John “Jackie” Smallwood

Jackie Smallwood pic

John “Jackie” Smallwood

1959-1963

Jackie Smallwood was in the 1963 graduating class of Marietta High School.  He played baseball for Marietta and was quite the outstanding player.  When describing Jackie, his friends remember him as a soft-spoken person who exemplified the best qualities of a team player through his winning spirit.  He also conducted himself in a sportsmanlike manner both on and off the field.  In addition, he firmly believed that academics and athletics went hand-in-hand, therefore he was an excellent student and teammate.  Jackie felt a strong responsibility to underclassmen players and helped them in any way he was able.

After graduation, Jackie continued his education at Auburn University, earning his masters degree in 1969.  Upon graduation from Auburn, he entered the U.S. Air Force and became a fighter pilot.  He entered the war in Southeast Asia and distinguished himself by earning the Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross.

He survived 100 Missions and the war seemed to be over, but after returning home, he was informed that he was being shipped back to Thailand.  Since the Paris Peace Accords had been signed, it seemed to be a routine assignment.  On June 16, 1973,  Captain Smallwood was shot down in Cambodia, six months after the peace agreement had been signed.  Jackie Smallwood is among 82 Americans, 75 of them military, who were unaccounted for in Cambodia.  His status is “Killed in Action-Body Not Returned.”

Jackie Smallwood was a true hero in every aspect.  He exemplified all of the qualities of a leader such as, keeping a winning attitude, displaying the highest of sportsman-like qualities, giving his all to his studies and to the team, and above all being a team player.