UNSUNG HEROES: Injured And Under Fire, This Marine Left No Man Behind

Unsung Heroes
Lt. Col. Nicholas F. Marano, commanding officer of the Twenty-nine Palms, Calif.-based 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, awards the Silver Star to Sgt. Jarred L. Adams at the Marines' camp at Al Qa'im, Iraq, June 10, 2006.
U.S. Army photo by Spc. Antonio Rosas

In January 2005, Sgt. Jarred Adams, a scout sniper with 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, braved enemy fire to retrieve the body of a fallen Marine from a burning Humvee.

According to a June 2006 Department of Defense press release, Adams’ Humvee came under attack by insurgents armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades during an ambush in Husaybah, a town of 50,000 people in Anbar province, Iraq.

In the ensuing chaos, Adams’ vehicle crashed and got stuck, and another Humvee became separated from the patrol. While his fellow Marines worked on dislodging their vehicle, Adams returned fire. With the vehicle free, Adams and his crew made their way back through intense enemy fire to rescue their fellow Marines.

Just then, an RPG struck their Humvee, killing one Marine and wounding the rest. Adams was peppered with shrapnel and burned in the blast as the vehicle caught fire. He retreated to a safe position, but then realized that the body of his fellow Marine was still inside in the burning Humvee.

Related: UNSUNG HEROES: This corporal died leading his Marines until the very end.

Under enemy fire, Adams climbed into the burning wreckage and retrieved the body. Then, completely exposed, he carried the fallen Marine through an intersection and back to safety.

It wasn't until the Marines were back at headquarters that Adams sought treatment for his injuries.

Lt. Col. Nicholas F. Marano, commanding officer of the Twenty-nine Palms, Calif.-based 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, addresses Marines and sailors of his battalion after awarding the Silver Star to Sgt. Jarred L. Adams during a ceremony at the Marines' camp at Al Qa'im, Iraq, June 10, 2006.U.S. Army photo by Spc. Antonio Rosas

On June 10, 2006, in Camp Al Qaim, Adams was on another deployment to Iraq with the same battalion when he was awarded the Silver Star for Valor in recognition of his bravery that day.

"I don't think I did anything any other Marine wouldn't do," said Adams. “I would do it again if it came down to it.”

While Adams’ modesty speaks to his character, the Marines he served with were more vocal in their recognition of his actions and heroism.

"I am very proud that we can count on Marines like Cpl. Adams," said Lt. Col. Nicholas F. Marano, the commanding officer for Adams’ unit, during the ceremony. "He is an example of the kind of leaders we have in this battalion."

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The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.

The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.

The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.

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Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.

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