As a combat veteran, it’s important to me to share the stories of those who fought before me for our country.
War Heroes in Color.
Desmond Thomas Doss (February 7, 1919 – March 23, 2006) was a United States Army corporal who served as a combat medic with an infantry company in World War II. He was twice awarded the Bronze Star Medal for actions in Guam and the Philippines.
Doss further distinguished himself in the Battle of Okinawa by saving 75 men,[a] becoming the only conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Second World War . His life has been the subject of books, the documentary The Conscientious Objector, and the critically acclaimed 2016 film Hacksaw Ridge.
Before the outbreak of World War II, Doss was employed as a joiner at a shipyard in Newport News, Virginia. Doss entered military service, despite being offered a deferment for his shipyard work, on April 1, 1942, at Camp Lee, Virginia.
He was sent to Fort Jackson in South Carolina for training with the reactivated 77th Infantry Division. Meanwhile, his brother Harold served aboard the USS Lindsey .
Doss refused to kill an enemy soldier or carry a weapon into combat because of his personal beliefs as a Seventh-day Adventist.
He consequently became a medic assigned to 2nd Platoon, B Company, 1st Battalion, 307th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division.
While serving with his platoon in 1944 on Guam and the Philippines, he was awarded two Bronze Star Medals with a “V” device, for exceptional valor in aiding wounded soldiers under fire. During the Battle of Okinawa, he saved the lives of 50–100 wounded infantrymen atop the area known by the 96th Division as the Maeda Escarpment or Hacksaw Ridge.
Doss was wounded four times in Okinawa, and was evacuated on May 21, 1945, aboard the USS Mercy. Doss suffered a left arm fracture from a sniper’s bullet and at one point had seventeen pieces of shrapnel embedded in his body. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Okinawa.
Coloured by Johnny Sirlande for Historic photo restored in color
Image courtesy of Desmon Doss Family