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MEDAL of HONOR
Ribbon

Jefferson Joseph DeBlanc
Colonel - U. S. Marine Corps Reserve

Born February 15, 1921
Lockport, LA
Died November 22, 2007
Cause Pneumonia complications
Age 85
 
Military Seaman Second Class - July 29, 1941

Second Lieutenant -
 May 4, 1942

First Lieutenant -
  December 19, 1942

Captain - June 1, 1943

Retired as Colonel -
  July 1, 1972
 
Education B. S. Physics & Math - 1947
Southwestern LA. Institute

M. A. Education - 1951

Louisiana State University

M. A. Math Education - 1963

Ed. D Education - 1973
McNeese State University
 
Spouse Louise Berard
Children 1 daughter, 4 sons
Religion Catholic
Burial Fournet Cemetery
St. Martinville, LA.

Jefferson Joseph DeBlanc

was presented the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman on December 6, 1946.  The Medal of Honor is the nations highest award for valor.

Additionally, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart and the Air Force Medal with 4 Gold Stars.

Almost 86, he died in 2007, the last surviving Medal of Honor winner from WWII in Louisiana.  Only weeks before he died, it was decided to donate his Medal of Honor and other items to the National World II Museum in New Orleans.

The links at the bottom of this page document his remarkable heroism during air battles of the war with Japan.

In his later life he became highly educated and taught high school in Louisiana.

The Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Leader of a Section of Six Fighter Planes in Marine Fighting Squadron ONE HUNDRED TWELVE, during aerial operations against enemy Japanese forces off Kolombangara Island in the Solomons Group, 31 January 1943. Taking off with his section as escort for a strike force of dive bombers and torpedo planes ordered to attack Japanese surface vessels, First Lieutenant DeBlanc led his flight directly to the target area where, at 14,000 feet, our strike force encountered a large number Japanese Zeros protecting the enemy's surface craft. In company with the other fighters, First 

Lieutenant DeBlanc instantly engaged the hostile planes and aggressively countered their repeated attempts to drive off our bombers, persevering in his efforts to protect the diving planes and waging fierce combat until, picking up a call for assistance from the dive bombers under attack by enemy float planes at 1,000 feet, he broke off his engagement with the Zeros, plunged into the formation of float planes and disrupted the savage attack, enabling our dive bombers and torpedo planes to complete their runs on the Japanese surface disposition and to withdraw without further incident. Although his escort mission was fulfilled upon the safe retirement of the bombers, First Lieutenant DeBlanc courageously remained on the scene despite a rapidly diminishing fuel supply and, boldly challenging the enemy's superior number of float planes, fought a valiant battle against terrific odds, seizing the tactical advantage and striking repeatedly to destroy three of the hostile aircraft and to disperse the remainder. Prepared to maneuver his damaged plane back to base, he had climbed aloft and set his course when he discovered two Zeros closing in behind. Undaunted, he opened fire and blasted both Zeros from the sky in short, bitterly fought action which resulted in such hopeless damage to his plane that he was forced to bail out at a perilously low altitude atop the trees on enemy-held Kolombangara. A gallant officer, a superb airman and an indomitable fighter, First Lieutenant DeBlanc had rendered decisive assistance during a critical stage of operations, and his unwavering fortitude in the face of overwhelming opposition reflects the highest credit upon himself and adds new luster to the traditions of the United States Naval Service.

JEFFERSON J. DeBLANC
FEB. 15, 1921  --  NOV. 22, 2007

LOUISE BERARD DeBLANC
OCT. 25, 1919  --  AUG. 13, 2005

JEFFERSON J DeBLANC

MEDAL OF HONOR
COL US MARINE CORPS
WORLD WAR II  DFC PH
FEB 15 1921    NOV 22 2007

 

Favorite Biographies & News

Marine Corps Aces of WWII

Medal of Honor Citation

Obit - New York Times

U. S. Marine Corps - Who's Who

Wikipedia

 

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