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3/10/2017 1:53 am  #1

Cpl. David Hawley, 6th Tank Bn., 6th Div., 1943 to end of WWII

Bio for my father, Cpl. David S. Hawley, deceased 1995: David enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on August 14, 1943. He attained the rank of Corporal.  He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, a Purple Heart Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.  Was a rifle marksman.  Was a tank crewman, 6th Tank Battalion, 6th Marine Division, in the Pacific theatre of operations.  Saw action on Guam; Marianas Islands; Okinawa; Ryukyu Island.  Wounded in action 11 May 1945, in Okinawa, and subsequently was awarded a Purple Heart medal and the Bronze Star Medal “for outstanding bravery and devotion to duty”, for saving his wounded tank commander while wounded himself, and was authorized to wear the combat “V” for valor.  Participated in Task Force 31 to secure Tokyo Bay and the Japanese surrender for the US occupation at end of the war.  Honorably discharged Dec. 20, 1945.  Monthly rate of pay when discharged:  $54.00.  He carried various bits of shrapnel in his back and leg the rest of his life, and complained that he could feel the metal on cold days.  He did not talk about the war much; he did reveal once, and with no relish, that he killed an enemy soldier in hand-to-hand combat.  He married in 1947. He and spouse Jane raised  two sons, Jeff and Brian, and resided in Hayward, California. David was a Republican much of his life, but he became more liberal and opposed the Vietnam War.  He earned a degree in Education and became a middle school  teacher. After retiring, he moved to Florida with his second wife and children. He passed away in St. Petersburg in 1995.  RIP, Dad. ---


3/25/2017 10:31 pm  #2

Re: Cpl. David Hawley, 6th Tank Bn., 6th Div., 1943 to end of WWII

Mr. Jeff Hawley,
      Thanks for sharing your father's story with us.  These WWII Marines' experiences were so damn profound and powerful.  Your father deserves a story of his Marine Corps experiences.  Your father's wounded body was the real fabric of this country's flag--different time now.  I apologize if I am not saying this properly.  I am a Vietnam era Marine.  I have been researching the experiences of some WWII Marines whose families I know.  This 6th Division website group is exemplary for any information.  Jeff, maybe you need to put together a story about your father.  My father, a WWII 5th Army infantryman in the European theater is still living in Bradenton, FL, to be 95 this July.
   Garent Gunther


3/26/2017 8:23 am  #3

Re: Cpl. David Hawley, 6th Tank Bn., 6th Div., 1943 to end of WWII

Hey, Mr. Gunther,  thanks for the nice comments! There's much more that could be said about my father's life and times of course, but my purpose here was to set down a biographical sketch centered on his WWII background in the 6th Division both for posterity and in hopes I might hear from or about  others who served in the 6th. You are right about the profoundly important role such men and women played in that era. All of us need to be reminded that the defeat of fascism and the upholding of democracy is always paramount, and can come at great cost. Many have forgotten this or have never even learned about it in the first place. Thanks for your service - I'm sure if my dad were alive he'd want to give you and your father a hearty "Semper Fi"!
- Jeff

     Thread Starter

3/26/2017 2:25 pm  #4

Re: Cpl. David Hawley, 6th Tank Bn., 6th Div., 1943 to end of WWII

Jeff, The Sixth Marine Division is having its annual reunion in Phoenix on August 15-20, 2017. You should think about coming; I think you'd really enjoy it.  Many lineal descendants whose fathers have passed away attend.  Others attend with their fathers.  All the details are on our website, under 6th Div Assn, then Reunions.


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