Donald enlisted in the Army
at Fort MacArthur San Pedro, CA on 22 November 1940 and quickly rose to
the grade of Sergeant in the next year. The qualities that enabled
him to advance so quickly were further recognized when he was sent to
He was also a parachutist
volunteer and on 16 October 1942, 2nd Lt. Hardwick was transferred from
the 507th PIR to Hq Hq, 508th PIR as a cadre team member.
Lt Hardwick was
hospitalized for unknown reasons on 18 February 1943 and remained there
for 15 days being released on 5 March. He is recorded as having
gone on leave directly from the hospital
days later Donald and his fiancÚ, Geraldine "Jerry" Suggs, applied for a
marriage license at the Clay County Courthouse in Green Cove Springs,
FL, approximately 20 miles from Camp Blanding. Sixty miles further
east, they were married that same day at Grace United Methodist Church,
8 Carrera St., St. Augustine, FL. They undoubtedly honeymooned in that
same city before Donald returned to duty on 23 March. [Jumpmaster Note:
both the courthouse and the church are today on the National Register of
On 2 September 1943 Lt
Hardwick was sent on detached duty to the Engineering School at Camp
Forrest, Tullahoma, TN. He returned to duty on the 18th of
September and was then named as the Demolitions Officer.
On 19 November 2/Lt
Hardwick exchanged his gold bars for silver when he was appointed a 1st
Lt with date of rank of 16 November 1943 and was stated as the
Demolition Officer for the 2nd Battalion.
1st Lt Hardwick was
wounded i action in Holland on 26 September 1944 and was sent to the
307th Clearing Hospital, Nijmegen and returned to duty 4 days later.
He was discharged on 13
November 1946. His military decorations include the Purple Heart
and the Bronze Service Arrowhead device which was awarded for
participation in the Normandy assault.
Following his service he
worked for Proctor and Gamble and in 1946 he and his wife were listed in
the city directly of Amarillo, TX.