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Defense secretary OKs Medal of Honor for WWI hero

August 26, 2014
Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The secretary of defense has recommended awarding a posthumous Medal of Honor to a black soldier from upstate New York who saved a comrade while fighting off a German attack in France during World War I.

Sen. Charles Schumer says Tuesday that Chuck Hagel has sent Congress a letter saying Sgt. Henry Johnson should receive the nation's highest military decoration for bravery in combat.

The railroad porter from Albany was serving in the all-black 369th Infantry Regiment when he killed or wounded several enemy soldiers while saving a fellow soldier from capture during a raid in May 1918.

The president gets the final word on the medal request, which also requires passage of special legislation in Congress because Johnson's actions were more than five years ago.

 
 

 

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