Desmond Doss file photo [10711]

Desmond Doss

Given NameDesmond
Born7 Feb 1919
Died23 Mar 2006
CountryUnited States


ww2dbaseDesmond T. Doss was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, United States into a Christian family of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. He was drafted into military service with the United States Army, but his religious belief led him to refuse to kill enemy personnel; in fact, he even refused to carry a weapon. Instead of becoming a typical soldier, the conscientious objector was instead assigned to the Medical Detachment of 307th Infantry Regiment of the US 77th Infantry Division. On 29 Apr 1945, his unit was deployed near Urasoe Mura in Okinawa, Japan. He repeatedly risked his own life in order to give aid to wounded American soldiers. On 2 May, he rescued an injured soldier 180 meters forward of the American front lines while Japanese mortar and small arms fire surrounded him. On 4 May, he made four separate trips, again through enemy fire, so that he could treat and then evacuate four injured Americans from the opening of a Japanese-held cave which the soldiers were attacking. He performed similar actions repeatedly through his service at Okinawa, ending during the night of 21 May after he was seriously injured by small arms fire near Shuri while helping the wounded evacuate behind the front lines. He received the Medal of Honor award on 1 Nov 1945, becoming the first conscientious objector to receive this award. He passed away in Piedmont, Alabama, United States in 2006 and now rests at the National Cemetery in Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Aug 2010

Desmond Doss Interactive Map

Desmond Doss Timeline

7 Feb 1919 Desmond Doss was born.
23 Mar 2006 Desmond Doss passed away.


President Truman presenting the Medal of Honor to medical corpsman Desmond Doss at the White House, Washington DC, 12 Oct 1945. The medal was for actions on Okinawa, Japan. Photo 1 of 3.President Truman presenting the Medal of Honor to medical corpsman Desmond Doss at the White House, Washington DC, 12 Oct 1945. The medal was for actions on Okinawa, Japan. Photo 2 of 3.President Truman presenting the Medal of Honor to medical corpsman Desmond Doss at the White House, Washington DC, 12 Oct 1945. The medal was for actions on Okinawa, Japan. Photo 3 of 3.Medical Corpsman Desmond Doss and his wife, Dorothy, at the Woodrow Wilson General Hospital in Fishersville, Virginia, United States, fall 1945.
See all 5 photographs of Desmond Doss

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
21 Oct 2016 12:15:46 PM

I have read many citations from World War II, almost all of them describing some very heroic deeds, but this one tops them all. The Medal of Honor citation for Desmond Doss reads:
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private First Class Desmond Thomas Doss, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty from April 29 - 21 May 1945, while serving with the Medical Detachment, 307th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division, in action at Urasoe Mura, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands. Private First Class Doss was a company aid man when the 1st Battalion assaulted a jagged escarpment 400 feet high As our troops gained the summit, a heavy concentration of artillery, mortar and machinegun fire crashed into them, inflicting approximately 75 casualties and driving the others back. Private First Class Doss refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with the many stricken, carrying them one-by-one to the edge of the escarpment and there lowering them on a rope-supported litter down the face of a cliff to friendly hands. On 2 May, he exposed himself to heavy rifle and mortar fire in rescuing a wounded man 200 yards forward of the lines on the same escarpment; and two days later he treated four men who had been cut down while assaulting a strongly defended cave, advancing through a shower of grenades to within eight yards of enemy forces in a cave's mouth, where he dressed his comrades' wounds before making four separate trips under fire to evacuate them to safety. On 5 May, he unhesitatingly braved enemy shelling and small arms fire to assist an artillery officer. He applied bandages, moved his patient to a spot that offered protection from small arms fire and, while artillery and mortar shells fell close by, painstakingly administered plasma. Later that day, when an American was severely wounded by fire from a cave, Private First Class Doss crawled to him where he had fallen 25 feet from the enemy position, rendered aid, and carried him 100 yards to safety while continually exposed to enemy fire. On 21 May, in a night attack on high ground near Shuri, he remained in exposed territory while the rest of his company took cover, fearlessly risking the chance that he would be mistaken for an infiltrating Japanese and giving aid to the injured until he was himself seriously wounded in the legs by the explosion of a grenade. Rather than call another aid man from cover, he cared for his own injuries and waited five hours before litter bearers reached him and started carrying him to cover. The trio was caught in an enemy tank attack and Private First Class Doss, seeing a more critically wounded man nearby, crawled off the litter; and directed the bearers to give their first attention to the other man. Awaiting the litter bearers' return, he was again struck, this time suffering a compound fracture of one arm. With magnificent fortitude he bound a rifle stock to his shattered arm as a splint and then crawled 300 yards over rough terrain to the aid station. Through his outstanding bravery and unflinching determination in the face of desperately dangerous conditions Private First Class Doss saved the lives of many soldiers. His name became a symbol throughout the 77th Infantry Division for outstanding gallantry far above and beyond the call of duty.
2. David gonzalez says:
1 May 2017 01:15:07 PM

i wish i meet him tho man that sucks desmond doss will never be forgoten
3. Anonymous says:
21 May 2017 10:37:27 AM

he was truly a amazing man I wish to never forget. He is like a idol and wish to impact america as much as he did one day.
4. Anonymous says:
5 Mar 2018 10:04:14 AM

I'm doing Desmond for the wax museum. A truly amazing soul that has inspired all and will always be remembered.
5. Anonymous says:
31 May 2018 01:31:19 PM

Wow. He must have been scared half to death in the war.
6. Anonymous says:
4 Feb 2019 09:28:28 AM

what an amazing guy
7. Dalinar says:
3 Sep 2019 11:41:19 PM

Hacksaw Ridge
24 Oct 2019 05:32:52 PM

9. Anonymous says:
27 Feb 2020 09:57:42 AM

He is awesome Im doing a project on him right know #7th grade

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Event(s) Participated:
» Okinawa Campaign

Desmond Doss Photo Gallery
President Truman presenting the Medal of Honor to medical corpsman Desmond Doss at the White House, Washington DC, 12 Oct 1945. The medal was for actions on Okinawa, Japan. Photo 1 of 3.
See all 5 photographs of Desmond Doss

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