Defining a Hero
FIRST LIEUTENANT JACK LUMMUS, USMC RESERVE
CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR, WWII
Awarded posthumously to First Lieutenant Jack Lummus for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity, at the risk of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty….He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.
Leader of a Rifle Platoon attached to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division, he was killed in action against Japanese forces on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, March 8, 1945, at the age of 29 and the only son of four children.
Living his dream as a member of the NFL’s New York Giants, he had enlisted following the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor. In a letter to his mother, Lummus’ commanding officer wrote:
Jack suffered very little for he didn’t live long. I saw Jack soon after he was hit. With calmness, serenity and complacency, Jack said, ‘The New York Giants lost a good man.’ We all lost a good man.
His citation for heroic actions may be viewed at the National Medal of Honor Museum of Military History, Jack Lummus, MOH, and reads as follows:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to
FIRST LIEUTENANT JACK LUMMUS
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
For service as set forth in the following
(signed) Harry S. Truman
Congressional Medal of Honor
The highest award for valor in action against an enemy force, bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Awarded to its recipient by the President in the name of Congress, it is commonly a posthumous medal presented to those who have distinguished themselves at the risk of their own life and above and beyond the call of duty.
Created by a Resolution signed into law by President Lincoln on December 21, 1861, the first Medals of Honor were presented over 150 years ago, March 25, 1863, to soldiers during the Civil War. The President, in the name of Congress, has awarded more than 3,400 Medals of Honor to our nation’s bravest Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen since the decoration’s creation.