Jack Lucas Day nearing
Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2011 5:24 pm
The Messenger, February 17, 2011
Union City resident and World War II Marine veteran Ed Youngblood doesn’t want local residents to forget his late friend Jack Lucas.
Last year, Youngblood was successful in getting Union City Mayor Terry Hailey to proclaim Feb. 20 as Jack A. Lucas Day in Union City.
Lucas was the youngest recipient of the prestigious Medal of Honor in the 20th Century and also earned a Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one bronze star and the World War II Victory Medal.
Lucas wrote “Indestructible: The Unforgettable Story of a Marine Hero at the Battle of Iwo Jima.” He was 14 when he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1942. At 5-foot 8-inches and 180 pounds, Lucas was a stowaway aboard the USS Deuel and traveled with the 5th Marine Division to Iwo Jima. Lucas and the Marine Division landed on Feb. 19, 1945, and the next day the Japanese attacked them and two enemy grenades landed in close proximity to (Lucas) in the trench, both of which he covered with his body to protect his fellow marines,” the city’s proclamation states in part.
It was Youngblood who worked tirelessly to get the Battle of Iwo Jima Monument that’s located on the south side of the Obion County Courthouse. The polished black granite monument honors the 27 leathernecks and sailors who were awarded Medals of Honor for their role in the Battle of Iwo Jima. A second monument on the courthouse lawn honors the 27 Iwo Jima veterans who were recipients of the Medal of Honor.
More Marines earned the Medal of Honor during the Battle of Iwo Jima than in any other battle in history, according to Youngblood.
He was responsible for raising more than $26,000 for the two monuments.