The Silver Star
Oal L. Hutchison was born in Poughkeepsie, Arkansas, 27 July 1917. He graduated from Poughkeepsie High School. He was a cadet first lieutenant in the Senior Field Artillery unit at Arkansas State College, Nov. 1942 and a member of Kappa Sigma Nu fraternity. He graduated from Arkansas State with a B.S. degree in agriculture (BSA), in 1943 and entered the U.S. Army as a commissioned second lieutenant. Hutchison trained at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi. He rose in rank to first lieutenant, but requested sergeant stripes instead. He was only in service 20 months total (one month over seas) when he was killed in France. For his gallant self-sacrifice in action, he was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star.
On 15 February 1945, Oal L. Hutchison was with Field Artillery Battery "C", 803rd Field Artillery Battalion in the vicinity of Bilesbruckenwald, France. During an enemy attack, Sergeant Hutchison volunteered as a field artillery observer. Without regard for his own safety, he courageously moved forward through the enemy's minefield under small arms, artillery, and mortar fire. While fulfilling his mission, he made contact with a mine and was killed instantly. Staff Sergeant Hitchison's heroic action, self-sacrifice, and outstanding courage remained as a lasting inspiration to his battalion. Buried in the U.S. Cemetery, Epinal, France, he was later moved to Spotts Cemetery, Poughkeepsie, Arkansas, in April 1947.