John Alexander ''Jack'' Stephenson
John Alexander "Jack" Stephenson was born on May 7, 1926, in Duluth, Minnesota, the son of Elizabeth King and John Alexander Stephenson, Jr. He had one sister Audrey and in Rye his family lived on
Jack would graduate the Taft School in 1944 and immediately enlisted in the U.S. Marines.
Jack Stephenson, III served in the U. S. Marines during both WWII and the Korean Conflict. In WWII he did his basic training at Camp Pendleton, CA and from the April 30, 1945 Marine Muster Roll was assigned to the Sixty Second Replacement Draft, Transient Center, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific.
The Battle of Okinawa started on April 1, 1945 and lasted thru the end of June 1945. At one point during the battle we know from another Muster Roll that Jack was a replacement assigned to Company F, Second Battalion, Twenty-Ninth Marines, Sixth Marine Division in the Pacific.
For its actions at Okinawa, the 6th Marine Division (and reinforcing units) earned a Presidential Unit Citation. It reads in part "the Division withstood overwhelming artillery and mortar barrages, repulsed furious counterattacks and staunchly pushed over the rocky terrain to reduce almost impregnable defenses and capture Sugar Loaf Hill."
The hill was part of a complex of three hills that formed the western anchor of General Mitsuru Ushijima's Shuri Line defense. Originally the objective of the 22nd Marine Regiment, the 29th would relieve them on 16 May and would sustain heavy casualties over the course of the next few days while taking the hill.
They made numerous frontal assaults on the hill and finally secured it on 18 May but in the process they sustained so many casualties that they were rendered combat ineffective and would eventually be relieved by the 4th Marine Regiment.
View Discharge Record
After the war, Jack would return to his studies attending Williams College. He married Marcella Louise Rowen (Stephenson) on June 14, 1947, in Farmington, Connecticut. They had six children during their marriage.
He retired to Polk County, NC in 2000 from Virginia, MN and was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross, Tryon, NC.
John Alexander ''Jack'' Stephenson, III, 85, of Laurelhurst, Columbus, NC died Monday, January 9, 2012 in St. Luke's Hospital, Columbus, NC.
Surviving were: three daughters, Sarah S. Jusko (Richard) of Snohomish, WA; Lucy S. Morris of Tryon, NC and Suzanne Stephenson of Salt Lake City, UT; a son, John A. Stephenson, IV (Colby) of Ferron, UT; a stepdaughter, Ellen Thomas of Tryon, NC and a sister, Audrey Brooks of Stanford, CT. Also surviving were 13 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.