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Born on Oct. 6, 1948
From Lindon, UTAH
Casualty was on May 24, 1968

Panel 68E - - Line 4

Jeffery Alan Goss
(picture courtesy of Jeff's niece, Angie)

LCpl. 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.

Pictures Jef sent home from Vietnam, courtesy of his family

Jef Goss, Jan. '68
3/5 Battalion Area south of DaNang 10 miles

M Co. 3/5 Marines, Jef Goss is 3rd from right

At a blown bridge on Hwy. 1 during TET 1968

M/3/5 Marines, Jef is on the right with radio

Jef Goss
(picture courtesy of John Gundersen, I/3/5)

Real Man and True Friend

Jef 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 Camp.

We 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.

Then 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.

I 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.

Early 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 was dead.

I 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.

God bless your spirit Jef, and I'll see you again in time.
Semper fi,
John Gundersen

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the SILVER STAR MEDAL posthumously to

for service as set forth in the following


For 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.

As 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.

Undaunted by the enemy rounds impacting around him, he continued to expose himself to provide covering fire while all the casualties were evacuated.

By 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.

For the President,

Commandant of the Marine Corps

My Son

Letter from Jef's Mom, Elodia Goss, to his fellow Marines

I 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.

Elodia visiting Jef when he was hospitalized with polio

Then 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.

I 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 forget.

He 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. When 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 tonsils.

Ours 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 Goss

Jef Goss (right) and brother, Jon
(picture courtesy of Jeff's niece, Angi)


Jef 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.

Jef 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.

Our 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.

Our 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

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Letter written by Jef's bishop at the time of his death

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Hometown newsclipping
"Lindon Marine's star still shines after 25 years...
Men still live because 19-year-old-Lindon youth gave his life"

17 May 2003
3rd Battalion, 5th Marines Reunion
LaGrange, Georgia

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.