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John Hamas

Home of record: Philadelphia Pennsylvania


Navy Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Second Nicaraguan Campaign

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Gunnery Sergeant John Hamas (MCSN: 178999), United States Marine Corps, for distinguished service in the line of his profession as commander of Guardia patrols operating from 23 to 26 April 1932, in the vicinity of Guambuco Mountain near the border between Nicaragua and Honduras. On 23 April 1932, gunnery Sergeant Hamas, in command of a patrol of four officers and forty enlisted men, attacked a bandit group of one hundred under leader Carlos Salgado in an entrenched position. Gunnery Sergeant Hamas personally led the assault which resulted in the bandits being driven from their position, with a loss of two killed and several wounded, and the capture of a large amount of food supplies, equipment, correspondence and ammunition. Hamas quickly reorganized his new position and, during the following few hours, successfully repulsed three determined counter-attacks by the bandits. On 26 April 1932, Gunnery Sergeant Hamas, in command of a patrol of five officers and forty-five enlisted men, again greatly outnumbered, personally led his patrol in assault against what is believed to have been the main camp and entrenched stronghold of the bandit leader Sandino, which at the time was manned by a force of approximately two hundred and fifty bandits lead by Sandino in person. Throughout the ensuing three hour fight, Hamas, with utter disregard for his personal safety, directed the fire fight of the entire firing line, and by his courage, leadership and sound tactical judgment, enabled his patrol to capture the stronghold, together with quantities of food supplies, clothing and ammunition, and to inflict casualties of ten killed and twenty-one wounded upon the bandits, with the loss of but one wounded.

General Orders: Authority - USMC Communiqué: 178999 (29 July 1932)

Action Date: April 23 - 26, 1932

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Gunnery Sergeant

Division: Guardia Nacional de Nicaragua

Prisoner of War Medal

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

Marine Gunner John Hamas (MCSN: 8216), United States Marine Corps, was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Wake Island on 23 December 1941, and was held as a Prisoner of War until returned to U.S. Military control at the end of the war.

General Orders: NARA Database: Records of World War II Prisoners of War, created, 1942 - 1947

Action Date: December 23, 1941 - September 1945

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Marine Gunner

Division: Prisoner of War (China)