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First Name: Jack

Last Name: Pendleton

Birthplace: Sentinel Butte, NC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Yakima, WA
Middle Name: James

Date of Birth: 31 March 1918

Date of Death: 12 October 1944

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Years Served: 1942 - 1944
Jack James Pendleton

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Jack James Pendleton

Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Staff Sergeant Jack James Pendleton (31 March 1918 - 12 October 1944) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War II.

Jack James Pendleton was born on 31 March 1918 in Sentinel Butte, ND. He joined the Army from Yakima, WA. On 12 October 1944, he was serving as a Staff Sergeant in Company I, 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division. At Bardenberg, Germany, that day, Pendleton voluntarily led his squad in an attack against an enemy machine gun. After being seriously wounded, he continued forward alone, purposely drawing the machine gun's fire so that another squad could advance and destroy the enemy position. Killed by the intense fire from the machine gun, Pendleton was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 120th Infantry, 30th Infantry Division.

Place and date: Bardenberg, Germany, 12 October 1944.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 12 October 1944. When Company I was advancing on the town of Bardenberg, Germany, they reached a point approximately two-thirds of the distance through the town when they were pinned down by fire from a nest of enemy machineguns. This enemy strong point was protected by a lone machinegun strategically placed at an intersection and firing down a street which offered little or no cover or concealment for the advancing troops. The elimination of this protecting machinegun was imperative in order that the stronger position it protected could be neutralized. After repeated and unsuccessful attempts had been made to knock out this position, S/Sgt. Pendleton volunteered to lead his squad in an attempt to neutralize this strongpoint. S/Sgt. Pendleton started his squad slowly forward, crawling about 10 yards in front of his men in the advance toward the enemy gun. After advancing approximately 130 yards under the withering fire, S/Sgt. Pendleton was seriously wounded in the leg by a burst from the gun he was assaulting. Disregarding his grievous wound, he ordered his men to remain where they were, and with a supply of handgrenades he slowly and painfully worked his way forward alone. With no hope of surviving the veritable hail of machinegun fire which he deliberately drew onto himself, he succeeded in advancing to within 10 yards of the enemy position when he was instantly killed by a burst from the enemy gun. By deliberately diverting the attention of the enemy machine gunners upon himself, a second squad was able to advance, undetected, and with the help of S/Sgt. Pendleton's squad, neutralized the lone machinegun, while another platoon of his company advanced up the intersecting street and knocked out the machinegun nest which the first gun had been covering. S/Sgt. Pendleton's sacrifice enabled the entire company to continue the advance and complete their mission at a critical phase of the action.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Silver Star Medal
Purple Heart (3)


The USNS Sgt. Jack J. Pendleton (T-AK-276), launched on 26 May 1944 by the U.S. Navy, was named in Sgt. Pendleton's honor.

Death and Burial

Staff Sergeant Jack James Pendleton was killed in action on 12 October 1944. He is buried at Tahoma Cemetery in Yakima, WA, in Lot 2, Quarter SE, Block 308, Section C.

Honoree ID: 1591   Created by: MHOH




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