Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945
  • Branch of Service: Army
  • Unit of Service: B Company, 1st Battalion, 307th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division
  • Location of Service: Guam (Mariana Islands); Leyte Island (Philippines); Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands); Pacific Theater
  • Highest Rank: Corporal

View full service history

"I was working in the Newport News, Virginia, ship yard and my boss offered me a deferment. But I felt like it was an honor to serve my country, according to the dictates of my conscience." (Video Interview, 2:42)

Desmond Doss was the only man to win the Congressional Medal of Honor while serving under conscientious objector status. A religious Seventh-Day Adventist, Doss asked for non-combatant status when he was drafted in 1942, but he was told that he could only serve as a C.O. Doss trained as a military medic and proved himself a selfless hero during the fierce battle for Okinawa. When 75 wounded GIs were stranded atop the Maeda Escarpment, Doss personally made sure each one was lowered to safety, all of this taking place under enemy fire.

More Resources

[ Certificate accompanying award of the Congressional Medal of Honor [10/12/1945] ]
[ Biography of Desmond Doss ]

About this Item

Title

  • Desmond Thomas Doss Collection

Names

  • WRCB-TV Channel 3
  • Bowen, Sarah
  • Willie, Michael
  • Doss, Desmond Thomas

State of Birth

  • VA

Home State

  • AL

Headings

  • -  Doss, Desmond Thomas
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army.

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Race

  • White

Status

  • Veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: Army
    • Unit of Service: B Company, 1st Battalion, 307th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division
    • Location of Service: Guam (Mariana Islands); Leyte Island (Philippines); Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands); Pacific Theater
    • Highest Rank: Corporal
    • Dates of Service: 1942-1945
    • Entrance into Service: Drafted
    • Military Status: Veteran

Materials

  • Manuscript: Clippings [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 01/1996)
  • Video: Betacam SP [4 items] -- Oral history interview (collected 04/14/2003)
  • Manuscript: Memoirs [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected unknown)
  • Photograph: Copy photographic print [6 items] -- Photograph (collected 10/12/1945)
  • Manuscript: Military papers (orders, personnel/201 files, etc) [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 10/12/1945)
  • Manuscript: Printed matter [4 items] -- Typewritten document (collected unknown)
  • Manuscript: Biography [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected unknown)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/32978

Cite as

  • Desmond Thomas Doss Collection (AFC/2001/001/32978), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Wrcb-Tv Channel 3, Sarah Bowen, Michael Willie, and Desmond Thomas Doss. Desmond Thomas Doss Collection. 1942. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.32978/.

APA citation style:

Wrcb-Tv Channel 3, Bowen, S., Willie, M. & Doss, D. T. (1942) Desmond Thomas Doss Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.32978/.

MLA citation style:

Wrcb-Tv Channel 3, et al. Desmond Thomas Doss Collection. 1942. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.32978/>.