Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Medical Detachment,
307th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Urasoe Mura,
Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 29 April-21 May 1945.
Entered service at: Lynchburg,
Birth: Lynchburg, Va.
G.O. No.: 97, 1 November 1945.
Citation: He 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. Pfc. Doss refused to seek cover
and remained in the fire-swept area with the many stricken, carrying them
1 by 1 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 2 days later he treated
4 men who had been cut down while assaulting a strongly defended cave,
advancing through a shower of grenades to within 8 yards of enemy forces
in a cave's mouth, where he dressed his comrades' wounds before making
4 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, Pfc. 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 5 hours before litter bearers
reached him and started carrying him to cover. The trio was caught in an
enemy tank attack and Pfc. 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 1 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 Pfc. 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.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)