Family of World War II Veteran Presented High Honor

Brandon Weathers
Updated: June 17, 2019 06:18 PM

The family of a World War II veteran from Maple, Wisconsin finally got closure Monday as they were presented with the Distinguished Service Cross by Congressman Sean Duffy.


Aaron Jacobson was highly decorated for his service in World War II, including three Purple Hearts. But for decades, he wasn't recognized for his highest honor.

Jacobson's Distinguished Service Cross was lost in a house fire that tragically took the life of his brother. The medal couldn't be replaced because it wasn't included in his discharge papers, and additional evidence went up in flames in another fire at the National Personnel Record Center in St. Louis in 1973.

Jacobson's recognition for the honor would have been cut short at that point if not for his nephew Stanley. "Stanley was tireless in making sure Aaron was recognized for his service," Duffy said.

Stanley described his uncle as a soft-spoken man and said he never told Stanley about the Distinguished Service Cross. "He told me many times, 'I got something to tell you,' and then he would dismiss it. 'I'll tell you some other time,'" Stanley said. 

He continued to research his uncle's heroics after he passed. Stanley ended up finding articles detailing the acts of service that earned Aaron the Distinguished Service Cross. Once enough evidence was gathered, Sean Duffy got involved.

Duffy presented a congressional record to the House on Aaron's behalf. He read the record aloud Monday. The record said that on September 21st, 1944, the 313th infantry regiment of the 79th infantry division were mopping up a battle field that had just been cleared. They were suddenly under fire and hit the ground.

Duffy read, "PFC Jacobson, without regard for his own life, low crawled towards a position from which he could flank the machine gun nest. As he approached the nest, he realized his rifle was full of mud and it wouldn't fire. He fixed his bayonet and stabbed the rear guard of the nest. Then using the firearm captured from the German soldier he had just killed, he neutralized the remaining three Germans in the machine gun nest."

Duffy said, "PFC Aaron Jacobson's heroic actions that day saved many American lives, and we as a nation owe him a great debt of gratitude." Duffy then presented Stanley with the congressional record and the Distinguished Service Cross.

Stanley believes the story about the Distinguished Service Cross is what he had always wanted to tell him but never did. "And I helped him tell the story," Stanley said.

Stanley plans to donate the Distinguished Service Cross and the rest of Aaron's honors to the Richard I. Bong Veteran's Historical Center. They will also be adding Aaron Jacobson's story to their gallery at the Bong Center.


Brandon Weathers

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