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The Congressional Medal of Honor


Baylor University is believed to be the only school in America to have two former athletes win the Congressional Medal of Honor. Both men, Jack Lummus and John (Killer) Kane, won the nation's highest military honor for heroics in World War II.

Lummus played football, basketball and baseball for the Bears from 1938 through 1941. He was an All-Southwest Conference centerfielder before signing with the New York Giants of the National Football League.

After one year of pro football, Lummus joined the Marines and was a platoon leader in the initial days of fighting on Iwo Jima. While leading a charge on enemy positions, Lummus stepped on a land mine and lost both legs. Despite the heavy bleeding that resulted, he led his platoon to knock out several pockets of Japanese fire, a vital part of the U.S. victory.

Lummus died of his wounds shortly after the battle.

Kane played football and basketball at Baylor and was a member of the ill-fated 1927 basketball team that lost 10 of its members in a bus-train wreck. Kane was one of 12 survivors.

Kane joined the Army Air Corps in 1932 and soon became a bomber commander of legendary proportions. It was said he was the best pilot and toughest commander in the Air Corps. It was often debated who feared him more-the Germans or his own men.

On August 1, 1943, Kane led what at the time was the deadliest air battle in history-a low-level, long-range bombing raid on Hitler's oil-refining complex in Ploesti, Romania. The site produced a major part of the Axis' fuel and was one of the most heavily guarded locations in history.