The Medic Who fought a War without a Weapon

Arabic translation by Ahmed Aljabry Arabic translation by Ahmed Aljabry Desmond Dawes The paramedic who fought a war without a weapon Desmond Dawes was not an ordinary hero He was a military paramedic who saved many of his comrades ’lives in battles without firing a shot – because he did not carry a weapon with him to fight because of his religious beliefs, thereby taking on the Medal of Honor, the highest and most ancient military medal of the United States of America.

Desmond Doss was born in 1919 AD in Virginia and raised as a Seventh-day Seventh-day Adventist Christian and a Christian sect that believes Saturday is a day of rest and worship for Christians (like the holiness of Friday for Muslims) and that the second appearance of Jesus Christ is imminent Also, they believed very much against violence and a healthy diet, usually dependent on plants Dawes was brought up with a firm belief in the Bible, and with regard to the Ten Commandments, he took the basic values ​​of them to guide him in his life. When World War II began, Douz was in contradiction with himself, as he believed that war was a just war, but he felt that killing any other person under any circumstance was wrong. He worked as a carpenter at the Newport News Marine Shipbuilding Workshop, but he nevertheless joined the United States Army on April 1, 1942.

He could have requested the postponement of the military service, but he wanted to fulfill his national duty Fort Jackson He was assigned to a 77th Infantry Division – and he thought his classification as a opponent of murder would not require him to carry a weapon The most stuck in the mind of Dawes of the ten commandments is (do not kill) He wondered why Karami was appointed instead of a paramedic The officer in charge of him tried to pressure him to take up arms, as he thought that Douz would be a hindrance to the fight rather than being useful in it.

But Douz refused The interesting thing is that even the medics, and this is what Douz later became, it was common at the time to carry them either for the M1911 A1 pistol or the M1 short rifle for self-defense purposes. Where the rule stipulates under the Geneva Convention that the paramedic has the right to carry weapons, but at the moment when he is shooting, his classification as a paramedic will cease, so the enemy may shoot him. The cohort chaplain, Captain Stanley, understood Doe’s interception and helped him move from archery to medical training To make matters worse, his fellow soldiers mocked his religious beliefs, which consisted in his daily reading of the Bible and his strong commitment to the tradition of the seventh day in going to church every Saturday. Douz continued to repeat his request that he be allowed to take vacations on Saturdays instead of Sundays in order to continue to adhere to his Sabbathic beliefs that stipulates that Saturday is a day of rest and worship Ultimately, Captain Stanley took this up with the division headquarters, and it was decided that Sabbath soldiers would be allowed to take Saturdays off and other soldiers on Sundays.

In fact, this made Douz more hated by his fellow soldiers than ever before, as he was seen as a lenient driver. Since he started taking Saturdays as a holiday, there was no one to watch on Sundays to perform extra duties to make up for this. One of the other soldiers, in his secrecy, summarized the soldiers ’feelings about him taking him for the Sabbath days. Grudging holidays: You get more holidays than the general himself! The fact that Douz was a strict vegan at a time when this was not normal made the rest of his unit’s soldiers view him with suspicion and aggression, to the point that one of the men in his unit warned him with pessimism: When we go to combat you will not be back alive.

I will shoot you myself! In the end, Douz became a paramedic of a war, saying: As others reap lives, I will be saving them. The turning point in the nature of Dawes’ relationship with his comrades came on their first march of 25 km with their rifles and field bags full filled in something expected of them in 8 hours. The other soldiers thought it would be easy for Douz as he did not carry any rifle or hardware on that day, but the two medical burlap bags he was carrying were roughly the same weight and carried them tired more than carrying any rifle As the march continued, the soldiers began to suffer from fatigue, and many of them developed ulcers on their feet, dehydration, and some even lost consciousness. And throughout that period, Douz was always there to give a helping hand, and at the end of the march he insisted on checking everyone’s feet and providing medical care to those who needed it. At the end of that day, Douz won the respect of his entire unit in appreciation of his tireless dedication to his duty And for the first time they treated him as one of them Now Dawes is eligible for the role of the military paramedic for his unit and responsible for providing first aid and trauma care on the battlefield front and will appoint escorts to his unit to the war zone and be beside them on the front at all times This is what became reality after the 77th Division had their first combat experience on May 11, 1943 AD, as Douz and his companions trained urgently to replace the combat losses and help expand the division’s combat capability.

The 77th squad ended officially fighting at least 208 days in combat, incurring a total of 9,212 casualties before the war ended. Battle of Guam 1944 Dawes’ first combat experience was in the Battle of Guam, which was a bloody battle that was fought from July 21 to August 10, 1944 AD to regain control of American soil. Guam Island is a Japanese garrison force bent on protecting the island that reaches nearly 20,000 fighters. According to the Geneva Convention, the deliberate shooting of a military paramedic with a clearly marked emblem is a war crime, as Japanese snipers and machine-gunners tended to ignore this matter. They saw in the war medics easy and valuable targets to bring it down By doing so, medics often instructed in the Pacific War to avoid wearing the medical badge if this would make them more vulnerable to targeting Douz was under fire almost every day in the battle and was busy playing his part in saving lives The Battle of Guam told Duse how much war could be tough Whereas as his unit penetrated into the bush on its first day, a new member with a young face saw a ballpoint pen thrown to the ground and went to pick it up.

And before anyone could warn him not to do so, a white phosphorous bomb exploded on him The pen had been trapped The chest of the young man who went to pick up the pen became in a bloody mess and blood poured from his open wound Severe burns and sharp iron fragments covering his body and he would have suffered a stroke By some miracle, Douz was able to maintain the stability of his condition, taking care and assisting in the evacuation, along with 3 other soldiers who were wounded as a result of flying inflamed shrapnel. This incident was Douce’s first experience with the wounded The losses of the United States during the battle were truly appalling Where 1 or 6 of the 6 thousand American combatants who participated in the invasion of the island were killed or injured The Battle of Leyte Bay, 1944 In the following battle, Douz and his unit were involved in the Battle of Leyte Bay in the Philippines, which lasted from October 17 to December 26, 1944 AD.

A brutal battle spanned for a long time, starting with a massive American bombardment of the coast and amphibious landing, followed by the heaviest fighting, the more Americans penetrated into the ground. During a Japanese counterattack, the other paramedic, Clarence Glen, heard a distress call from Rami machine gun, leaving the embankment, heading out into the open area, to help the wounded man, but he himself was wounded. Glenn was a friend of Dawes from home, and he couldn’t leave him there, so he and the protractor holder, Herb Shakter, went to find the injured and dealt with them individually.

Dawes was helping Rami al-Rashash, whose face had a severe wound, and he could hear bullets buzzing over his head as both of the wounded were alive. They made an early stretcher of punches and tree branches to pull the injured to the ambulance center, but his friend Glenn will die before he can return. Douz did not look at the faces of those treating him after this incident, for fear that he might be another friend Unfortunately, he shot his friend Herb and was killed while he and Douz were carrying the mobile when they exposed their shadow opposite the sky to the enemy’s view.

Above his loss to his two friends, Douz was always hungry because the meat in daily combat daily rations contradicted his vegan taste so he only ate the crisp, useless biscuit and coconut that he found Coconut grains on Leyte had diarrhea, so he climbed trees to get fresh On one occasion, Douz was searching for coconuts, which attracted blind fire from machine guns to Japanese soldiers, and after the Americans killed them later, he discovered that they were drunk on sake (a sweet Japanese drink) One of the things that shocked Dawes most of the time during the destruction of the campaign is that the man who threatened him during the training period at Fort Jackson to come to him in order to guide him and pray to him Battle of Okinawa, 1945 And the last battle for Douz and his companions in Division 77 was the bloodiest battle in the Pacific War and also the largest amphibious landing operation in it.

The mission of the United States to secure the island as a base was of great strategic importance for any future invasion of Japan, being 350 kilometers south of mainland Japan. The battle began on April 1, 1945 AD, exactly 3 years after the day Dawes volunteered for the army, and the battle lasted 81 days Dawes was assigned to the 1st Battalion as their military paramedic On April 29, 1945 A.D., the division received 77 orders to attack the cliff of a rocky cliff, 400 feet high, called Jorf Maeda. Native American Hexo Ridge (Hilltop saw) Before they climbed the network ropes, Douz recited the prayers to his companions The Dawes unit joined the attack, and as they approached the top of the cliff, they were subjected to intense artillery, light weapons, and Japanese machine gun fire, inflicting heavy losses on the attacking American military. The American forces sent a wave after a wave of soldiers in an attempt to expel an enemy stationed with enthusiasm there and holed up and camouflaged its positions well.

On May 4, while his unit was attacking an enemy fortified position at the entrance to a cave, Douz went to rescue 4 of his wounded comrades. The lieutenant who led the attack on the site was planning to throw a hand grenade when the enemy bullet hit him, causing it to be thrown, which led to an explosion in his hand and wounding his comrades. Despite having to approach the enemy lines 25 feet away and subjected to fire and hostile grenades, Douz was able to reach the injured Then he also managed to evacuate the men back to their lines one by one Overnight the Japanese continued to throw grenades and mortars The Americans hid in the rock holes, but the Japanese found ways to penetrate and infiltrate them Then the next day, May 5, Douz came to save a wounded artillery officer who had gone to inspect the accuracy of the artillery strikes Dawes’ left leg is now damaged due to his fall on him the day before Climbing the net ropes with first aid kits and their weight falls on the painful leg They found the officer in a garage with a shrapnel that created a hole in his body that stretched from his chest to his back And Douz can hear him breathing through it He was bleeding a lot Douz provided first aid to him under constant shelling and fire from the enemy He put a bandage on the large gap in the chest and back of the colonel and gave him blood plasma, which made him exposed to the enemy, as he had to carry it high.

Douz’s efforts went in vain, as the colonel died while being taken on the stretcher before arriving at the ambulance Later, there were orders to seize a sensitive Japanese concrete site located on the opposite side of the hill that was obstructing American progress. After he finished reciting the prayer, Desmond Dawes was excited to support the attack American soldiers threw fuel cans at the site, which sparked a huge explosion And without warning, a Japanese counterattack launched confused the American soldiers, causing them to panic and speeded them back toward the edge of the cliff. But even so, Duz refused to take shelter while he was constantly under heavy fire from the enemy and his forces were completely exhausted. He spent hours carrying the wounded one by one to the edge of the slope Then, to move the wounded people with severe wounds down, he tied a rope to the bane of a tree and sent them to safety by means of a stretcher supported by ropes. When the stretcher continued to slip, he resorted to a new method by holding the rope around the chest and legs of the injured people to lower them Dawes was seen standing and exposed to enemy fire as he prayed on the edge of the cliff while the men were being sent down He later said that he was praying to his Lord to help him land another person and then another person Until they all sent down When calculating the number of wounded at the base of the escarpment, Captain concluded that Dawes had rescued about 75 people Ultimately, the Americans returned to the top of the cliff and on May 7 they took over the site By some miracle, Dawes managed to escape the whole battle unscathed.

But that will change soon On May 21, in the chaos of a night attack, Douz took care of the wounded Americans, risking exposing himself to Japanese and friendly fire. Douz was in a garrison with another American soldier when a hand grenade fell under him and his reaction was to place his foot on it, causing serious injuries to both legs. Despite the blood flow due to the impact of 17 shrapnel on his body, he remained in his position for 5 hours, taking into account himself and the other wounded assistants at the same time, and he continued to do so until the paramedic and the protractor bearers managed to reach him. However, that was not all that day While on the move to safety, they were caught in the middle of an enemy tank attack, and while they were sheltering, Douz spotted an injured man in critical condition and insisted that the man be taken on the mobile instead of himself.

While Douz was waiting for the carriers to return, he found another companion soldier who helped him return Suddenly, Dawes was wounded by a Japanese sniper bullet and resulted in the breaking of a boat in his arm The two men took cover in a shell pit Realizing the severity of his injury, Dawes taught the soldier how to tie a fifth of his rifle to his shattered arm, as a cast. After advancing amid horrific pain, Duze eventually managed to reach the ambulance center The US military honored Douz’s courage and bravery and won the Medal of Honor for his heroic and selfless actions in Okinawa from April 29 to May 21, 1945. Thanks to his heroic deeds, many of the wounded were able to return home Desmond Dawes will continue to work on a small family farm with his wife Dorothy and continue to live until the age of 87 Arabic translation by Ahmed Aljabry Arabic translation by Ahmed Aljabry .

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