Third ID Clinic Named for WWII Medal of Honor Medic - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/18/07

Third ID Clinic Named for WWII Medal of Honor Medic

On Thursday afternoon, the Third ID dedicated the Lloyd C. Hawks Troop Medical Clinic. On Thursday afternoon, the Third ID dedicated the Lloyd C. Hawks Troop Medical Clinic.
Lloyd C. Hawks Lloyd C. Hawks

The Army's most-decorated combat medic will always be remembered at Fort Stewart. On Thursday afternoon, the Third ID dedicated the Lloyd C. Hawks Troop Medical Clinic.

Sgt. 1st Class Hawks was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service with the Third Infantry Division in WWII. While badly wounded in Cisterna, Italy, in January 1944, Hawks braved enemy fire to treat two fellow soldiers and drag them to safety.

Hawks, who was a private first class at the time, put himself in danger to rescue the men who, unable to move, were lying exposed within 30 yards of the enemy. He crawled 50 yards through machine gun fire and flying mortar fragments to help another man who was trying to aid the first two, then continued another 50 yards toward the two injured men.

A machine gun bullet went through his helmet, knocking it off his head and momentarily stunning him. Thirteen bullets were fired into his helmet where it lay, six inches from his body.

Hawks continued on, crawling to the first man and dragging him to safety, then returned to help the second man. While he was getting bandages out of his medical kit, he was hit. One burst of machine gun fire shattered his right hip. A second splintered his left forearm. Still, Hawks finished bandaging the man and pulled him to safety.

Realizing there was not enough cover for all three of them, Hawks crawled 75 yards to try to reach his company. He was 33 years old at the time.

The man who was initially released from the Army at the age of 30 because he was thought too old to serve, was awarded the nation's highest honor for saving his comrades.

In his military career, he also received the Italian Military Medal of Valor Cross (comparable to the Medal of Honor), the Silver Star with two oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star with one oak leaf cluster, the Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Award Insignia, the World War II Victory Medal, the American Theater Ribbon, the American Defense Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon, the Distinguished Unit Medal, the Japanese Occupation Medal and the Combat Medical Badge.

Hawks died more than fifty years ago at the age of 42; however, his daughter and his niece, who tied the Congressional Medal of Honor around his neck at President Franklin D. Roosevelt's insistence, were present for the dedication.

"I was so nervous that day," explained Phylliss Johnson, SFC Hawk's niece, "being there with Roosevelt and pinning the (medal) I had a little trouble getting the ribbon around his neck."

Charlotte Kearns was only 11 months old when her father died, but she said he's always been "a great source of pride."

"This is such an honor," she said, looking around the clinic, "and I'm sure if my dad was here, he'd be humbly proud."

The Third ID said the clinic will serve as a reminder of the selfless service of combat medics, like Sgt. 1st Class Lloyd C. Hawks.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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