Mel Gibson's upcoming film "Hacksaw Ridge" details the heroics of a U.S. Army medic whose only weapon on the battlefield during World War II was prayer.
Based on the extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield ("The Amazing Spider Man"), who served in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle in the Pacific and miraculously saved 75 men without firing a shot, "Hacksaw Ridge" will hit theaters nationwide on Nov 4.
Doss served as a Private First Class in the U.S. Army but refused to kill or carry a weapon into combat because of his personal beliefs as a Seventh-day Adventist. Consequently, he thought it was fitting to become a medic during the war.
His Medal of Honor citation says: "Doss refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with the many stricken, carrying them one-by-one to the edge of the escarpment and there lowering them on a rope-supported litter down the face of a cliff to friendly hands." He exposed himself to heavy rifle and mortar fire on his rescue missions and was wounded but never relented.
He is the only American WWII soldier to fight on the front lines without a weapon. His choice of artillery was prayer and he used it often while single-handedly evacuating wounded soldiers from behind enemy lines.
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Doss' outstanding bravery and determination resulted in him saving the lives of dozens of soldiers and his name becoming a symbol throughout the 307th and 77th Infantry Divisions for outstanding gallantry far above and beyond the call of duty. His courage and faith won the admiration of his commanders and fellow soldiers.
Although regularly criticized for refusing to carry a gun, Doss actually saved the lives of the men who had condemned him. He believed the war was necessary but thought it unacceptable to kill under any circumstance. The Virginia native called himself a "conscientious cooperator" as he volunteered his services.
In October 1945, the inspiring soldier was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman. "I'm proud of you," Truman said. "You really deserve this. I consider this a greater honor than being president."
Before being honorably discharged from the Army in 1946, Doss had developed tuberculosis. He died on March 23, 2006, at the age of 87. He was buried at the Chattanooga National Cemetery in Tennessee.
"Hacksaw Ridge" is Gibson's first directorial film since the success of "Apocalypto" and "The Passion of The Christ." With Garfield as the lead, the movie also stars Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths and Vince Vaughn.
The script was written by Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan. "Hacksaw Ridge" will be in theaters nationwide on Nov. 4.
For more information about the movie, click here.