Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Medal of Honor

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Sgt. John D. Hawk


He manned a light machinegun on 20 August 1944, near Chambois, France, a key point in the encirclement which created the Falaise Pocket. During an enemy counterattack, his position was menaced by a strong force of tanks and infantry. His fire forced the infantry to withdraw, but an artillery shell knocked out his gun and wounded him in the right thigh. Securing a bazooka, he and another man stalked the tanks and forced them to retire to a wooded section. In the lull which followed, Sgt. Hawk reorganized 2 machinegun squads and, in the face of intense enemy fire, directed the assembly of 1 workable weapon from 2 damaged guns. When another enemy assault developed, he was forced to pull back from the pressure of spearheading armor. Two of our tank destroyers were brought up. Their shots were ineffective because of the terrain until Sgt. Hawk, despite his wound, boldly climbed to an exposed position on a knoll where, unmoved by fusillades from the enemy, he became a human aiming stake for the destroyers. Realizing that his shouted fire directions could not be heard above the noise of battle, he ran back to the destroyers through a concentration of bullets and shrapnel to correct the range. He returned to his exposed position, repeating this performance until 2 of the tanks were knocked out and a third driven off. Still at great risk, he continued to direct the destroyers' fire into the Germans' wooded position until the enemy came out and surrendered. Sgt. Hawk's fearless initiative and heroic conduct, even while suffering from a painful wound, was in large measure responsible for crushing 2 desperate attempts of the enemy to escape from the Falaise Picket and for taking more than 500 prisoners.

Sgt. Hawk: We humbly salute you and thank you for your service.

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Hat tip Home of Heroes

There are fewer than a hundred living MoH recipients today. Their names and their stories should not be forgotten. My mission is to honor one of those heroes here each week, and salute them for their courage and sacrifice. In the words of John Fitzgerald Kennedy:
“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors; the men it remembers.”


  1. Neither diminishing MoH recipients nor elevating as it were "lower" echelon citations such as The Navy Cross, Silver and Bronze Stars, etc........ But here's something to roundly consider.

    I can readily think of no less than ten men who among them as a collective were recipients of the three aforementioned citations, as well numerous other awards. Several have passed away. One of whom, in addition to a Bronze Star, was thought of so highly during his service within the U.S. Army during WWII that the British, Egyptian and Sauds (Saudi Arabia) awarded him with their highest decorations, the Brits went so far as to bestow an OBE upon him.
    Not one single individual whom I know of the aforementioned (has) ever bragged, much less mentioned their citations. One simply does not. Of course it's the right thing to do and each has done just that. And for anyone who has served or is serving within the military we all know that one NEVER wears their citation upon their civilian clothing. The (obvious) exception being MoH recipients who, if alive, are sometimes requested in any given year to make a public appearance and then you are witness to the MoH medallion around their neck. But otherwise, never.
    This demonstrated humility, both in absence of remark or display clearly speaks to humility, respect and dignity. How refreshing. Now that is to be congratulated.

    Why is this mentioned? Quite easy; Alan West...... The purely self-serving, self-centered, lying, fraudulent, scheming megalomaniac whose voting record is anything but conservative, who has violated House ethics on at least one occasion all in the pursuit of promoting himself. And did I mention was also thrown out of the Army and has been known to wear his citations on his civilian clothing? I guess I didn't. Well he was and he does.

    This speaks volumes.

    Honor those who are honorable. Chase away those who are not.

    1. John: I appreciate you stopping by. I agree with you, the bravest men I have known would never refer to themselves as heroes. And men who have served honorably in combat are usually the last to bring it up (if at all).

      And undoubtedly, there were those who should have received the Medal, but didn't. And some who did, will tell you they didn't deserve it.

      Be that as it may, this series is to honor those who served admirably and honorably, with great bravery, while they are still alive. We'll let God sort out the rest.


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