who was
popular with his peers and teachers alike. He went to Boys State
one year, was on the debate teams, and a member of the Young Republicans.
he was about 16, he had his tonsils out. At the hospital he had
been "prepped" and given a tranquilizer and I went to
make a phone call. When I got back, he was out of bed and helping
a young mother get her 3 scared little kids undressed and ready
to have their tonsils out too. He told them that was what he was
there for, and they were all looking in each others' throats comparing
was not always a peaceful household. The boys would be lying on
the floor watching TV and when Jef could stand still no longer,
he'd jump up and pop one of his brothers, and the chase was on.
Sometimes they got a little rough. There was more than one chipped
tooth, bloody scalp wound, and cuts and scrapes galore. Each of
the three shared the blame, but they also loved each other. I don't
think any of us realized how much till we lost Jef. Elodia
Jef Goss (right) and brother, Jon
(picture courtesy of Jeff's niece, Angi)
JEFFERY A. GOSS, USMC
is our Uncle. Although we never knew him personally, he has always
been a hero to us. As far back as we can remember, we have been
told stories about Jef, awe feel as though we did know him. Every
year, we look forward to decorating Jef's grave, so that he will
never be forgotten. We want our children, grandchildren, and so
on, to know that they had an Uncle that was
a true hero.
volunteered for the Marine Corps, and was inducted July 24, 1967.
Our Dad, Jon, volunteered for the Army about the same time. Jef
was killed while out on a mission to retrieve men injured in a recent
battle. They went in on a chopper, and loaded up so many casualties
that they could not take off. Jef offered to stay behind, so that
the injured men could receive the help they needed. As the chopper
lifted off, Jef was killed by enemy fire. The area he was in was
so dangerous, that his body laid there for several days before it
could be recovered.
Dad was also in Viet Nam at this time. He was called into his CO's
office, and notified that he was going home, as the official escort
for his brother's body. This picture was taken of our Dad & Jef
in April, 1968, at a Marine base in Viet Nam. It was the last time
our Dad saw his brother alive.
Dad's brother, Eric, also volunteered and was sent to Viet Nam.
He wanted to avenge his brother's death. Luckily, both he and our
Dad came home safely.
We love you Uncle Jef, and will do all we can to make sure that the
sacrifice that you and so many others made will not be forgotten.
Angi & Katie
(click to enlarge)
written by Jef's bishop at the time of his death
(click to enlarge)
"Lindon Marine's star still shines after 25 years...
Men still live because 19-year-old-Lindon youth gave his life"
3rd Battalion, 5th Marines Reunion
On 17 May 2003, Jeffrey Goss' Family was presented a shadowbox of
his medals. Marines John Gundersen (I/3/5), Frank Ambrose (M/3/5),
Bob Montgomery (M/3/5), Jim Blankenheim and Terry Otell (M/3/5) served
with Jef and escorted his family.