ROTC Pays Tribute To Medal Of Honor Alumni
Chris Hansen / Baylor Photography Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bowles, commanding officer of Baylor's ROTC detachment, and Cadet Marc Bradle, commander of the Arnold Air Society, in front of replicas of the uniforms worn by Medal of Honor recipients John "Killer" Kane and Jack Lummus.
Baylor University's ROTC Arnold Air Society remembered the only two university alumni to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor - John (Killer) Kane and Jack Lummus - at a ceremony Thursday, Dec. 5, at the ROTC building. Baylor is the only private university in the United States to have two alumni who received the Medal of Honor.
"Baylor has a long legacy for sending people out for military service," said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bowles, commanding officer of the ROTC detachment. "These two gentlemen represent more than 4,000 who answered the call from Baylor during World War II alone. One hundred and twenty five Baylor students paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives for their country."
During the presentation, Cadet Marc Bradle, who serves as Arnold Air Society commander, read each recipient's Medal of Honor citation. He also presented to Bowles exact replicas of the uniforms worn by Kane and Lummus.
Kane played football and basketball at Baylor and actually was a survivor of the tragic bus-train wreck in Round Rock that resulted in the deaths of Baylor's Immortal Ten. Kane joined the Army Air Corps in 1932 and became a legendary bomber commander. On Aug. 1, 1943, he led what at the time was called the deadliest air battle in history - a low level, long-range bombing raid on Hitler's oil-refining complex at Ploesti, Romania. For his role in that raid, Kane was presented the United States' highest award for valor in combat. He died in 1996 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Lummus was a Baylor football, baseball and basketball star from 1938-1941 and played pro football for the New York Giants for one year before joining the Marines. When the Marines invaded the Japanese-held island of Iwo Jima, Lummus, a platoon leader, led the charge on enemy positions and while doing so stepped on a land mine and lost both legs. Refusing to give in to his wounds, he continued to lead his platoon in advances that knocked out several enemy emplacements. Realizing his wounds were fatal, Lummus said to a Navy medic, "Looks like the Giants lost a damn good end today." He died of his wounds shortly after the battle and was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.
Attending the ceremony were Mr. and Mrs. Don Lummus, distant cousins of Jack Lummus. Baylor alumni Roger Edens and Dick Powell, classmates of Lummus, as well as several Marines from Waco, also were in attendance.