RIP, James Hendrix


I’ve been out of town, attending a funeral which I will write about later. While I was at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, I saw this:

Not many awarded the Medal of Honor live to receive it. I wondered which of the three wars he earned it in, what his story was.
Hendrix was in the 53rd Armored Infantry Battalion, 4th Armored Division, and his 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.

Well done, sir, and thank you. Bushnell is not Arlington, but it is well-kept and peaceful, a fitting resting place.

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “RIP, James Hendrix

  1. All our national cemeteries are honored resting places.

    In my opinion we make too much of Arlington. The only real distinction of Arlington is that it was stolen from the Lee family.

    • I meant no disrespect to the other national cemeteries. To the average civilian, if you say “national cemetery”, you’re talking about Arlington, unless they have a family member buried at one.

      There are at least 367 Medal of Honor recipients buried at Arlington. The website for Florida National Cemetery says there is one other besides MSG Hendrix, and I did not see him, did not know to look for him, wouldn’t know where to look for him. MSG Hendrix’s was the lone grave in the “MOH” section.

  2. Jeff Gauch

    Well the good news is that anyone with a metal detector will be able to find his grave. The man must have clanked when he walked.

  3. NavyDavy

    The National Cemeteries are run by the Dept. of Veterans Administration (VA). http://www2.va.gov/directory/guide/division_flsh.asp?dnum=4 . Click on a state for the location if there is one in that state. Arlington National Cemetery is run by the Army. Bushnell lists MOH Sgt Maj Franklin D. Miller in section ML grave 1. If your ever near a National Cemetery stop in for a visit. I think you will agree they are a shining tribute to our Veterans and their dependents. A government run program that you can be proud of and if your a Veteran your last benefit.

  4. Just barely 19 at the time, too.

  5. I am enjoying your memorial posts.

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  8. Thank you for this Blog. I enjoy reading it. I am glad to see the CIB (Combat Infantryman’s Badge) proudly displayed.