The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the NAVY CROSS to
LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOSEPH F. HANKINS,
U.S. MARINE CORPS (RESERVE)
for service as set forth in the following
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Joseph F. Hankins (0-5534), Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service while serving as Commanding Officer of the Third Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces at Cape Gloucester, New Britain, from 26 to 31 December 1943. Braving withering fire from hostile small arms, machine guns, mortars and light cannon, Lieutenant Colonel Hankins courageously led his battalion in a vigorous assault against three strongly fortified Japanese emplacements, steadfastly maintaining an exposed position to direct the assault and deploy his men for maximum effectiveness. By his brilliant and inspiring leadership in the front lines, he enabled his units to destroy all three enemy strongholds, capturing numerous hostile weapons and killing over six hundred of the enemy with only light casualties to his command. Lieutenant Colonel Hankins’ indomitable fighting spirit and fearless devotion to duty in the face of grave peril were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Born 30 July 1903 in Vernon, Ala…. Home of record: Empire, Ala…. Joined Marines in 1923… Killed in action 3 October 1944 on Peleliu… Interred: Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham, Ala.