*HASTINGS, JOE R.
Rank and organization: Private First Class,
U.S. Army, Company C, 386th Infantry, 97th Infantry Division. Place and date:
Drabenderhohe, Germany, 12 April 1945. Entered service at: Magnolia, Ohio. Birth:
Malvern, Ohio. G.O. No: 101, 8 November 1945.
He fought gallantly during an attack against strong enemy forces defending Drabenderhohe,
Germany, from the dug-in positions on commanding ground. As squad leader of a light
machinegun section supporting the advance of the 1st and 3d Platoons, he braved direct
rifle, machinegun, 20mm., 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 crews of a
20mm. gun and a machinegun, 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
40mm. and machinegun fire, he ran 150 yards with his gun to the leading elements of that
unit, where he killed the crew of the 40mm. 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 2 machineguns 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 4 days later while again supporting
the 3d Platoon.