Friday, July 13, 2018

WW2 Fallen - Distinguished Service Cross hero and medic Willis "Dock" Hall, 84th Infantry Division

Cpl. Willis Hall was a medic, assigned to the 84th Infantry Division, who earned the Distinguished Service Cross.

Willis Benjamin "Dock" Hall never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on July 13, 1918 in Georgia. His parents Alfred and Mollie were also both born in Georgia. His father worked as a farmer and later as a twister hand in a textile factory. Willis had three older sisters, an older brother (who became a WW2 army vet), and four younger sisters. 

His enlistment records show that by 1942 Willis had completed a grammar school level of education and was married while working as a driver.

He was drafted into the army on November 27, 1942. He became a T/5 medic attached to Company L, 335th Infantry Regiment, 84th Infantry Division (Nicknamed "The Rail Splitters"). The 84 ID arrived in England in October 1944. It was sent to the front in Germany in November and participated in an attack in the Roer Valley. 

For three days beginning on November 29, 1944, the 84th ID was in the process of taking the German towns of Beck and Lindern. During this attack Cpl. Hall ignored heavy enemy fire to save the lives of eight wounded men.

The 84th ID was sent to Belgium in December to counterattack the German advance in the Battle of the Bulge. Cpl. Hall's unit was advancing toward Rendeux, Belgium when he was killed on January 3, 1945. 

He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery at Beck and Lindern, one of only 12 DSC earned by soldiers the 84th ID during World War 2 for actions taken.

His Distinguished Service Cross citation includes the following:

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Willis B. Hall (34575366), Technician Fifth Grade, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as a Medical Aidman with the 335th Infantry Regiment, 84th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 29 - 30 November 1944 and 1 December 1944, in Germany. 

Technician Fifth Grade Hall courageously braved fierce enemy fire and repeatedly crawled several hundred yards to render first aid to soldiers wounded in action. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, he performed missions of mercy for men of not only his own unit but other units as well. 

Through his intrepid actions, Technician Fifth Grade Hall saved the lives of at least eight wounded fellow soldiers. 

His grave is at Zeta Cemetery in Tennille, Georgia. I was not able to find any details about his wife.

Thank you Cpl. Hall for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Willis.

Last year on this date I profiled Francis Westbrooks, 3rd Infantry Division. You can read about Francis here.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

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