Movie about local WWII hero will be released next week

This photo of Desmond Doss sits in the Medal of Honor Heritage Center in Hixson, Tennessee.

The movie, Hacksaw Ridge, will hit theaters on November 4. It tells the story of Desmond T. Doss.

Mr. Doss served in World War II as a combat medic.

Because of his religious beliefs he would not carry a weapon. He wouldn't touch one. He also refused to work or train on Saturdays because of his faith.

Desmond Doss received the Medal of Honor for his actions in WWII. He was the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor. His story is incredible.

"We're gonna take you back to May of 1945. We're near the end of World War II, but we're on an Island called Okinawa." Executive Director of the Medal of Honor Heritage Center, Charles Googe said. "(Mr. Doss was) near one of the highest points there called the Maeda Escarpment a three to four hundred foot high cliff."

Mr Doss donated several of his personal items including his Medal of Honor to the museum to help them tell his story.

"The Japanese counter attacked on them and drove fifty-five men down to the bottom of the cliff leaving one hundred men of B company up at the top without any assistance." Googe said. "That order to withdraw came, but Desmond Doss himself refused to withdraw. He stayed for hours up at the top using the double bow line knot, using his convictions to stay and take every one of those individual wounded soldiers to the bottom himself under fire the entire time."

After the war Mr Doss moved to Rising Fawn. His first wife, Dorothy, died in a car accident in 1991. Mr Doss remarried a few years later.

"My mother-in-law was widowed, as Desmond was, and they met by a mutual friend." Tracy Duman said. "They fell in love with each other, and he became a part of our family."

Desmond Doss married his his second wife Frances in 1993. Frances' son Mike and his wife Tracy lived next door the last couple of years of Desmond Doss' life.

"He gave God the glory in everything that he did," Mike Duman said.

Mike says he loved to hear Mr. Doss' stories of World War II.

"It was neat to sit down and talk to him because a lot of these guys didn't want to talk about the war. I think he pretty much had a clear conscience about it, and he didn't mind," Mr. Duman said. "He would tell stories and my boys would love to hear them. We loved to hear them as well."

Terry Benedict has been working to research and tell Desmond Doss' story for the last seventeen years.

He produced and directed a documentary about Mr. Doss that was released in 2004, and Terry Benedict is one of the producers of the new movie about Mr. Doss.

The movie stars Andrew Garfield as Doss. It also has veteran actors Sam Worthington and Vince Vaughn. It was directed by Mel Gibson.

Terry Benedict brought Garfield to Chattanooga before filming began.

"And took him up into Virginia where Desmond grew up, and let him go through a very tactile process of touching and feeling everything Desmond," Mr. Benedict said. "We worked on things like his accent. He would ask me thousands of questions."

Terry is in Chattanooga for a screening of the movie Thursday night. We will have more on the movie and Desmond Doss coming soon on the Price of Freedom.


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