Military Times
Honor The Fallen
Honoring those who fought and died in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn
Search Our Database


Bookmark and Share

Navy Chief Petty Officer Patrick L. Wade

Died July 17, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

38, of Key West, Fla.; assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 11, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.; died July 17 as a result of enemy action while conducting combat operations in Samarra, Iraq. Also killed was Petty Officer 1st Class Jeffrey L. Chaney.

Navy explosives technician from Manawa killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

MANAWA, Wis. — A 38-year-old Navy explosives technician who recently arrived in Iraq was killed by a roadside bomb, his mother said July 18. It’s her second son to die while serving his country, the family said.

Chief Petty Officer Patrick Wade, who joined the Navy after graduating from high school here in 1987, died July 17 while on a mission in Samarra, north of Baghdad, his mother, Shirley Wade said.

“They were just on a convoy. They were going to take care of some explosives and their vehicle was hit by a very deep charge,” she said, her voice choked with emotion. “He was a very outgoing young man. He enjoyed the service and his family. I just really can’t talk about that.”

Wade was deployed to Iraq about two months ago, the 70-year-old mother said.

The Department of Defense announced July 18 the deaths of Wade and Petty Officer 1st Class Jeffrey L. Chaney, 35, of Omaha, Neb., both assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 11, out of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash. The two died in combat operations in Iraq’s Salah Ad Din province, the Pentagon said.

Wade was married with two daughters, ages 3 and 1, and the family lived in Oak Harbor, Wash., which is north of Seattle, his older brother, Gary, said.

“He loved what he did. He was a good friend, a good brother, a good uncle. He was a good man,” the brother said. “He believed in what he was doing and he believed that he was accomplishing his mission.”

His brother got married in 2003 to a woman from California who also had served in the Navy, the brother said.

According to Gary, his younger brother’s vehicle survived an initial bomb blast July 17, and he was killed when his crew discovered other bombs in a culvert under the highway. Steps were being taken to detonate them safely when they exploded.

“The blast was just that big,” he said. The family was told the explosion left a crater 40 feet long and 6 feet deep, the brother said.

Pat Wade is the second son in the family to die in military service. An older brother, 37-year-old Bob, was killed in a helicopter accident in 1993 in Japan while serving in the Air Force, Gary Wade said.

Ever since high school, Pat wanted to follow his brothers into military service, said Gary, 48, who served four years in the Marines.

He wanted to become a Navy SEAL. “He just liked the adventure and the challenge,” the brother said. He didn’t make it but figured the next best thing was the explosives disposal team.

“He was an average, normal kind of guy except for the fact that he blew [expletive] up,” the brother said. “He was looking forward to the next promotion to master chief in another three years.”

Pat Wade is the 76th soldier, Marine or sailor from Wisconsin killed in Iraq or associated with duties in Iraq. As of July 17, more than 3,600 members of the U.S. military had died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

Deb Watry, superintendent of Little Wolf High School in Manawa where Wade graduated, said Wade has a nephew still attending the school.

News of Wade’s death saddened residents in the central Wisconsin community of about 1,350 people, Watry said. “It is our first loss in a very small community. It impacts a lot of people.”

A high-ranking Army general touring Fort McCoy in western Wisconsin on Wednesday offered condolences to Wade’s family.

“That is the price of a war. When you decide to go to war, people have to understand that is going to happen, and I am so sorry for that family,” said Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, a three-star general in charge of training National Guard and Reserve soldiers for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wade’s duty as an explosives technician is one of the most dangerous jobs in the military, said Honore, who visited his troops in Iraq two weeks ago.

“Some of the bravest men I have seen are people who take on that task of handling those explosives. So he was a brave man. It takes a lot of guts,” the general said. “God bless him.”

View By Year & Month

2002   2001

Military Times
© 2018 Sightline Media Group
Not A U.S. Government Publication