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Desmond Doss, 87, noted noncombatant

CALHOUN, Ga. -- Desmond T. Doss Sr., the only conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor for noncombatant achievements in World War II, died Thursday. He was 87.

His death was announced by Seventh-day Adventist Church officials in Calhoun.

Mr. Doss, who refused to carry a weapon during his wartime service as a medic, was the subject of the 2004 documentary ''The Conscientious Objector" and a previously published book, ''The Unlikeliest Hero."

On Oct. 12, 1945, Mr. Doss was invited to the White House to receive the Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman for his bravery on May 5, 1945. As a 24-year-old from Lynchburg, Va., Mr. Doss stayed atop a cliff on the island of Okinawa, lowering down wounded soldiers under Japanese attack.

Mr. Doss was a Seventh-day Adventist from childhood and Ed Wright, president of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, described him as a ''real inspiration to our church and specifically several generations of young people. He was a very humble man, deeply convicted as to not bearing arms."

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