The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*MATHIS, JACK W.
Rank and Organization:: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army
Air Corps, 359th Bomber Squadron, 303d Bomber Group. Place and Date Over Vegesack,
Germany, 18 March 1943. Entered Service at: San Angelo, Tex. Born: 25 September
1921, San Angelo, Tex. G.O. No.: 38, 12 July 1943.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with
the enemy over Vegesack, Germany, on 18 March 1943. 1st 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 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 bomb sight 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. 1st Lt. Mathis'
undaunted bravery has been a great inspiration to the officers and men of his unit.