HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 75
(By Delegates Iaquinta, Longstreth, Fragale, Paxton, Miley, Armstead, Manchin, O’Neal, Azinger, Hamrick and Boggs)
Requesting the Division of Highways name bridge number 17-79-114.9 over Elk Creek in Harrison County the “USN S2C Jack Wade and USMC PFC Don Wade Memorial Bridge”.
Whereas, Brothers Jack Wayne Wade and Don Edgar Wade were born on December 29, 1925 and November 13, 1929, respectively, and were two of the nine children of the late Arlie Ray Wade and Nellie Hennen Wade; and
Whereas, Jack and Don “Donnie” Wade grew up along West Virginia Route 20 near the old swinging bridge at Walnut Hill in Harrison County and were members of a good, hard working family of modest, but hard-earned means; and
Whereas, Seaman Second Class Jack Wayne Wade enlisted in the United States Navy Reserves December 21, 1943 during World War II and was stationed on the USS Birmingham; and
Whereas, On October 24, 1944, the cruiser Birmingham was engaged in what is known as the Battle of Leyte Golf, in the South Pacific, where she suffered great topside damage from explosions on board the carrier Princeton while courageously attempting to aid that stricken vessel, and as a result of the events of that day, the USS Birmingham suffered 233 killed, 426 wounded, including the loss of S2C Jack Wayne Wade, whose duty station was a gun tub on the topside of the ship; and
Whereas, Although the exact details of his death and burial remain unknown, records indicate that Jack Wayne Wade was buried at sea in the Leyte Golf; a Memorial at Fort William McKinley, Manila, the Philippines lists Jack Wayne Wade as MIA/Buried at Sea and as a recipient of the Purple Heart Medal; and a memorial was placed on December 4, 1995 at the West Virginia National Cemetery in Grafton, West Virginia; and
Whereas, Brother Don Edgar “Donnie” Wade enlisted in the United States Marine Corp and completed basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina and was later assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division stationed in Korea in July, 1952; and
Whereas, PFC Donnie Wade was mortally wounded while on combat patrol in the Battle Zone known as the Jamestown Line, Western Outposts, Korea on October 2, 1952, from small arms fire and was evacuated to the USS Repose, where he died from his wounds two days later on October 4, 1952 and was laid to rest in the Elkview Masonic Cemetery in Clarksburg, West Virginia; and
Whereas, Donnie Wade is remembered by his contemporaries who were acquainted with him in their youth near Quiet Dell, as a likeable, engaging and free-spirited person who has been since that fateful day in 1952 “forever young”; and
Whereas, The ultimate sacrifice made by these two brothers, S2C Jack Wayne and PFC Don Edgar Wade, in service to their country, their state, their community, family and friends should be memorialized in the community in which they were raised and were known and are remembered; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Division of Highways is hereby requested to name bridge number 17-79-114.9 on I-79 over Elk Creek in Harrison County the “USN S2C Jack Wade and USMC PFC Don Wade Memorial Bridge”; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Division of Highways is requested to have made and be placed signs identifying the bridge as the “USN S2C Jack Wade and USMC PFC Don Wade Memorial Bridge”; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates forward a certified copy of this resolution to the families of Jack Wayne Wade and Don Edgar Wade and the Secretary of the Department of Transportation.