b. 02/08/1945 Brooklyn, New York.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 09/03/1968 Vietnam.
Born on August 2, 1945, in Brooklyn, New York, Jacobs lived in Queens near LaGuardia Airport. He was born into a Jewish family with origins in Greece, Poland, and Romania. As a child, he moved with his family to Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, in the mid-1950s and in 1962 graduated from Woodbridge High School.
He then attended Rutgers University, where he earned both Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. A member of the school's Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program, he entered military service as a first lieutenant in 1966.
In the course of his military career, he served as a platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division, a battalion executive officer in the 7th Infantry Division (United States), and a battalion commander with the 10th Infantry Regiment in Panama. He spent two tours of duty in Vietnam, both times as an advisor to infantry units in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN).
In his first deployment to Vietnam, Jacobs served as a first lieutenant with Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, in Kien Phong Province, part of the Mekong Delta region. By March 9, 1968, he was working as the assistant battalion advisor for the ARVN's 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. During a mission on that day, 2nd Battalion came under intense fire from an entrenched Viet Cong force. As Jacobs called in air support from his position with the leading company, the company commander was disabled and the unit became disorganized due to heavy casualties. In addition to the Medal of Honor, Jacobs received two Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. Jacobs (then 1st Lt.), Infantry, distinguished himself while serving as assistant battalion advisor, 2d Battalion, 16th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division, Army . of the Republic of Vietnam. The 2d Battalion was advancing to contact when it came under intense heavy machine gun and mortar fire from a Viet Cong battalion positioned in well fortified bunkers. As the 2d Battalion deployed into attack formation its advance was halted by devastating fire. Capt. Jacobs, with the command element of the lead company, called for and directed air strikes on the enemy positions to facilitate a renewed attack. Due to the intensity of the enemy fire and heavy casualties to the command group, including the company commander, the attack stopped and the friendly troops became disorganized. Although wounded by mortar fragments, Capt. Jacobs assumed command of the allied company, ordered a withdrawal from the exposed position and established a defensive perimeter. Despite profuse bleeding from head wounds which impaired his vision, Capt. Jacobs, with complete disregard for his safety, returned under intense fire to evacuate a seriously wounded advisor to the safety of a wooded area where he administered lifesaving first aid. He then returned through heavy automatic weapons fire to evacuate the wounded company commander. Capt. Jacobs made repeated trips across the fire-swept open rice paddies evacuating wounded and their weapons. On 3 separate occasions, Capt. Jacobs contacted and drove off Viet Cong squads who were searching for allied wounded and weapons, single-handedly killing 3 and wounding several others. His gallant actions and extraordinary heroism saved the lives of 1 U.S. advisor and 13 allied soldiers. Through his effort the allied company was restored to an effective fighting unit and prevented defeat of the friendly forces by a strong and determined enemy. Capt. Jacobs, by his gallantry and bravery in action in the highest traditions of the military service, has reflected great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
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