Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army Air Corps

Jack Warren Mathis

  • Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    359th Bombardment Squadron,
    303d Bombardment Group 8th Air Force
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army Air Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: March 18, 1943
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: over Vegesack, Germany

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy over Vegesack, Germany on 18 March 1943. First Lt. Mathis, as leading bombardier of his squadron, flying through intense and accurate antiaircraft fire, was just starting his bomb run, upon which the entire squadron depended upon for accurate bombing, when he was hit by the enemy antiaircraft fire. His right arm was shattered above the elbow, a large wound was torn in his side and abdomen, and he was knocked from his bombsight to the rear of the bombardier's compartment. Realizing that the success of the mission depended upon him, 1st Lt. Mathis, by sheer determination and willpower, though mortally wounded, dragged himself back to his sights, released his bombs, then died at his post of duty. As the result of this action the airplanes of his bombardment squadron placed their bombs directly upon the assigned target for a perfect attack against the enemy. First Lt. Mathis' undaunted bravery has been a great inspiration to the officers and men of his unit.

Medal of Honor Recipient Jack W. Mathis
Medal of Honor Recipient Jack W. Mathis
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: San Angelo, Tom Green County, Texas
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: September 21, 1943

    Goodfellow Field, San Angelo, Texas, presented by Maj. Gen. Barton K. Yount to his Mother

  • Born: September 25, 1921, Sterling City, Sterling County, TX, United States
  • Died: March 18, 1943, over Vegesack, Germany
  • Buried: Fairmount Cemetery (PM) (86-A-10), San Angelo, TX, United States
  • Location of Medal: National Museum of the US Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH

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