The life and times of 'Dub' Jackson
November 16, 2008
Some notable achievements and anecdotes from Dub Jackson's 2003 autobiography, "Whatever It Takes."
• Jackson faced many near-death experiences as a World War II P-38 fighter pilot. But he also cheated death during the mid-50s.
Jackson, who stayed in the Air Force Reserve, frequently flew between northern Japan and Tokyo for exercises. On one trip, he decided to return via train. While driving to the station he hit a Tokyo traffic jam.
Jackson made his own lane and drove to the front of the pile-up where he found a stalled bus. He jumped aboard, told everyone to get out and had the driver put the bus in neutral so they could push it out of the way.
An appreciative policeman allowed him to be the first to leave the scene and he caught the train.
Upon arrival at home, Jackson learned that the Air Force C-46 he would have taken had crashed, killing all on board.
• In 1959, Jackson approached the Nippon Eiga Shinsha Movie Company about making a film showcasing Japan's tremendous post-war recovery. Jackson intended to show it at the Southern Baptist Convention to build excitement for a Japanwide missionary campaign.
Even though Jackson had just $3,000 of the estimated $12,500 it would cost to produce the 20-minute film, the company agreed to help and Jackson wrote the script.
Later that year, Tokyo Gov. Ryotaro Azuma took the film to Rome with a different audio track and presented it to the Olympic Committee, which granted Tokyo the 1964 Olympics.
• Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, a fellow Texan, knew that Jackson could speak Japanese and requested that he greet Japan Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., in 1961.
Jackson presented the prime minister with a cowboy hat and boots from Texas.
A photo of Ikeda putting on the garments made the front page of the next day's Wall Street Journal.
When both men returned to Japan, they met again at Ikeda's official residence where Jackson presented him with a personally-engraved Bible.
• Jackson spearheaded the 1963 New Life Movement in Asia. His vision to host a large Christian convention to spread the gospel around the Asian continent kicked off at the 50,000-seat Korakuen Stadium ¡ª then home of the Yomiuri Giants baseball team.
In addition to the presence of several evangelicals and a 549-volunteer team from the States, Jackson helped convince actor Charlton Heston and athletes such as 1960 Olympic track star Wilma Rudolph and baseball's Bobby Richardson, Carl Erskine and Don Newcombe to support the event, during which 45,000 Asians made commitments to Christ.
• In 1967, Jackson served as the Rev. Billy Graham's co-chairman during Graham's Tokyo crusade. Graham later wrote a favorable book review of Jackson's autobiography.
During a recent interview, Jackson said that as great of a preacher as Graham was, "he couldn't tell a joke worth a lick."
• Jackson is founder of Partnership Evangelism, which began in 1970 as World Evangelism Foundation. The organization, based in Abilene, Texas, has helped send missionaries to countries all over the world.
Dub and Doris are still active in Partnership Evangelism work.