Gordon Beadle, a resident of Riverview, is celebrating his 75th birthday this month. When he was a young Marine fighting in Vietnam in 1965, there were more than a few occasions he wondered if he might see another birthday as a combat engineer who cleared active mine fields for a living.
Beadle always wanted to be a Marine. Born April 23, 1943 in Philadelphia, he knew military service was a calling at a young age. With the approval of his father, he enlisted early at the age of 17 in 1960. After finishing boot camp at Paris Island, SC, he joined C Company, 8th Engineers Support Battalion at Camp Lejeune, NC. He was trained as combat demolition and explosive expert. He bravely cleared mine fields and neutralized explosives for fellow infantrymen. He became so good at it that he eventually trained troops in the craft of mine warfare.
Corporal Beadle fought in jungle warfare in Japan while stationed in Okinawa and eventually was stationed at Camp Pendleton in CA where led a team of eight men as an combat engineers in the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines. His job was finding and clearing explosives and demolitions.
In July of 1965, his country decided to put Sergeant Beadle’s expertise to use in the jungles of Vietnam. He did what he was trained to do; clear mine fields of explosives so his fellow servicemen would have safe passage to finish the mission. Three months after he landed, Beadle was wounded by a land mine on November 11, 1965 in Chu Lai, Vietnam.
The injuries to Beadle’s legs were severe. He lost one of his legs and badly injured the other. Doctors and medics were thankfully able to save the injured leg. After being stabilized, he was flown back home to the Naval hospital in Philadelphia to be closer to family.
Sergeant Beadle was awarded the Purple Heart while still recovering from his injuries in Vietnam.
Being a Marine was a family affair. Beadle’s two other brothers also joined the Marines and fought in Vietnam as well as other family members. His younger brothers, Robert and Harry Beadle enlisted at the first chance they could to join him. His youngest brother, Harry Beadle, was killed in action in 1968 at the tender age 19. Gordon Beadle has his brother’s Purple Heart medal, something he cherishes.
Sergeant Gordon Beadle, USMC had planned to make being a Marine a lifetime career. He medically retired with full benefits after his injury. After hours and hours of therapy and hard work, he was able to walk with a prosthetic leg. He started a new life, went to college and started a successful business.
But all would be for nothing if he hadn’t met the love of his life on a blind date.
Celebrating her 18th birthday, Susan was picked up at her house by a handsome stranger in a suit and tie, carrying a wrapped birthday present. It was necklace that Gordon had picked out as nice gesture to his mysterious date. He’s a Marine and gentleman. They were married June 13, 1970 and have three children and five grandchildren.
Happy 75th Birthday Sgt. Gordon Beadle, USMC Retired. Oorah! Thank you for your service and sacrifice.