The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients
Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Squad Leader in Company G, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in the vicinity of Songnae-Dong, Korea, early on the morning of 21 September 1951. While expertly directing the defense of his position during a probing attack by hostile forces attempting the infiltrate the area, Corporal Davenport, acting quickly when a enemy grenade fell into the foxhole which he was occupying with another Marine, skillfully located the deadly projectile in the dark and, undeterred by the personal risk involved, heroically threw himself over the live missile, thereby saving his companion from serious injury or possible death. His cool and resourceful leadership were contributing factors in the successful repulse of the enemy attack and his superb courage and admirable spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death enhance and sustain the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. Corporal Davenport gallantly gave his life for his country.
Harry S. Truman
President of the United States
Jack Arden Davenport, a former Golden Gloves boxer, was born 7 September 1931 in Kansas City, Missouri, where he graduated from high school in 1949. While in high school, he was a newspaper carrier for the Kansas City Star and played American Legion baseball for three seasons. Upon completing high school, he studied for a year at the University of Kansas, where he was a member of the freshman football team.
He enlisted in the Marine Corps on 25 July 1950, and completed his boot training at San Diego, California, that September. He was then stationed with the Training and Replacement Command at Camp Pendleton, California, until December 1950, when he embarked to join the 5th Marines in Korea.
Corporal Davenport was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for sacrificing his life to save the life of a fellow Marine in Korea. In the early morning of 21 September 1951 he was standing watch together with another Marine when an enemy hand grenade landed in their foxhole. Without thought of his own safety, Cpl Davenport found the grenade in the dark and smothered its explosion with his own body in order to save the life of his fellow Marine.
His body was returned to the United States in January 1952 to be buried at Mount Moriah Cemetery, Hickman Mills, Missouri. Cpl Davenport's father received the Medal of Honor on 7 January 1953 from Secretary of the Navy Daniel A. Kimball in Washington, D.C.