The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients

Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom

First Lieutenant
United States Marine Corps Reserve
Jack Lummus



First Lieutenant Jack Lummus
United States Marine Corps Reserve

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Leader of a Rifle Platoon, attached to Company E, Second Battalion, Twenty-seventh Marines, Fifth Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, 8 March 1945. Resuming his assault tactics with bold decision after fighting without a respite for two days and nights. First Lieutenant Lummus slowly advanced his platoon against an enemy deeply entrenched in a network of mutually supporting positions. Suddenly halted by a terrific concentration of hostile fire, he unhesitatingly moved forward of his front line in an effort to neutralize the Japanese position. Although knocked to the ground when an enemy grenade exploded close by, he immediately recovered himself and, again moving forward despite the intensified barrage, quickly located attacked and destroyed the occupied emplacement. Instantly taken under fire by the garrison of a supporting pillbox and further assailed by the slashing fury of hostile rifle fire, he fell under the impact of a second enemy grenade, but courageously disregarding painful shoulder wounds, staunchly continued his heroic one-man assault and charged the second pillbox annihilating all the occupants. Subsequently returning to his platoon, position, he fearlessly traversed his lines under fire, encouraging his men to advance and directing the fire of supporting tanks against other stubbornly holding Japanese emplacements. Held up again by a devastating barrage, he again moved into the open, rushed a third heavily fortified installation and killed the defending enemy. Determined to crush all resistance, he led his men indomitably, personally, attacking foxholes and spider-traps with his carbine and systematically reducing the fanatic opposition until, stepping on a land mine, he sustained fatal wounds. By his outstanding valor, skilled tactics and tenacious perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds, First Lieutenant Lummus had inspired his stouthearted Marines to continue the relentless drive northward, thereby contributing materially to the success of his company's mission. His dauntless leadership and unwavering devotion to duty throughout enhanced and sustained the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.

Harry S. Truman
President of the United States

Footnote:  First Lieutenant Jack Lummus was born October 22, 1915 to Andrew J. and Laura Lummus in Ennis, Texas. Jack was a highschool baseball and football star and went to Baylor University on a Athletic Scholarship. He left Baylor and played Texas League baseball  for the Witchita Falls Spudders where he was known as "Cactus Jack". He played one season of professional football with the New York Giants and joined the Marine Corps January 30, 1942. He was selected  for Officer's training at Quantico, and on December 30, 1942, received his commission. As a Platoon Leader for the Second Battalion, Twenty-Seventh Marines, Fifth Marine Division, he was cited for the MOH for actions on Iwo Jima. In that action both Jack's legs were blown off by a Japanese Land Mine.  He told Doctor Brown who treated him, "Looks like the Giants have lost a damn good end" before he died of his wounds. Jack is buried in Myrtle Cemetery, Ennis, Texas. In 1986 the Flagship of the Maritime Prepositioning Ships Squadron Three, the "First Lieutenant Jack Lummus", was christened.

First Lieutenant Jack Lummus, former Baylor University and New York Giants football star, was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for heroism on Iwo Jima at the cost of his life, 8 March 1945.

He was born in Ennis, Texas, on 22 October 1915. He attended Ennis High School for two years before he was forced to leave due to ill health. He finished his high school education at Texas Military College, graduating in 1937. At both Ennis High and Texas Military, he was a stand-out performer in baseball and football.

While at Texas Military, he earned an athletic scholarship to Baylor University. At Baylor, the tall Texan was selected to three “All Conference” baseball squads, and, during his senior year, was picked for the “All Conference” football team and nominated for “All-American” honors.

While in college, he majored in Physical Education but never graduated because of his heavy commitment in sports. In the summer of 1941, he signed and played professional baseball with the Wichita Falls (Texas) Team of the Western Texas-New Mexico League. In the preceding fall he signed up with the New York Giants and was still on their roster when he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve on 30 January 1942.

He received his recruit training at San Diego, California, and upon graduation was assigned to Base Headquarters, Company C, Marine Barracks, San Diego.

In May 1942, he was reassigned to Guard Company, Mare Island, California. While serving in this command he was promoted to private first class on 10 June 1942 and corporal on 14 August 1942. In October of the same year he was selected to attend Officer Candidates Class at Quantico, Virginia, and on 30 December 1942, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve.

His first assignment as an officer was at Camp Elliott, California, where he served as an instructor in the Infantry School. In June 1943 he was transferred to Camp Pendleton, California, as a student officer in the Raider Battalion. Later he served as an instructor in the Raider Battalion’s Training Center.

In January 1944 he joined Company G, 2d Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division. When the designation of the company was changed to Company F in March of that year, he became commanding officer of the company.

On 11 August 1944, he embarked on the USS Henry Clay at San Diego and arrived at Hilo, Hawaii, seven days later and was assigned to Camp Tarawa. In October he was reassigned to Headquarters Company within the same battalion and participated in a seven-day maneuver aboard LST 756 from January 10-17, 1945.

On 17 January he embarked on the USS Highlands and landed at Saipan on 11 February. He reembarked the same day on LST 756 and landed against the Japanese defenders on Iwo Jima on 19 February 1945. On 8 March when his rifle platoon was pinned down by enemy fire, he charged forward and, although wounded twice, singlehandedly destroyed three devastating enemy installations. While leading his men forward, he was mortally wounded by an exploding land mine. Shortly before he died, he told the medic attending him: “Well, Doc, it looks like the Giants have lost a good end.” He was buried in the 5th Division Cemetery on Iwo Jima. Later, his remains were reinterred in Myrtle Cemetery, Ennis, Texas.

His mother was presented the Medal of Honor during ceremonies held in Ennis, Texas, on Memorial Day, 1946.

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