LTC then 1Lt (POW) James “Nick” Rowe
5th Special Forces Grp RVN.
Captured – Oct 29 1963
Escaped – New Years Eve,1968-69
Assassinated – April 21, 1989
A graduate of the West Point class pf 1960, James N. Rowe was one of the first lieutenants to complete the Special Forces Qualification Course earning the coveted Green Beret. His next assignment was as part of a 120 man advisory team in the Republic of Viet Nam.
Rowe was captured on October 29th, 1963 and held in a jungle camp for five years before affecting his escape on 31, December 1968 making his way back to U.S. lines the first week of January.
Rowe’s experience and expertise was a founding stone in the U.S. Army Special Operations Command’s SERE training program. Five years in a bamboo cage couldn’t stop Nick Rowe. He once wrote – “So look up ahead at times to come, despair is not for us. We have a world and more to see, while this remains behind.” (also inscribed on his headstone at Arlington.)
“He continued to serve his flag as a Special Forces Officer in various hot-spots around the world reaching the rank of LTC. In 1985, Rowe took command of the First Special Warfare Training Battalion at Fort Bragg where he helped develop the Special Operations SERE training program still in use today. He held that post until last May, when he went to the Philippines where he was assassinated by masked communist guerrillas in Manilla, Philippines on April, 21 1989.
I had the privilege of meeting the COlonoel and drinking a beer with him circa 1986. – He was a great man.