December 4, 2018

Profile: Jacob Heckman

Example of the Navy Cross that Jacob Heckman received for his actions on June 25, 1918. (Source: Wikimedia)

Jacob Harrison Heckman was born in 1896. He served as a 2nd Lieutenant for the United States Marine Corps during World War I. Heckman was stationed in Bois-de-Belleau, France. On June 25, 1918, he exhibited extraordinary acts of heroism when capturing enemy forces, and protecting American service members. He was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions. His citation reads as follows:

For extraordinary heroism in action in the Bois de Belleau, France, June 25th, 1918. With the assisting three sergeants, he started out to destroy the final stand of enemy in the Bois de Belleau, an impregnable position, where enemy guns were concealed by rocks and heavy shrubbery. Armed with only a pistol, he rushed the nest, which was offering the most violent resistance, and captured one officer and ninety men. Each of his men destroyed a nest and captured two of the enemy at each position. After effecting the complete reduction of the last element, he marched his prisoners in under a severe and harassing fire of the retreating enemy.

Heckman served as a Marine until 1922, and left as a Captain. He passed away in 1977, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.