JACK LUMMUS, USMCR (DECEASED)
Medal of Honor Citation
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, single-handedly 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.
World War II Medal of Honor