Jackson, Arthur (MOH), PFC

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Last Rank
Private First Class
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1942-1946, US Marine Corps
Service Years
1942 - 1945

Private First Class

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This Military Service Page was created/owned by SP 4 JD Poss to remember Jackson, Arthur (MOH), Pfc USA(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Jun 14, 2017
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Army Retired (Pre-2007)

 Unofficial Badges 

Army Honorable Discharge (1984-Present) US Marine Corps Honorable Discharge

 Military Association Memberships
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW)American Military Retirees Association (AMRA)Chapter 508William McCauley/Magic Valley; Detachment 1030
Congressional Medal Of Honor Society
  1951, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1984, American Military Retirees Association (AMRA) - Assoc. Page
  1984, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 508 (Member) (Boise, Idaho) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  1984, Marine Corps League, William McCauley/Magic Valley; Detachment 1030 (Executive Secretary) (Twin Falls, Idaho) - Chap. Page
  2010, Congressional Medal Of Honor Society [Verified]1

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Captain Arthur J Jackson started his military career in 1942. He joined the United States Marine Corp as a Private. It was as a Marine he received the Medal of Honor for combat action on Peleliu. Please read his citation. He joined the United States Army after World War ll. He again went back into the United States Marine Corp for a short period and retired from the United States Army Reserve.

Captain Jackson lives just down the street from me. He is  the most humble person I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I found it very difficult  for him to relate his war  experience to me. He is a true "HERO", yet he does not consider himself to be one.

SP4 JD Poss (JD)


Arthur J. Jackson was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 18, 1924. He moved to Portland, Oregon with his parents in 1939, and completed Grant High School there. After graduation, he worked in Alaska for a naval construction company until November 1942, when he returned to Portland and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the age of eighteen.

Military service

In January 1943, he began his basic training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, and soon thereafter joined the 1st Marine Division in Melbourne, Australia in June 1943. On January 13, 1944, while taking part in the Cape Gloucester campaign, he carried a wounded Marine to safety in the face of well-entrenched Japanese troops on the slope of a steep hill, thus saving the wounded man's life. For this action, he was awarded a Letter of Commendation.

Following this, while serving with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, he took part in the fighting and was wounded on Peleliu for his heroic actions in that battle, he was awarded the Medal of Honor and was awarded his first Purple Heart . He again went into combat on Okinawa where, as a platoon sergeant with the 1st Marine Division, he was again wounded in action on May 18, 1945. That August, he was commissioned as a Marine second lieutenant.

During ceremonies at the White House on October 5, 1945, President Harry S. Truman presented him with the Nation's highest combat award  the Medal of Honor.

Following the war, he served in North China during the post-war occupation of that country. On his return to the United States, he returned briefly to civilian life, but, shortly after, entered the U.S. Army Reserves where, in 1954, he made the rank of captain. Although he served with the Army during the Korean conflict, he returned to the Marine Corps in 1959. He again left the Corps in 1962 but remained active in the Army Reserves and eventually retired from that service in 1984. During this time he also worked for the United States Postal Service.

Jackson is now retired and currently lives in Boise, Idaho.

Other Comments:
Details behind Award:

Citation: Private First Class Arthur J Jackson, United States Marine Corp, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division i action against enemy Japanese forces on the island of Peleliu in the Palau group, 18 September 1944. Boldly taking the initiative when his platoon's left flank advance was held up by the fire of Japanese troops concealed in strongly fortified positions, Private First Class Jackson unhesitatingly proceeded forward of our lines and , courageously defying the heavy barrages, charged a large pillbox housing approximately 35 enemy soldiers. Pouring his automatic fire into the opening of the fixed installation to trap the occupying troops, he hurled white phosphorus grenades and explosive charges brought up by a fellow marine, demolishing the pillbox and killing all of the enemy. Advancing alone under the continuous fire from other hostile emplacements, he employed similar means to smash smaller positions in the immediate vicinity. Determined to crush the entire of resistance although harassed on all sides by the shattering blasts of Japanese weapons and covered only by small rifle parties, he stormed one gun position after another, dealing death and destruction to the savagely fighting enemy in his inexorable drive against the remaining defenses, and succeeded in wiping out a total of 12 pillboxes and 50 Japanese soldiers. Stouthearted and indomitable despite the terrific odds, Private First Class Jackson resolutely maintained control of the platoon's left flank movement throughout his valiant one-man assault and, by his cool decision and relentless fighting spirit during a critical situation, contributed essentially to the complete annihilation of the enemy in the southern sector of the island. His gallant initiative and heroic conduct in the face of extreme peril reflect the highest credit upon Private First Class Jackson and the United States Naval Service.

Nearly 70 years later, a Marine holds out hope for long-lost Medal of Honor

By John Roberts

Published June 30, 2013

With an act of almost unbelievable courage, Arthur J. Jackson took out 12 bunkers and killed almost 50 soldiers in a single savage battle for the South Pacific island of Peleliu in 1945, earning him the Medal of Honor from President Harry Truman.

But it stayed in his hands for only a couple weeks. Jackson was in New York to be saluted at a gala event along with several other World Word II Medal of Honor winners and left it on his bed when he went out for the evening. It was the last time he saw it.

"I had left my ---damned medal in its box on the bed in the room," he told Fox News. "And I knew when I got back .... It's the first thing I looked for and it was gone."

For 42 years, the medal's whereabouts remained a mystery. Then, in 1987, it appeared there was a break in the case.


"It's the first thing I looked for " and it was gone."

- Arthur J. Jackson, Medal of Honor recipient


Jackson got a call from Harold "Speedy" Wilson, a fellow Medal of Honor recipient. Wilson had been told by a VA administrator in Chester, S.C., that Jackson's medal was on display at a local TV repair shop.

The shop owner, Joel Shockley, told Fox News he bought the medal for $300 at a gun show in Charlotte, N.C.  It came with a photocopy of Jackson's citation so he assumed it was Jackson's medal.

Shockley agreed that the medal should go back to its rightful owner. So he boxed it and mailed it to Jackson.

But when Jackson opened the package, and turned over the medal he was stunned. On the back, there should have been an inscription with his name, Truman's and the place and date of action.  But the metal was flat and blank. 

The medal was a fake.

For the second time, it had slipped from the grasp of Jackson, now 88, who is a resident of Boise, Idaho.

The FBI got involved, and assumed that Shockley had kept the real medal, while sending Jackson a facsimile. There were plenty of those floating around. In fact, the company that was hired to produce the Medal of Honor was fined and lost its government contract for stamping out bogus medals in addition to the real ones.  They became popular items for military collectors.

Twenty-five years have since passed, but the investigation has yielded no clues as to where Jackson's medal might be.

Fox News learned of the story a few weeks ago and spoke several times with Shockley about the medal he returned and whether it was possible he never relinquished the real one.

In a phone conversation, Shockley told Fox News, "i did not lie about that.  I told them  I' said that's the one that I had.  It's the only one that I've ever had in my hands and that's the one I sent him back.'"

There were two main reasons the FBI believed there were multiple medals. One was that Wilson had seen the inscription on the back. But according to Shockley, Wilson never came into his shop -- only the VA Administrator did. 

The other reason is an article in the Chester News and Reporter from March 30, 1987.  It detailed Jackson's story and Shockley's offer to send the medal back. In a photograph of Shockley holding the medal, the ribbon is different from the one that held Jackson's medal. The FBI figured: two ribbons, two medals. 

But when Jackson's family sent the fake medal to Fox News for examination, it came with two ribbons. A ribbon identical to the one in the photo, and a ribbon similar to the original.

When Fox News shared this new information with investigators, they began to reconsider.

It is now possible, sources close to the investigation tell Fox News, that Shockley never had the real medal. That he was essentially duped at the Charlotte gun show into buying a fake. 

Fox News asked Shockley if he knew of any collector who might have the original medal. 

"No, I wish I did," he said.  "That way I could get this mess straightened out once and for all. I tell you, it has caused a lot of heartache and headaches."

The question remains: If Shockley never had Jackson's medal, where is it?  The FBI's only interest now is in returning it to its rightful owner.

The Medal of Honor is a highly prized collectible among fans of military memorabilia. But Jackson's family says it belongs to the hero who earned it through extraordinary valor.

In fact, Jackson's Medal of Honor citation is nothing short of incredible. During the savage battle for Peleliu in the South Pacific, his 7th Marines were pinned by withering Japanese fire from dug-in fortifications. That's when the 19-year-old Jackson drew on an almost superhuman courage and determination.

"When my platoon leader came along," Jackson told Fox News, "he asked me, 'Jackson , do you think you can get into that ---damned shallow trench that runs across the front of that big bunker? If you can, you could probably do some bad things.'"

Dodging a hail of enemy fire and snipers in the surrounding coconut trees, Jackson made for the trench.  He and a squad member had rigged a pack with 45 pounds of C2 plastic explosive.  Jackson threw a phosphorous grenade into the bunker, then pushed the pack through the aperture and lit the fuse.

"And it just sizzled. And I knew I had about 30 seconds to get the hell out of the area," he told Fox News.

Jackson spotted a nearby crater from a 500-pound bomb and ran to it like it was the last thing he'd ever do. It almost was.

"Just as I dove in there, the roof of that big bunker -- whoooooom..!  Up it went, coconut logs, boulders, earth. I thought, 'I've been done in by my own stupidity.'"

That would have been enough for most warriors. But Jackson kept going. By the time it was all over, he had taken out 12 bunkers and killed 50 enemy troops.

Almost singlehandedly, Jackson had secured the southern tip of Peleliu for the Marines.

A year later, at the White House, President Truman slipped the Medal of Honor around  Jackson's neck. 

"Well, old Truman is a good old boy," Jackson said, "and he says "I'm proud of you.He says "you have a fantastic citation.' And he said,'I appreciate everything you did, and so do the American people.'"

Jackson now is one of just 10 living World War II Medal of Honor recipients. He told Fox News he doesn't think he has many years left. He would just like to hold his medal again before he, like so many other heroes of the "greatest generation," passes.

The FBI is simply hoping that someone out there will do the right thing.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society has agreed to receive and return Jackson's medal.  They are willing to accept it anonymously, or give credit to whoever chooses to return it.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/06/30/nearly-70-years-later-old-soldier-holds-out-hope-for-long-lost-medal-honor/#ixzz2YZpeznnn
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