- Joe M. Jackson
Infobox Military Person
name=Col. Joe Madison JacksonUnited States Air Force
born= Birth date and age|1923|3|14
caption= Joe M. Jackson, USAF
allegiance=flag|United States of America
branch=air force|United States
United States Army Air Corps
World War II Korean War Vietnam War
Medal of HonorDistinguished Flying Cross Air Medal(4) Air Force Commendation Medal
Joe Madison Jackson (born March 14, 1923) in
Newnan, Georgia) served as a career officer in the United States Air Forceand was awarded the Medal of Honorduring the Vietnam Warfor a dangerous impromptu rescue operation of three American military personnel.
ervice in World War II
Jackson, an avid
model aircraftenthusiast in his youth, enlisted in the Army Air Corps in March 1941, in hopes of learning more about aeronautics. Nine months afterwards, the United Statesentered World War IIand Jackson was assigned to serve as crew chiefaboard a B-25 Mitchellbomber. As a testament to his early flight aptitude, Jackson helped save his fellow crewman by assisting his aircraft's pilot during an engine fire. Soon after, Jackson successfully completed Aviation Cadet Training and became a commissioned officer. He flew a variety of aircraft throughout the war, and ended the war at the controls of a B-24 Liberatorbomber aircraft.
ervice in Korea and Early Cold War
During the late 1940s, Jackson returned to flying fighter aircraft. During the
Korean War, he successfully flew 107 combat missions in the F-84 Thunderjet. Besides being remembered for his legendary heroism, Jackson also made many contributions to military strategy. His accomplishments include:
*Discovering a formulaic method of navigating an aircraft back to base in poor weather
Standard Jet Penetration, a popular method of landing a jet aircraft with low ceilings and low visibility
*Developing mass transoceanic ferrying flights
*Creating a bomb-throwing method allowing nuclear weapons to be delivered by fighter aircraft
*Planning and directing aerial reconnaissance over
Cubaduring the Cuban Missile Crisisof 1962
*Becoming one of the first Air Force pilots to fly the
U-2 Dragonladyreconnaissance aircraft
ervice in the Vietnam War
After completing a staff tour in Europe, Jackson was assigned to fly the
C-123 Providerover South Vietnamduring the Vietnam War. While he flew 298 combat missions during this period, it was his daring rescue mission on May 12, 1968 near Kham Ducthat earned him the nation's highest award for military valor.
On January 16, 1969, President
Lyndon B. Johnsonpresented Joe M. Jackson the Medal of Honor at a White Houseceremony. Also receiving the Medal of Honor that day was fellow Newnannative Stephen W. Pless, a Marine Aviator who, like Jackson, had earned the decoration for a daring airborne rescue operation. Legend states that, upon realizing that both Pless and Jackson were from the same small Georgia town, President Johnson quipped "there must be something in the water down in Newnan."
Medal of Honor citation
:For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Lt. Col. Jackson distinguished himself as pilot of a C-123 aircraft. Lt. Col. Jackson volunteered to attempt the rescue of a 3-man USAF Combat Control Team from the Special Forces camp at Kham Duc. Hostile forces had overrun the forward outpost and established gun positions on the airstrip. They were raking the camp with small arms, mortars, light and heavy automatic weapons, and recoilless rifle fire. The camp was engulfed in flames and ammunition dumps were continuously exploding and littering the runway with debris. In addition, eight aircraft had been destroyed by the intense enemy fire and one aircraft remained on the runway reducing its usable length to only 2,200 feet. To further complicate the landing, the weather was deteriorating rapidly, thereby permitting only one air strike prior to his landing. Although fully aware of the extreme danger and likely failure of such an attempt. Lt. Col. Jackson elected to land his aircraft and attempt to rescue. Displaying superb airmanship and extraordinary heroism, he landed his aircraft near the point where the combat control team was reported to be hiding. While on the ground, his aircraft was the target of intense hostile fire. A rocket landed in front of the nose of the aircraft but failed to explode. Once the combat control team was aboard, Lt. Col. Jackson succeeded in getting airborne despite the hostile fire directed across the runway in front of his aircraft. Lt. Col. Jackson's profound concern for his fellow men, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself, and the Armed Forces of his country.
Life after Vietnam
Jackson continued to serve on active duty in the Air Force for several more years, both at the Pentagon and on the faculty of the
Air War College. He eventually retired after 33 years of active duty service. He currently resides in the state of Washington.
List of Medal of Honor recipients
*List of Medal of Honor recipients for the Vietnam War
* [http://www.medalofhonor.com/JoeMJackson.htm U. S. Air Force Vietnam War Medal of Honor Recipient Lt. Col. Joe M. Jackson] , MedalofHonor.com.
* [http://www.au.af.mil/au/goe/eaglebios/02bios/jackson02.htm Joe M. Jackson] , Air University, United States Air Force.
title=Colonel Joe M. Jackson
work=Air Force Link
publisher=United States Air Force
NAME= Jackson, Joe M.
United States Air Force Medal of Honorrecipient
DATE OF BIRTH=
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
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