The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS
JACKLYN HAROLD LUCAS
MARINE CORPS RESERVE
for service as set forth in the following
For The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private First Class Jacklyn Harold Lucas, United States Marine Corps (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company C, First Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines, FIFTH Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 20 February 1945. While creeping through a treacherous, twisting ravine which ran in close proximity to a fluid and uncertain frontline on D-plus-1 day, Private First Class Lucas and three other men were suddenly ambushed by a hostile patrol which savagely attacked with rifle fire and grenades. Quick to act when the lives of the small group were endangered by two grenades which landed directly in front of them, Private First Class Lucas unhesitatingly hurled himself over his comrades upon one grenade and pulled the other under him, absorbing the whole blasting forces of the explosions in his own body in order to shield his companions from the concussion and murderous flying fragments. By his inspiring action and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice, he not only protected his comrades from certain injury or possible death but also enabled them to rout the Japanese patrol and continue the advance. His exceptionally courageous initiative and loyalty reflect the highest credit upon Private First Class Lucas and the United States Naval Service.
Born: Feb. 14, 1928 in Plymouth, N.C…. Joined Marine Corps Reserve at 14 (claimed to be 17)… Deserted from his unit and stowed away aboard a ship headed for Iwo Jima when the Marines learned his true age and threatened to send him home… Youngest Medal of Honor recipient since the Civil War (turned 17 just six days before his heroic actions)… Retired due to his extensive injuries in 1945, but joined the Army in 1961 and became a paratrooper, reaching the rank of captain… Survived a training jump in which neither of his parachutes opened… Departed: June 5, 2008