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Martinez
02-01-2004, 16:15
Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class (then S/Sgt.), U.S. Army, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 19 February 1968
Entered service at: Trenton, New Jersey
Born: 27 October 1942, Trenton, New Jersey

Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sfc. Zabitosky, U.S. Army, distinguished himself while serving as an assistant team leader of a 9-man Special Forces long range reconnaissance patrol. Sfc. Zabitosky's patrol was operating deep within enemy controlled territory when they were attacked by a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army unit. Sfc. Zabitosky rallied his team members, deployed them into defensive positions, and, exposing himself to concentrated enemy automatic weapons fire, directed their return fire. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Sfc. Zabitosky ordered his patrol to move to a landing zone for helicopter extraction while he covered their withdrawal with rifle fire and grenades. Rejoining the patrol under increasing enemy pressure, he positioned each man in a tight perimeter defense and continually moved from man to man, encouraging them and controlling their defensive fire. Mainly due to his example, the outnumbered patrol maintained its precarious position until the arrival of tactical air support and a helicopter extraction team. As the rescue helicopters arrived, the determined North Vietnamese pressed their attack. Sfc. Zabitosky repeatedly exposed himself to their fire to adjust suppressive helicopter gunship fire around the landing zone. After boarding 1 of the rescue helicopters, he positioned himself in the door delivering fire on the enemy as the ship took off. The helicopter was engulfed in a hail of bullets and Sfc. Zabitosky was thrown from the craft as it spun out of control and crashed. Recovering consciousness, he ignored his extremely painful injuries and moved to the flaming wreckage. Heedless of the danger of exploding ordnance and fuel, he pulled the severely wounded pilot from the searing blaze and made repeated attempts to rescue his patrol members but was driven back by the intense heat. Despite his serious burns and crushed ribs, he carried and dragged the unconscious pilot through a curtain of enemy fire to within 10 feet of a hovering rescue helicopter before collapsing. Sfc. Zabitosky's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

(Fred Zabitosky passed away in February 1996)

The Reaper
02-01-2004, 16:57
RIP, Zab.

You are not forgotten.

TR

Martinez
02-29-2004, 13:29
From the JFK Special Warfare Museum:

Born on October 27, 1942 in Trenton, New Jersey, CSM Fred Zabitosky led a rough and tumble life until he entered the military in 1959 and then attended Airborne School in 1963. During his second tour in the Republic of Viet Nam as a member of MACV-SOG Command and Control North, MSG Zabitosky, while deep in Laos with a nine-man patrol on 19 FEB 1968, was attacked by a North Vietnamese Army platoon. MSG Zabitosky ordered his tem to move to a landing zone for helicopter extraction while he covered their withdrawal by detonating a claymore mine and throwing several grenades. The platoon attempted to assault him, but he held them at bay by throwing a grenade and then repositioning when it detonated. Moving laterally to the advancing enemy, he created the illusion that several men were facing them, so they could not outflank him. He then called in tactical air support and rejoined his patrol. Air support reported that up to several hundred enemy were converging on the landing zone. Assaulting in waves across the open space, MSG Zabitosky’s team continued to stop the charges. Mainly due to his example, the greatly outnumbered patrol maintained its precarious position until the arrival of their helicopter extraction. As the rescue helicopters arrived, the determined enemy pressed their attack. MSG Zabitosky repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire to adjust suppressive helicopter gunship fire around the landing zone. After fierce fighting, he boarded on of the two rescue helicopters. 75 feet off the ground, the helicopter was hit by a rocket blast that threw Zabitosky from the crashing aircraft. Forcing himself to consciousness, he found his clothes afire and the burning aircraft 20 feet away. Despite suffering several crushed vertebrae, broken ribs, he saw the pilot was still alive and needed help. He rolled clumsily on the ground to extinguish his clothes, and although burned, he pulled both the pilot and co-pilot from the burning aircraft. With enemy fire encompassing the area, MSG Zabitosky dragged the aviators to a rescue helicopter before collapsing. Date of Action: 19 Feb 1968. MOH presented:< 7 March 1969. After serving in various capacities with Special Forces, he retired from the 82d Airborne Division in 1989. Until his death February 1997, he was working as the military coordinator for the VA Hospital, Fayetteville, NC.

Peregrino
02-22-2006, 09:46
Fred Zabitosky MOH 5th GP



Today is the date in 1968 when Fred Zabitosky was fighting for his and the lives of RT Maine and the air crews supporting them during the action that led to his being awarded the CMH. Here is the link to a good article about him and that event from Vietnam magazine.



http://www.thehistorynet.com/vn/bl-fred-zabitosky/



"There is no such thing as patriotism in a combat situation. You do not think about medals, promotions or even the flag. You do not think about why you are there or even your family. You think strictly about the people you are with and what you can do for each other."



-Fred Zabitosky

QRQ 30
02-22-2006, 10:23
I worked with Zab, was on the radio relay site during this action and Zab was a good friend. That said let's not forget Doug Glover who was KIA on that operation. He was also well liked and deveral people here and on the List worked and trained with him.

The MOH Citation and the JFK Museum articles are very accurate. IMO the "history.net" version is quite hyped up to make a good magazine story. I feel a lot of literary license was taken in that article.

If I may expand, Doug was a bit of a bad luck magnet. The article correctly states that this was his third operation. On the first he was stepped on by an elephant. On the second he took some frag while he or someone else ,CRS, tried to fell a tree with an M-79 to clear an LZ.
We used to humorously harrass him but it was no longer humorous when he was killed.

Tipping one for Zab and Doug.

The Reaper
02-22-2006, 10:38
I had the honor of meeting Zab several times.

If you could qualify MOH actions, his was one of the most deserving I have seen.

He was a bonafide American hero. Here's to you, Zab.

TR

QRQ 30
02-22-2006, 10:50
I had the honor of meeting Zab several times.

If you could qualify MOH actions, his was one of the most deserving I have seen.

He was a bonafide American hero. Here's to you, Zab.

TR

Like Howard, Zab was a constant hero. He performed many actions for which he could/should have been cited.

JJ_BPK
04-22-2008, 07:51
RIP Fred,,

I was privileged to have served a couple years and a bunch of beers with Fred,, while he was the active duty adviser to C Co, 3rd Bn, 20th SFG(A), Ft Lauderdale, in the 70t's

Jim

SRGross
01-12-2009, 12:49
I remember Zab as a child, he would come over to the house and grill with us, loved beer steaks. My Last memories of him was when I was getting out of service, he was running the ACAP program, on Smoke Bomb Hill ,was a great help to each and every person.
I have looked for his grave site several times and have come up empty, if anyone knows the location, I would be greatful, I would like to pay my respects to a "Good Man, among men"!

JimP
01-12-2009, 13:30
SRGross - he may be up in Mass. When I was finishing up school and in A/1/11, he lived behind me - I think I was W. Roxbury then. Despite seeing me in uniform coming and going a bunch of times he never mentioned anything about the military. I didn't know who the cat was until later. Seemed like a real class act - would wave and say hello but never talked Army. Wish I'd have known then....

The Reaper
01-12-2009, 13:33
Thirty seconds with google yielded this:

"Fred's funeral will be held in Pembroke NC, Friday 12 Jan 1996 at 1400HRS Lumbee Memorial park, Valor Section, Full Military Honors."

TR

Blitzzz (RIP)
01-12-2009, 22:54
I found him to be humble, but enjoyed some beers with him on Smoke bomb hill.

SRGross
01-13-2009, 08:28
Thirty seconds with google yielded this:

"Fred's funeral will be held in Pembroke NC, Friday 12 Jan 1996 at 1400HRS Lumbee Memorial park, Valor Section, Full Military Honors."

TR

Thank YOU VERY Much!

greenberetTFS
01-15-2009, 19:56
RIP,Warrior................:(

GB TFS

Comsmith22
01-16-2009, 08:56
May he Rest In Peace ...

Richard
02-18-2009, 22:31
RT Maine inserted 40 years ago today (19 Feb 1968) in TA Juliet-Nine, Attopeu Province, Laos. They made history and they shall not be forgotten.

Richard

Richard
09-05-2009, 12:04
Doug Glover was to replace Zab as RT Maine's 1-0 upon completion of the 19 Feb 1968 mission into JULIET-NINE.

And so it goes...

Richard's $.02 :munchin

A Wall To Lean On
Kathy McCabe, Boston Globe, 6 Sep 2009

Douglas John Glover was a Green Beret home on leave from Vietnam when he strode through the front door of his brother’s house, dressed in Army fatigues. “He was as big as life,’’ said Tom Glover, 45, a nephew who lives in Nahant. “He was tall, with dark hair and blue eyes. He looked so strong.’’

Glover - who rode horseback in the funeral procession of President John F. Kennedy - was reported missing in action in Vietnam on Feb. 19, 1968. He was 26 years old, a father-to-be whose body was never recovered.

“We were hoping he would be found,’’ Glover said quietly. “You always hope there will be some closure.’’

He found solace at The Wall That Heals, a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington that made a four-day visit to Fraser Field in Lynn. The memorial bears the names of 58,261 servicemen and women who died in the war. The fallen - whose names are listed chronologically by date of death - include 1,335 from Massachusetts and 225 from New Hampshire.

(cont'd)

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/09/06/a_wall_to_lean_on/

akv
09-05-2009, 12:33
The stories of Zabitosky and especially Kedenberg I keep thinking about.
I also find myself extremely humbled by the citations of Gordon and Shughart.
My apologies if I have strayed off topic here.

NousDefionsDoc
09-05-2009, 12:52
The stories of Zabitosky and especially Kedenberg I keep thinking about.
I also find myself extremely humbled by the citations of Gordon and Shughart.
My apologies if I have strayed off topic here.

You haven't strayed off topic, however you do need to address them by their ranks or "Mr." - they've earned it.

akv
09-05-2009, 12:57
Understood, and thank you