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Photo # NH 103901:  First Lieutenant Jack Lummus

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First Lieutenant Jack Lummus, USMCR, (1915-1945)

Jack Lummus was born on 22 October 1915 in Ennis, Texas. He attended Ennis High School and Texas Military College before earning an athletic scholarship to Baylor University. Leaving his studies early, Lummus played professional baseball for Wichita Falls, Texas, and was expected to play for the New York Giants when he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in January 1942. After recruit training at Marine Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, Lummus served there and at Mare Island, California. In the fall of 1942 he attended the Officer Candidate Course at Quantico, Virgina, receiving his commission as a Second Lieutenant in December. Returning to California, Lummus served as an instructor at Camp Elliott's Infantry School until transferring to Raider Battalion duty at Camp Pendleton in June 1943. In January 1944, he was assigned to the Second Battalion, Twenty-seventh Marines, Fifth Marine Division, taking command of a company a few months later. In mid-1944 his battalion went to Hawaii, where it was stationed at Camp Tarawa.

With his unit, First Lieutenant Lummus landed on Iwo Jima on 19 February 1945, and he served as a rifle platoon leader during the desperate struggle for that island. On 8 March 1945, while taking his platoon forward against well-planned Japanese fortifications, enemy fire halted the advance. Lummus individually attacked and destroyed two strong Japanese positions, despite being injured in both assaults. Returning to his platoon, he made a third attack, destroying another strong point. Still moving foward against the enemy defenses, Lummus was mortally wounded by a land mine. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life" he was posthumuously awarded the Medal of Honor. Jack Lummus is buried at Myrtle Cemetery, Ennis, Texas.

USNS 1st LT Jack Lummus, (T-AK-3011), 1986-____, is named in honor of First Lieutenant Lummus.

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Photo #: NH 103901

First Lieutenant Jack Lummus, USMCR

Halftone reproduction of a photograph, copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 220.
Jack Lummus received the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life" on 8 March 1945, during the Battle of Iwo Jima.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 67KB; 615 x 765 pixels


Medal of Honor citation of First Lieutenant Jack Lummus, USMCR (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 220):

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while as Leader of a Rifle Platoon attached to the 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 respite for two days and nights, First Lieutenant Lummus slowly advanced his platoon against an enemy deeply entrentched in a network of mutually supporting positions. Suddenly halted by a terrific concentration of hostile fire, he unhesitatingly moved forward of his front lines 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. Subsquently 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 devasting barrage, he again moved into the open, rushed a third heavily fortified installation and killed the defending troops. Determined to crush all resistence, 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 perserverance 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 regimental mission. His dauntless leadership and unwavering devotion to duty throughout sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country."

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Page made 12 July 2006
New information added 29 August 2006