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First Name: Joe

Last Name: Hastings

Birthplace: Malvern, OH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Magnolia, OH
Middle Name: Ray

Date of Birth: 08 April 1925

Date of Death: 16 April 1945

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1943 - 1945
Joe Ray Hastings

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Joe Ray Hastings
Private First Class, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Private First Class Joe Ray Hastings (8 April 1925 - 16 April 1945) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during World War II.

Joe Ray Hastings was born on 8 April 1925 in Malvern, OH. He joined the Army from Magnolia, OH. On 12 April 1945, he was serving as a Private First Class in Company C, 386th Infantry Regiment, 97th Infantry Division. On that day in Drabenderhohe, Germany, he repeatedly exposed himself to hostile fire in order to attack the enemy. He was killed in action four days later. For his actions at Drabenderhohe, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 386th Infantry, 97th Infantry Division.

Place and date: Drabenderhohe, Germany, 12 April 1945.

Citation: 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.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Death and Burial

Private First Class Joe Ray Hastings was killed in action on 16 April 1945. He is buried at Magnolia Cemetery in Magnolia, OH.

Honoree ID: 1433   Created by: MHOH




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