Thursday, April 21, 2011

Remembering Colonel “Nick” Rowe

Assassinated on April 21st 1989

    It was 22 years ago this week (21 April, 1989) when Colonel James Nicholas Rowe was assassinated in the Philippines.

    Colonel Rowe, known as “Nick,” was a graduate of the West Point Class of 1960 and in 1963 he was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam as a Detachment Executive Officer. On October 29, 1963, then First Lieutenant Rowe was captured and became a Prisoner of War for 62 months, over five years, before making his escape on December 31st 1968.  

    In 1971 Colonel Rowe authored a book “Five Years To Freedom” about his time in captivity and in 1974 he retired from the Army. Colonel Rowe was recalled to active duty in 1981 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel for the purpose of designing a SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) course for the Army Special Forces. 

    In 1987 Colonel Rowe was assigned as the chief of the Army division of the Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group (JUSMAG) in the Philippines and took an active involvement in the intelligence and counter-insurgency operations against communist based groups threatening to overthrow the Philippine government.  By early 1989 it was learned by Colonel Rowe and the intelligence community that communist insurgents were planning an assassination of one of three high profile figures in the Philippines, Colonel Rowe himself being one of the targets. 

    On the morning of April 21st 1989, the communist insurgents carried out their threat and assassinated Colonel Rowe while he was being driven to work.

The complete Bio on Colonel Rowe can be viewed at these links:

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