US Mountain Ranger Association

Promoting fellowship & brotherhood among US Army Rangers
Hilan Jones

Hilan E. Jones was born on 12 November 1940 in Thermopolis, Wyoming, and resided there until September 1958. He graduated from Hot Springs County High School, Thermopolis, Wyoming in May of 1958. Jones attended the University of Utah on a football scholarship from August 1958 through 1962 and graduated in 1962 with a degree in Physical Education. After receiving his Draft Notice in the summer of 1966, he reported to Fort Lewis Washington on October 4, 1966.

Jones completed his basic training at Fort Lewis Washington and advanced Armor training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He arrived at the 9th Division Replacement Center, Republic of Vietnam 17, March 1967 where he volunteered for the 9th Division Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol Unit. He was assigned to the LRRP unit in May 1967 and completed MACV RCONDO School in June 1967.

Jones was promoted to Specialist 4 in June 1967, E-5 in November 1967 and Staff Sergeant E – 6 February 1968.

On February 17, 1968, ten LRRPs were inserted into the Binh Son Rubber Plantation for a special ambush mission. Staff Sergeant Jones led the team on the right and wired 5 claymores while the second team on the left wired 5 more claymores to complete the “kill zone.” Soon three NVA soldiers moved down the trail and were allowed to pass. The main force was soon to follow in excess of 50 NVA soldiers in full battle gear.

A search of the kill zone produced a wounded POW, an RPG7 rocket launcher with rocket, an 81MM mortar tube, several RPG rockets and mortar rounds, several small arms, plastic explosives and several pounds of documents.

Only one chopper came in for extraction which did not allow all ten men and a POW to escape. Sergeant Jones and three others volunteered to stay on the ground and wait for another chopper. With heavy fire coming from the nearby wood line one of the LRRPs was wounded in both legs. With cobras firing on the tree line with rockets and mini guns, Sergeant Jones carried the wounded man to the waiting chopper while the other two LRRPs provided cover fire. Once all four men were aboard the chopper, they lifted off safely. Sergeant Jones and two others were awarded the Silver Star for their actions that day. Sergeant Jones was wounded in the Republic of Vietnam on 10 April 1969.

Upon his return to the United States his many assignments include Platoon Sergeant HHC Company Armor Fort Carson, Colorado-May 1969, Platoon Leader C Company 3rd/8th Battalion 4th Infantry Division, Ahn Khe, 1970 Drill Sergeant School, Fort Polk, Louisiana-June 1971, Graduated OCS School, Fort Benning, Georgia-20 January 1972.

Ranger Jones passed away on February 16, 2021, from a fall at the Veterans Home where he lived. He was a true warrior. Jones married in August 1958 and was the father of three children, daughters Jackie Jae, Kristen, and son Seth.

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