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James R. Hendrix
Born (1925-08-20)August 20, 1925
Died November 14, 2002(2002-11-14) (aged 77)
Place of birth Lepanto, Arkansas
Place of burial Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Florida
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Department of the Army Seal United States Army
Years of service 1944–1965
Rank Army-USA-OR-08b Master Sergeant
Unit 53rd Armored Infantry Battalion, 4th Armored Division
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Awards Medal of Honor

James Richard Hendrix [1] (August 20, 1925 – November 14, 2002) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.

Hendrix was born and raised in Lepanto, Arkansas, the son of a sharecropper. He left school after the third grade to work in the fields. In 1944, at age 18, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to basic training in Florida, the first time he had been more than a few miles from his hometown.[2]

After training, Hendrix was sent to Europe as a private with the 53rd Armored Infantry Battalion, 4th Armored Division.[3] After waiting out the invasion of Normandy aboard ship in the English Channel, his unit landed and joined the drive across France and into Belgium as part of General George Patton's Third Army.[2]

On December 26, 1944, near Assenois, Belgium, Hendrix captured two enemy artillery guncrews, held off the fire of two machine guns until wounded comrades could be evacuated, and then rescued a soldier from a burning vehicle. For these actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor nine months later, on September 1, 1945.[3]

Hendrix reached the rank of master sergeant and served during the Korean War before leaving the Army in 1965. He died at age 77 and was buried in the Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Florida.[4]

Medal of Honor citationEdit

Hendrix's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

On the night of 26 December 1944, near Assenois, Belgium, he was with the leading element engaged in the final thrust to break through to the besieged garrison at Bastogne when halted by a fierce combination of artillery and small arms fire. He dismounted from his half-track and advanced against two 88mm. guns, and, by the ferocity of his rifle fire, compelled the guncrews to take cover and then to surrender. Later in the attack he again left his vehicle, voluntarily, to aid 2 wounded soldiers, helpless and exposed to intense machinegun fire. Effectively silencing 2 hostile machineguns, he held off the enemy by his own fire until the wounded men were evacuated. Pvt. Hendrix again distinguished himself when he hastened to the aid of still another soldier who was trapped in a burning half-track. Braving enemy sniper fire and exploding mines and ammunition in the vehicle, he extricated the wounded man and extinguished his flaming clothing, thereby saving the life of his fellow soldier. Pvt. Hendrix, by his superb courage and heroism, exemplified the highest traditions of the military service.[3]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates  from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
  1. Hall of Valor
  2. 2.0 2.1 Collier, Peter (2006). Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty. New York: Workman Publishing Company. p. 117. ISBN 978-1-57965-314-9. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Medal of Honor recipients - World War II (G–L)". United States Army Center of Military History. August 3, 2009. http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/wwII-g-l.html. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  4. "James R. Hendrix". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7972418. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 

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