Charles W. Jewell, 84, of Georgetown passed away at home Monday, April 14, 2014. He was born March 25, 1930, to the late Frank and Ida Spicer Jewell in Georgetown.
He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, was shot and wounded, and taken prisoner and suffered great indignity at the hands of North Korean guards at a prison camp on the Yalu River, 15 miles from the border with China in 1951. His ordeal in the POW camp lasted 30 months.
Upon release he returned to his family, which became the entire focus of his life after imprisonment. Liberated on Aug. 26, 1953, he caught the first flight home and married his childhood sweetheart, Mary Darling, raised kids, and worked hard, never being honored or recognized by the Army for his ordeal in Korea.
Approaching 50 years later, his daughter began researching what happened to Mr. Jewell, leading the Army to recognize he had slipped through the cracks.
At a ceremony at Return Day, he was officially recognized and awarded six medals and awards by Major Gen. Francis Vavala, adjutant of the Delaware Guard and then Gov. Thomas Carper. He was conferred the Combat Infantryman’s Badge; Order of the Purple Heart; the Prisoner of War Medal; the Korean War Service Medal; United Nations Service Medal, with three campaign stars; and the Republic of Korea Presidential Citation.
Mr. Jewell was a “very, very nice man” according to his friends, who never turned anybody in need down. He treated everybody else’s kids as his own. For anyone who said, “Chuck, I need…” he was there.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Darling Jewell; a son: Chuck Jewell of Georgetown; and daughters: Sandy Kelley of Georgetown; Mary Bennett of Houston (Del.); Lorraine Willey of Seaford; and Arlene Yannucci of Milton. Chuck was preceded by his sons: Alton and Billy Jewell; and a daughter: Brenda Jewell Mifflin, all of whom were precious to him. He is also survived by two brothers: Gene Jewell of Seaford and Frank Jewell of Camden; and two sisters: Barbara Wilkerson of Georgia, and Aretta Ryan of Essington, Pa. He was preceded by three of his siblings: Luke Jewell, Kenny Jewell, and Helen Jewell. He has 17 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m., Tuesday, April 22, at the Hebron UMC Cemetery on Seaside Highway, Georgetown, with the conferring of military honors. The Rev. James Van Der Wall will officiate.