Tester honors Montana WWII hero who gave all

Senator presents war medals to hero’s family, nearly 70 years later

(BIG SANDY, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester this week honored a Montana World War II veteran by presenting his family with the medals he earned nearly 70 years ago.

Tester, Montana’s only member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, presented the family of Staff Sergeant John Klobofski with seven awards including the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

At Tuesday’s ceremony in Havre, Tester highlighted Klobofski’s role in ‘Operation Persecution’ which led to the capture of New Guinea in 1944. Klobofski and his unit took two key airfields with such speed that they were all awarded a Presidential Unit Citation. Klobofski died in combat in 1944. His family never received the medals he earned as an American hero.

“It is my honor to share the story of John’s military service, because no story of heroism should ever fall through the cracks,” Tester said. “These decorations are small tokens, but they are powerful symbols of true heroism, sacrifice and dedication to service.”

In addition to the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Presidential Unit Citation, Klobofski earned the American Defense Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars, the World War II Victory Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge First Award.

Tester presented Klobofski’s medals to his sister-in-law Alma, who was surrounded by Klobofski’s nephews and their families. Klobofski, a Chinook High School graduate, was born in 1919 and attended classes at Northern Montana College before re-enlisting in the National Guard in 1940.

Tester’s office regularly serves Montana veterans whose service awards are lost or never received. He recently helped fulfill the nation’s pledge to three other Montana veterans, presenting them and their families with medals honoring military service.

More information on Tester’s efforts to help Montana veterans receive their service awards can be found HERE.

Tester also recently made the Purple Heart memorial in Billings more user-friendly for veterans and their families. Read more HERE.