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First Name: John

Last Name: Hawk

Birthplace: San Francisco, CA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Bremerton, WA
Middle Name: Druse

Date of Birth: 30 May 1924

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served: 1943 - 1945
John Druse Hawk

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


John Druse 'Bud' Hawk
Sergeant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Sergeant John Druse 'Bud' Hawk is a former U.S. Army soldier and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions in the Battle of the Falaise Pocket during World War II.

John Druse Hawk was born on 30 May 1924 in San Francisco, CA, and grew up in the Rolling Bay area of Bainbridge Island, WA. He graduated from Bainbridge High School in 1943 and joined the Army two weeks later from Bremerton, Washington.

On 20 August 1944, Hawk was serving in Europe as a Sergeant in Company E, 359th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division. During a German counterattack that day near Chambois, France, he 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.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company E, 359th Infantry, 90th Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Chambois, France, 20 August 1944.

Citation: 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.

The Medal of Honor was formally presented to him by President Harry S. Truman.

Hawk recovered from his wounds and continued to serve in combat. He was wounded three more times before the end of the war.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart (4)


The Rolling Bay Post Office on Bainbridge Island, WA, was re-named for Sergeant John Druse 'Bud' Hawk.

Post-War Life

In 1945, Hawk returned from the war and then attended the University of Washington, graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Biology. For more than thirty years he worked as a teacher and principal in the Central Kitsap School District. He currently lives in Bremerton, WA.

On 5 April 2008, Hawk received the Medal of Honor flag in the Capitol rotunda in Olympia, WA. He was presented the flag by Brigadier General Gordon Toney, Commander of the Washington Army National Guard. Hawk said of his Medal of Honor:

"What I did was not such a big thing. 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."

Honoree ID: 1435   Created by: MHOH




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