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"I was working in the Newport News, Virginia, ship yard and my boss offered me a deferment. But I felt like it was an honor to serve my country, according to the dictates of my conscience." (Video Interview, 2:42)

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   Desmond Thomas Doss
Image of Desmond Thomas Doss
Desmond Doss, being presented the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Harry Truman [10/12/1945]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: B Company, 1st Battalion, 307th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division
Service Location: Guam (Mariana Islands); Leyte Island (Philippines); Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands); Pacific Theater
Rank: Corporal
Place of Birth: VA
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Desmond Doss was the only man to win the Congressional Medal of Honor while serving under conscientious objector status. A religious Seventh-Day Adventist, Doss asked for non-combatant status when he was drafted in 1942, but he was told that he could only serve as a C.O. Doss trained as a military medic and proved himself a selfless hero during the fierce battle for Okinawa. When 75 wounded GIs were stranded atop the Maeda Escarpment, Doss personally made sure each one was lowered to safety, all of this taking place under enemy fire.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (9 clips)
»Complete Interview  (120 min.)
Download: video (1) | video (2) | video (3)
  Photos
»Photo Album (5 photos)
 Personal Narrative
»View Narrative
 Official Documents
»Certificate accompanying award of the Congressional Medal of Honor [10/12/1945]
 Other Materials
»Biography of Desmond Doss
More like this
»Military Medicine: Medical Support
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (9 items)
Drafted at 18, asking for non-combatant status; conflicts with other soldiers who didn't understand his conscientious objector status. (04:05) Transferred to the medical corps; although his major was a Jew, he insisted Doss, like him, had to work on Saturdays; how Doss worked around that restriction. (03:44) On KP duty while his unit trained for combat; insisting on being served vegetarian meals. (02:04)
Rainy conditions on Guam; friendly fire incidents; landing on Leyte; medics first off the ship; dealing snipers and a mine; sick with diarrhea; getting separated from his unit (11:02) Sad story about his buddy Glen, another medic who was wounded; coming to understand that minutes could be a matter of life and death on the battlefield. (04:60) Another battlefield rescue story. (02:31)
On Okinawa, scaling an escarpment to care for wounded men trapped at the top; pinned down by enemy fire; his colleagues taking the fight to the entrenched Japanese; improvising a rope system to lower the wounded men. (11:17) On Okinawa, scaling an escarpment to care for wounded men trapped at the top; pinned down by enemy fire; his colleagues taking the fight to the entrenched Japanese; improvising a rope system to lower the wounded men. (Part 2) (03:24) Aftermath of his actions; being nominated for a Congressional Medal of Honor; meeting President Truman. (02:12)
  
 
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  October 26, 2011
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