George “Judo” Badavinac

Army Badge
  • Name: George "Judo" Badavinac
  • Location of Birth: Hibbing, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: June 4, 1929
  • Date of Death: December 21, 2015 (86 years old)
  • Parents: Peter Badavinac and Martha (Orlovich) Badavinac
  • High School and Class: Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: CPL (Corporal)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: August 10, 1948
  • Place Sworn In: Bemidji, Minnesota
  • Date of Discharge: May 2, 1952 (Honorable Discharge)
  • Place of Discharge: Camp Carson, Colorado
  • Units and Locations:
    Start Date End Date Unit(s) and Location(s) Served
    August 10, 1948 May 2, 1952
  • Military Awards:
    Special Certificate of Valor - Task Force Smith, United States Army. Task Force Smith was the first unit to fight in Korea.
    "This is to cite the individual members and to officially recognize and pay tribute to the gallant organization, whose heroic achievements have added luster to the annals of American arms.
    Osan - July 4, 1950 - Composed of 406 Infantrymen of the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, Task Force Smith landed at Pusan, Korea, on 1 July 1950 and was joined by 134 Artillerymen of the 52nd Field Artillery Battalion near P'yountaek on 4 July, with the mission of delaying the main body of the enemy driving into South Korea. Gaining contact with an estimated 20,000 enemy troops in the vicinity of Osan on 5 July, this force exhibited valor on the battlefield worthy of the highest traditions of the Combat Soldier. Face by a fanatical foe greatly superior in numbers, and penetrated by enemy armor, it coiled in defense and with stubborn determination and exemplary fortitude registered devastation on the enemy. With ammunition almost spent and its position in imminent danger of being completely surrounded, a hazardous but masterly withdrawal was effected. Rushed forward to arrest this massive onslaught alone, the intrepidity and skill of these defenders of the ground can best be gauged by their outstanding success in stemming the enemy advance during this very critical period.
    The members of Task Force Smith, who fought so nobly on this occasion, have earned the eternal gratitude of the freedom-loving people of the world, and the wholehearted pride and commendation of the United States Army."

    George "Judo" Badavinac was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery in the 537th Field Artillery Battalion at Camp Carson, Colorado.

  • Military Highlights:
    Army of Occupation Medal (Japan)
    Combat Infantryman Badge
    Bronze Star Medal
    Distinguished Unit Citation
    Korean Service Medal
    Overseas Bar - 1
    United Nations Service Medal

  • Wars Involved:
    Korean Conflict

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    After the war, Judo returned to Pengilly where he worked for the MA Hanna Mining Company, Butler Taconite and National Steel as a belt vulcanizer. He was a member of the Pengily VFW 8831 in Pengilly, Minnesota and in his free time liked hunting, ice fishing, gardening, carving diamond willow or just relaxing with his newspaper. He real enjoyment though, came from his family, whether it be the family summer barbeques or watching his grandchildren play sports. His great-grandchildren were the light of his life.

    He is survived by his children, Vicky Badavinac, Susan Kessler, George (Rochelle), Nick (Stephanie), and Lori Badavinac (Al Falls); eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and his brothers, Robert (Joanne), Roland (Jean), and Peter.

    He was preceded in death by his wife, Jean Adair (Crea), his parents; a son-in-law, Dan Kessler; two sisters-in-law, Junita Badavinac and Mary Badavinac; and a niece, Kim Twidwell (Badavinac Staloch).

    Buried in Lakeview Cemetery at Coleraine, Minnesota.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):