LCpl Darwin Lee Judge USMC
One of the last KIA in the Vietnam War
LCpl Darwin Judge USMC
From Darwin's Mom - Ida Judge
From left to right: Mr. Henry Judge, Mrs. Ida Judge, Lori Judge
Written by Darwin's Mom - Ms. Ida Judge
Darwin was always busy. He was active in both cub scouts and
boy scouts, and achieved the rank of eagle scout. He played on a little
league baseball team as second baseman, and also pitched. For three years, his
team played in the All-Star games at the end of the regular season. His
first work experience was at age eight, when he subbed his older brother’s
newspaper route during his brother’s cross-country practice. When he was old
enough he carried his own newspaper route until he was almost 16, when he went
to work in a local grocery store. During winter he would help shovel
snow. When shoveling for older people, if he didn’t think they had much money,
he did not charge them, but told them that was his “boy scout deed” for the
day. Summertime brought boy scout camp, which he thoroughly enjoyed. He
went on many boy scout campouts, where he would help the younger scouts with
their merit badges. He also enjoyed riding his motorcycle in the countryside.
During haymaking season, he would often stop to help farmers load hay bales
onto a hayrack. He attended Sunday School and church, and was active in
youth fellowship. In high school he excelled in his woodworking class. He
completed a number of items, including a deacon bench, treasure chest, toy box
for his nephew, and a picture frame measuring 48” x 43”, made to hold 18 8 x
10 individual pictures (with each individual picture framed within the frame),
as well as several small items. His last completed project is a grandfather
clock, which I have always treasured. He joined the Marines during his senior
year of high school. After graduation in May he left for basic training in
July. Darwin was a good kid, loved life, and enjoyed helping people.
More about LCpl Darwin Judge
LCpl Darwin Judge along with Cpl Charles McMahon was the last
Killed In Action serviceman in the Vietnam War. LCpl Judge was born
and raised in Marshalltown Iowa. He was
an Eagle Scout and a fine young man of the community. He completed
Marine Corps Boot Camp and Marine Security Guard School before shipping to
Saigon, R. Vietnam as a Marine Security Guard to the American
Embassy. He and Cpl Charles McMahon were killed together within the
first two weeks of joining the detachment. LCpl Judge and Cpl
McMahon was killed by a rocket attack from Five NVA Divisions defending the
Defense Attaché Building on Tan Son Nhut airbase. On April 29-30
2000 we honored LCpl Judge with a Memorial Services from 24th Marines and his
fellow Saigon Marines.
Today 29 April 2001 LCpl Judge was honored at his Park in Marshalltown, Iowa with a Flag Pole, the American and Marine Corps Flag and free lighting from the citizens of Marshalltown. Earlier in April 2000 we planted two new trees in the Judge park to honor LCpl Judge and Cpl McMahon.
MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa, April 28 — Young Americans were paying the ultimate price in Vietnam right up until the final days — and what added to the tragedy is that some were virtually lost in the chaos and the eagerness of America to put Vietnam behind it. But one young hero is finally getting the recognition he deserves DARWIN JUDGE was already a hero. There’s a park named after him and a place of honor at his high school. “He was rock stable,” said one of his former schoolteachers. “He was the kind of guy America was built around.” An Eagle Scout, he was one of the last Marines to die in combat in Vietnam, killed in action when he was just 19 as enemy shells slammed into Than Son Nhut Airbase 25 years ago tomorrow, “If he’d stayed at the embassy like he was supposed to, be on the lookout, he would have been alright,” said his mother Ira. In the chaos of those final days, his body wasn’t found and returned home until a year later. In the bureaucratic confusion, he never got the purple heart nor burial with honors he deserved. “I love my country but I’m not so sure we have done what we should do to say thank you” said Ken Locke, Judge’s boyhood pal.
Ken Locke's Memorial web page to LCpl Darwin Judge
Ken Locke, friend of LCpl Judge and our only "Honorary Saigon Marine"
Below is Ken Locke's memorial web page to Darwin Judge
For nearly 25 years Locke has wanted to pay proper tribute to Darwin Judge. “He was my hero; I wanted to be like him,” Locke said. A COMMON HERO He was a hero for others, too. As Saigon fell and thousands tried to flee, Marine Doug Potratz tried frantically to evacuate his three-year-old daughter Becky, but could not until Judge intervened. “He picked her up, put her on his back, piggyback style, and quick as a bunny ran, ran out to the plane and put her on the plane,” Potratz said. Almost 25 years later, on a website dedicated to the fall of Saigon, Potratz , now in California, wrote about what Judge had done. Two thousand miles away in Indiana, Ken Locke read the account and contacted Potratz. Realizing they had a hero in common, the men, after countless phone calls and letters, persuaded the Marines to give Judge a service, Saturday, with full military honors. It will bring some measure of comfort to Judge’s parents.
Mr. Henry and Ida Judge parents of LCpl Judge
When you see so many young people take drugs and do terrible things, it makes you a little proud to have somebody like Darwin,” his father Henry said. Others are still thanking Darwin Judge 25 years later. Remember that small child he rescued? She went on to graduate, with honors, from the University of Southern California. “If it wasn’t for him, I’d probably still be their instead of here doing what I’m doing now and being who I am,” Becky said. And for anyone who might argue that it’s too late now to offer thanks, Darwin Judge’s mother has an answer: “It’s not too late to thank them and show your appreciation that they was over there to do what they was supposed to do.” Twenty-five years later, Darwin Judge will get what he deserved and those he touched will get what they need.
Full Military Honors for LCpl Darwin Judge
Funeral Detail conducted by 24th Marines
LtCol Jim Kean USMC Retired, the Commanding Officer of the Marines during the Fall of Saigon presents a flag to Mr. and Mrs. Judge. With them are family members. Ken Locke in the back is a Eagle Scout now Scout Master and best friend of Darwin.
Darwin held the rank of Eagle Scout as well.
Vietnam Wall with Fall of Saigon cover near Cpl McMahon and LCpl Judge's names
2005 LCpl Darwin Judge Scholarship
Pictured from Left to Right: are Lori DeSaulniers, Ross DuBois, Mrs. Ida Judge, Grant Squiers
and Lance Corporal Ken Crouse.
The attached photo was taken at the Marshalltown High School Awards Night on May 15, 2005 in Marshalltown, Iowa. During the evening's event the Fall of Saigon Marines Association presented the Lance Corporal Darwin Lee Judge Memorial Scholarship to two of the graduating seniors. Pictured from Left to Right are Lori DeSaulniers, Ross DuBois, Mrs. Ida Judge, Grant Squiers and Ken Crouse.
Lori and Mrs. Judge are the sister and mother of Darwin Judge, one of the last two Marines to be killed in action in Saigon, Republic of Vietnam. He was killed in the early morning hours of April 29, 1975 just prior to the launch of Operation Frequent Wind, the final evacuation of Saigon. Messrs DuBois and Squiers are both Eagle Scouts and are this year's recipients. Prior to joining the Marine Corps, LCpl Judge was an Eagle Scout in Marshalltown and recipients of the scholarships are always Eagle Scouts from the local community. Ken Crouse is the Secretary of the Fall of Saigon Marines Association, a California non-profit, public benefit corporation. The association was formed to serve as a living reminder to the sacrifice made by the last two Marines to be killed in action in Vietnam and their families. These Marines, LCpl Darwin Judge and Cpl Charles McMahon, were members of the Marine Security Guard Detachment in Saigon at the time of the evacuation and the association presents annual scholarships in their communities to honor their sacrifice. More information about the association may be found at http://www.fallofsaigon.org
Thanks - please direct any questions to Ken Crouse @ (916) 220-0085.
Boy Scouts Troop #310 of Marshalltown, Iowa honored their fallen warrior
and the last serviceman killed-in-action of the Vietnam War.
The Boy Scouts of America at the Vietnam Memorial at the Iowa Veteran Center.
Many of these young men leave the Boy Scouts as an Eagle Scouts including LCpl Darwin Judge. The Scout Master of Marshalltown, Iowa has sent out many good citizens.
We salute you.
Colonel Hurley, The
Marine Security Battalion CO was the guest speaker during LCpl Judge's
Memorial/Purple Heart Ceremony. The Colonel said that their was a
LCpl Judge and Cpl McMahan classrooms at the MSG Battalion School.
There passports and the paper from Marshalltown are in the schools'
Ceremony held for LCpl Darwin Judge and Cpl Charlie McMahon in Marshalltown, Iowa. Sixteen Fall of Saigon Marines attended our 25th reunion/memorial services.
Ken Locke was a friend of LCpl Darwin Judge and fellow Eagle Scout. Ken shares his comments about his hometown best friend. Ken is our only "Honorary Fall of Saigon Marine".
Ida Judge, 86, of Marshalltown, died Sunday, September 18, at tlle Villa del Sol where she has resided since last month.
Funeral services was held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, September 23, at the Hope United Methodist Church with Rev. Darrell Mitchell officiating. Memorials may be directed to the Lance Cpl. Darwin L. Judge Memorial Scholarship, Hope United Methodist ChlH'cb or the Marshalltown Senior Citizens. For condolences, please visit www.mitchellfh.com. The Mitchell Family Funeral Home is caring for Ida and her family. Ph. 641-844-1234.
Born Ida Maud Parsons on July 2, 1925, in Wellington, Colorado, she was one of five children born to Elzy "Jack" and Ruth (Carr) Parsons. She received her education in Colorado.
On September 29, 1946, she was united in marriage to Henry Judge in Derby, Colorado. They made their home around the Garwin community and moved into town where he was acting postmaster. In 1962, they moved to Marshalltown where she was employed for 16 years at the IVH as Hospital Representative for the American Legion Auxiliary. Ida was a generous and giving person - devoting many hours to volunteer at IVH, assist with Cub Scouts and 4-H, VBS at Ganvin United Methodist and Hope United Methodist and Senior Citizens. She was a patriotic person and was known for her pies and fried chicken She and Henry were wonderful dancers and were members of the Central Iowa Square Dancers. She was also a member of the Hope United Methodist Church, American Legion Auxiliary, Les Femmes and Navy Mothers Club. Left to cherish her memory are her daughter Lorraine "Lori" (Greg) DeSaulniers of Marshalltown, daughter-in-law Sheila Judge, five grandchildren: Chris (Julee) DeSaulniers of Clinton, Iowa, and their children Noah, Carson and Rylee; DeLinn (Jeff) Payne of Overland Park, Kansas and their children Jackson Henry and Hudson; Cathy Judge, Jason Judge, and Jamie (Tracy) Judge and children Cody, Brittney and Cotbyall in North Carolina, her sisters Virgie Chinn of Aurora, Colorado, Agnes Chinn of Commerce City, Colorado and brother Gilbert (NOffiila) Parsons of Westcliffe, Colorado, as well as many nieces and nephews and friends. Preceding her in death were her parents, her husband, brother Charley and two sons: Loren and Darwin. continue reading >>
If you would like to submit your personal story's of LCpl Darwin Judge please contact the Secretary Fall of Saigon Marines Association and we will post it.
Ken Lock's 30th Anniversary message to paper
Medals/Flags and MSG Plaque given to the Judge/McMahon Families
Sgt Tanner's Story about LCpl Judge at MSG School
Add your comments on the web page for the Vietnam Wall
Darwin Judge's home town friend Ken Locke. Ken our only "Honorary Saigon Marine" dedicated a web page.
LCpl Judge's Virtual Wall Page
Cpl McMahon's Page
~ Guarding the Streets of Heaven ~