Fact Check

Derek Wyatt

U.S. Marine Corporal Derek Wyatt was killed in Afghanistan just before his wife gave birth to a son.

Published Dec 13, 2010

Claim:   U.S. Marine Corporal Derek Wyatt was killed in Afghanistan just before his wife gave birth to a son.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, December 2010]

I keep seeing this pop up on FB friends status lines. Is it

TO ALL MY FACEBOOK FRIENDS: Will you all be willing to donate your status for just a few minutes to HONOR a fallen Marine who's just passed away while serving our country? Cpl. Derek Wyatt (USMC) died Dec 6 while serving in Afghanistan. He leaves behind a wife and a newborn son named in his honor, who was born approx 24 hours after news of his death. Repost to honor this Hero and his family.


Origins:   This request to honor the memory of a fallen U.S. Marine is correct in most of its brief particulars. U.S. Marine Corporal Derek A. Wyatt, of Akron, Ohio, a member of the U.S. 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine ("Darkhorse") Regiment, was killed in action in Afghanistan on 6 December 2010. News accounts from his home state reported that Cpl. Wyatt's wife Kait learned the tragic news of his loss just before giving birth to their son:

[Derek] Wyatt was killed in action [Dec. 6] while serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan. It was his first combat mission after re-enlisting.

Wyatt was killed the day before his wife was expecting to deliver their first child. Relatives say the baby, a boy named Michael, was delivered [on the night of Dec. 7].

"[His wife] found out the news the day before they expected to have their baby," said his uncle. "With Christmas coming up, I just want to make sure she gets the message that everybody cares about her, that we are there for her also, too, even though she is far away."

"The boy's name is Michael, they have named him already and he will be loved and hopefully he will see this and know that Dad loved him," said Wyatt.

(Although the Facebook appeal reproduced above states that Wyatt's newborn son was "named in his honor," news accounts indicate that the couple had picked out the names Michael Everett for their child, matching neither the first nor middle name of his late father. Also, some news accounts refer to Derek Wyatt as a sergeant rather than a corporal.)

An "R.I.P. Derek Wyatt" page dedicated to Corporal Wyatt's memory has been established on Facebook.

Last updated:   13 December 2010


    Amigo, Elisa.   "Local Marine Killed Before Child's Birth Is Honored in Akron."

    WJW-TV [Cleveland].   9 December 2010.

    Carney, Jim.   "Akron Honors Fallen Marine."

    [Akron] Beacon Journal.   12 December 2010.

    Nethers, Dave.   "Local Marine Dies Day Before First Child Expected."

    WJW-TV [Cleveland].   9 December 2010.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

Article Tags