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Col David Lyddall Hardee

Col David Lyddall Hardee

Butner, Granville County, North Carolina, USA
Death 23 Nov 1969 (aged 79)
Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Durham, Durham County, North Carolina, USA
Plot Section 3
Memorial ID 36962952 · View Source
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David Lyddall Hardee was born in the area of what is now part of the Camp Butner Military Reservation in Granville County, North Carolina, on 16 September 1890 to Dr. Parrot Rastus Hardee and Roberta Buford Bacon Hardee. He graduated from Stem High School in 1909 and from Trinity College in 1913. Following graduation, he worked for the Atlantic Coast Realty Company before becoming a public relations officer for Wachovia Bank and Trust Company of Winston-Salem in 1914 and continuing with the bank until December 1917.

Having previously registered with the Selective Service on 5 June 1917, Hardee enlisted in the Army on 28 January 1918, joining Company H, 61st Infantry, 5th Division. He shipped out with the 61st Infantry to France on 1 April 1918 and joined the 28th Infantry, 1st Division, on 1 September 1918. While overseas, Hardee rose through the ranks from Private to Corporal to Sergeant before being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in Langres, France, on 1 October 1918. Hardee participated in the Anould Sub-Sector defensive action, the St. Die Sector defensive action and the Meuse-Argonne and Muizon-Sedan offensive. He received his first Silver Star for Gallantry during the Meuse-Argonne offensive from 1-2 October 1918. He received a second Silver Star for actions near Exermont, France, on 8 October 1918, and a third Silver Star near Chavenges, France, on 9 October 1918. Promotion followed Gallantry, and Hardee rose to First Lieutenant on 25 October 1918, accepted 1 November 1918; later promoted to First Lieutenant in the regular Army on 1 July 1920.

Following the Armistice, he served in the Army of Occupation in Germany at the Coblenz Bridgehead. Hardee returned home on 4 September 1919 and participated in the victory parades in New York City and Washington, DC. Remaining in the Army, he was stationed with the 28th Infantry at Camp Zachary Taylor in Kentucky, and he served as a recruiting officer for the First Division's North Carolina recruiting drive in 1920, receiving a commendation for his work from division commander Major General Charles P. Summerall. Upon graduation from the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, Hardee served at Fort Ontario and Plattsburg, NY. On 5 October 1922, in Salisbury, NC, he married Elizabeth Neely Henry born 26 August 1888 in Charlotte, NC.

From 1923 to 1924, Hardee became the first non-aviator to graduate from the Air Corps Tactical School, Langley Field, VA. Following graduation, he went to Fort Sam Houston, TX, before returning to Fort Benning as an instructor at the Infantry School, teaching air corps tactics to infantry personnel as a member of the 24th Infantry, the first of its kind for ground service schools and a model for future course developments. At Fort Benning, his daughter, Elizabeth Frances was born on 20 May 1927. On 12 September 1929, Hardee and his family moved to the Philippines where he served with the 31st Infantry in the Cuartel de Espana in Manila. His second daughter, Mary Lucile, was born in Sternberg General Hospital, Manila on 20 December 1931. In February 1932, Hardee and the regiment shipped out to Shanghai, China, to guard a section of the International Settlement, returning to Manila in July. For his involvement, Hardee received the Yangtze Service Medal awarded by the Commandant of the Marine Corps on 13 March 1935.

Hardee returned to the United States on 20 July 1932 and served at Fort Howard, MD, until 1934 with the 12th Infantry. After his promotion to Captain on 22 November 1933, the Army ordered Hardee to Winston-Salem on 1 November 1934 where he served as instructor of organized reserves for the 322nd Infantry in Winston-Salem until 15 August 1938. Hardee next received orders to Oak Ridge, NC, and served as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Oak Ridge Military Institute. Promoted to Major on 1 July 1940, Hardee and his family enjoyed their time in Oak Ridge until 1941. Then, when President Franklin D Roosevelt declared a national emergency in 1941, Hardee received orders to report to Camp Wheeler, Macon, GA, on 15 May to train new recruits in the fundamentals of infantry tactics. On 17 September 1941, Hardee was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and a week later was advised that General Douglas MacArthur selected Hardee and other officers to sail to Manila to assist in the organization and training of ten new Filipino divisions. On 1 November 1941, Hardee bid goodbye to his family in Durham, NC, and the United States as he sailed off on the SS President Coolidge to the Philippines once more.

Arriving on 21 November, he had little time to get to work before the Japanese attack on 8 December. Initially attached to Headquarters, United States Army Force in the Far East(USAFFE), Hardee handled a series of jobs for Major General Richard K Sutherland, Chief of Staff for General Douglas MaCarthur, in the initial weeks of fighting. On 26 January 1942, Hardee was made executive officer of the Provisional Air Corps Regiment under the command of Colonel Irvin E Doane. Hardee and the Regiment would remain on the front lines for 73 consecutive days, withstanding countless attacks by artillery, heavy bombers, and infantry. In the course of the fighting, Hardee received a Purple Heart for wounds sustained in action on 9 April 1942 near Cabcabin, Philippines, a Bronze Star for Meritorious Service near Orion and Lemay, Bataan, on 7 April 1942, and a Fourth Silver Star near Orion, Bataan, on 7 April 1942. For extraordinary heroism from 7-8 April 1942, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and was decorated on 9 October 1942.

After months of desperate fighting for Manila, Corregidor, and Bataan, Hardee surrendered with the remaining American Forces at Bataan on 9 April 1942. Taken prisoner on 10 April 1942, Hardee would spend the next 34 months, until 4 February 1945 in Japanese captivity. Hardee's prisoner of war ordeal began with the Bataan Death March to Camp O'Donnell, the site of his initial imprisonment. The journey to the camp, from 16-26 April, covered 85 miles on foot. During the march, Hardee lost the majority of what few possessions he retained and estimated about 250 American and Filipinos died along the way, a number he later recognized as low. He spent 40 days at Camp O'Donnell, witnessing the death of thousands of American and Filipino prisoners. The Japanese moved Hardee and other American prisoners to the Cabanatuan Prisoner of War Camp, where he arrived on 6 June 1942 and stayed until 26 October. The Japanese next shipped Hardee to the Davao Penal Colony on Mindanao on or about 8-9 November 1942 aboard the Japanese "Hell Ship" Erie Maru. At Dapecol, Hardee worked as an agricultural worker harvesting coffee until he suffered a serious hernia which would cause him constant pain and suffering until his liberation. Hardee credited the hernia possibly saving his life.

While in the prison hospital, other groups of lieutenant colonels were shipped out of the camp on "Hell Ships", unmarked vessels that fell victim to american submarines. On 6 June 1944, Hardee was moved with other prisoners to the port of Lasang where the prisoners were herded like cattle into the holds of the Yashy Maru on 12 June, and after a stop in Cebu and transfer to the Singoto Maru No. 824, HArdee left for Manila on 22 June. There the prisoners were transferred to Bilibid Prison in late June-early July, located within the northern sector of the city. It was there that American forces liberated Hardee and other American prisoners of war on 4 February 1945. During his imprisonment, Hardee was beaten in captivity on multiple occasions by Japanese prison guards and suffered the sever hernia in March 1943 while picking coffee. The hernia was not fully repaired until February 1950. Malnutrition was a constant problem, and in captivity he lost approximately 70 pounds from his normal body weight of 185 pounds. In addition, Hardee dealt off and on with instances of dysentery, beriberi, and pellagra. He was witness to several incidents of murder and torture of American prisoners by their Japanese guards, as well as several successful prison escapes. One escape, by Captain Damon J. "Rocky" Gause, brought word in November 1942 that Hardee was alive and in captivity. Upon liberation in February 1945, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel on 16 March, and he returned to the United States aboard the Cape Meares on 12 May. Technically, he was promoted to full Colonel on 7 April 1942, but the orders were never relayed to him due to confusion in the final days of fighting.

Following a period of convalescent leave and medical treatment for his hernia at the Walter Reed General Hospital in July 1945, he served the remainder of his time in the Army as an instructor and advisor in the Adjutant General's office for the North Carolina National Guard from July 1946 until his retirement from the Army on 31 December 1949. After his time in the Army, Hardee kept active. From 1950 to 1953, he organized and served as president of the ready-mix Hardee Concrete Company of Durham. He sold the company in 1954 when he took the position as Civil Defense director of Wake County and Raleigh on 1 March 1954, a position he held until his resignation from the post on 1 July 1961. From 1957 to 1958, Hardee served as the national Commander for the Army and Navy Legion of Valor. In 1966, he published a book, The Eastern North Carolina Hady-Hardee Family in the South and Southwest, a genealogical history of his family. Hardee died in Raleigh on 23 November 1969 at the age of 79, and is buried in new Maplewood Cemetery in Durham.

During his military career, Hardee received numerous decorations for service and Valor. These include the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star with three Oak Leaf Clusters, The Bronze Star, The Purple Heart Medal, The Combat Infantryman's Badge(CIB), Presidential Unit Citation with two Oak Leaf Clusters, The World War 1 Victory Medal with one Bronze Battle Clasp and Defensive Sector Clasp, Army of Occupation of Germany Medal, the Yangtze Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two Bronze service stars, Philippine Liberation Medal with one Bronze Star, Philippine Presidential Unit CItation, and Army Distinguished Unit Citation with two Oak Leaf Clusters. He is posthumously eligible for the Prisoner of War Medal.

Source: Recall Magazine, The North Carolina Military Historical Society, Issue 2, Fall 2013, Volume 10. Research by Frank Blazich, Jr., PhD

  • Maintained by: Tom Reece
  • Originally Created by: Ellen Manuel
  • Added: 11 May 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 36962952
  • Tom Reece
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Col David Lyddall Hardee (16 Sep 1890–23 Nov 1969), Find A Grave Memorial no. 36962952, citing Maplewood Cemetery, Durham, Durham County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Tom Reece (contributor 46857744) .