Jackie Junior Fulghum was born March 3, 1943 in Cullman County and he lived in Hanceville. He was drafted into the United States Army and began his tour in Vietnam August 18, 1965. His military occupation was Light Weapons Infantry and he was attached to 1st Cavalry Division (AIRMOBILE) ,1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, B Company. The 1st Cavalry Division is known as “First Team.”
The 1st Cavalry Division became “the Army’s first air mobile division” and “the first fully committed division of the Vietnam War” according to the 1st Cavalry Division Association (1CDA). The 1CDA would explain in a history of the 7th Cavalry, “On 23 October 1965, the first real combat test came at the historic order of General Westmoreland to send the First Team into an air assault mission to pursue and fight the enemy across 2,500 square miles of jungle. Troopers of the 1st Brigade and 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry swooped down on the NVA 33rd regiment before it could get away from Plei Me. The enemy regiment was scattered in the confusion and was quickly smashed.”
A week after this historic mission, on October 30, 1965, PFC Jackie Junior Fulghum died in a drowning accident along with PFC Aaron C. Murrell of North Carolina. The accident happened in the South Vietnam province of Bien Hoa.
It is noted in Fulghum’s biography on honorstates.org that “he loved music and was an accomplished guitar player.” His love of music and playing the guitar is evident with the engraving of a guitar on his headstone in Hopewell Cemetery in Hanceville. Fulghum is also honored on the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. (Panel 03e, Line 6) and at the Cullman Veterans Memorial Park.
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