Fredericksburg in Gillespie County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Donald Raymond Harder
5 Jul 1926 - 7 Jun 2018
Enlisted 5 Jul 1944, Honorably Discharged 25 Aug 1946
Sergeant, 306th Regiment, 77th Infantry Division
Sergeant, 1st Signal Troop, 1st Calvary Division
Decorations and Citations
Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart,
Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon w/2 Bronze Battle Stars,
Meritorious Unit Commendation w/3 Gold Stars,
Philippine Liberation Ribbon, Army Occupation Medal - Japan,
Good Conduct Medal, Victory Medal
We left Ie Shima, our faces so grim,
For the General made a statement, ready to go again.
So we hit Okinawa, everything in a mix,
Our mission being, to relieve the old 96th.
We relieved every man, one by one,
Under heavy fire from artillery guns.
We took their positions, all night it did storm,
Then down came the order we'd attack at dawn.
Our objective was a short distance, it was but a hop,
It was later known as bloody hill Chocolate Drop.
Our staff all knew, it was no easy task,
But between the soldiers, never a question we asked.
With our flame
And the help of the artillery, we thought we could pass.
At the first ray of light, the artillery began,
To lay down a barrage, that should have let us in.
The Battalion advanced about half of the hop,
When all hell broke loose and began to pop.
The Jap mortarshells were as thick as dew,
And then their damn artillery came crashing through.
Their machine guns spat, hot streams of lead,
which filled many of our hospital beds.
We lost some good men, as in most battles we do,
And had to withdraw, we couldn't break through.
We tried again, the following day,
But it was the same old story, we couldn't stay.
But I'm betting tomorrow, that we get by,
For with the 77th spirit you do or die.
It's the next day now, and we made that short hop,
And now we are sitting on Chocolate Drop.
As I stated before we lost some good men,
But to find the Jap casualties, multiply ours by 10.
Now that is the story, tis sad but it's true,
We paid a price, but we did get through.
You can believe it or not whichever you care,
But I'm telling you the truth, because brother I was there.
Penned Jun 26, 1945
Friend to All \ Grandson to German Immigrants \ Devoted Son and Brother \ Volunteer and Protector of Freedom
Presented with Love, Honor and Respect by His Children
Erected 2022 by National Museum of the Pacific War.
Topics. This memorial is listed in this topic list: Military.
Location. 30° 16.334′ N, 98° 52.041′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Texas, in Gillespie County. Memorial is at the intersection of East Main Street (U.S. 290) and North Washington Street on East Main Street. The marker is located in the southwestern section of the WWII Veterans Memorial Courtyard which is a part of the National Museum of the Pacific War. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 340 East Main Street, Fredericksburg TX 78624, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. In honor of 1st Lt Robert Clifford Matteson, Sr. (here, next to this marker); Robert Elwood DeHart (here, next to this marker); Duty Calls Four Dennis' Boys In World War II (here, next to this marker); Charleen Eller (here, next to this marker); Robert Henry Hynds (here, next to this marker); USS Mugford DD-389 (here, next to this marker); USS Runner SS275 (here, next to this marker); Karl Mercer (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 7, 2022. It was originally submitted on May 7, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 69 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 7, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.