KMETYK, JONATHAN PETER
Name: Jonathan Peter Kmetyk
Rank/Branch: E3/US Marine Corps
Unit: C Company, 1st Recon Battalion, 1st Marine Division
Date of Birth: 17 August 1947 (Canada)
Home City of Record: Niagara Falls NY
Date of Loss: 14 November 1967
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 155542N 1075726E (ZC164642)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 1990 from one or more
of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,
correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated
by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2000.
SYNOPSIS: Lance Corporal Peter Kmetyk was assigned to C Company of the 1st
Recon Battalion, 1st Marine Division in Vietnam. On November 14, 1967, he
and his unit were conducting a long-range reconnaissance patrol 25 miles
southwest of Da Nang. The patrol was operating in very rugged terrain
characterized by thick growth of thirty-foot high trees and six to seven
foot underbrush. The patrol was 10 miles from the nearest friendly force and
the only way to get into or out of the area was by helicopter.
At about 1030 hours on November 14, the patrol was taken under fire by a
Viet Cong force. Peter was hit by enemy small arms fire and he was instantly
killed. Attempts were made to get a helicopter to evacuate his body, but
monsoon season weather was such that the helicopter could not make the
evacuation. The patrol members carried Peter for over a mile through the
jungle to a pre-planned extraction point. At approximately 1130 a.m. on
November 15, while the patrol was still proceeding to the the landing zone,
the rear of the patrol was hit by automatic weapons fire, and the Marines
carrying Peter had to put him down and seek cover.
Repeated efforts were made to recover Peter's body, but each time the effort
was repulsed. One member of the patrol was wounded in the last attempt. An
additional search was made from November 20-24, but with negative results.
Peter Kmetyk is listed with honor among the missing because his remains were
not recovered for burial in the country he served. His case seems quite
clear. For others who are listed missing, resolution is not as simple. Many
were known to have survived their loss incident. Quite a few were in radio
contact with search teams and describing an advancing enemy. Some were
photographed or recorded in captivity. Others simply vanished without a
trace. His status has been changed from MIA to PFOD - presumed dead.
Reports continue to mount that we abandoned hundreds of Americans to the
enemy when we left Southeast Asia. While Peter may not be among them, one
can imagine his proud willingness to mount more missions to bring them to
From - Sun Feb 13 06:36:45 2000
"Although his Home City of Record is listed as Niagara Falls, NY in all
Official Documents, Jonathan Peter Kmetyk was Canadian. He is the only
Canadian who enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps that is listed as Missing in
Action [Body not Recovered].
In 1966 at the age of 18, Jonathan Peter Kmetyk, from St. Catharines,
Ontario, which is close to Niagara Falls, decided to join the U.S. Navy with
three of his friends but they were rejected.
Peter then, alone joined the U.S. Marine Corps in July 1966, arriving in
VietNam on 9 March 1967 and assigned to the 1st Recon Battalion.
He went out on a patrol on 14 November 1967 and never returned..... he was
KIA west of infamous "Charlie Ridge" in the mountains of Hieu Duc District
bordering Thuong Duc. On the following page read the letter of his loss
received by his mother."
Copy of the letter sent to his mother:
[NETWORK NOTE: Jonathan's mother still resides in Canada, corresponding
regularly with several Marines in the U.S.]
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