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THE REPATRIATION OF PFC HENRY CASTLE WADE
Born November 29, 1919 - Killed In Action November 12, 1944
TIMELINE OF EVENTS
17 NOV 2023 - Depart Omaha Nebraska on American Flight #2269 at 3:51 PM
17 NOV 2023 - Arrive at Dallas Fort Worth at 5:55 PM
18 NOV 2023 - Depart Dallas Fort Worth on American Flight #1149 at 10:15 AM
18 NOV 2023 - Arrive at Lexington Kentucky at 1:21 PM
18 NOV 2023 - Arrive at Wilson Funeral Home at 3:30 PM
28 NOV 2023 - Visitation was held from 5-7 PM. At 6:00 PM, there was an opening prayer by Roger Wade, Autumn Onyon sang "God Bless America", the epitaph was provided by Captain Dale Onyon, United States Navy, retired, and presentation of replacement medals by Major Melissa Mattingly to nephew Wade Abbott with Captain Onyon assisting.
29 NOV 2023 - Full military honors were performed at Mill Springs National Cemetery at Nancy, Kentucky at 12:30 PM Eastern Standard Time. The procession left Wilson Funeral Home at 10:45 AM Central Standard Time. The procession went to KY 80 west to US 127 south to eastbound Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Expressway to Nancy Exit, then KY 80 to Mill Springs National Cemetery where a Military Chaplain Col. Bill Draper served as officiating clergy. A very good performance of TAPS was played, the firing of the 21 gun salute and the flag presentation to Nephew Wade Abbott.
STORY OF PFC WADE'S SERVICE
United States Army Private First Class (PFC) Henry Castle Wade was born in Decatur, in Russell County, Kentucky where he lived and spent his life until he was called into service for his country during World War II. He began his service for the United States Army on November 4, 1942 at Fort Harrison, Indiana. From there, PFC Wade continued his training at Camp Carson, Colorado, Camp Roberts, California and then a camp near Shreveport, Louisiana. In April of 1944, he had a furlough and spent some time in Camp Mead, Maryland before he shipped across to Europe in June 1944. In Europe, PFC Wade traveled to England, France, Belgium, and finally Germany. In November of 1944, he was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, as an infantryman.
Between September 1944 and February 1945, a fierce series of clashes took place over an area of on 50 square miles along the Belgian-German border, in an area known as the Hurtgen Forest. The Hurtgen Forest offensive was one of the longest battles the U.S. fought in World War II.
PFC Wade was killed in action during this battle on November 12, 1944. Due to the tactical situation, his remains were not immediately recovered. According to the Biological Profile Comparison Report filed by Anthropologist Jeffery James Lynch, PhD, he signed official documents that the skeletal remains were that of PFC Henry Castle Wade on May 5, 2023. After almost 80 yes, his remains were identified and have been returned home for final burial in Mill Springs National Cemetery in Nancy, Kentucky. Governor Andy Beshear ordered flags lowered to half-staff in honor of PFC Wade on the day of the interment, November 29, 2023, on what would have been Wade's 104th birthday.
Henry Castle Wade was born on November 29, 1919 and died at the age of 24 on November 12, 1944. His father was Hugh French Wade (1880-1932) and his mother was Leona Luttrell Wade (1884-1983). He has seven siblings: Amy Wade Luttrell (1911-2002), Gordon Byron Wade (1913-2002), Olive Wade Massey (1914-2010), Roby Wade Childress (1916-2004, Henry's twin brother Edward K. Wade (1919-2017), Hazel Wade Abbott (1925-2022), and Hester Wade (1927-2012). Survivors include a host of nieces and nephews.
ABOUT THE PROCESSION
His remains, with an Army uniform and white gloves, were in a Bristol Poplar casket draped with an American flag as it was presented to a funeral detail that carried it from the conveyor beside the aircraft to an awaiting hearse. At the gate of the tarmac, family members waited for the hearse to move forward under escort by Kentucky State Police as well as Lexington Airport Police.
The procession began at the Lexington Airport gate five and was led most of the way by the Kentucky State Police and Rolling Thunder. Intersections were blocked in every town we went thru, people pulled off the side of the road, many saluting, some wiping tears. Nicholasville Fire Department erected a large American Flag over Highway 27.
Arrival into Russell County, many people were lined up along US 127. At the junction of 127/80, Jamestown Volunteer Fire Department held a large American Flag over the roadway and all emergency services, law enforcement and fire departments and EMS were present to assist. The procession went to the square in Jamestown, circled the Doughboy and back to Wilson Funeral Home where honors were conducted by Rolling Thunder, a service that was attended by family and people of the community.
NOTE FROM THE FUNERAL DIRECTOR
It has been an honor to serve the Wade family in arranging the services for PFC Henry Castle Wade. In information released by the military, it showed a handwritten letter from Henry's mom asking for personal effects of her son. She wrote, "I know not how he was killed, by a sniper, or by a mine, or a bomb or machine gun, but I surely think he had some things recoverable. She signed the letter, "His heartbroken mother, thanking you most heartedly, I am yours truly, Mrs. Leona Wade. Living to be almost 100 years old, it is my feelings she passed away with a broken heart. I've had her on my mind many times as we prepared this homecoming.
To serve our Veterans is a great honor but to handle the arrangements of a casualty of World War II, in repatriation, is a high honor and not likely to be held again in Russell County.
To the Wade Family, thank you, thank you, thank you a million times over for trusting in our Funeral Home to do what we have done. On behalf of myself, my dad and mom, Garlin and Jane Wilson and my staff, Phillip Miller and Tim Baker, we appreciate this opportunity.
As for arranging everything, my thanks go out to Army Major Melissa Mattingly, Rolling Thunder President Todd Matonich, Jenna from American Airlines, Kentucky State Police, Lexington Airport Police, all emergency services along the procession route, too numerous to mention, Nicholasville and Jamestown Fire Department for their large flag over US 27 and 127, everyone who worked to provide support as we entered Russell County, THANK YOU SO MUCH!! TOO MANY TO NAME PERSONALLY...Thank you, on behalf of the family and Wilson Funeral Home.