James H. "Jim" Cannon
Graveside services will be held at 10:00 A.M. Friday, July 8, at Lakewood Memorial Park in Jackson for James H. “Jim” Cannon, 91, formerly of Madison and Jackson. He died July 3, 2016 at the Mississippi State Veterans Home in Collins.
Jim was born October 10, 1924, in Jackson, MS, to John W. Cannon and Anabell Ferrell Cannon. He graduated Central High School in Jackson in 1942. On March 6, 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp. After boot camp he went through paratrooper training and was assigned to the 3rd Parachute Battalion on Bouganville Island. He was then returned Stateside and assigned to G Company, 3rd Battalion, 28th Marine Regiment, Fifth Marine Division. After further training at Camp Tarawa, HI, the Fifth Division invaded Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945. Jim was wounded within 10 minutes. He was evacuated and after treatment for his wounds was discharged August 23, 1945, having been awarded the Purple Heart for his wounds. Although he was in the Marine Corp for only two years and five months, his service as a Marine, and particularly his participation in the battle at Iwo Jima, was the defining time in his life. He was active in the Marine Corp League and attended reunions of the Marine Paratroopers, the Fifth Marine Division, and the Iwo Jima survivors as long as he was able, the last in 2013. He was the embodiment of the slogan “Once a Marine, always a Marine.”
After his service he attended Mississippi State University where he earned his degree in chemical engineering in 1950. He worked for an engineering firm in Jackson, and then worked as an engineer for the State Aid Division of the Mississippi Highway Department until his retirement in 1988. Rather than pursuing a career in chemical engineering, he stayed in Jackson and devoted his life to the care of his older brother, John W. “Bud” Cannon, Jr., until Bud’s death in 1989.
As long as he was able, he was active in First Baptist Church of Jackson, particularly the Fishers of Men Sunday School Class, which included many of his close friends.
Jim is survived by two cousins, William L. “Bill Lee” Crim and wife Sallie of Jackson, and William B. “Bill” Ferrell, Jr., and wife Dora Sue of Hattiesburg and their three children to whom Jim was a grandfather figure.