June 6, 2008, - 3:01 pm

Jack Lucas, Amazing WWII Teen Hero & American Patriot, RIP

By Debbie Schlussel
Every day, World War II heroes are dying all over America. Soon, there will be almost none left. And sadly, many Americans will forget them. Their story will die out because what the girls of “The Hills” are wearing and who “Tila Tequila” is dating is more important to the young and future adults of our nation.
But I will not forget the contributions of heroes like Jacklyn “Jack” Lucas, who died yesterday of cancer in a Mississippi hospital. At 80, he was far younger than most WWII vets because–as a 14-year-old–he lied about his age to join the Marines and fight in WWII.
Just six days past Lucas’ 17th birthday, he became the youngest Marine since the Civil War to be awarded the Medal of Honor for shielding his fellow soldiers from grenade blasts.

jacklucas.jpg

American Hero, Medal of Honor Awardee Jack Lucas

This amazing American patriot and hero was able to understand the call to duty and sacrifice for his country at such a young age:

Jacklyn “Jack” Lucas was just six days past his 17th birthday in February 1945 when his heroism at Iwo Jima earned him the nation’s highest military honor. He used his body to shield three fellow squad members from two grenades, and was nearly killed when one exploded.
“A couple of grenades rolled into the trench,” Lucas said in an Associated Press interview shortly before he received the medal from President Truman in October 1945. “I hollered to my pals to get out and did a Superman dive at the grenades. I wasn’t a Superman after I got hit. I let out one helluva scream when that thing went off.”
He was left with more than 250 pieces of shrapnel in his body and in every major organ and endured 26 surgeries in the months after Iwo Jima.
He was the youngest serviceman to win [DS: be awarded] the Medal of Honor in any conflict other than the Civil War.
“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,” the Medal of Honor citation said. . . .
Big for his age and eager to serve, Lucas forged his mother’s signature on an enlistment waiver and joined the Marines at 14. Military censors discovered his age through a letter to his 15-year-old girlfriend.
“They had him driving a truck in Hawaii because his age was discovered and they threatened to send him home,” said D.K. Drum, who wrote Lucas’ story in the 2006 book “Indestructible.”
“He said if they sent him home, he would just join the Army.”
Lucas eventually stowed away aboard a Navy ship headed for combat in the Pacific Ocean. He turned himself in to avoid being listed as a deserter and volunteered to fight, and the officers on board allowed him to reach his goal of fighting the Japanese. . . .
Born in Plymouth, N.C., on Feb. 14, 1928, Lucas was a 13-year-old cadet captain in a military academy when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
“I would not settle for watching from the sidelines when the United States was in such desperate need of support from its citizens,” Lucas said in “Indestructible.” “Everyone was needed to do his part and I could not do mine by remaining in North Carolina.”

Sadly for us, they don’t make ’em like they used to.
Jacklyn “Jack Lucas, Rest In Peace.

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6 Responses

RIP and thanks. They still make them like this. Just look up Ross Mcginnis.

mindy1 on June 6, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Too bad more people don’t appreciate people like this man. I waited all day for somebody at work to mention the significance of June 6. Nobody did.

samurai on June 7, 2008 at 1:16 pm

On the other hand the red wings won the cup. Wow.

samurai on June 7, 2008 at 1:17 pm

Actually they do make them like they used to, it’s just that the MSM has no interest in reporting the weekly, if not daily, acts of heroism by US armed forces around the world.

DocLiberty on June 7, 2008 at 7:02 pm

It’s always a sad day in history when we lose another true American patriot whose sacrifices have gone to the wayside.
In the heart of those of us who truly believe in the greatness and soverignty of this nation, “lest we forget”.
Semper Fi, Jack

1shot1kill on June 10, 2008 at 10:56 am

I met this guy back in 2008 on a traffic stop (Verbal Warning). Only medal of valor plate I had ever seen or have seen in the last 16 years. He signed a book of his and gave it to me. Now I know he died shortly after that stop. Take a few minutes to read this story. This guy had major brass.

http://www.badassoftheweek.com/lucas.html

I feel blessed to have shook his hand and I have never said that about anyone else I had ever met.

John

John on August 7, 2014 at 12:03 am

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