The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, PFC John William Wimbley Jr, US56145436, who died in the service of his country on September 7th, 1951 in North Korea, Hills 717-682. The cause of death was listed as MIA to Declared Dead. At the time of his death John was 23 years of age. He was from Santa Clara County, California. John's Military Occupation Specialty was 4745-Light Weapons Infantryman.
The decorations earned by PFC John William Wimbley Jr include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Korea Service Medal, and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
Private First Class Wimbley was a member of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. He was listed as Missing in Action while fighting the enemy in North Korea on September 7, 1951. He was presumed dead on December 31, 1953. Private First Class Wimbley was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
John and I entered Co. L together in early August of 1951.We developed a close friendship as we were in the same platoon and 1st. squad. We were also BAR men. On the night of sept. 6 we were on a recon patrol in the vicinity of 717-682, in the Iron Triangle area of North Korea. Around midnight we were hit by Chinese troops and dispersed on the slopes of a steep ridge. Early morning we decided to continue into a canyon below while John opted to return to the crest of the ridge. From that time on he was listed as MIA. It is my belief he walked right into the Chinese. (Kevin M Wolff)
John W. Wimbley Jr. " Uncle Bud " I had never met him. I was born 2 months after he became a MIA. My Uncle "Bud" was spoken of often by my grandparents and my mother. Fond memories they were. As I grew older I began to understand what happened, but I only thought he was lost and couldn't find his way home and that he was still out there somewhere. My grandma always kept Uncle Buds room exactly as he had left it. I think she always hoped one day he would return. I remember being taken to a small ranch where my uncles horse was kept. His name was Mittens and I got to ride him. I remember the horse trophies, the pictures and his "Army Plaque". The posessions he left behind are our treasures. My brother Warren has Uncle Buds ropeing saddle and spurs, my brother Wayne the 50 Chevy pickup ( all restored ), I the wooden lamp Uncle Bud made in school and his American Flyer train set and our mother the fond memories of their childhood together. After my grandfather John W. Wimbley Sr. passed on in 1971, grandma kept the same phone number and directory listing," John W. Wimbley ". She requested that my mother never change the number. We didn't know why, but now we do. Out of the blue, almost 48 years after Uncle Bud disappeared, my mother received a phone call from Kevin Wolff who had served with my uncle in Korea. Mother and I have sumitted blood samples to the Army for DNA testing hopeing for a match with remains being returned to the U.S.. Maybe then we can put some type of closure to the haunting question of what happened to Uncle Bud. This memorial page would not have happened if it weren't for the memories and information passed on to us by Kevin Wolff, the last person we know of to have seen Uncle Bud. Thank You Kevin. (Lorraine L. Hoover)