Thursday, July 1, 2021

Sergt. Marion L. Hitchens 1945


First Sergt. Marion L. Hitchens, 28, of Delmar, the Distinguished Service Cross, awarded at the Bushnell General Hospital, Brighton City, Utah, for action in the South west Pacific on March 4, 1944.

Presentation of the DSC to Sergeant Hitchens was officially ordered by Gen. Douglas A. MacArthur, and was made by Col. Robert M. Hardaway, commanding officer of Bushnell General Hospital. In a citation General MacArthur wrote: For extraordinary heroism in action at Los Negros Island. Admiralty Group, on March 4, 1944. First Sergeant Hitchens was at his assigned station ready to engage any low-flying hostile aircraft with anti-aircraft fire when enemy ground troops directed heavy grenade and small arms fire against our troops adjacent to his position. Faced with the alternative of remaining in the field fortification, or moving his machine-gun Into the open to engage the enemy on the ground, he moved his weapon to assist our ground troops. Finding his field of fire obstructed, he ran 50 yards in the open, under a heavy enemy fire to his other machine gun, pausing enroute to throw eight hand grenades into an enemy pillbox.

Manned Gun Alone 

"Upon reaching the machine-gun, he moved it from its fortified position with the aid of two enlisted men, and manning the gun alone, placed heavy and accurate fire on the enemy. By his quick and accurate judgment and courageous action. First Sergeant Hitchens, in addition to killing at least 12 enemy troops, contributed materially to repelling the enemy attack." 

Son of Mrs. Carrie L. Hitchens of 2 West East Street, Delmar. Sergeant Hitchens on a recent furlough married the former Fay L Mclnnis, daughter of Mrs. Helen Curtis of Philadelphia. 

Before joining the Army on Oct. 22, 1942, he was employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad as a brake-man. He went overseas Aug. 23, 1943, and wears the Southwest Pacific ribbon with three campaign stars. He is a coast artilleryman. 

from The News Journal 24 March 1945

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