Mattmiller, John H.

Rank: First Sergeant
Serial Number: 559863
Military Branch: USMC
Origin: Kansas
Date of Death: 1981-12-6
Featured: No

First Sergeant John Henry Mattmiller was 30 year career Marine. He was born in Parsons, Kansas April 6, 1927, and died December 6, 1981 in San Diego, California. Mattmiller enlisted just a few days after turning 17. He served 2 years between April 21, 1944 through August 19, 1946. After one week as a civilian, he re-enlisted, and later retired March 31, 1968. It appears that he was a vehicle maintance specialist in his early years, and then was a logistics/supply specialist. He was in the Pacific in WW2 first arriving in Saipan, and then sailing from Saipan to Okinawa on USS Sanborn, APA 193, then serving in Okinawa beginning April 1, 1945 until April 14, 1945, as an element of the 10th Army. Because of his short stay on Okinawa, it appears that he may have been wounded, evacuated and awarded the Purple Heart award for WW2, although there is no date for the award in the NARA documents that accompany this group. After the war, he sailed for Tsingtao, China and was stationed there until July 20, 1946. 

He embarked from San Diego on the USS Whiteside, AKA 90, and landed in Pusan, South Korea early in the Korean conflict on August 3, 1950. He sailed on the USS Seminole on September 12, 1950 for the Inchon invasion. He departed Korea for Japan on May 10, 1951.

From 1960 to 1962, and in 1966 Mattmiller was a Drill Instructer in San Diego. He served in Vietnam from April 1967 until early 1968. He served in an 8 inch Howitzer Battery, later a Motor Transport Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division. In January,1968, he was found guilty of "indulgence in intoxicating liquor, incapacitating himself for the performance of his duties." He was reduced to the rank of GYSGT to start in 6 months, but he retired as First Sergeant before that took effect.

Mattmiller's group includes an unusual Marine dogtag, and two mounted ribbon bars. The first bar includes the following medals: privately engraved WIA Purple Heart, Marine Good Conduct (7 awards), Marine Corps Expecitionary, American Campaign, Asiatic Pacific Campaign, and WW2 Victory. The second bar includes China Service, National Defense, (2 awards), Korean Service with silver star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Service, Vietnam Service with bronze star, UN Korea, and Vietnam Campaign medal with device. Note that the Vietnam Service medal is a theatre made piece with the dragon outside of the bamboo, and it has a blank back. The China Service medal would have been for duty in North China with the 6th Marines just after the end of World War 2. The expeditionary medals are not mentioned in his file, so why he had them is unknown. His paperwork shows that he was awarded a PUC (WW2) and a Korean PUC with 2 clusters. His photo taken in the 1960's in dress blues accompanies the group.

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