PFC JOE R. HASTINGS
Co C, 386th Inf, 97th ID
12 April 1945
As squad leader of a light machinegun section during the attack on Drabenderhohe, Germany, Pfc Hastings saw that his unit was vulnerable. He grabbed his weapon and rushed 350 Yards across an open rolling field, through a hail of direct rifle, machinegun, 20mm. and mortar fire to take up firing position where he could provide cover for his unit.
After killing the crews of both the 20mm. gun and a machinegun, Pfc Hastings drove several enemy riflemen from their positions giving his unit respite from the withering fire and giving them the opportunity to reorganize and medivac their wounded.
When Pfc Hastings observed that another platoon pinned down by heavy enemy fire. He ran 150 yards forward of the group pinned down and summarily put an end to the German gun crews, then spearheaded the platoon’s movement forward.
Disregarding the hail of lead, firing his machinegun from the hip he took the platoon 175 yards forward to the objective taking it and turning the tide of battle. The next four days were just a repeat of the 12th, with Hastings taking the initiative and inspiring his platoon. On the fourth day, PFC Joe Hastings gave his life protecting his squad.
The last line of Pfc Hastings Medal of Honor certificate reads as follows:
“In this charge he (Pfc Hastings) 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.”