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Monday, May 26, 2008

JACK LUMMUS 1ST LT USMCR: A True American Hero

Myrtle Cemetery Ennis, Texas

JACK LUMMUS First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve OCTOBER 22,1915 - MARCH 8, 1945

Andrew Jackson Lummus Jr. "was born at Ennis, Texas, on 22 October 1915, son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew J. Lummus His father was a policeman." (Mom's name was Laura Francis Lummus.)

Apparently Jack never graduated from Ennis High School. Some web-sites say because of influenza others say being in the Depression his family didn't see any sense in paying all that money for graduation (caps and gowns ,etc) . He did graduate from a Military school where he received a scholarship to Baylor University. It's said his sports endeavors kept him from graduating Baylor though he was close to graduating with a degree in physical education and his grades were satisfactory. "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."

On a Jack Lummus web-site it tells of the tragic death on May 13, 1944 of his father, Assistant Chief of Police of Ennis. While trying to calm Oran L. Mounts who had been drunk and disorderly in a cafe at 110 NE main street in Ennis, Oran pulled out a revolver and shot Jack Sr. in the stomach right outside the establishment. 10 months later his son Jack would bravely die on Iwo Jima.

-----------------------------AND SOME GAVE ALL------------------------


Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Born: 22 October 1915, Ennis, Tex. Appointed from: Texas. Citation: "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty 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 entrenched 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. Subsequently 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 devastating barrage, he again moved into the open, rushed a third heavily fortified installation and killed the defending troops. Determined to crush all resistance, 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 perseverance 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."

It is reported that Jack Lummus said his last words to the doctor trying to save him and they were "Well, Doc, it looks like the Giants have lost a good end"

On May 5, 1946 Harry S. Truman, President of the United States, signed the Citation awarding posthumously the Medal of Honor to First Lieutenant Jack Lummus.

"On Memorial Day, May 30, 1946 at 8:00 p.m. at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Ennis, Texas, a Memorial Service, under the auspices of the American Legion and Auxiliary, was held to honor Ennis area war dead, and host a Medal of Honor Ceremony. Mrs. Laura Francis Lummus would be presented the Medal of Honor awarded posthumously to her son, 1st Lt. Jack Lummus." "Besides his mother, he was survived by two sisters, Mrs. Gilbert Wright and Mrs. Tommy Merritt." Notice how the picture captures the pride and sadness of Jack's mom. The picture, entitled "Medal for a Son", was taken by Dallas Times Herald photographer, Johnny Hayes, and was award winning.

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