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. In January 1943, he began his recruit 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 United States Army Reserve where, in 1954, he made the rank of captain. Although he served with the Army during the Korean War, 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. Arthur J. Jackson lived in Boise, Idaho during his retirement, and died at a hospital there on June 14, 2017 at the age of 92.
- October, 18, 1924
- Cleveland, Ohio
- June, 14, 2017
- Boise, Idaho