Marine Corps Capt. Arthur J. Jackson, who received the Medal of Honor for killing 50 Japanese soldiers and silencing a dozen enemy pillboxes during the World War II battle of Peleliu, and almost two decades later was forced out of the service after covering up his slaying of an alleged Cuban spy, died June 14 in Boise, Idaho. He was 92.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announced the death but did not provide a cause.

Pfc. Jackson, then 19, was with the 1st Marine Division in the western Pacific during one of the most grueling battles in that theater of operations. He was among the wave of U.S. forces that landed on Japanese-controlled Peleliu on Sept. 15, 1944, with the intent of overtaking it within days and securing the entire Palau Islands chain in advance of the invasion of the Philippines and Japan.

Instead they met a large, determined and heavily fortified Japanese resistance, about 11,000 troops in all, that inflicted heavy casualties and kept the battle raging for two months before U.S. forces prevailed. Eventually more than 27,000 Americans were involved in the struggle for Peleliu, and they endured one of the highest rates of death and injury in the Pacific, with at least 2,300 killed and 8,400 wounded.


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Featured image courtesy of the Jackson family.