John D. Hawk

John D. Hawk

Infobox Military Person
name=John D. Hawk
placeofbirth=San Francisco, California

caption= John D. Hawk, Medal of Honor recipient
allegiance=United States of America
branch=United States Army
unit=359th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division
battles=World War II
awards=Medal of Honor

John D. Hawk is a former United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.


Hawk joined the Army from Bremerton, Washington, and by August 20, 1944 was serving as a Sergeant in Company E, 359th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division. During a German counterattack on that day, near Chambois, France, Hawk was wounded in the leg but continued to fight and, in order to direct the shots of friendly tank destroyers, he willingly exposed himself to intense enemy fire. For his actions during the battle, he was issued the Medal of Honor on July 13, 1945.

Medal of Honor citation

Sergeant Hawk's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

He manned a light machinegun on 20 August 1944, near Chambois, France, a key point in the encirclement which created the Falaise Pocket. During an enemy counterattack, his position was menaced by a strong force of tanks and infantry. His fire forced the infantry to withdraw, but an artillery shell knocked out his gun and wounded him in the right thigh. Securing a bazooka, he and another man stalked the tanks and forced them to retire to a wooded section. In the lull which followed, Sgt. Hawk reorganized 2 machinegun squads and, in the face of intense enemy fire, directed the assembly of 1 workable weapon from 2 damaged guns. When another enemy assault developed, he was forced to pull back from the pressure of spearheading armor. Two of our tank destroyers were brought up. Their shots were ineffective because of the terrain until Sgt. Hawk, despite his wound, boldly climbed to an exposed position on a knoll where, unmoved by fusillades from the enemy, he became a human aiming stake for the destroyers. Realizing that his shouted fire directions could not be heard above the noise of battle, he ran back to the destroyers through a concentration of bullets and shrapnel to correct the range. He returned to his exposed position, repeating this performance until 2 of the tanks were knocked out and a third driven off. Still at great risk, he continued to direct the destroyers' fire into the Germans' wooded position until the enemy came out and surrendered. Sgt. Hawk's fearless initiative and heroic conduct, even while suffering from a painful wound, was in large measure responsible for crushing 2 desperate attempts of the enemy to escape from the Falaise Picket and for taking more than 500 prisoners.

Medal of Honor Flag Ceremony

On Saturday, April 5, John Hawk received the Medal of Honor flag in the Capitol rotunda in Olympia, Washington. Hawk was presented the flag by Brig. Gen. Gordon Toney, commander of the Washington Army National Guard. Hawk modestly had this to say about the Medal of Honor

"What I did was not such a big thing", he said. "I never did anything more than the people I served with. The (Medal of Honor) is a symbol and it stands for service, everybody's service. I did it for the people who were there and they were doing the same thing for me."

ee also

*List of Medal of Honor recipients
*List of Medal of Honor recipients for World War II


*cite web
publisher = U.S. Army Center of Military History
title = Medal of Honor Recipients - World War II (G-L)
work = Medal of Honor Citations
date = July 16, 2007
url =
accessdate = 2007-08-30

*cite news
last = Friedrich
first = Ed
title = War Hero John Hawk Receives Medal of Honor Flag
work = Kitsap Sun
date = 2008-04-07
url =
accessdate = 2008-04-13

NAME= Hawk, John D.
SHORT DESCRIPTION= United States Army Medal of Honor recipient

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