Military Times NOW hosts the HomeOfHeroes  Awards & Citations Database


Stories of American Heroes - Brought to you from the "Home of Heroes" - Pueblo, Colorado

News From The Past

January 22, 2001

At long last, 
Recommendation to honor black WWI veteran

By Brian Burnes
Knight Ridder Newspapers


KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Army has recommended that Henry Johnson, an African-American World War I veteran who died in 1937, receive the Medal of Honor.

"When they called, tears came to my eyes," said Johnson's son, Herman Johnson of Kansas City. "It's really great for Dad, and even if he is not here personally to receive the accolade, I am sure he is someplace where he knows it is happening."

The recommendation came in the last hours of the Clinton administration. Johnson's supporters had worried that they would have to renew their effort with a new administration.

For years, Albany residents have urged that a Medal of Honor be awarded to Johnson, a member of the 369th Infantry Regiment, a black unit of the New York National Guard that served in France.

In May 1918, Johnson fought off a patrol of German soldiers as they attempted to capture Needham Roberts, another member of the 369th. Johnson rescued Roberts, killing or wounding several German soldiers in the process.

For the rest of the war, the 369th never lost a member as a prisoner of war, in large part because of Johnson's example.

For his heroism, Johnson received the French Croix de Guerre, or war cross. But outside of a Purple Heart awarded in 1996, the American government did not recognize Johnson's bravery. This was despite recent efforts by the military to recognize veterans of World War I and II whose courage might have gone unrecognized because of racial attitudes of the times.

"The effort to obtain this honor for Henry Johnson is not just about ensuring that his heroism is formally acknowledged by the American people," U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. said in announcing the recommendation.

"It is also about ensuring that black soldiers who were denied equal treatment during their service in our nation's once segregated Army are not denied recognition for their achievements and valor."

The secretary of defense and the president must approve the decoration, but the Army's recommendation is virtually always honored.


2001, by The Seattle Times Company

Return To The

Archives Index


Home Page

Hall Of Heroes

MOH Community 


Kidz Page

  Profiles In Courage | Wings of ValorThe Brotherhood of Soldiers At War | Go For Broke
 Pearl Harbor  | A Splendid Little War | Shinmiyangyo-Korea 1871 | Quick Links to MOH Stories

Barney Barnum  |  Jack Lucas  |  Mitch Paige  |  Wesley Fox  |  Sammy Davis
Roger Donlon
Peter Lemon  |  Drew Dix  |  Mike Novosel

Medal Of Honor Calendar  |  Books By MOH RecipientsSteve Ryan MOH Posters

What Does 
A Hero Look Like?

Click on Superman To Find out


Looking for a Hero or trying to verify awards? We have posted the names of more than 120,000 recipients of the highest awards in a BRAND NEW FREE SECTION
DECORATIONS 1862 - Present

Military Medals & Awards 

Information and Images of ALL Military Medals
The Purple Heart 
How to Request Records/Medals Earned
  How to Obtain Military Records of a Family Member 

Honor Roll of America's Military Heroes

Brevet Medal


Navy Cross 

Air Force Cross 

Distinguished Service Medals

Defense - Army - Navy - Air Force - Coast Guard - Merchant Marine

Silver Star

U.S. History and Information
The History Room | U.S. Flag HistoryHistory of the Flag |
How to Display the Flag
| The National Anthem | The Pledge of Allegiance The American Creed | The Seal of our Nation | Our National Symbol
Arthur MacArthur's Flag | William Carney's Flag | FDR's Flag of Liberation]

American Presidents
U.S. Presidents | Inaugural Addresses

God & Country

MY HERO Web Page Creator 
(Create a Tribute to the Hero in Your Own Life)

bn_search.jpg (3967 bytes)



Quick Quiz

Electronic Post Cards
Talking Points 

Remembering 911
The Binch
Citizens Speak Out


This 5 Disc DVD Education Program has been distributed to over 17,500 Public & Private High Schools and is now available to the public! now has more than 25,000 pages of US History for you to view.