The hero of Hacksaw Ridge
Desmond Thomas Doss (February 7, 1919 – March 23, 2006) was a United States Army corporal who served as a combat medic with an infantry company in World War II. A conscientious objector – or as he called himself, “a conscientious cooperator” – Desmond Doss refused to kill an enemy soldier or carry a weapon into combat because of his personal beliefs as a Seventh-day Adventist.
As a medic assigned to 2nd Platoon, B Company, 1st Battalion, 307th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division, Doss was twice awarded the Bronze Star Medal for exceptional valor in aiding wounded soldiers while under fire in Guam and the Philippines. He is perhaps best known for his actions in the Battle of Okinawa, where he single-handedly saved 50–75 wounded infantrymen atop the area known by the 96th Division as the Maeda Escarpment or Hacksaw Ridge.
His life has been the subject of books, the documentary “The Conscientious Objector” and the critically acclaimed 2016 film “Hacksaw Ridge.”
Doss was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Okinawa, becoming the first conscientious objector to receive that distinction. (Tom Bennett was the only other such recipient, for his service, also as a medic, during the Vietnam War.)
Medal of Honor recipients
March 25 is National Medal of Honor Day. This month, our Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction’s featured Military section offers personally owned artifacts from a decidedly unique MOH hero.
First, we present Desmond Doss’ personally owned and used crosscut hand saw with open wooden handle, measuring 19.75˝ in length, marked on the handle, “25–01–9900,” and signed on the blade in black felt tip, “Desmond Doss, CMH.” Affixed to the handle is an impressed bronze ID tag, “Desmond T. Doss, Medal of Honor, Personal Effects—Artifacts, 027.” In very good condition, with expected signs of use and age. Accompanied by a letter of provenance from his Pastor and longtime friend, Les Speer. Shortly before his death in 2006, Doss sold his small mountain farmstead and modest possessions at auction, and personally signed a few of those items. This hand saw is one such item.
We’re pleased to note that proceeds from the sale of this item will go entirely to the Medal of Honor Heritage Center.