Desmond Doss MoH *and* conscientious objector dies

Discussion in 'US Units' started by Story, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. Story

    Story Member

    Soldier who opposed WWII is laid to rest

    By Bill Poovey
    Associated Press

    CHATTANOOGA, TENN. - The nation’s only conscientious objector in World War II to win a Medal of Honor was buried Monday with a final salute of 21 gunshots, although he refused to carry a weapon during his service.

    Desmond Doss Sr., 87, died March 23 in Piedmont, Ala., where he and his wife, Frances, had been staying with her family for several years. Friends said Doss organized a branch of the Seventh-day Adventist Church after moving to Alabama from Rising Fawn, Ga.

    Doss, who refused to carry a weapon during his wartime service as a medic in the Pacific, was the subject of a book, The Unlikeliest Hero, and a 2004 documentary, The Conscientious Objector.

    Patti Parks, a retired Navy commander and director of the Medal of Honor Museum, told hundreds of people at the burial that Doss, after enduring ridicule for his beliefs, "remained true to his convictions even when it was not the most popular thing to do."

    Medal of Honor Society records show Doss, born in Lynchburg, Va., was among 3,442 recipients of the nation’s highest military honor.

    A horse-drawn hearse delivered the flag-covered casket to a cemetery pavilion where his widow, Frances, son Desmond Doss Jr. and other relatives watched the military and religious ceremony at Chattanooga National Cemetery.

    Records show Doss registered in wartime as a conscientious objector and was assigned to serve as a company medic. On the island of Okinawa while under enemy fire, Doss carried 75 wounded soldiers to the edge of a 400-foot cliff and lowered them to safety, according to his citation.

    During a later attack, Doss was seriously wounded in the legs by a grenade, his citation said. Five hours later, others began carrying him to safety, but he saw a more critically injured man and crawled off his stretcher, directing the medics to help the other wounded man.

    Doss was invited to the White House in October 1945 to receive the medal from President Harry Truman.

    "Doss never liked being called a conscientious objector," a statement released by the Seventh-day Adventist Georgia-Cumberland Conference said. "He preferred the term conscientious cooperator."
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    "conscientious objector" has unfair conotations, just because someone refuses to kill a fellow human is doesn't make them a coward or less brave than a combatant.
    This man,Desmand Doss Sr, goes to prove that. RIP.
  3. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Consciencious objectors, as far as I can see came in 2 distinct forms. Those with a true belief and would not kill and those that would not serve. i.e said they were objectors, as a way of avoiding military service. I think that a man who still serves but refuses to kill or bear arms is possibly the bravest of the brave.
  4. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    It takes one hell of a man to refuse to fight but still go onto the battelfield to help others. Doss was a rear thing indeed. But let's not forget all of the other Conscientious Objectors who served as medics in the worst fighting of the war, and yet never fired a single shot. Just as brave as the men with guns.
  5. Wise1

    Wise1 There We Are Then

    Sent to save lives but asked to carry a gun and take a life. There is no logic really and he saw that.

    Brave man and deserved the send off he got.
  6. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    He defined two types of bravery: the courage of his convictions, and courage in battle.

    R.I.P., Doc.
  7. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor

  8. 509thPIB

    509thPIB Well-Known Member

    The Conscientious Objector | Pvt. Desmond Doss: The Fearless Warrior Without A Rifle


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