Medal of Honor recipient Jack H. Lucas’ classic memoir of his heroics at the Battle of Iwo Jima - with a foreword by Bob Dole and reissued to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the battle in 2020.
On February 20, 1945, the second day of the assault on Iwo Jima - one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific theater in World War II - Private Jack Lucas, who was only 17, and three other Marines engaged in a close-proximity firefight with Japanese soldiers. When two enemy grenades landed in their trench, Lucas jumped on one and pulled the other under his body to save the lives of his comrades. Lucas was blown into the air as his body was torn apart by 250 entrance wounds. He was so severely wounded that his team left him for dead. Miraculously, he survived.
While on the hospital ship Samaritan, his spirit soared to see the American flag flying atop Mount Suribachi - the same flag immortalized in Joe Rosenthal’s iconic photograph, Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima. Lucas endured 21 grueling surgeries and carried 200 pieces of shrapnel in his body for the rest of his life. Awarded the Medal of Honor, he became the youngest Marine in US history - and the youngest of all World War II servicemen - to receive the honor.
Indestructible tells the remarkable story of an extraordinary American possessed with a fierce determination to serve his country.
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- Shirley Coyne
I loved this book. Partly because my father was 19 when he was sent to Iwo Jima. It was interesting to hear all the trouble Jack Lucas went to get in the fighting at 14 years old. It seems incredulous that he was able to pull it off and yet he was a decorated soldier by the age of 17. It's a pretty powerful book and I enjoyed the story line and how it was written and read. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a good action drama that's not fiction!
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Not Really About Iwo Jima
Jack Lucas was undoubtedly a hero on Iwo; the Medal of Honor is very difficult to earn. However, I didn't find his story compelling. There is great deal of self aggrandizing of his many exploits, quite at odds with the quiet modesty that most heroes of our country's armed conflicts exhibit.
Many of these memoirs are worth sharing with younger generations so they understand and appreciate the price our veterans have paid to preserve our country. (By the way, I am an Army veteran.) This is not one of them. Mr. Lucas revels in his lack of respect for military authority and other unsavory behavior, a bad boy who has gotten a pass because of a single act, albeit a remarkable one.
Beyond Mr. Lucas' pugnacious character, the first part of the book lurches awkwardly back and forth in time. Additionally, there is very little about his time on Iwo Jima, but lots about how quick he was to fight, even into old age.
The ones thing I found very interesting was how well he described the Japanese fortifications on Iwo. I have read multiple history's of this epic battle, but learned several interesting facts from Mr. Lucas.
The narrator was excellent, the ones saving grace for this title. He has a wonderful southern accent, and does a wonderful job given the clunky writing of the book.