RAIDERS Sweeney, John Brian

SAS Bravo Three Zero
By Damien Lewis & Des Powell
Now I Grow Oranges
By Steve King

John Robertson

Staff member
John Brian
  • UNIT
1 Raider Bn (Company B)
  • RANK
Second Lieutenant
Navy Cross
Guadalcanal 1942
born 02.12.1918, Columbus, Ohio, USA
father James Michael Sweeney (1868-1945)
mother Mary Elizabeth (nee Creenane) (1880-1960)
resided Columbus, Ohio
graduated Rosary High School
1940 graduated Xavier University, Cincinnati with degree in economics
05.1941 commissioned as second lieutenant, Quantico, Virginia
28.09.1946 married Helen (nee Amrhein) Sweeney (1918-2005) at St. Gregory's Catholic Church, Los Angeles
10.1946-06.1947 assigned to First Battalion 5th Marines
1952 masters degree in psychology
1957 served in Korean conflict as senior advisor to the Republic of Korea Marine Corps Schools
1966-1967 served as chief of staff of 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam (Phu Bai and Da Nang)
awarded Legion of Merit with Combat "V"
01.06.1967 retired Marine Corps (26 years service)
college administrator at Ohio Dominican College
registrar at California State University in Fullerton (16 years)
1985 retired
resided Sun City Summerlin, Las Vegas
05.2008 moved to Durango
died 15.08.2009 (Aged 90), Durango, Colorado, USA
buried Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, USA


Navy Cross : The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Captain John Brian Sweeney (MCSN: 0-7883), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service as Commanding Officer of a Rifle Company of the FIRST Marine Raider Battalion, during the enemy Japanese attack on Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on the night of 13 and 14 September 1942. Stationed along Lunga Ridge squarely in the path of the hostile advance on Henderson Field, Captain Sweeney skillfully directed the maneuvers of his company against overwhelming numbers of the enemy who fiercely and relentlessly attacked his precarious position. With communication practically cut off and the Japanese infiltrating to the rear of his line, Captain Sweeney, by his great personal valor and unswerving devotion to duty, so inspired and encouraged his desperately fighting men that they remained doggedly at their post, despite the extremely heavy casualties. His brilliant leadership, sound judgment and unyielding defiance of danger were important factors in the successful defense of Henderson Field during those crucial hours and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Legion Of Merit : The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit with Combat "V" to Colonel John Brian Sweeney (MCSN: 0-7883), United States Marine Corps, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States while serving as Chief of Staff, THIRD Marine Division, from 20 April 1966 to 20 March 1967, and subsequently as the THIRD Marine Division Representative at DaNang from 21 March to 6 April 1967, in connection with military operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. Working under extremely austere conditions, Colonel Sweeney skillfully directed and coordinated the efforts of the Division's General and Special Staff Sections. Through his vast professional knowledge of staff functioning and military tactics, he overcame the complexities and numerous details involved in the coordination of the Division's operations with those of other commands. During this period, the THIRD Marine Division conducted thirty major combat operations, including MACON, HASTINGS, PRAIRIE and CHINOOK. Tirelessly planning to solve the complex staff and tactical requirements involved in coordinating air, sea and ground elements for multi-battalion operations, Colonel Sweeney served as an inspiration to all with whom he was associated and contributed immeasurably to the success of the THIRD Marine Division units engaged in combat operations. Keenly aware of the unique complexities involved in a counterinsurgency environment, he devoted much of his time to planning, forming and expanding the Combined Action Companies within the THIRD Marine Division's Tactical Area of Responsibility. With the realignment of forces in the I Corps Tactical Zone in October 1966, the THIRD Marine Division displaced from the DaNang area of operation to the Hue Phu Bai area in the northern province of Thua Thien. Exhibiting keen foresight and judgment, Colonel Sweeney personally ensured the efficient planning, coordination and supervision of the complex move, while maintaining maximum combat effectiveness. As a result of his diligent planning and superior leadership, the displacement was executed quickly and efficiently. In addition to his participation in the planning of Marine Corps combined actions programs, Colonel Sweeney was actively engaged in planning and organizing joint operations with Army of the Republic of Vietnam forces. His contacts with high ranking officials of both the United States and Vietnamese Governments were accomplished with dispatch, tact and efficiency. His superior efforts relieved the Commanding General of burdensome details involved in maintaining effective liaison through diverse channels. Subsequently assigned as the THIRD Marine Division's Representative in the DaNang area, he supervised and coordinated the movement of the division rear elements north to the Phu Bai Tactical Area of Responsibility. Maintaining close liaison with Headquarters, THIRD Marine Amphibious Force, FIRST Marine Division and FIRST Marine Aircraft Wing, he continued to contributed immeasurably to the accomplishment of the THIRD Marine Division's mission. By his inspiring leadership, exceptional professional skill and unwavering dedication to duty throughout, Colonel Sweeney upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. (Colonel Sweeney is authorized to wear the Combat "V".)


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