|John “Bud” Hawk Photo credit: UW|
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – A new education center was dedicated in honor of Medal of Honor recipient John “Bud” Hawk in a ceremony Aug. 19. The 87-year-old former WWII Army sergeant attended the ceremony.
The dedication ceremony began at 10 a.m. at the “John “Bud” Hawk Education Center” on JBLM’s Lewis North. Joining Mr. Hawk at the ceremony were members of his family and friends as well as military and civilian dignitaries.
The dedication came the day before the 67th anniversary of the heroic actions that led to him being awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor. On Aug. 20, 1944, armed with only a light machine gun, Sgt. Hawk helped hold back surrounded German forces attempting to breakout from their encirclement near Chambois, France. Artillery fire injured Sgt. Hawk’s leg and damaged his weapon. Despite his injury, Sgt. Hawk managed to locate another weapon and exposed himself to enemy forces in order to direct anti-tank fire onto the Germans position.
Due to the distance and noise, the American firing team was unable to hear Sgt. Hawk’s firing corrections. According to his Medal of Honor citation, Sgt. Hawk ran back to the firing team “through a concentration of bullets and shrapnel” to give corrected ranges to fire. After giving this report, Sgt. Hawk once again ran back to his position which, once again, exposed himself to enemy fire. Sgt. Hawk remained to direct fire until the German forces surrendered.
President Harry Truman places the Medal of Honor
around the neck of Sgt. John “Bud” Hawk
in a ceremony on the steps of the state capitol
Photo courtesy: Truman Presidential Library.
President Harry Truman traveled to Olympia to present the Medal of Honor to Sgt. Hawk on the steps of the state capitol. By the time Sgt. Hawk ended his Army career, he was awarded four Purple Hearts to go along with his Medal of Honor. Following the war, he graduated from the University of Washington and would go on to teach, as well as served as principal, in the Central Kitsap School District, Silverdale, Wash. Mr. Hawk resides in Bremerton, Wash.
The new, 31,000-square foot education center, with nine classrooms and auditorium, will be the third facility on JBLM where military members continue their civilian college education. The “John “Bud” Hawk Education Center” will be a satellite facility to the “David L. Stone Education Center” on JBLM Lewis Main; there is also an education center on JBLM McChord Field.
Complete information on Sgt. John “Bud” Hawk’s Medal of Honor can be found at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society
Thanks to one of our readers, Scott W. Nickell for telling us about the story.