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Fallen Officers Memorial - Line of Duty Deaths
Jeanne M. Balcombe
This was written by SGM Joseph W. Brundy in Korea after attending SFC Jeanne Balcombe's memorial service at Camp Red Cloud on Tuesday Aug 24, 1999:
I attended a memorial service for SFC Jeanne M. Balcombe, 1st
platoon, 55th military police company, Camp Red Cloud,
Korea. I was not present because I knew her personally; I was there
because a fellow noncommissioned officer had lost her life
tragically. As I sat in the Balcony of the over crowded chapel and
looked down at the Kevlar helmet resting on the highly polished
boots, I realized that life is truly short. We never know when our
last day on earth will be.
army lost a leader the other day. If you were sitting in that chapel
today you would have come to know SFC Balcombe. You would have felt
the respect and love her fellow soldiers have for her. In the
military we learn to deal with death and I am sure being a member of
the military police corps, SFC Balcombe knew her life was on the
line daily. As I
listened to soldier after soldier describe her, it became crystal
clear that SFC Balcombe was a dedicated soldier and knew that losing
her life for her country was the ultimate sacrifice. I left that
chapel thinking this NCO was the epitome of a noncommissioned
officer. She trained, loved, and respected the soldiers she was
placed in charge. She held them to high standards, but never lost
sight of the fact that her soldiers were human beings, thus treating
them with dignity.
As I sat in that chapel I felt like I was representing noncommissioned officers all over the world. As I watched the soldiers wipe their tears away from their eyes, I wondered if I as a sergeant major did I measure up to SFC Balcombe. Had I gained my soldiers love and respect the way this platoon sergeant had? When the roll call was called and there was complete silence when SFC Jeanne Balcombe named was called three times by the First Sergeant I began to tremble. When the soldiers rose to their feet and stood rigid at attention, while taps was played I was overcome with sadness. I stood proud. I wanted SFC Balcombe to know that noncommissioned officers all over the world will miss her, but will strive to carry on her legacy. To continue to perform the most difficult job in the world, leading soldiers….
|Sunday, August 22, 1999 MP in Korea arrested in killing|
|Monday, August 23, 1999 Bowley in U.S. military custody|
|Tuesday, August 24, 1999 Shooting victim, 33, identified|
|Wednesday, January 26, 2000 Sentencing begins for Camp Red Cloud Killer|
|Saturday, January 29, 2000 Husband of murdered MP testifies of loss|
|Saturday, January 29, 2000 U.S. soldier apologizes for killing MP in Korea|
|Saturday, January 29, 2000 Psychologist says killer understood his actions|
|Monday, January 31, 2000 Private sentenced to 56 years for murder|
|These are reports from the Pacific Stars and Stripes|
Sunday, August 22, 1999
MP in Korea arrested in killing
By Ken Carter
SEOUL - Korean National Police apprehended a U.S. Army military policeman in Pusan Saturday eight hours after he allegedly shot and killed a fellow MP at Camp Red Cloud.
Police spokesman Kim Pyung-soo said the suspect, Pfc. Jacob Bowley, of Camp Red Cloud's 55th Military Police, was apprehended at 11:40 a.m. in Pusan, approximately 280 miles south of the camp.
Bowley, 20, allegedly shot a sergeant first class from his unit at approximately 3:50 a.m. at the camp's troop medical clinic, according to a U.S. Forces Korea news release.
The victim was a woman and was shot three times, including at least once in the head, according to Yonhap, South Korea's national news agency. U.S. Forces Korea officials would not confirm the victim was a woman.
Bowley later was spotted in a branch of the Seoul Bank in Pusan, and a Korean civilian called the police.
About 20 Korean National Police from the Yeun San police station reported to the scene and apprehended the suspect. In his possession was a 9 mm pistol and 13 rounds of ammunition. He was held at the police station pending transfer to U.S. military authorities, Kim said.
Earlier Saturday, Bowley overpowered a Korean augmentee to the United States Army military police at Camp Red Cloud and took the man's weapon, a 9 mm pistol.
After allegedly shooting the sergeant first class, Bowley fled the post with the pistol in a vehicle, according to the release.
The vehicle was later discovered near Uijongbu City Hall, a little more than a mile from the base's front gate.
U.S. Forces Korea Affairs spokeswoman Lee Ferguson would not comment on details of the shooting.
The Korean soldier was transported to the 121st General Hospital at Yongsan Army Garrison in Seoul. He was to be released from the hospital Saturday afternoon, said Ferguson.
The name of the slain soldier is being withheld until notification of the next of kin.
(Charles Rhee contributed to this report.)
Monday, August 23, 1999
Bowley in U.S. military custody
From Stripes and wire reports
SEOUL - A U.S. Army military policeman who allegedly shot and killed a fellow MP at Camp Red Cloud is in U.S. military custody, according to Associated Press reports.
Pfc. Jacob M. Bowley, 20, from the 55th Military Police Company at Camp Red Cloud, allegedly shot and killed a sergeant first class shortly before 4 a.m. Saturday before fleeing the post with a 9 mm pistol and a vehicle, according to a U.S. Forces Korea news release.
The incident triggered a nationwide manhunt by U.S. and South Korean authorities.
Unconfirmed television reports said the suspect traveled in a taxi to Itaewon, about an hour south of Camp Red Cloud near Yongsan Garrison. How he traveled to Pusan was unknown as of 2 p.m. Sunday.
South Korean police caught Bowley at 11:40 a.m. at a bank in Pusan, 200 miles southeast of Seoul.
"He didn't resist when we apprehended him. But once he was in the police car, he tried to draw his pistol from his waist and we had to control him,'' said Kim Min-ho, a police investigator in Pusan, according to AP reports. There was no immediate explanation of why the pistol was not detected and taken from the suspect when he was arrested.
Bowley admitted to having consumed large quantities of beer Friday evening, South Korean police said. They said they believe he was drunk when he allegedly shot the sergeant first class.
"We could still smell alcohol on him, but he was not drunk when we apprehended him,'' Kim said.
Bowley jerked and cursed as police tried to tie him down on a chair for questioning, South Korea's national MBC-TV reported.
The victim was a woman, according to reports from Yonhap, South Korea's national news agency.
"She took my pass away!'' Bowley shouted repeatedly.
Bowley was angry with the sergeant first class because she ordered a blood test on one of his friends in the unit to determine whether he consumed alcohol while he was off the base without permission, said Yonhap.
According to Yonhap, the woman was shot three times, including at least once in the head. She was on duty at the time, and Bowley was not, the agency said.
Bowley seized the pistol from a South Korean soldier serving in the U.S. military, the command said. The soldier, Cpl. Suh Sok-soo, was badly beaten.
When he was captured, Bowley's pistol was loaded with one cartridge. He also had two magazines with 13 cartridges, Kim said.
Tuesday, August 24, 1999
Shooting victim, 33, identified
By Jeremy Kirk and Ken Carter
SEOUL - U.S. Forces Korea public affairs officials have released the name of a 33-year-old soldier fatally shot at Camp Red Cloud's troop medical clinic early Saturday.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeanne Balcombe of the 1st Platoon, 55th Military Police Company, was shot at about 3:50 a.m. and was pronounced dead at 4:40 a.m. Saturday.
Pfc. Jacob Bowley, a junior enlisted member with the same unit, is being held in connection with Balcombe's death.
Officials believe Bowley, 20, overpowered Cpl. Suh Sok-soo, a Korean Augmentee to the U.S. Army, and took his 9 mm pistol before allegedly shooting Balcombe, according to a USFK news release.
According to Korean newspaper reports, Bowley fled Camp Red Cloud after the shooting by taking a government vehicle, which he abandoned near Uijonbu City Hall, about a mile from the post's main gate.
Korean television reported Bowley went to Seoul and then took a train to Pusan.
Bowley was arrested before noon Saturday in Pusan by Korean police at a Seoul Bank branch after a civilian recognized him and called local authorities.
Korean police said Bowley had a pistol and two magazines when he was arrested, and allegedly scuffled with them. He was turned over to U.S. authorities Saturday and is being held at the 8th U.S. Army confinement facility at Camp Humphreys.
"He was ordered into pre-trial confinement by his company commander, Capt. Meredith Brice," said U.S. Forces Korea public affairs spokeswoman Lee Ferguson on Monday. "At this time, no charges have been (filed)."
USFK officials would not release Bowley's hometown.
Bowley's father, Freeman Bowley, who lives in Henniker, N.H., told The Associated Press his son was "just a wonderful kid. He loved the Army. He was having a great time."
"All I've heard was there was some kind of altercation at the base where he was at . . . and one person is dead. And it's not Jacob. And he's involved in the questioning somehow," he said.
He said his son has been serving at Camp Red Cloud since November and was planning to go into the criminal justice field after leaving the Army.
Military officials have not released specific details surrounding the incident at Camp Red Cloud, saying the situation remains under investigation.
However, Korean newspapers and television stations reported Bowley was angry with Balcombe because she allegedly recommended a blood-alcohol test for one of his friends and that she allegedly took an off-post pass from him.
The blood-alcohol test, wire reports said, was to determine whether his friend consumed alcohol under unauthorized circumstances. Korean police said Bowley was not drunk at the time of arrest but he did admit to drinking earlier Friday.
Lt. Col. Donna Boltz, 94th Military Police Battalion commander, said she believed Balcombe's quick thinking and selfless actions protected other soldiers from harm.
"Sergeant Balcombe was a respected and beloved leader in this battalion," Boltz said in a
USFK news release Monday. "She was, as always, a soldier's soldier who put the safety of others and care for her troops ahead of her personal concerns."
A memorial service is to be held at 9 this morning at the Camp Red Cloud Chapel. An additional service will be at 1 p.m. today at Yongsan Army Garrison's Main Post Chapel.
Balcombe, from McMinnville, Ore., is survived by her husband, Harvey Balcombe, and two daughters. She began her tour in Korea in April.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
January 26, 2000
Sentencing begins for Camp Red Cloud killer
By Jeremy Kirk
January 27, 2000
Husband of murdered MP
testifies of loss
Saturday, January 29, 2000
U.S. soldier apologizes
for killing MP in Korea
Saturday, January 29, 2000
Psychologist says killer
understood his actions
Monday, January 31, 2000
Private sentenced to 56 years for murder
By Jeremy Kirk
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