Harvey Jablonsky

Harvey Jablonsky

Harvey J. "Jabo" Jablonsky
Date of birth: January 10, 1909
Place of birth: Clayton, Missouri
Date of death: April 4, 1989
Place of death: San Antonio, Texas
Career information
Position(s): G
College: West Point
Career highlights and awards
Awards: Army Distinguished Service Medal
College Football Hall of Fame

Harvey J. "Jabo" Jablonsky (born January 10, 1909–April 4, 1989)[1] was (most notably) an American football player and U.S Army Veteran. He was a 'highly decorated veteran ' [2] of both WWII and later in his career the Vietnam War.[3] He was also elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1978.

Early life

Harvey J. Jablonsky was born January 10, 1909 in Missouri U.S.A to mother Eugenia from England, and father Arthur from Germany. His parents did not have their own home, instead they lived along with Arthurs parents (Harveys grandparents) in their Griesse Ave home in St. Louis County. Missouri.[4][5] There they lived in a house of three generations. Harveys grandfather August and mother in law Alice lived along with Harveys parents Arthur & Eugenia, as well as Arthurs brothers, Harveys uncles). Harvey J's grandfather August immigrated from Germany in 1880 to the U.S where he married his new wife Alice in St Louis, Missouri in 1885.[6] It is stated on the " Census: 1900, St. Louis, Missouri." that his parents were both born in U.S.A, but it also states about his father Arthur that [It would appear Arthur was a son of August's by a prior marriage.] August's wife Alice was not Harvey J.'s true Grandmother. Furthermore the information from the 1910 census shows that Harvey J. (1909) was in fact named after his uncle of the same name (his fathers half brother who was called simply "Harvey Jablonsky" - minus the ".J"), who is documented as living with the family on the 1900 census but not on the 1910 census. It is unclear exactly what happened to uncle Harvey and why he was named after him.

In 1927 he attended Washington University in St. Louis.[7] In 1929 he was made captain of his team and also awarded the highest honor for college football the College Football All-America Team award.[8] After graduating Washington he enrolled in the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York where he continued to play football in the position of guard, from 1931 to 1933, and became Army's captain in 1933. He graduated from the academy in 1934. Jablonsky remained at West Point as assistant coach for nine years. He was also married to his first wife Dorothy Jablonsky during these years and the 1940 census shows he has had his first children, Daughter Jean born 1937 in Virginia & Son David Jablonsky born 1939 in Panama.[9][10]

Military Career & Later Life

On 31 May 1943 he was rank Lt Colonel and appointed Executive Officer of 515th Parachute Infantry Regiment "Jumping Wolves" at Fort Benning, Georgia [11] He remained an Executive Officer until November 1943 when the 515th PIR moved to Camp Mackall, North Carolina. On 7 March 1944 the "Jumping Wolves" became a part of the 13th Airborne Division at Camp Mackall. On January 18, 1945 the 515th PIR received orders to move to Camp Shank in New York. January 25 the 13th Airborne Division received their overseas orders and embarked for Europe. They arrived at Le Havre France on February 8, 1945.[12] On the same day, February 8 the men disembarked Le Harve France and boarded trains for Camp Lucky Strike near Ste Valery en Caux, France. A few days later the 515th former XO, Colonel Harvey J Jablonsky, (who had already been deployed to France) assumed command once again of the "Jumping Wolves".[13]

On Feb 13Th 1945 Jablonsky is listed as a commanding officer of the 515th PIR [14] Although the unit did prepare for combat in Operation Comet (or Operation Market Garden) the strength of the Allied forces continually negated the need for airborne operations and as German defenses weakened, victory in Europe became a reality. The only combat action was left in the Pacific. Redeployment began on July 18, 1945 but by the time the 'Jumping Wolves' reached New York the war in the Pacific was over.

The 515th Parachute Infantry Regiment was deactivated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on 25 February 1946. In 1946 he once again returned to West Point to serve as assistant coach.

Jablonsky is listed as a Commander of the [187th Infantry Regiment (United States)] from July 1948 - June 1950. In February and March 1950 he participated in Exercise Swarmer the largest peacetime airborne maneuvers ever conducted. The 187th airborne received the highest performance scores in this exercise which was directly related to their being chosen to deploy to Korea as an Airborne Regimental Combat Team. ..credit for the superior performance of the Regiment must go to its commander at that time .. Harvey J. Jablonsky.[15][16]

In Sep 1950 elements of the 187th were attached to the 1st Marine Division to participate in the amphibious landings at Inchon. Harvey commanded the 1st Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas during 1963. Harvey also served in the Vietnam War.

Harvey was sent to Tehran, Iran during 1964–1965 [17][18] and he became chief military adviser from 1965 to 1968.[19]

As chief military adviser he had the title Jablonsky, Major General Harvey J., USA, Chief, ARMISH/MAAG, Tehran, August 1965–July 1968[20] He was reportedly living on Price Rd. Olivette, St. Louis during 1967.[21] Harvey retired from service in 1968 and went on to become vice president of the Northrop Corporation where he furthered his career within the private defense sector. He was sent back to Iran in 1970- by Northrop Corp. to work on an 'advanced $225 million tele-communications system.' He died of congestive heart failure on April 4, 1989, at the Nursing Center of the Army Residence in San Antonio, Texas. He was aged 80 and was survived by his children (and his late wife Virgie who died recently on November 3, 2012).[22] He is survived by his daughter's Jean Rickard and Lea Uhre;, David Jablonsky (Col., USA, Ret.).He also has numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.