The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients
Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom
ARTHUR J. JACKSON
Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
Arthur J. Jackson
Private First Class Arthur J. Jackson
United States Marine Corps
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on the Island of Peleliu in the Palua Group, 18 September 1944. Boldly taking the initiative when his platoon's left flank advance was held up by the fire of Japanese troops concealed in strong fortified positions, Private First Class Jackson unhesitatingly proceeded forward of our lines and, courageously defying the heavy barrages, charged a large pillbox housing aproximately thirty-five enemy soldiers. Pouring his automatic fire into the opening of the fixed installation to trap the occupying troops, he hurled white phosphorus grenades and explosive charges brought up by a fellow Marine, demolishing the pillbox and killing all of the enemy. Advancing alone under the continuous fire from other hostile emplacements, he employed a similar means to smash two smaller positions in the immediate vicinity. Determined to crush the entire pocket of resistance although harassed on all sides by the shattering blasts of Japanese weapons and covered only by small rifle parties, he stormed one gun position after another, dealing death and destruction to the savagely fighting enemy in his inexorable drive against the remaining defenses and succeeded in wiping out a total of twelve pillboxes and fifty Japanese soldiers. Stouthearted and indomitable despite the terrific odds, Private First Class Jackson resolutely maintained control of the platoon's left flank movement throughout his valiant one-man assault and, by his cool decision and relentless fighting spirit during a critical situation, contributed essentially to the complete annihilation of the enemy in the southern sector of the island. His gallant initiative and heroic conduct in the face of extreme peril reflect the highest credit upon Private First Class Jackson and the United States Naval Service.
Harry S. Truman
President of the United States
Footnote: The image displayed is the image taken at a later date depicting Arthur J. Jackson after his promotion to Second Lieutenant.
Captain Arthur J. Jackson earned the Medal of Honor on Peleliu in World War II as a private first class. During ceremonies at the White House, 5 October 1945, President Harry S. Truman presented him with the Nation's highest combat award.
Arthur J. Jackson was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on 18 October 1924. He moved to Portland, Oregon, with his parents in 1939, and completed Grant High School there. After graduation, he worked in Alaska for a naval construction company until November 1942, when he returned to Portland and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of eighteen.
In January 1943, he began his basic training at the Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, and soon thereafter joined the 1st Marine Division at Melbourne, Australia, in June 1943. On 13 January of the following year, while taking part in the Cape Gloucester campaign, he carried a wounded Marine to safety in the face of well-entrenched Japanese troops on the slope of a steep hill, thus saving the wounded man's life. For this action, he was awarded a Letter of Commendation.
Following this, he took part in the fighting on Peleliu, during which he earned the Medal of Honor and his first Purple Heart while serving with the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines. He again went into combat on Okinawa where, as a platoon sergeant with the 1st Marine Division, he was again wounded in action, 18 May 1945. That August his commission as a Marine second lieutenant was effected.
Following the war, he served in North China during the post-war occupation of that country. On his return to the United States, he returned briefly to civilian life, but, shortly after, entered the U.S. Army Reserves where, in 1954, he made the rank of captain. Although he served with the Army during the Korean conflict, he returned to the Marine Corps in 1959. He again left the Corps in 1962 but remained active in the Army Reserves and eventually retired from that service in 1984.
Besides the Medal of Honor, the Letter of Commendation, and two Purple Hearts, Capt Jackson's medals include: the Presidential Unit Citation, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the China Service Medal, the Navy Occupation Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal.