Douglas A. Jacks never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on April 8, 1918 in California. His parents John and Ethel were born in Colorado and Kansas, respectively. His father worked as a lumberyard accountant. John had two younger sisters, one of whom died at age 4. By 1940 his parents had divorced. John lived with his mother and worked as a wing assembler. He attended San Diego State College and also worked for the phone company.
He enlisted in the Army Air Forces on August 4, 1941. He became a first lieutenant in the 10th Fighter Squadron, 50th Fighter Group. The pilots first trained flying P-40s but switched to P-51s when they were sent to England in May 1944. Prior to leaving for England, Lt. Jacks married Mary Alice Young on February 4, 1944.
Assigned to IX Fighter Command, the 10th FS was re-equipped with P-47 Thunderbolts. The unit provided support to the Allied armies as they attacked the Germans in Normandy and beyond.
Lt. Jacks flew 70 missions. He earned an Air Medal with two silver and seven bronze clusters. He was killed on July 28, 1944. I was unable to determine any additional details. (UPDATE: See comments below for additional information added by a reader.)
His grave is at Glen Abbey Memorial Park in San Diego, California. His widow signed the paperwork for his 1948 gravestone. She later remarried and died in 2006.
Last year on this date I profiled the Mautner brothers, John and Charles. You can read about John and Charles here.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100