Black World War I hero who was a 'Harlem Hellfighter' and shot 20 times could receive Medal of Honor posthumously for saving the lives of his comrades 95 years ago
Nearly 100 years after he single-handedly fought off a German attack and saved a comrade from capture despite suffering serious wounds, Sgt. Henry Johnson is a step closer to getting a posthumous Medal of Honor.
In an unprecedented move, congress is looking at changing a law that would allow a black World War I soldier from upstate New York who saved a comrade while fighting off a German attack in France, to be honored.
A number of congressmen including Chuck Hagel, the secretary of defense, 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.
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.
The current legislation specifies that heroic actions have to have taken place within five years to be considered.