Boise's Arthur Jackson celebrated his 89th birthday Oct. 18, but an extra honor came this morning as he was immortalized by the U.S. Postal Service on a World War II Medal of Honor Forever stamp. The dedication took place at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Beginning today, customers may purchase the Medal of Honor World War II Memorial Forever stamps at usps.com/stamps.
While a Private First Class with the U.S. marine Corps in action against enemy Japanese forces on the Island of Peleliu in September, 1944, Jackson "courageously defied the heavy barrages, charged a large pillbox housing approximately 35 enemy soldiers," according to the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor Society. "Determined to crush the entire pocket of resistance although harassed on all sides by the shattering blasts of Japanese weapons and covered only by small rifle parties, he stored one gun position after another."
Ultimately, Jackson was credited with contributing "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 Pfc. Jackson,"
More than 16 million Americans served in the armed forces during World War II; 464 were singled out to receive the Medal of Honor. Of that number, nearly half died as a result of their heroic actions and received the honor posthumously. 12 recipients were alive when the Postal Service approached them to have their photographs included. Today, only 8 remain, including Jackson.