Quentin Rosevelt Hardage was born on 30 May 1919 in Madden, Mississipi. He was born and raised in a small farm. Addie, his mother, ran a general store there and his father, Elisha, was helping his mother at the store and was working at the farm as well. They had five children: Cecil (the older sister, born in 1907 and died in 2007), Laverne (born in 1913 and died in 1999), Edward (born in 1916 and died in 1919, probably from flu epidemic), Quentin and finally, Robert (born in 1922 and died in 1990). Quentin’s mother died in 1961, and his father in 1966.
The young Quentin grew up in Madden, helping out feeding pigs at the family farm. He became ill with flu and missed a year at the local school, graduating a year older than his classmates in Madden. Quentin played basketball, and was in the Madden High School Basketball team, while his father, Elisha, was semi-professional baseball player for Chicago Cubs minor league team. Addie and Elisha donated properties for the local school and church. They wanted to raise money to send their children to college. Quentin did work jobs and then went into the R.O.T.C. to help pay for tuition and books. Quentin R. Hardage graduated from Mississipi States College in Education, and was a Cadet Second Lieutenant. He then worked at the college dairy barn.
On 19 May 1941 he is commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and on 12 July 1941, he is appointed as Platoon Leader in L. company, 60th Infantry Regiment at Fot Bragg. There, he went on to military training in Infantry tactics, heavy weapons, beach landings, special operations training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. On 3 July 1942, he is promoted to company commander of I. company and on 24 July he is appointed 1st Lieutenant.
On 2 November 1942, he becomes Executive Officer of C. company, which will be his last rifle company he’ll be affected to. On 8 November 1942, his company lands on the coast of North Africa, as part of the Western Task Force that assaulted French Morocco. In a letter he wrote to his mother, he writes that he “would be leading a beach landing in which the soldiers would do all the work and sacrifice their lives, but some Generals would get all the credit.”
He took part to all the division campaigns and major battles, from the first major engagement at Port Lyautey (as Company Executive Officer) to the end of the War (as Battalion Commander). From 8 November 1942, to 8 May 1945, he is awarded one Bronze Star Medal and two Silver Star Medals. He has been wounded twelve times, giving him the right to wear the Purple Heart with 11 clusters, and on his European-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon, seven bronze battle stars and one spearhead device symbolize the eight campaigns he took part to: French Morrocco/Algeria, Tunisia, Sicily, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, Central Europe, from platoon leader to battalion commander.
Above: Lt. Col. Hardage’s decorations diplay. Note the PUC with two oak leaves clusters, the Silver Star with two oak leave clusters as well, and the Purple Heart and the ETO Ribbon full of clusters.
A private, who served with Hardage as platoon leader (Pfc Edward C. Connelly) recalls about Quentin R. Hardage:
“He was always up front. If he had a platoon, company or a battalion there wasn’t a man who wouldn’t follow him. Wherever the hot spots were, there he was. And I have seen him give away his raincoat to a soldier or carry the rifle of a tired doughboy on a hike – sometimes as many as five or six.”
He took command of C. Company on 16 April 1943 and was promoted Captain on 19 June 1943. On 25 July 1944, he becomes the Executive Officer of 1st Bn. On 28 August, he is promoted to Major and then on 10 October, while battling in the bloody Hürtgen forest, he becomes 2nd Battalion Commander (replacing officially the Major Urban, Medal of Honor recipient, after he got wounded in Belgium). He is finally promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 11 December 1944. These heroic records allowed him to have a well deserved 30-days leave in March 1945, when he was 2nd Battalion commander.
Above: The last formation of the “old” 60th Infantry was held in Bitterfield, Germany, in June 1945. Col. John G. Van Houten was on leave and Lt. Col. Keene (Slick) Wilson was commanding. In the picture are, left to right, Major Norbert Hennen (S-3), Major Norman Weinberg (regimental surgeon), Lt. Col. Quentin R. Hardage (2nd Bn CO), Wilson. Back row, Captain John Whitmore (Assistant S3), Captain Herbert E. Clark (S2) and Captain John Ryan (S1).
Lt. Col. Hardage finally was medically retired in 1948 with service connected disability. He married in 1947 at Camp Carson, Colorado, where he was post executive officer (38th Infantry Regiment). The couple was to be deployed in Germany again, but he became ill and checked into an Army hospital at Fort Hamilton, NY. They finally settled in Pascagoula, MS. He passed away on 31 March 1989 in Veterans Hospital from complications type 1 diabetes, after 41 years of insulin injections, and was buried at the Arlington National Cemetery, Section 69, Site 5110.
Thank you very much to his son, who have provided me documents and memories about his father. He will never be forgotten.