PRIVATE FIRST CLASS JACKLYN H. LUCAS UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE
Jacklyn Harrell “Jack” Lucas (February 14, 1928 – June 5, 2008) was a United States Marine who later reenlisted in the United States Army and reached the Rank of Captain. He was awarded the Medal of Honor at age seventeen for heroism above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Private First Class in the Marine Corps during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.
During a close firefight in two trenches between Lucas and three Marines with eleven Japanese soldiers, Lucas saved the lives of the three Marines from two enemy hand grenades that were thrown into and lying in their trench by unhesitatingly placing himself on one grenade, while in the next instant pulling the other grenade under him. The grenade he covered with his body exploded, and wounded him only; the other grenade did not explode. He is the youngest Marine and the youngest serviceman in World War II to be awarded the United States’ highest military decoration for valor.
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE
- For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the First Battalion, Twenty-sixth Marines, Fifth Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands 20 February 1945. While creeping through a treacherous, twisting ravine which ran in close proximity to a fluid and uncertain front line on D-plus+1 Day, Private First Class Lucas and three other men were suddenly ambushed by a hostile patrol which savagely attacked with rifle fire and grenades. Quick to act when the lives of the small group were endangered by two grenades which landed directly in front of them, Private First Class Lucas unhesitatingly hurled himself over his comrades upon one grenade and pulled the other one under him, absorbing the whole blasting force of the explosions in his own body in order to shield his companions from the concussion and murderous flying fragments. By his inspiring action and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice, he not only protected his comrades from certain injury or possible death, but also enabled them to rout the Japanese patrol and continue the advance. His exceptionally courageous initiative and loyalty reflect the highest credit upon Private First Class Lucas and the United States Naval Service.
/S/ HARRY S. TRUMAN