The American history was not always fair in relation between black and white Americans. This is the story about 8 black-American soldiers who were brave enough to do some extraordinary things since the Revolutionary War, but their actions weren’t awarded. The Black-Americans have not historically been recognized for their heroism at the same rate as their white counterparts. The injustice has been corrected decades later.
Here is the list of 8 American soldiers awarded Medals of Honor for their actions decades after the battles:
Sgt. Henry Johnson
Sgt. Henry Johnson, who was assigned to the “Harlem Hellfighters” of the 369th U.S. Infantry Regiment, was due his Medal of Honor for almost century. His actions on May 15, 1918, when he came under heavy enemy fire from a German raiding party in the Argonne Forest earned him a Medal of Honor. Despite being wounded Sgt. Johnson used hand grenades, a rifle, a knife, and his bare hands to hold off the German attack.
2nd Lt. Vernon J. Baker
In the ending days of World War II, 2nd Lt. Vernon J. Baker led a company attack in April 1945, near Viareggio, Italy. He personally destroyed four German positions that were pinning down his unit and then covered the evacuation of wounded personnel giving a great example to the other soldiers. The next night, 2nn Lt. Baker led an advance through enemy mine fields and heavy fire to capture a division objective. His Medal of Honor was also due for decades.
Staff Sgt. Edward A. Carter, Jr.
Sgt. Edward A. Carter was riding on a tank on March 23, 1945 near Speyer, Germany when enemy anti-tank and rifle fire began flying in. Despite heavily outgunned, he voluntarily led a three-man team against the fortified position. Carter was wounded five times and a German squad attempted to capture him, but he killed six enemies and captured two.
1st Lt. John R. Fox
Near Sommocolonia, Italy on December 26, 1944, the one of the most courageous action occurred when 1st Lt. John R. Fox was directing defensive artillery fire to slow a German advance. His position was heavy outnumbered by enemy forces so he adjusted the fire closer and closer to his position until finally ordering it onto his own position as the Nazis drew closer. Later, his body was found with approximately 100 dead German soldiers around him.
Pfc. Willy F. James, Jr.
On April 7, 1945, Pfc. Willy F. James Jr. scouted a vital bridgehead while pinned down, then returned to his unit he assisted in developing a plan of maneuver to take the bridge. After the plan was over, he “overtaken” leadership of squad, designating targets as he advanced, until he was killed by enemy fire while trying to aid his fatally wounded platoon leader.
Sgt. Ruben Rivers
Sgt. Ruben Rivers was a tank platoon sergeant in World War II. On November 16, 1944, he was leading a tank assault when he struck a mine and was severely injured in the leg. He refused to be medically evacuated and led another tank in to save his platoon.
On November 19, Rivers’ wound was infected but he led another tank in a company assault despite his wounds. When an enemy anti-tank unit began firing from concealed positions, the rest of the company withdrew. Rivers spotted the Germans began returning fire alongside another tank. The rest of the company made it out but Rivers’ tank was destroyed, killing him and wounded the rest of the crew.
1st Lt. Charles Thomas
Near Climbach, France on December 14, 1944, 1st Lt. Charles Thomas’s armored scout car was subjected to intense enemy artillery and small arms fire. Although wounded by the burst of fire, Thomas, assisted the crew in dismounting before he took additional enemy fire in his chest, legs, and left arm.
Thomas directed his two antitank guns begin returning fire. Realizing he could no longer remain in command, Thomas stayed long enough to brief his subordinate officer on the enemy disposition. Only after he was certain the other officer was in control did he permit himself to be evacuated.
Pvt. George Watson
Pvt. George Watson was on board a ship near New Guinea on March 8, 1945 when it was hit by enemy bombers. The order to abandon ship was given but Watson did not head to safety. Instead he began assisting soldiers who could not swim to a raft. Because of this, he was eventually pulled under the surface of the water by the suction from the sinking ship.
His brave action was recognized years later.