Hawthorne, Gene, SSG

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1965-1966, 11B10, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division
Service Years
1951 - 1966

Staff Sergeant

Four Service Stripes

One Overseas Service Bar

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

175 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSG Eddie Ireland to remember Hawthorne, Gene, SSG.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
May 04, 1966
Non Hostile- Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Quang Duc (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Santa Fe National Cemetery - Santa Fe, New Mexico
Wall/Plot Coordinates
07E 025

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 


 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Parachutist (Basic)

 Unit Assignments
2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division
  1965-1966, 11B10, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment/A Company
  1965-1966, 11B10, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Not Specified
Apparently, SSgt Gene Hawthorne was also posthumously awarded a Purple Heart. Here is an article from The Gallup Independent (Gallup, New Mexico) 04 May 1967, Thu  ? Page 3


Staff Sgt. Gene Hawthorne, son of the late O.L. and Desbah Hawthorne of Lupton, Ariz., and holder of the Bronze Star medal as well as the coveted Army Commendation medal, has been posthumously awarded the Purple Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross for meritorious and heroic service in Viet Nam. The latter award is this nation's second highest honor and is given for military valor. In addition to these awards, the Republic of Viet Nam has awarded Sgt. Hawthorne that country's Military Medal Of Merit.

Hawthorne, an airborne ranger, and veteran of 16 years service, which included duty in Europe and combat in Korea, was killed in action north east of Saigon on May 4, 1966, year.

Presentation of awards will made during the memorial day ceremonies at the National Cemetery Cemetery in Sanla Fe on May 30.

The following article was written written by Lt. John Hensley in Phan Rang, RVN.


He was called "The Indian" and that's exactly what he was, a full blooded Navajo from Shadow Rock, Ariz. He didn't give his all part of the time, or every once in a while, but all the time. His all was best.

SSgt. Gene Hawthorne was a squad leader in 3rd Platoon, 'A". 2-502d Infantry Battalion. The Ranger-Airborne qualified "Screaming Eagle" arrived in Vietnam in December 1965 and saw his first major action at Tuy Hoa near the now infamous infamous hill 51. It was at Hill 51 that he recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross and rceived the Purple Heart. He took out an eight-man patrol and only two returned without wounds--some didn't return at all. They were attacked five times by an undetermined VC force killing at least 35 of them. He was wounded several times throughout the fierce battle. At dawn, he was unable to move, he bleeding profusely, but he continued to resist by calling and adjusting artillery fire by sound only. When the medics found him he was unconscious nearly dead from lack of blood.

He gave his all that day and after a short rest in a hospital he returned.

By the way he read a map you would think he had grown up in any area he was in. On the darkest night, in the thickest jungle, over any type terrain, he could pinpoint any objeclive.

Devotion, loyalty, trust,--they all fall short of the feeling his men held for him. Whatever mission and intelligence reports with it, his men were ready and assured --"The Indian" was going to lead them.

He didn't have parents, or a wife and children to go home to. The Army was his life. I once overheard his squad razzing him about not being married but he quipped back, "if the Army don't issue one, I don't need one."

He developed "jungle rot" on his right foot and much to his disagreement was evacuated to the rear for treatment. After arguing with the medics for 5 days to let him return to his unit they finally consented. He limped to the chopper for the ride back but he never made it. The chopper went down during during the night in a ball of flame.

He gave his all; everything man can give -- his life.
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