Story #4 – Who was Jack Fisher?

Our neighborhood takes its name from Mr. Jacob (Jack) Fisher. Fisher was born in Yakima, Washington in 1899 and moved to Santa Ana with his parents (Jacob A. Fisher & Mary Sinnema Fisher) and sister in the early twentieth century. In April 1917, upon the United States entry into World War 1, Fisher enlisted in the US Army at the age of 18 years old. During his service in France, he fought in four major battles: Chateau-Thierry, Belleau Wood, Verdun and the Argonne Forest.  Fisher is probably one of the most decorated servicemen in Orange County, having received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Purple Heart, the French Médaille Militaire and Croix de Guerre (France’s highest military recognition) and the British Victoria Cross. Fisher’s final battle was fought in Argonne, from which he emerged with grave injuries. According to history compiled by another local veteran, Louis Dell, Fisher lay on the field for two days with a shattered leg and had been gassed. When he was found alive, he was immediately given water collected from a nearby shell hole. But the water had been contaminated by the mustard gas and he developed serious internal damage.

US coast artillery troops, Meuse-Argonne offensive (Deadliest Battle in US History)
National Archives Image

In 1919, Fisher returned to the United States for a period of recovery. During his recuperation at the military hospital in San Francisco, Fisher studied art and cartoon illustration, which he developed into a career as a cartoonist for the San Francisco Examiner and later upon his return to Santa Ana in 1927, the Santa Ana Register. A decorated veteran with awards from Italy, Belgium, Britain, France, and the United States, Fisher was instrumental in the formation of the Santa Ana Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans.

Jack Fisher Park 1966
Santa Ana Public Library Reference image (11458244)

In March 1929, at the young age of 30, Fisher passed away. In recognition of his dedication to local veterans, the same Chapter of Disabled American Veterans that he helped to form look his name as the “Jack Fisher Chapter”. On August 23, 1933, construction was completed on the park north of Santiago Creek and North Flower Street and officially dedicated as the Jack Fisher Memorial Park. Amazing to think that our park has been around for 88 years and that our neighborhood is so lucky to be associated with such a heroic young man.