Edward Andrew Bennett, Jr. was born in Middleport, Ohio on February 11, 1920. He was working as a “skilled asbestos and insulation worker” when he was drafted into the United States Army on January 10, 1944. His skilled occupation probably explains why he was inducted so late into the war.
The 90th Infantry Division was first formed in August 1917 as part of the United States Army for service in World War I. It was known as the “Texas Oklahoma” division as most of the division’s men came from those two states, and the division’s patch became a combined “T” and “O”.
The 90th was deactivated after World War I, and was reformed for World War II in 1942. The first elements of the division landed in Normandy on D-Day, and the full unit entered combat by June 10, 1944. The division’s combat record gave them a better nickname that played off of the “TO”: “Tough ‘Ombres”. About five months later on November 12, 1944, two of the division’s soldiers exhibited heroism above and beyond the normal call of duty.
One man lived, one died, and both received the Medal of Honor.
John Druse Hawk, known as “Bud” to friends and family, was born in San Francisco, California on May 30, 1924. He grew up on Bainbridge Island, Washington, and it was from that area that he joined the United States Army in 1943.
Hawk was an infantryman with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 359th Infantry Regiment. The regiment was part of the 90th Infantry Division, formed in 1942, and whose first action was in France when the first elements of the division landed on Utah Beach on D-Day.