Jackson, Rufus Benjamin  (Left ISC in 1917)

Rufus Benjamin Jackson was born in Buffalo, Wyoming on 12 July 1896. His parents were John Jackson, a member of the Buffalo Soldiers of the U.S. Army, and Mary Jane Wilson Jackson. After moving with his family a number of times in childhood to accommodate his father’s Army service, Rufus graduated from East High School in 1914, the only Black student in his class (“Rufus Benjamin Jackson,” 2021).

He started his education at Iowa State College before he enrolled in the Army to fight in WWI. During WWI, he became a war hero and served with distinction, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross. His act of heroism was on 28 September 1918 near Farm La Foile, France. He acted bravely and made a personal reconnaissance as he crawled into enemy lines to find machine gun nests that were blocking his unit’s advancements. He used Stokes mortars to clear these nests, allowing for his unit to advance. (“Rufus Benjamin Jackson,” 2021).

Following his service in WWI, he married Leona Miller on 5 March 1918, in Houston Texas, but the couple later divorced. He died on 31 March 1992 in Detroit, Michigan, and is buried at the Ft. Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan. (“Rufus Benjamin Jackson,” 2021).


Photo Credit The Cardinal Tales

Rufus Benjamin Jackson. (2021). George S. Robb Centre for the Study of the Great War. Park University. Retrieved from  https://gsr.park.edu/service_members/rufus-benjamin-jackson/