Tom E. Hartung – American Legion Post 1977
PFC Tom E. Hartung, US Army
Tom E. Hartung enlisted in the Army on Aug. 19, 1963, while attending classes at Lincoln-Way High School in New Lenox, IL. Hartung, a veteran of 2½ years military service, spent 13 months in Korea before going to Vietnam. PFC Hartung was home on military furlough in mid-December 1965. He left home Dec. 20 to go to the west coast, from where he left for Vietnam in the afternoon on Christmas Day.
Hartung, whose name Post 1977 of the American Legion carries, died on Feb. 24, 1966 during combat in Binh Duong, South Vietnam. He would have celebrated his 20th birthday on Mar. 12, 1966. Hartung died instantly of a gunshot wound to the head from hostile small arms fire. He died while on a search and destroy operation. The post chose Tom E. Hartung as its namesake because he was the only soldier from New Lenox, IL killed in action in Vietnam.
The Army awarded Hartung the Purple Heart posthumously.