FORCE RECON Below, Jack Wade

John Robertson

Staff member
Jack Wade
  • UNIT
1 Recon Bn (A Company) (1 MarDiv)
  • RANK
Silver Star
South Vietnam 1967
from Wyatt, Missouri
born 06.12.1942 Cairo, Illinois, USA
father Finis Hood Below (1906-1986)
mother Dora Fern (nee Wade) Below (1913-1982)
07.12.1959 entered service USMC
WIA 20.3.1967 near Nui Dang, Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam
3 tours Vietnam
battlefield Commission to 1st LT
01.08.1970 discharged (awarded SS, BS, PH)
17.01.1980 married Linda Barr
31.07.1971 - 01.04.1981 USAR
died 27.10.2015 Roby, Missouri, USA (Aged 72)
Green Hill Cemetery, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
Jack Wade Below

Born: December 06, 1942
Died: October 27, 2015

Jack W. Below, age 72, son of Finis Below and Fern (Wade) Below was born December 6, 1942 in Cairo, IL. He passed away October 27, 2015 at his family farm near Roby, Missouri, surrounded by his wife and beloved dogs.
Jack grew up in southeast Missouri along the Mississippi River. At the age of 17 years and one day, Jack joined the USMC on December 7, 1959, leaving August 1, 1970, after having served three tours in Viet Nam and receiving a Battlefield Commission to the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He earned numerous medals for valor, including a Silver Star, Bronze Star with clusters , purple heart, and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm. Jack enlisted with the USAR July 31, 1977, retiring April 1, 1981.
Jack married Linda Barr, on January 17, 1980, in a small chapel wedding at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Two strangers and their much-loved Dalmatian dog, Spats, witnessed the ceremony.
Jack is survived by his wife, Linda, beloved dogs, Peanut, Hairy, Ugg, Cocoa, Hashbrown, Petunia, Thumper, Daisy, Sunshine and Short Round, all of the home. Daughter Cathi Bert-Roussel of North Carolina; son Jack Below, Jr., of St. Louis, Missouri (both from a previous marriage); and Goddaughter, Denna Tune of Houston, Missouri. Also, surviving is Jack's sister, Loretta Parker of St. Louis, Missouri.
Jack served over 20 years in military service and worked several years in various government positions at Fort Leonard Wood before finally retiring. He proudly built a log home and barn on the family farm, raising strawberries, cattle, pigs, chickens all being overseen by the family donkeys Cuff and Link. He enjoying farming, especially raising a large garden, which he shared with the community. Jack enjoyed woodworking, including making a beautiful carousel for his wife, Linda, and constructing a rustic log cabin on their farm. Jack enjoyed life and loved hunting, fishing, golfing, and beekeeping.
Before Jack and Linda were married, Jack promised Linda he would be in charge of the entertainment and said she could be in charge of everything else… he kept his promise for over 35 years. Jack said he wanted one thing from his life and that was to leave this earth a better place. His generosity, kindness, and love will be felt for many years after he left this earth for his heavenly home on October 27, 2015.

Jack made the wish to his wife, Linda, to scatter his ashes on the family farm, near Roby, MO


Silver Star : The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Sergeant Jack Wade Below (MCSN: 1889549), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company A, First Reconnaissance Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with combat operations against insurgent communist (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam. On 20 March 1967, while serving as the leader of a reconnaissance patrol being helicopter lifted into enemy controlled territory in the vicinity of Nui Dang, Quang Ngai Province, Staff Sergeant Below displayed exceptional bravery and presence of mind during a grave emergency. As the helicopter landed, it was immediately subjected to intense and accurate automatic weapons fire from fifty Viet Cong entrenched around the landing zone. The initial burst of enemy fire wounded seven of the eleven Marines aboard the aircraft and hit a fuel cell causing aviation fuel to flow into the troop compartment of the helicopter. Observing the crew chief sustain two wounds and fall from his gun position, Staff Sergeant Below, disregarding his own painful wounds, immediately manned the .50 caliber machine gun. Delivering a heavy volume of accurate fire, he killed two Viet Cong advancing toward the helicopter and suppressed the fire of the remaining enemy, enabling the aircraft to take off safely. As the helicopter became airborne, Staff Sergeant Below moved to the rear to attend to the wounded and inspect the damage to the aircraft. Upon observing smoke coming from the pack of a Marine sitting within three feet of the broken fuel cell, he calmly directed the Marine to remove the pack. At this moment, the pack, loaded with six pounds of high explosive C-4, twenty feet of time fuse, a Claymore mine, four M-26 hand grenades and 100 rounds of 7.62 ammunition, burst into flames. With exceptional presence of mind and complete disregard for his own safety, Staff Sergeant Below, accompanied by the gunner, calmly carried the lethal bundle to the door and tossed it from the aircraft. His extraordinary initiative and inspiring courage in the face of extreme personal danger was instrumental in diverting an enemy attack and undoubtedly saved the lives of all aboard the helicopter. By his heroic and courageous actions, outstanding presence of mind and selfless devotion to duty, Staff Sergeant Below upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.


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