LUMMUS, JACK (1915 ~ 1945). Jack Lummus, Medal of Honor recipient, was born in Ennis, Texas, on October 22, 1915, to Andrew J. and Laura Lummus. He played football for Baylor University and eventually the New York Giants before becoming a United States Marine.
He entered military service in Dallas on January 30, 1942, was commissioned second lieutenant on December 30, 1942, and first lieutenant on December 20, 1943. He died at Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, on March 8, 1945. That day, after having fought without rest for two days and nights, he was leading a rifle platoon attached to the Second Battalion, Twenty-seventh Marines, Fifth Marine Division. The marines were in action against Japanese forces that were deeply entrenched. Advancing into the face of a concentration of hostile fire, Lummus was knocked down by a grenade explosion. Recovering, he moved forward and singlehandedly attacked and destroyed the occupied emplacement. Under fire from a supporting emplacement, he fell from the impact of a second grenade, sustaining painful shoulder wounds.
Disregarding his injuries, he continued his one-man assault and charged another pillbox, killing all the occupants. He then returned to his platoon position and encouraged his men to advance. While moving forward under fire, he rushed a third fortified installation and killed its defending troops. He continued to lead his men, personally attacking foxholes and spider traps and systematically reducing the opposition, until he stepped on a land mine and was killed.
The Medal of Honor was presented to his mother at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Ennis on May 30, 1946, by Rear Adm. J. J. Clark. Lummus was initially buried in the Fifth Marine Division Cemetery at Iwo Jima, but was later reinterred in the Myrtle Cemetery in Ennis.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Committee on Veterans' Affairs, United States Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients, 1863-1973 (Washington: GPO, 1973).
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "LUMMUS, JACK," http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/LL/flupb.html (accessed March 18, 2005).