Jackson, Eugene V. (823rd)

Eugene V. Jackson

Biography: Eugene Victor Jackson was born on January 23, 1922, in Quay County, New Mexico. He was the son of Solomon A. Jackson and Gertrude E. Chaffin. He completed three years of high school and the 1940 U.S. Census indicates he was working as a service station attendant.

Service Time: Eugene entered the Army October 9, 1940. We don’t have any information on his early time in the service but at some point, he was assigned to Company B of the 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion. The 823rd trained at a number of military bases including Camps Bowie and Hood, Texas, and Camp Clairborne, Louisiana, where they were located prior to participating in the Louisiana maneuvers.

The unit boarded trains on March 9, 1944. enroute to Camp Myles Standish, and the Boston port, where they arrived on the 12th to begin their final preparations for the trip overseas. On April 6th, they loaded on the U.S.S. Sea Porpoise and sailed for England, arriving in Newport, Wales, on the 17th after an uneventful trip. After some additional training and a delay, they boarded three LSTs and landed on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, on June 24, 1944. They were equipped with 3″ towed guns and went into action within 24 hours of their arrival. Supporting the drive on St. Lô, they fought at Mortain in August.

Passing through Belgium and Holland, they entered Germany on September 17th. Fighting along the Siegfried Line in October, which included the encirclement of Aachen, the 823rd converted to M10 tank destroyers beginning in November and shifted to the Ardennes in late December. On December 12th, Eugene received a battlefield commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was transferred to Company C at the same time and became a platoon leader. Fighting to eliminate the Bulge in January, 1945, they crossed the Roer River on February 24th. Crossing the Rhine River on March 24th, the unit raced eastward to the Elbe River, at Magdeburg, in April and finally began military occupation duties on April 21st. He was wounded in action on April 2 and was later awarded a Purple Heart Medal. On April 4th, Eugene and an enlisted man were both injured and evacuated following a jeep accident. He returned to the unit on May 7th, the same day the Germans unconditionally surrendered. Eugene was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement and service from June 24, 1944, to May 7, 1945, in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. He was awarded the EAME medal with credit for the campaigns of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe, along with the Good Conduct, American Service and WWII Victory medals and was eligible to wear the Distinguished Unit Ribbon awarded to Company B and the Belgian Fourragere. He was discharged at Fort Bliss, Texas, on November 30, 1945, at the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

Eugene returned home and was eventually working for the U.S. Zinc Smelter in Amarillo, Texas. He may have married but we don’t have any solid documentation of that. On February 28, 1946, he re-enlisted in the National Guard at the rank of Master Sergeant. Sadly, on August 8, 1948, he was involved in an auto accident near Vega, Texas, and died as a result of his injuries. Eugene was buried in the Tucumcari Memorial Park, Tucumcari, NM. Thank you to Find A Grave contributor Kenny Lingren for use of the grave marker photo.