In the days and weeks following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, enlistment and recruiting offices across the nation were flooded with volunteers. Birmingham Alabama saw 600 men in the first few hours, alone. In Boston, lines snaked out the door as men waited for hours, to volunteer.
But for his age, Jack Lucas would have been right there with them.
At 5’8″ and a muscular 180-pounds, Jacklyn Harrell “Jack” Lucas was big for his age. On August 8, 1942, Lucas forged his mother’s signature on parental consent papers and claimed to be seventeen, enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. He was fourteen years old.
A letter to a girlfriend from V Amphibious Corps at Pearl Harbor, revealed his true age of fifteen. Military censors had Lucas removed from his combat unit and nearly sent him home, but Jack was vehement. He was assigned to driving a truck, but this…
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