|Sgt. Jackson was in the segregated 784th Tank Battalion.|
Leslie J. Jackson never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on June 29, 1917 in Mississippi. His mother was also born in Mississippi while his father was born in South Carolina. He was raised on his grandmother's Mississippi farm. The status of his parents is unknown and he was likely an only child. By 1940 Leslie had completed two years of high school, was working as bridge construction laborer, and was married to his wife Fannie Mae. I don't know if they had any children.
He enlisted in the army on March 25, 1943. He became a tech sergeant in Company A, 784th Tank Battalion. The 784th Tank battalion was one of three segregated tank units that fought in Europe with whites as senior officers and blacks as the junior officers and enlisted men. It arrived in France on Christmas Day and attached to various infantry divisions fighting in France, Belgium and Holland. Sgt. Jackson would have been part of an M4 Sherman tank crew. By early March 1945 the 784th was attached to the 35th Infantry Division advancing to the Rhine River near Rheinberg. Sgt. Jackson was killed on March 6, 1945 by enemy paratroopers who opposed the Sherman tanks with self propelled guns and panzerfast anti-tank weapons.
His grave is at St. John Cemetery in Janice, Mississippi. Fannie Mae never remarried and died in 2003.
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