PDA

View Full Version : Medal of Honor recipient Doss dies



thedrifter
03-30-06, 07:17 PM
Thursday, March 30, 2006, 11:14 a.m.
Medal of Honor recipient Doss dies
03/23/06

Desmond T. Doss, Sr., the only conscientious objector to win the Congressional Medal of Honor during World War II, has died. He was 87 years old.

Doss never liked being called a conscientious objector. He preferred the term conscientious cooperator. Raised a Seventh-day Adventist, Doss did not believe in using a gun or killing because of the sixth commandment which states, “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13). Doss was a patriot however, and believed in serving his country.

During World War II, instead of accepting a deferment, Doss voluntarily joined the Army as a conscientious objector. Assigned to the 307th Infantry Division as a company medic he was harassed and ridiculed for his beliefs, yet he served with distinction and ultimately received the Congressional Medal of Honor on October 12, 1945 for his fearless acts of bravery.

According to his Medal of Honor citation, time after time, Doss’ fellow soldiers witnessed how unafraid he was for his own safety. He was always willing to go after a wounded fellow, no matter how great the danger. On one occasion in Okinawa, he refused to take cover from enemy fire as he rescued approximately 75 wounded soldiers, carrying them one-by-one and lowering them over the edge of the 400-foot Maeda Escarpment. He did not stop until he had brought everyone to safety nearly 12 hours later.

When Doss received the Medal of Honor from President Truman, the President told him, “I’m proud of you, you really deserve this. I consider this a greater honor than being President.”

Doss’ exemplary devotion to God and his country has received nationwide attention. On July 4, 2004, a statue of Doss was placed in the National Museum of Patriotism in Atlanta, Ga., along with statues of Dr. Martin Luther King, President Jimmy Carter, and retired Marine Corps General Gray Davis, also a Medal of Honor recipient. Also in 2004, a feature-length documentary called “The Conscientious Objector,” telling Doss’ story of faith, heroism, and bravery was released. A feature movie describing Doss’ story is also being planned.

Doss passed away Thursday morning, March 23, 2006, in Piedmont, Alabama. He is survived by his wife Frances, his son, Desmond T. Doss, Jr., and his brother, Harold Doss.

Funeral arrangements for Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Desmond Doss have been finalized.

Visitation will held from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., Friday, March 31, at Heritage Funeral Home, located at 3239 Battlefield Parkway, Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.

Doss’ memorial service will be held Saturday, April 1, 2006, at 3:00 p.m. at the Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church located at 4829 College Drive East in Collegedale, Tenn.

Burial will take place on Monday, April 3, at 11 a.m. at the Chattanooga National Cemetery in Chattanooga, Tenn.

In lieu of flowers, the Doss family requests that donations be sent to the Desmond Doss Museum Fund at the Georgia-Cumberland Conference office (P.O. Box 12000 Calhoun, GA 30703).

Rest In Peace

Ellie

thedrifter
04-05-06, 07:34 AM
Conscientious objector awarded Medal of Honor in WWII buried with 21-gun salute

By: BILL POOVEY - Associated Press

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- The only conscientious objector to receive a Medal of Honor in World War II has been buried at a national cemetery with a 21-gun salute, although he refused to carry a weapon while serving as an Army medic.

Desmond T. Doss Sr., 87, died March 23 in Piedmont, Ala., where he and his wife, Frances, had been living with family.

A horse-drawn hearse delivered the flag-covered casket to the grave site Monday in the Chattanooga National Cemetery. Military helicopters flew overhead in a tribute formation.

Doss had endured ridicule for his beliefs but "remained true to his convictions even when it was not the most popular thing to do," said Patti Parks, a retired Navy commander and director of the Medal of Honor Museum in Chattanooga.

Doss, who refused to carry a weapon during his wartime service in the Pacific, was the subject of a book, "The Unlikeliest Hero," and a 2004 documentary, "The Conscientious Objector."

Medal of Honor Society records show he was among 3,461 recipients of the nation's highest military honor.

While under enemy fire on the island of Okinawa, Doss carried 75 wounded soldiers to the edge of a 400-foot cliff and lowered them to safety, according to his citation.

During a later attack, he was seriously wounded in the legs by a grenade. According to the citation, as he was being carried to safety, he saw a more critically injured man and crawled off his stretcher, directing the medics to help the other wounded man.

"He wanted to serve. He just didn't want to kill anybody," said a veteran who attended the service, Fred Headrick, 85. "Most all of them (Medal of Honor recipients) received their medal for killing someone. He received his by saving lives."

On the Net:

Doss documentary: www.desmonddoss.com

Medal of Honor Museum: www.mohm.org/

Medal of Honor Society: www.cmohs.org/

Ellie