Medal of Honor Recipient Joe M. Jackson
Passes Away at 95
Earned Nation’s Highest Award for Valor during Vietnam
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (January 14, 2019)— The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announces that Joe M. Jackson, Medal of Honor recipient, passed away January 12, 2019, in Washington State at the age of 95.
Joe Jackson was born on March 14, 1923, in Newman, Georgia.
Colonel Jackson enlisted in the Army Air Corps in March 1941, and was promoted to the grade of Staff Sergeant before being selected for Aviation Cadet training. After graduation, he spent the remainder of WWII teaching gunnery at Eglin Field, Florida. During the Korean War, Colonel Jackson served as Operations Officer and later as Executive Officer of the 524th Fighter Squadron where he flew 107 combat missions. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters.
In 1956, he became one of the first Air Force U-2 pilots, commanding detachments and supervising reconnaissance operations throughout the world. In the early 1960’s while still serving, he attended night school graduating from the University of Omaha with a degree in Education. Continuing his education, he attended the Air War College and concurrently attended George Washington University, graduating with a Master’s Degree in Political Science.
Following a tour in Europe, he was sent to Vietnam where he flew 298 combat sorties and earned the Medal of Honor for actions on May 12, 1968 for his part in the evacuation of Kham Duc while under fire. The medal was presented by President Lyndon B. Johnson at a White House Ceremony on January 16, 1969. He also received his second Distinguished Flying Cross and three additional Oak Leaf Clusters to the Air Medal.
Joe Jackson is survived by his wife Rosamond and two children Bonnie and David. Funeral services are pending. There are 73 recipients alive today.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society was chartered by Congress in 1958 and consists exclusively of the living recipients of our nation’s highest award for bravery in combat, the Medal of Honor. Those who wear this light blue ribbon and Medal around their neck are “recipients” of this prestigious award; they are not “winners.” Although it is common to refer to the Medal as the Congressional Medal of Honor, it is simply named the Medal of Honor, although, as stated, the Congress did establish the Society as the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.