CHEROKEE 1ST LIEUTENANT JACK C. MONTGOMERY EARNS MEDAL OF HONOR
Born near Long, Oklahoma, July 23, 1917, Jack’s mother was Cherokee. He attended Chilocco Indian Agricultural School with Ernest Childers (see February 1) before enlisting in the National Guard and earning a physical education degree from the University of Redlands. Jack left the Guard in September 1941, but reenlisted after Pearl Harbor. In Sicily, as a 2nd Lieutenant, he earned a Silver Star and promotion in the invasion at Salerno. On February 22, 1944, German infantry set up machine guns nests with mortars in front of his platoon. Jack left his platoon, crawled up a ditch, and attacked with grenades, killing 8, capturing 4. Going further up the ditch, he attacked a 2nd position where 7 enemy surrendered. Finally, at a German-held house, he called in an artillery barrage and attacked. In all, he killed 11, captured 32. Later, he was badly wounded by mortar fragments. After the war, Jack worked for the Veterans Administration in the Muskogee area. He died June 11, 2002, in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Source: Dennis McLellan, “Jack Montgomery, 84; WWII Hero Won Medal of Honor,” Los Angeles Times, 7/2/2002. Retrieved 12/23/2019, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2002-jul-02-me-montgomery2-story.html Photo: U.S. Army, 1945. Public Domain.