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Photo # NH 103856 :  Corporal Douglas T. Jacobson, USMC

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Major Douglas T. Jacobson, USMC, (1925-2000)

Douglas Thomas Jacobson was born on 25 November 1925 in Rochester, New York. After attending high school and working as a draftsman, he enlisted in January 1943 in the Marine Corps Reserve. He completed recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina and was assigned to the Twenty-third Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Jacobson was promoted to Private First Class and, in December 1943, transferred to the Pacific war zone as part of the Third Battalion, Twenty-Third Marines, Fourth Marine Division. In 1944 and 1945 he took part in the campaigns to seize the Marshalls, Marianas and Iwo Jima. On 26 February 1945, during the bitter fight for the latter island, Private First Class Jacobson's platoon assaulted Japanese defenses on Hill 382. Employing a Bazooka rocket launcher in a series of fearless attacks, he neutralized more than a dozen enemy positions, then helped another unit's advance by destroying more Japanese strong points and a tank. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life", he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Jacobson was promoted to Corporal after the end of the Iwo Jima campaign and, in September 1945, reported to the Headquarters Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. While so assigned, on 5 October 1945 he was presented the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman during ceremonies at the White House. Corporal Jacobson was discharged in December 1945 but reenlisted in April 1946 and subsequently served in China and in the United States. Discharged in the rank of Sergeant in 1949, he again joined the Marines in 1953 as a Technical Sergeant and, after attending the Officer Candidate Course at Quantico, Virginia, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in March 1954.

During the rest of 1954 and into 1955, Lieutenant Jacobson served at Camp Pendleton, California and in Japan, where he commanded a company of the Ninth Marines. He returned to the United States in mid-1955 and, for most of the rest of the decade, served at Camp Lejeune as a rifle range officer and supply officer. Promoted to Captain in November 1957 and to Major in July 1964, he held supply assignments on Okinawa and at Camp Lejeune until retiring in 1967. Major Douglas T. Jacobson died on 20 August 2000 in Port Charlotte, Florida.

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Photo #: NH 103856

Corporal Douglas T. Jacobson, USMC

Halftone reproduction of a photograph, copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 209.
Douglas T. Jacobson received the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life" on 26 February 1945, during the Battle of Iwo Jima.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 52KB; 590 x 765 pixels

Photo #: NH 103857

Corporal Douglas T. Jacobson, USMC

Being congratulated by President Harry S. Truman just after he was presented with the Medal of Honor, during Nimitz Day festivities at the White House, Washington, D.C., 5 October 1945.
Corporal Jacobson was awarded the medal for heroism during the Battle of Iwo Jima, 26 February 1945.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 56KB; 590 x 765 pixels


Medal of Honor citation of Private First Class Douglas Thomas Jacobson, USMCR (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 209):

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Third Battalion, Twenty-third Marines, FOURTH Marine Division, in combat against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, 26 February 1945. Promptly destroying a stubborn 20-mm. antiaircraft gun and its crew after assuming the duties of a bazooka man who had been killed. Corporal Jacobson waged a relentless battle as his unit fought desperately toward the summit of Hill 382 in an effort to penetrate the heart of Japanese cross-island defenses. Employing his weapon with ready accuracy when his platoon was halted by overwhelming enemy fire on 26 February, he first destroyed two hostile machine-gun positions, then attacked a large blockhouse, completely neutralizing the fortification before dispatching the five-man crew of a second pillbox and exploding the installation with a terrific demolitions blast. Moving steadily forward, he wiped out an earth-covered rifle emplacement and, confronted by a cluster of similiar emplacements which constituted the perimeter of enemy defenses in his assigned sector, fearlessly advanced, quickly reduced all six positions to a shambles, killed ten of the enemy, and enabled our forces to occupy the strong point. Determined to widen the breach thus forced, he volunteered his services to an adjacent assault company, neutralized a pillbox holding up its advance, opened fire on a Japanese tank pouring a steady stream of bullets on one of our supporting tanks, and smashed the enemy tank's gun turret in a brief but furious action culminating in a single-handed assault against still another blockhouse and the subsequent neutralization of its fire power. By his dauntless skill and valor, Corporal Jacobson destroyed a total of 16 enemy positions and annihilated approximately 75 Japanese, thereby contributing essentially to the success of his division's operations against this fanatically defended outpost of the Japanese Empire. His gallant conduct in the face of tremendous odds enhanced and sustained the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

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Page made 14 June 2006