New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial
JEDH C. BARKER
Branch of Service:
Country of Incident:
Date of Casualty:
Sep 21, 1967
Date of Birth:
Jun 20, 1945
Jedh Colby Barker was born on June 20, 1945. His home of record is Park Ridge, NJ. He had a total of six siblings: oldest brother Warren, oldest sister Dolly, younger twin sisters Anne and Susan, and a younger brother John. He attended Park Ridge High School. Barker was an outstanding athlete. He was captain of the football and baseball teams and a member of the basketball and track teams. He also belonged to the school choir.
After high school graduation, Jedh enrolled at Lycoming College in Pennsylvania, but before completing his education there, he decided to follow in his father's and older brother's footsteps, and enlist in the US Marine Corps. He attained the rank of Lance Corporal (LCPL).
Jedh and his brother, Warren, were able to meet in Vietnam several times prior to his death.
On September 21, 1967, at the age of 22, Barker was killed in action during an artillery barrage in South Vietnam, Quang Tri Province.
Barker is buried in George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, NJ.
Barker was posthumously awarded The Congressional Medal of Honor. His citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a machine gunner with Company F. During a reconnaissance operation L/Cpl. Barker's squad was suddenly hit by enemy sniper fire. The squad immediately deployed to a combat formation and advanced to a strongly fortified enemy position, when it was again struck by small arms and automatic weapons fire, sustaining numerous casualties. Although wounded by the initial burst of fire, L/Cpl. Barker boldly remained in the open, delivering devastating volume of accurate fire on the numerically superior force. The enemy was intent upon annihilating the small marine force and, realizing that L/Cpl. Barker was a threat to their position, directed the preponderance of their fire on his position. He was again wounded, this time in the right hand, which prevented him from operating his vitally needed machine gun. Suddenly and without warning, an enemy grenade landed in the midst of the few surviving marines. Unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his personal safety, L/Cpl. Barker threw himself upon the deadly grenade, absorbing with his body the full and tremendous force of the explosion. In a final act of bravery, he crawled to the side of a wounded comrade and administered first aid before succumbing to his grievous wounds. His bold initiative, intrepid fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of almost certain death undoubtedly saved his comrades from further injury or possible death and reflected great credit upon himself, the Marine Corps, and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Sources: Newspaper clippings, Susan Barker Rilliet (sister), various websites and NJVVMF.