WE ARE IWO: MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT PFC DOUGLAS T. JACOBSON

After returning home from the Battle of Iwo Jima and receiving the Medal of Honor, PFC Douglas T. Jacobson’s dedication to the Marine Corps was far from finished.

A native of Rochester, New York, Jacobson enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1943 at the young age of 17 and participated in campaigns for Tinian, Marianas Islands, and Marshall Islands before reporting to Iwo Jima.

During fierce combat, Jacobson’s famed actions including the total destruction of multiple enemy positions, earned him the Medal of Honor.
His citation reads,

“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Third Battalion, Twenty-Third Marines, Fourth Marine Division, in combat against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, February 26, 1945.

“Promptly destroying a stubborn 20-mm. antiaircraft gun and its crew after assuming the duties of a bazooka man who had been killed, Private First Class Jacobson waged a relentless battle as his unit fought desperately toward the summit of Hill 382 in an effort to penetrate the heart of Japanese cross-island defenses.

“Employing his weapon with ready accuracy when his platoon was halted by overwhelming enemy fire on February 26, he first destroyed two hostile machine-gun positions, then attacked a large blockhouse, completely neutralizing the fortification before dispatching the five-man crew of a pillbox and exploding the installation with a terrific demolitions blast.

“Moving steadily forward, he wiped out an earth-covered rifle emplacement and, confronted by a cluster of similar emplacements which constituted the perimeter of enemy defenses in his assigned sector, fearlessly advanced, quickly reduced all six positions to a shambles, killed ten of the enemy and enabled our forces to occupy the strong point.

“Determined to widen the breach thus forced, he volunteered his services to an adjacent assault company, neutralized a pillbox holding up its advance, opened fire on a Japanese tank pouring a steady stream of bullets on one of our supporting tanks and smashed the enemy tank’s gun turret in a brief but furious action culminating in a single-handed assault against still another blockhouse and the subsequent neutralization of its firepower.

“By his dauntless skill and valor, Private First Class Jacobson destroyed a total of sixteen enemy positions and annihilated approximately seventy-five Japanese, thereby contributing essentially to the success of his division’s operations against the fanatically defended outpost of the Japanese Empire. His gallant conduct in the face of tremendous odds enhanced and sustained the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”

For his actions on Feb. 26, 1945, Jacobson was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman. He continued his devotion to duty by reenlisting in 1946 and served as a recruiting sergeant and with 1st Marine Division in Peiping and Tsingtao, China.

Jacobson served eight months in the Florida National Guard before being discharged to reenlist in the Marine Corps Reserve, which he was then ordered to active duty to attend the Officer Candidate Course at Quantico, Virginia.

Throughout his career as an officer, he served in various units as a detachment officer, guard officer, range officer, supply officer, as well as executive and commanding officer. Jacobson retired as a major in 1976 and lived in New Jersey to sell real estate.

He moved to Florida in 1987 and passed away in August 2000 at the age of 74.

Marines are charged with carrying forward the memories of those who fought before them. The core values of honor, courage and commitment connect today’s Marines to generations of warriors who committed themselves to the nation’s defense. We are Iwo.

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14 thoughts on “WE ARE IWO: MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT PFC DOUGLAS T. JACOBSON”

  1. So moved and proud to be part of his story just by being a marine. Gives me goosebumps! God bless him and all marines from the first marine in 1775 at Tun’s Tavern to present. OORAH! SEMPER FI!

    1. This story sure made me feel so proud to be a Marine. My uncle, Glen Patterson, was a Sergeant Major in the 23rd Marines, 4th Division on Iwo. He did not talk much about WW II, but was a career Marine. I also served in 1st Bat. 23rd Marines, 4th Division reserves. I feel a great closeness to my uncle because of this & very proud to have carried on the tradition.
      Semper Fi

  2. Accounts such as this are some of the things that made me want to join the Corps. They still make me proud to have served as a Marine. I joined on 1 July 1964, and was released from active duty 30 June 1967; MOS 0311. Served in Vietnam with Bravo 1/9, 1965/66. Semper Fidelis Marines!!

  3. We went to the funeral home, to pay our respects, to my brother-in-laws, wife’s father. To my surprise there was a picture of him, in his marine dress greens. I did not know, that he was a fellow marine. While talking to his wife, she told me of his pride, for the corps, and his participation in capturing, of Iwo Jima. I wish that I had known, of his service, previously. I would have thanked Bud Krill, for all he did. Let me, take this opportunity, to thank all my fellow marines for their service!

  4. To all those who valiantly served in my brotherhood. Stand proud and honor Marines such as this one and know you are among the world’s greatest fighting branch of service! There is a reason one of our mottos is The Few, The Proud The Marines! Semper Fi and Oohrah!

  5. Makes me realize every war is the worst one. Tears are right there reading his story and although I have ups & downs like all of us I am still proud of who I was . A United States Marine ! 2/9 Golf Co. 3 Marine Div. Cam Lo to the DMZ 1969

    1. PFC JERRY L. CLARK
      SERVED WITH HOTEL 2/9 THIRD MARINE DIVISION. JANUARY 68
      UNTIL LATER PART OF JUNE 68. ALSO FROM CAM LO TO THE DMZ.

  6. My Grandfather was a marine in WW1, my Dad was a first class petty officer in WW2, my uncle was a marine lieutenant on Iwo Jima, I proudly served as a marine in Vietnam as a 2861 electronic tech but never did the job I was trained for, I was a FO radio operator my first tour and with MARSOC my second tour, I served 18.5 combined active duty and reserve. I am to this day I am still so very proud to say that I am a Marine and will always be until the day I die. Marines such as Pfc. Jacobson are why I joined the marines and served my country proudly with and distinction and honor as I have 24 of my friends on the wall in DC. To all I say Semperfi and Oohrah!! god bless the Marines.

  7. People write and we read so much negative stuff about the reserves and the national guard but this just goes to show how a Marine is still a Marine although some fellow Marines tend to look down at them. Many a reservist has gone to war and proved themselves worthy of the title of “The Few, The Proud” when called upon to do so as this young Marine did. The title Marine is not earned on the battlefield but on the training fields of either Parris Island or San Diego. Reservist go thru the exact same training as everyone else does with no exception. There is no distinction in boot camp where the fortunate ones all go from magot to Marine in 13 weeks. Reservist have fought in every major war and conflict and have proven themselves to have earned the title of ” United Stated Marine”. So to every brother Marine, whether Regular or Reserve, if you completed boot camp, completed your committed, and received your honorable discharge you have earned your title. “Semper Fi . Do or Die. Oohrah “

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