King, Wade K. (612th)

Wade K. King

Biography:  Wade Keaton King was born on July 13, 1922, in Madison County, Tennessee. He was the son of Woffard Franklin King and Myrtle Ethel Davis and attended the Friendship School in Chester Co., Tennessee through the grammar level. He then worked as a farm hand prior to the war.

Service Time:  Wade entered the service on December 22, 1942, at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. After his basic training, he was then assigned to B Company of the 612th Tank Destroyer Battalion. The 612th shipped out from the New York port on April 7, 1944, and arrived at Greenock, Scotland, on the 15th. They landed in France with 3″ towed guns, beginning on June 14, and were committed in the vicinity of Cerisy, fighting at Vire during the breakout in July and early August.

The 612th moved to Brittany and supported the siege and capture of Brest in late August and September and then shifted to Belgium in October and supported operations against the Siegfried Line.  Portions of the unit were assigned to Task Force X while Company B was attached to 23rd Combat Team to give close fire support and anti-tank protection. On October 20th, one squad of the 3rd platoon of B Company received a direct hit by enemy artillery fire, killing Wade and 2 other enlisted men. The names of the two other men killed were Sgt. Jack W. Pebsworth and Pvt. Walter E. Heiderhoff. Additionally, one other man was wounded. Later that day, the battalion was relieved from assignment with the Ninth U.S. Army and assigned to the First U.S. Army, effective on October 22nd.

Wade was buried temporarily and then brought back to the states and buried in the New Friendship Cemetery in Mifflin, TN. He posthumously received the Purple Heart for his ultimate sacrifice. I want to thank Wade’s nephew Dale for providing the information and main photo used in this tribute. Thank you also to Find A Grave contributor, Kathy Haney Williams, for the use of the grave marker photo.