b. 23/01/1934 Madura, California. d. 02/10/1952 Korea.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 02/10/1952 Sokchon, Korea.
Jack William Kelso was born on January 23, 1934 in Madera, California, and attended grade and high school in Caruthers, California. He worked on his father’s farm until he enlisted in the Marine Corps on May 15, 1951 at age 17. Kelso completed his recruit training in San Diego, California, in July 1951 and that September was ordered from San Diego to Camp Pendleton, California. In January 1952, he left for Hawaii, where he served until April 1952.
He embarked for Korea with Company I, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division as a rifleman. He earned the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action on August 13 to 15, 1952.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Rifleman of Company I, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 2 October 1952. When both the platoon commander and the platoon sergeant became casualties during the defense of a vital outpost against a numerically superior enemy force attacking at night under cover of intense mall-arms, grenade and mortar fire, Private KELSO bravely exposed himself to the hail of enemy fire in a determined effort to reorganize the unit and to repel the onrushing attackers. Forced to seek cover, along with four other Marines, in a near-by bunker which immediately came under attack, he unhesitatingly picked up an enemy grenade which landed in the shelter, rushed out into the open and hurled it back at the enemy. Although painfully wounded when the grenade exploded as it left his hand, and again forced to seek the protection of the bunker when the hostile fire became more intensified, Private Kelso refused to remain in his position of comparative safety and moved out into the fire-swept area to return the enemy fire, thereby permitting the pinned-down Marines in the bunker to escape. Mortally wounded while providing covering fire for his comrades, Private KELSO, by his valiant fighting spirit, aggressive determination and self-sacrificing efforts in behalf of others, served to inspire all who observed him. His heroic actions sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
BURIAL LOCATION: WASHINGTON COLONY CEMETERY, FRESNO, CALIFORNIA.
Block 2, Lot 8x, Space 3c
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