Jack was a resident of Du Pont, WA for almost three years, lived over 40 years in Monterey, CA, and will be buried with family in attendance at San Carlos Cemetery in Monterey.
A husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and highly decorated Soldier who served his country during a period of wars, 1941-1973, he led a reconnaissance troop, commanding Troop A, 2d Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, 2d Cavalry Group (Mechanized) through five campaigns during WWII including Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe campaigns. Landing at Utah Beach in Normandy, France in late July, the 2d Cavalry Group would soon become the eyes and ears of Patton’s Third Army spear piercing through Europe. For his conduct and leadership in combat, Capt. Cunningham was decorated with the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit, the French Croix de Guerre, and was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in action.
After retirement from the U.S. Army, he worked as a research systems analyst for three separate civilian corporations until 1986. Jack was a devoted family man. He believed in God, country and his family. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn. He is survived by his daughter, Frances Lynn Burcham of Albuquerque, NM, his daughter Jacqueline Cunningham Edwards of Puyallup, WA, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
An excerpt from the book Second United States Cavalry – A History will show Jack Cunningham led his men by example, not by issuing orders from the rear:
“…The one fort that was still resisting surrendered after the Group Commander entered the fortification (Capt. Cunningham was standing on the fort dropping grenades down the ventilating shaft, to no effect. Our 90mm TD’s punched holes in the heavy steel turrets, but hurt no one) and assured the enemy commander that further resistance was useless and that he was completely cut off. The fort yielded two officers and 46 men.”
Your patrol has ended, sir. Time for R&R.