Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Joe R Hastings

  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company C, 386th Infantry,
    97th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: April 12, 1945
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Drabenderhohe, Germany
He fought gallantly during an attack against strong enemy forces defending Drabenderhohe, Germany, from the dug-in position on commanding ground. As squad leader of a light machine-gun section supporting the advance of the 1st and 3d Platoons, he braved direct rifle, machine-gun, 20-mm, and mortar fire, some of which repeatedly missed him only by inches, and rushed forward over 350 yards of open, rolling fields to reach a position from which he could fire on the enemy troops. From this vantage point he killed the crew of the 20-mm gun and a machine gun, drove several enemy riflemen from their positions, and so successfully shielded the 1st Platoon that it had time to reorganize and remove its wounded to safety. Observing that the 3d Platoon to his right was being met by very heavy 40-mm and machine-gun fire, he ran 150 yards with his gun to the leading elements of that unit, where he killed the crew of the 40-mm gun. As spearhead of the 3d Platoon's attack, he advanced, firing his gun held at hip height, disregarding the bullets that whipped past him, until the assault had carried 175 yards to the objective. In this charge he and the riflemen he led killed or wounded many of the fanatical enemy and put two machine guns out of action. Pfc. Hastings, by his intrepidity, outstanding leadership, and unrelenting determination to wipe out the formidable German opposition, cleared the path for his company's advance into Drabenderhohe. He was killed four days later while again supporting the 3d Platoon.
Medal of Honor Recipient Joe R. Hastings
Medal of Honor Recipient Joe R. Hastings
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Magnolia, Stark County, Ohio
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Born: April 8, 1925, Malvern, Carroll County, OH, United States
  • Died: April 16, 1945, Germany
  • Buried: Magnolia Cemetery (PMH), Magnolia, OH, United States

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