List of African-American Medal of Honor recipients

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The Medal of Honor was created during the American Civil War. It is the highest military decoration presented by the United States government to a member of its armed forces. Recipients must have distinguished themselves at the risk of their own life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an enemy of the United States. Because of the nature of this medal it is commonly presented after the recipient has been killed (posthumously).[1]

Of the 3,464 Medals of Honor received as of June 2009, 88 have been awarded to 87 different African American recipients.[2] Robert Augustus Sweeney is one of nineteen men, and the only African American, to have been awarded two Medals of Honor.[3]

A 1993 study commissioned by the Army investigated racial discrimination in the awarding of medals.[4] At the time, no Medals of Honor had been presented to black soldiers who served in World War II. After an exhaustive review of files, the study recommended that several black Distinguished Service Cross recipients be upgraded to the Medal of Honor. On January 13, 1997, President Bill Clinton awarded the Medal to seven African American World War II veterans; of these, only Vernon Baker was still alive.[4]

Civil War[change | change source]

Twenty-five African Americans earned the Medal of Honor during the American Civil War. Included were seven sailors of the Union Navy, fifteen soldiers of the United States Colored Troops, and three soldiers of other Army units.[2] Fourteen African American men earned the Medal for actions in the Battle of Chaffin's Farm, where a division of U.S. Colored Troops saw heavy action. Another four men, all sailors, earned their Medals at the Battle of Mobile Bay. William Harvey Carney was the first African American to perform an action for which a Medal of Honor was awarded, but Robert Blake was the first to actually receive the Medal (Blake's was issued in 1864, Carney did not receive his until 1900). It was common for Civil War Medals of Honor to be awarded decades after the conflict ended; in one case, Andrew Jackson Smith's Medal was not awarded until 2001, 137 years after the action in which he earned it. Smith's wait, caused by a missing battle report, is the longest delay of the award for any recipient, African American or otherwise.[5]

      This along with   indicates that the Medal of Honor was awarded posthumously

Note: Notes in quotations are derived or are copied from the official Medal of Honor citation
Image Name Service Rank Unit Place of action Date of action Notes
Anderson, AaronAaron Anderson Navy E-01Landsman USS Wyandank (1847) Mattox Creek, Virginia 01865-03-17 March 17 1865 "Participating with a boat crew in the clearing of Mattox Creek, L/man Anderson carried out his duties courageously in the face of a devastating fire which cut away half the oars, pierced the launch in many places and cut the barrel off a musket being fired at the enemy."
Anderson, BruceBruce Anderson Army E-01Private 142nd New York Volunteer Infantry Second Battle of Fort Fisher, North Carolina 01865-01-15 January 15 1865 "Voluntarily advanced with the head of the column and cut down the palisading."
Barnes, William H.William H. Barnes Army E-01Private 38th U.S. Colored Infantry Battle of Chaffin's Farm, Virginia 01864-09-29 September 29 1864 "Among the first to enter the enemy's works; although wounded."
Powhatan Beaty.jpg Beaty, PowhatanPowhatan Beaty Army E-08First Sergeant 5th U.S. Colored Infantry Battle of Chaffin's Farm, Virginia 01864-09-29 September 29 1864 "Took command of his company, all the officers having been killed or wounded, and gallantly led it."
Blake, RobertRobert Blake Navy 0Contraband[n 1] USS Marblehead (1861) off Legareville in the Stono River, Johns Island, South Carolina 01863-12-25 December 25 1863 "[I]n an engagement with the enemy on John's Island. Serving the rifle gun, Blake, an escaped slave, carried out his duties bravely throughout the engagement which resulted in the enemy's abandonment of positions, leaving a caisson and one gun behind."
Bronson, James H.James H. Bronson Army E-08First Sergeant 5th U.S. Colored Infantry Battle of Chaffin's Farm, Virginia 01864-09-29 September 29 1864 "Took command of his company, all the officers having been killed or wounded, and gallantly led it."
Brown, William H.William H. Brown Navy E-01Landsman Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama 01864-08-05 August 5 1864 "[R]emained steadfast at his post and performed his duties in the powder division throughout the furious action which resulted in the surrender of the prize rebel ram Tennessee and in the damaging and destruction of batteries at Fort Morgan."
Brown, WilsonWilson Brown Navy E-01Landsman USS Hartford Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama 01864-08-05 August 5 1864 "Knocked unconscious into the hold of the ship when an enemy shellburst fatally wounded a man on the ladder above him, Brown, upon regaining consciousness, promptly returned to the shell whip on the berth deck and zealously continued to perform his duties although 4 of the 6 men at this station had been either killed or wounded by the enemy's terrific fire."
William Harvey Carney.jpg Carney, William HarveyWilliam Harvey Carney Army E-05Sergeant 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Battle of Fort Wagner, Morris Island, South Carolina 01863-07-18 July 18 1863 "[G]rasped the flag, led the way to the parapet, and planted the colors thereon. When the troops fell back he brought off the flag, under a fierce fire in which he was twice severely wounded."
Dorsey, DecaturDecatur Dorsey Army E-04Corporal 39th United States Colored Infantry Regiment Battle of the Crater, Petersburg, Virginia 01864-07-30 July 30 1864 "Planted his colors on the Confederate works in advance of his regiment, and when the regiment was driven back to the Union works he carried the colors there and bravely rallied the men."
Sgt Major Christian Fleetwood - American Civil War Medal of Honor recipient.jpg Fleetwood, ChristianChristian Fleetwood Army E-05Sergeant 4th U.S. Colored Infantry Battle of Chaffin's Farm, Virginia 01864-09-29 September 29 1864 "Seized the colors, after 2 color bearers had been shot down, and bore them nobly through the fight."
James Daniel Gardner.jpg Gardner, James DanielJames Daniel Gardner Army E-01Private 36th United States Colored Infantry Regiment Battle of Chaffin's Farm, Virginia 01864-09-29 September 29 1864 "Rushed in advance of his brigade, shot a rebel officer who was on the parapet rallying his men, and then ran him through with his bayonet."
Harris, James H.James H. Harris Army E-05Sergeant 38th U.S. Colored Infantry Battle of Chaffin's Farm, Virginia 01864-09-29 September 29 1864 "Gallantry in the assault"
Thomas R Hawkins.jpg Hawkins, Thomas R.Thomas R. Hawkins Army E-01Private 6th U.S. Colored Infantry Battle of Deep Bottom, Virginia 01864-07-21 July 21 1864 "Rescue of regimental colors."
Hilton, Alfred B.Alfred B. Hilton  Army E-05Sergeant 4th U.S. Colored Infantry Battle of Chaffin's Farm, Virginia 01864-09-29 September 29 1864 "When the regimental color bearer fell, this soldier seized the color and carried it forward, together with the national standard, until disabled at the enemy's inner line."
Holland, Milton M.Milton M. Holland Army E-09Sergeant Major 5th U.S. Colored Infantry Battle of Chaffin's Farm, Virginia 01864-09-29 September 29 1864 "Took command of Company C, after all the officers had been killed or wounded, and gallantly led it."
James, MilesMiles James Army E-04Corporal 36th United States Colored Infantry Regiment Battle of Chaffin's Farm, Virginia 01864-09-29 September 29 1864 "Having had his arm mutilated, making immediate amputation necessary, he loaded and discharged his piece with one hand and urged his men forward; this within 30 yards of the enemy's works."
Alexander Kelly.jpg Kelly, AlexanderAlexander Kelly Army E-08First Sergeant 6th U.S. Colored Infantry Battle of Chaffin's Farm, Virginia 01864-09-29 September 29 1864 "Gallantly seized the colors, which had fallen near the enemy's lines of abatis, raised them and rallied the men at a time of confusion and in a place of the greatest danger."
John Lawson.jpg Lawson, John HenryJohn Henry Lawson Navy E-01Landsman USS Hartford Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama 01864-08-05 August 5 1864 Although "Wounded in the leg and thrown violently against the side of the ship when an enemy shell killed or wounded the 6-man crew as the shell whipped on the berth deck, Lawson, upon regaining his composure, promptly returned to his station and, although urged to go below for treatment, steadfastly continued his duties..."
Mifflin, JamesJames Mifflin Navy 0Engineer's Cook USS Brooklyn (1858) Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama 01864-08-05 August 5 1864 "[R]emained steadfast at his post and performed his duties in the powder division throughout the furious action which resulted in the surrender of the prize rebel ram Tennessee and in the damaging and destruction of batteries at Fort Morgan."
Pease, JoachimJoachim Pease Navy E-01Seaman USS Kearsarge (1861) off Cherbourg, France 01864-06-19 June 19 1864 "Acting as loader on the No. 2 gun during this bitter engagement, Pease exhibited marked coolness and good conduct and was highly recommended by the divisional officer for gallantry under fire."
Robert A Pinn touchup.jpg Pinn, RobertRobert Pinn Army E-08First Sergeant 5th U.S. Colored Infantry Battle of Chaffin's Farm, Virginia 01864-09-29 September 29 1864 "Took command of his company after all the officers had been killed or wounded and gallantly led it in battle."
Ratcliff, EdwardEdward Ratcliff Army E-08First Sergeant 38th U.S. Colored Infantry Battle of Chaffin's Farm, Virginia 01864-09-29 September 29 1864 "Commanded and gallantly led his company after the commanding officer had been killed; was the first enlisted man to enter the enemy's works."
Andrew Jackson Smith.jpg Smith, Andrew JacksonAndrew Jackson Smith Army E-04Corporal 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Battle of Honey Hill, South Carolina 01864-11-30 November 30 1864 "Saving his regimental colors, after the color bearer was killed during al bloody charge called the Battle of Honey Hill, South Carolina"
Veale, CharlesCharles Veale Army E-01Private 4th U.S. Colored Infantry Battle of Chaffin's Farm, Virginia 01864-09-29 September 29 1864 "Seized the national colors after 2 color bearers had been shot down close to the enemy's works, and bore them through the remainder of the battle."

Indian Wars[change | change source]

Eighteen African Americans earned the Medal of Honor during the Indian Wars of the western United States.[2] Fourteen were "Buffalo Soldiers", members of the Army's first peacetime black regiments. The four Buffalo Soldier regiments, the 9th Cavalry, 10th Cavalry, 24th Infantry, and 25th Infantry, fought in campaigns throughout the west. The remaining four Medal of Honor recipients were U.S. Army Indian Scouts recruited from among the Black Seminoles, a group of Seminole Indians of African descent.

Note: Notes in quotations are derived or are copied in their entirety from the actual Medal of Honor citation
Image Name Service Rank Unit Place of action Date of action Notes
Boyne, ThomasThomas Boyne Army E-05Sergeant 9th Cavalry Regiment Mimbres Mountains and near Ojo Caliente, New Mexico 01879-05-29 May 29 1879 and 01879-09-27 September 27 1879 "Bravery in action"
Brown, BenjaminBenjamin Brown Army E-05Sergeant 24th Infantry Regiment Arizona 01889-05-11 May 11 1889 "Although shot in the abdomen, in a fight between a paymaster's escort and robbers, did not leave the field until again wounded through both arms."
Denny, JohnJohn Denny Army E-05Sergeant 9th Cavalry Regiment Las Animas Canyon, New Mexico 01879-09-18 September 18 1879 "Removed a wounded comrade, under a heavy fire, to a place of safety."
Pompei Factor- medal of honor 1875.jpg Factor, PompeyPompey Factor Army E-01Private Indian Scouts Pecos River, Texas 01875-04-25 April 25 1875 "With 3 other men, he participated in a charge against 25 hostiles while on a scouting patrol."
Greaves, ClintonClinton Greaves Army E-04Corporal 9th Cavalry Regiment Florida Mountains, Luna County, New Mexico 01877-01-24 January 24 1877 "While part of a small detachment to persuade a band of renegade Apache Indians to surrender, his group was surrounded. Cpl. Greaves in the center of the savage hand-to-hand fighting, managed to shoot and bash a gap through the swarming Apaches, permitting his companions to break free."
Henry Johnson, MOH.jpg Johnson, HenryHenry Johnson Army E-05Sergeant 9th Cavalry Regiment Milk River, Colorado 01879-10-02 October 2 187901879-10-05 October 5 1879 "Voluntarily left fortified shelter and under heavy fire at close range made the rounds of the pits to instruct the guards, fought his way to the creek and back to bring water to the wounded."
George Jordan (MOH).jpg Jordan, GeorgeGeorge Jordan Army E-05Sergeant 9th Cavalry Regiment Fort Tularosa and Carrizo Canyon, New Mexico 01880-05-14 May 14 1880 and 01881-08-12 August 12 1881 For repulsing a larger force of Indians on 2 separate occasions
Isaiah Mays.jpg Mays, IsaiahIsaiah Mays Army E-04Corporal 24th Infantry Regiment Cedar Springs, Arizona 01889-05-11 May 11 1889 "Gallantry in the fight between Paymaster Wham's escort and robbers. Mays walked and crawled 2 miles to a ranch for help."
William McBryar, USV.jpg McBryar, WilliamWilliam McBryar Army E-05Sergeant 10th Cavalry Regiment Salt River, north of Globe, Arizona 01890-03-07 March 7 1890 "Distinguished himself for coolness, bravery and marksmanship while his troop was in pursuit of hostile Apache Indians."
Paine, AdamAdam Paine Army E-01Private Indian Scouts Canyon Blanco, Staked Plains, Texas (Red River War) 01874-09-26 September 26 187401874-09-27 September 27 1874 "Rendered invaluable service to Col. R. S. Mackenzie, 4th U.S. Cavalry, during this engagement."
Payne, IsaacIsaac Payne Army 0Trumpeter Indian Scouts Pecos River, Texas 01875-04-25 April 25 1875 "With 3 other men, he participated in a charge against 25 hostiles while on a scouting patrol."
Thomas Shaw (MOH).jpg Shaw, ThomasThomas Shaw Army E-05Sergeant 9th Cavalry Regiment Carrizo Canyon, Cuchillo Negra Mountains, New Mexico 01881-08-12 August 12 1881 "Forced the enemy back after stubbornly holding his ground in an extremely exposed position and prevented the enemy's superior numbers from surrounding his command."
Stance, EmanuelEmanuel Stance Army E-05Sergeant 9th Cavalry Regiment Kickapoo Springs, Texas 01870-05-20 May 20 1870 "Gallantry on scout after Indians"
Walley, AugustusAugustus Walley Army E-01Private 9th Cavalry Regiment Cuchillo Negro Mountains, New Mexico 01881-08-16 August 16 1881 "Bravery in action with hostile Apaches"
Ward, JohnJohn Ward Army E-05Sergeant Indian Scouts, 24th Infantry Regiment Pecos River, Texas 01875-04-25 April 25 1875 "With 3 other men, he participated in a charge against 25 hostiles while on a scouting patrol"
Williams, MosesMoses Williams Army E-08First Sergeant 9th Cavalry Regiment Cuchillo Negro Mountains, New Mexico 01881-08-16 August 16 1881 "Rallied a detachment, skillfully conducted a running flght of 3 or 4 hours, and by his coolness, bravery, and unflinching devotion to duty in standing by his commanding officer in an exposed position under a heavy fire from a large party of Indians saved the lives of at least 3 of his comrades."
Wilson, William OthelloWilliam Othello Wilson Army E-04Corporal 9th Cavalry Regiment Sioux Campaign 01890-12-30 December 30 1890 "Bravery"
Brent Woods with hat.jpg Woods, BrentBrent Woods Army E-05Sergeant 9th Cavalry Regiment Gavilan Canyon, New Mexico 01881-08-19 August 19 1881 "Saved the lives of his comrades and citizens of the detachment"

Spanish-American War[change | change source]

Six African Americans earned the Medal of Honor during the Spanish-American War: five Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry Regiment and one United States Navy sailor.[2] Four of the five Buffalo Soldiers received the Medal for rescuing a trapped landing party during the Battle of Tayacoba.

Note: Notes in quotations are derived or are copied in their entirety from the actual Medal of Honor citation
Image Name Service Rank Unit Place of action Date of action Notes
Edward L. Baker (MOH).jpg Baker, Jr., Edward L.Edward L. Baker, Jr. Army E-09Sergeant Major 10th Cavalry Regiment Santiago, Cuba 01898-07-01 July 1 1898 "Left cover and, under fire, rescued a wounded comrade from drowning."
Dennis Bell.jpg Bell, DennisDennis Bell Army E-01Private 10th Cavalry Regiment Tayabacoa, Cuba 01898-06-30 June 30 1898 "Voluntarily went ashore in the face of the enemy and aided in the rescue of his wounded comrades; this after several previous attempts at rescue had been frustrated."
Lee, FitzFitz Lee Army E-01Private 10th Cavalry Regiment Tayabacoa, Cuba 01898-06-30 June 30 1898 "Voluntarily went ashore in the face of the enemy and aided in the rescue of his wounded comrades; this after several previous attempts had been frustrated."
Robert Penn (MOH) framed.jpg Penn, RobertRobert Penn Navy Fireman First Class USS Iowa (BB-4) On board the U.S.S. Iowa off Santiago de Cuba 01898-07-20 July 20 1898 "Performing his duty at the risk of serious scalding at the time of the blowing out of the manhole gasket on board the vessel, Penn hauled the fire while standing on a board thrown across a coal bucket 1 foot above the boiling water which was still blowing from the boiler."
Thompkins, William H.William H. Thompkins Army E-01Private 10th Cavalry Regiment Tayabacoa, Cuba 01898-06-30 June 30 1898 "Voluntarily went ashore in the face of the enemy and aided in the rescue of his wounded comrades; this after several previous attempts at rescue had been frustrated."
Wanton, George H.George H. Wanton Army E-01Private 10th Cavalry Regiment Tayabacoa, Cuba 01898-06-30 June 30 1898 "Voluntarily went ashore in the face of the enemy and aided in the rescue of his wounded comrades; this after several previous attempts at rescue had been frustrated."

World War I[change | change source]

Freddie Stowers was the only African American to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in World War I.[2] Stowers had led an assault on German trenches, continuing to lead and encourage his men even after being twice wounded. Stowers died of his wounds, and was shortly afterwards recommended for the Medal of Honor; however, this recommendation was never processed. In 1990, the Department of the Army conducted a review and the Stowers recommendation was uncovered. An investigation was launched, and based on results of the investigation the award of the Medal of Honor was approved. Stowers' Medal of Honor was presented on April 24, 1991—seventy-three years after he was killed-in-action.

      This along with   indicates that the Medal of Honor was awarded posthumously

Image Name Service Rank Unit Place of action Date of action Notes
Stowers, FreddieFreddie Stowers  Army E-04Corporal 371st Infantry Regiment, 93d Division Hill 188, Champagne Marne Sector, France 01918-09-28 September 28 1918 Led his squad to destroy a group of enemy soldiers and was leading them to another trench when he was killed

World War II[change | change source]

No African American was awarded a Medal of Honor either during World War II or immediately afterwards with respect to their actions during that conflict. This changed in 1992 when a study conducted by Shaw University and commissioned by the U.S. Dept. of Defense and the United States Army asserted that systematic racial discrimination had been present in the criteria for awarding medals during the war. After an exhaustive review of files the study recommended that several of the Distinguished Service Crosses awarded to African Americans be upgraded to the Medal of Honor. On January 13, 1997, more than fifty years after the end of the war, President Bill Clinton awarded the Medal to seven African American World War II veterans. Vernon Baker was the only living recipient—the other six men had been killed in action or died in the intervening years.

      This along with   indicates that the Medal of Honor was awarded posthumously

Note: Notes in quotations are derived or are copied in their entirety from the actual Medal of Honor citation
Image Name Service Rank Unit Place of action Date of action Notes
Baker, VernonVernon Baker Army O-01Second Lieutenant 370th Infantry Regiment, 92d Infantry Division (Colored) near Viareggio, Italy 01945-04-05 April 5 1945 and 01945-04-06 April 6 1945 Risked his life numerous times to destroy enemy installations, personnel and equipment during his company's attack against a strongly entrenched enemy. He covered the evacuation of the wounded personnel of his company by occupying an exposed position and drawing the enemy's fire. On the following night he voluntarily led a battalion advance through enemy mine fields and heavy fire toward the division objective.
Carter, Jr., Edward A.Edward A. Carter, Jr.  Army E-06Staff Sergeant 12th Armored Division near Speyer, Germany 01945-03-23 March 23 1945 When the tank he was riding received heavy bazooka and small arms fire, he voluntarily attempted to lead a three-man group across an open field. Two of his men were killed and the third seriously wounded. Continuing on alone, he was wounded five times and finally was forced to take cover. As eight enemy riflemen attempted to capture him he killed six of them and captured the remaining two. He then crossed the field, using as a shield his two prisoners from whom he obtained valuable information concerning the disposition of enemy troops.
JohnRFox.jpg Fox, John R.John R. Fox  Army O-02First Lieutenant 366th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Infantry Division (Colored) the vicinity of Sommocolonia, Italy 01944-12-26 December 26 1944 "[V]oluntarily remained on the second floor of a house to direct defensive artillery fire" so his unit could escape. "when a counterattack retook the position from the Germans, Lieutenant Fox's body was found with the bodies of approximately 100 German soldiers."
James, Jr., Willy F.Willy F. James, Jr.  Army E-02Private First Class 413th Infantry Regiment, 104th Infantry Division near Lippoldsberg, Germany 01945-04-07 April 7 1945 "[L]ed a squad in the assault, accurately designating targets as he advanced, until he was killed by enemy machine gun fire while going to the aid of his fatally wounded platoon leader."
Rivers, RubenRuben Rivers  Army E-06Staff Sergeant 761st Tank Battalion (Colored), 26th Infantry Division (United States) Guebling, France 01944-11-15 November 15 194401944-11-19 November 19 1944 For extraordinary heroism in action during the 15–19 November 1944, toward Guebling, France. Though severely wounded in the leg, Sergeant Rivers refused medical treatment and evacuation, took command of another tank, and advanced with his company in Guebling the next day. Repeatedly refusing evacuation, Sergeant Rivers continued to direct his tank's fire at enemy positions through the morning of 19 November 1944. At dawn, Company A's tanks began to advance towards Bougaktroff, but were stopped by enemy fire. Sergeant Rivers, joined by another tank, opened fire on the enemy tanks, covering company A as they withdrew. While doing so, Sergeant River's tank was hit, killing him and wounding the crew. Staff Sergeant Rivers' fighting spirit and daring leadership were an inspiration to his unit and exemplify the highest traditions of military service.
1stLtCharlesLThomas.jpg Thomas, Charles L.Charles L. Thomas  Army O-02First Lieutenant 614th Tank Destroyer Battalion, 103rd Infantry Division near Climbach, France 01944-12-14 December 14 1944 Risked his life to rescue fellow soldiers from enemy fire when their vehicle was attacked. Continued helping although receiving multiple gunshot wounds to his chest, legs, and left arm. Despite the intense pain caused by these wounds, he ordered and directed the setup of two antitank guns which promptly and effectively returned fire against the enemy. Realizing that he could no longer remain in command of the platoon, he signalled to the platoon commander to join him. Only after he was certain that his junior officer was in full control of the situation did he permit himself to be evacuated.
George WATSON.jpg Watson , George George Watson   Army E-01Private 2nd Battalion, 29th Quartermaster Regiment, Quartermaster Corps Unknown 01943-03-08 March 8 1943 When his ship was hit by enemy bombers he sacrificed himself to save several other crewmembers who could not swim and drowned when the suction of the ship sinking pulled him under

Korean War[change | change source]

Two African Americans received the Medal of Honor for action in the Korean War, both were soldiers of the 24th Infantry Regiment.[2] Despite a 1948 Executive Order commanding the integration of the military, segregated units persisted until 1954; the 24th Infantry was one of the last remaining all-black regiments, and these two men were the last African Americans to receive the Medal of Honor for actions while serving in a segregated unit.

      This along with   indicates that the Medal of Honor was awarded posthumously

Image Name Service Rank Unit Place of action Date of action Notes
Charlton, Cornelius H.Cornelius H. Charlton  Army E-05Sergeant 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division Near Chipo-ri, Korea 01951-06-02 June 2 1951 Using grenades and machine-gun fire he led his men to fight back a group of enemy soldiers until he was killed
William H. Thompson (MOH).jpg Thompson, William HenryWilliam Henry Thompson  Army E-02Private First Class 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division Near Haman, Korea 01950-08-06 August 6 1950 Sacrificed his life to allow the rest of his unit to escape a group of enemy soldiers

Vietnam War[change | change source]

Twenty African Americans were awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in the Vietnam War, including James Anderson, Jr., the first African American Marine to receive the Medal.[2]

      This along with   indicates that the Medal of Honor was awarded posthumously

Note: Notes in quotations are derived or are copied in their entirety from the actual Medal of Honor citation
Image Name Service Rank Unit Place of action Date of action Notes
James Anderson, Jr.jpg Anderson, Jr., JamesJames Anderson, Jr.  Marine Corps E-02Private First Class 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division Cam Lo, Vietnam 01967-02-28 February 28 1967 Sacrificed his life by smothering a grenade with his body
Anderson, WebsterWebster Anderson Army E-06Staff Sergeant 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) Tam Kỳ, Vietnam 01967-10-15 October 15 1967 Anderson's artillery unit was attacked by North Vietnamese forces near Tam Kỳ in the Republic of Vietnam. Anderson directed the defense of the unit's position and continued to lead after twice being severely wounded.
Ashley, Jr., EugeneEugene Ashley, Jr.  Army E-07Sergeant First Class 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces Battle of Lang Vei, Vietnam 01968-02-06 February 6 196801968-02-07 February 7 1968 Led 5 assaults against the enemy, continuously exposing himself to enemy grenades, machine gun and automatic weapons fire until he was killed by enemy mortar fire after being carried off the battlefield
Austin OP USMC.jpg Austin, Oscar P.Oscar P. Austin  Marine Corps E-02Private First Class 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division (Reinforced) Da Nang, Vietnam 01969-02-23 February 23 1969 Sacrificed his life to save a wounded Marine
Bryant, William MaudWilliam Maud Bryant  Army E-07Sergeant First Class 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces Long Khanh Province, Vietnam 01969-03-24 March 24 1969 Killed by an enemy rocket after leading his men on repeated attacks upon enemy bunkers
Davis HM USMC.jpg Davis, Rodney M.Rodney M. Davis  Marine Corps E-05Sergeant 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division Quang Nam Province, Vietnam 01967-09-06 September 6 1967 Sacrificed his life by smothering a grenade with his body
Jenkins, Jr., Robert H.Robert H. Jenkins, Jr.  Marine Corps E-02Private First Class 3rd Marine Division (Reinforced) Fire Support Base Argonne, DMZ, Vietnam 01969-03-05 March 5 1969 Sacrificed his life to shield a wounded Marine from an exploding grenade
Joel, LawrenceLawrence Joel Army E-04Specialist Six 503d Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade Vietnam 01965-11-08 November 8 1965 After a long battle with enemy soldiers and despite his own wounds he continued to treat wounded until he was ordered to evacuate
Johnson, Dwight H.Dwight H. Johnson Army E-04Specialist Five 69th Armor Regiment, 4th Infantry Division Dak To, Kon Tum Province, Vietnam 01968-01-15 January 15 1968 Risked his life to repeatedly attack a group of enemy soldiers until all of the enemy had been repulsed or killed
Johnson, Ralph H.Ralph H. Johnson  Marine Corps E-02Private First Class 1st Marine Division (Reinforced) Hill 146, Quan Duc Valley, Vietnam 01968-03-05 March 5 1968 Sacrificed his life by smothering a grenade with his body
Langhorn, Garfield M.Garfield M. Langhorn  Army E-02Private First Class 17th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Aviation Brigade Plei Djereng, Pleiku Province, Vietnam 01969-01-15 January 15 1969 Sacrificed his life by smothering a grenade with his body
Leonard, MatthewMatthew Leonard  Army E-07Sergeant First Class 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division Suoi Da, Vietnam 01967-02-28 February 28 1967 Although severely wounded he continued to fight the enemy until succombing to his wounds
Long, Donald RussellDonald Russell Long  Army E-05Sergeant 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division Vietnam 01966-06-30 June 30 1966 Sacrificed his life by smothering a grenade with his body
Olive, III, Milton L.Milton L. Olive, III  Army E-02Private First Class 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Phu Cuong, Vietnam 01965-10-22 October 22 1965 Sacrificed his life by smothering a grenade with his body
Pitts, Riley L.Riley L. Pitts  Army O-03Captain 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division Ap Dong, Vietnam 01967-10-31 October 31 1967 Led his men against numerous attacks against the enemy until they had been defeated
Charles C. Rogers (MOH).jpg Rogers, Charles CalvinCharles Calvin Rogers Army O-05Lieutenant Colonel 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Infantry Division Fishook region (near the Cambodian border), Vietnam 01968-11-01 November 1 1968 "Although too severely wounded to physically lead the defenders, Lt. Col. Rogers continued to give encouragement and direction to his men in the defeating and repelling of the enemy attack"
Sargent, Ruppert L.Ruppert L. Sargent  Army O-02First Lieutenant 9th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division Hau Nghia Province, Vietnam 01967-03-15 March 15 1967 Sacrificed his life by smothering two enemy grenades with his body
Sasser, ClarenceClarence Sasser Army E-02Private First Class 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division Ding Tuong Province, Vietnam 01968-01-10 January 10 1968 Although wounded himself he proceeded to administer first aid to the wounded for more than five hours until they were evacuated
Sims, Clifford ChesterClifford Chester Sims  Army E-06Staff Sergeant 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division Huế, Vietnam 01968-02-21 February 21 1968 Sacrificed his life by smothering a grenade with his body
John E. Warren (MOH)2.jpg Warren, Jr., John E.John E. Warren, Jr.  Army O-02First Lieutenant 22d Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division Tay Ninh Province, Vietnam 01969-01-14 January 14 1969 Treated the wounded and administered last rites to the dead and dying until he was killed by the enemy

Peacetime[change | change source]

Before World War II, the Medal of Honor could be awarded for actions not involving direct combat with the enemy; eight African Americans earned the Medal in this way, all of them sailors.[2] Robert Augustus Sweeney received two peacetime Medals of Honor, one of only nineteen men, and the only African American, to be awarded the medal twice. Most of the non-combat medals, including both of Sweeney's, were awarded for rescuing or attempting to rescue someone from drowning.

      This along with   indicates that the Medal of Honor was awarded posthumously

Note: Notes in quotations are derived or are copied in their entirety from the actual Medal of Honor citation
Image Name Service Rank Unit Place of action Date of action Notes
Daniel Atkins (MOH) poster.jpg Atkins, DanielDaniel Atkins Navy Ship's Cook First Class USS Cushing (TB-1) aboard ship at sea 01898-02-11 February 11 1898 Attempted to save the life of an officer who fell overboard at sea
Davis, JohnJohn Davis Navy E-01Ordinary Seaman USS Trenton (1876) Toulon, France 01881-02 February 1881 "Jumping overboard, Davis rescued Augustus Ohlensen, coxswain, from drowning"
Girandy, AlphonseAlphonse Girandy Navy E-01Seaman USS Petrel (PG-2) aboard ship at sea 01901-03-31 March 31 1901 "[F]earlessly exposing his own life to danger for the saving of others"
Johnson, JohnJohn Johnson Navy E-01Seaman USS Kansas (1863) near Greytown, Nicaragua 01872-04-12 April 12 1872 "[D]isplayed great coolness and self-possession at the time Comdr. A. F. Crosman and others were drowned and, by extraordinary heroism and personal exertion, prevented greater loss of life."
Johnson, WilliamWilliam Johnson Navy Cooper USS Adams (1874) Navy Yard, Mare Island, California 01879-11-14 November 14 1879 "[R]escued Daniel W. Kloppen, a workman, from drowning"
Joseph Noil poster.jpg Noil, Joseph B.Joseph B. Noil Navy E-01Seaman USS Powhatan (1850) Norfolk, Virginia 01872-12-26 December 26 1872 "[S]aved Boatswain J. C. Walton from drowning"
Smith, JohnJohn Smith Navy E-01Seaman USS Shenandoah (1862) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 01880-09-19 September 19 1880 "[R]escuing from drowning James Grady, first class fireman"
Sweeney, Robert AugustusRobert Augustus Sweeney Navy E-01Ordinary Seaman First action:
USS Kearsarge (1861)
Second action:
USS Jamestown (1844)
First action:
Hampton Roads, Virginia
Second action:
Brooklyn Navy Yard
First action:
01881-10-26 October 26 1881
Second action:
01883-12-20 December 20 1883
First action:"[J]umped overboard and assisted in saving from drowning a shipmate who had fallen overboard into a strongly running tide"
Second action:"[R]escued from drowning A. A. George, who had fallen overboard from that vessel"

Footnotes[change | change source]

  1. "In international law, contraband is any goods carried by vessels of neutral nations during wartime that may be confiscated and thus prohibited from delivery to the enemy. Since slavery was still in active practice in the southern United States (the Confederate States of America) during the American Civil War when Blake was captured, he was considered someone's property and therefore considered to be contraband.”

References[change | change source]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
General
  • Hanna, Charles W. (2002). African American recipients of the Medal of Honor: a biographical dictionary, Civil War through Vietnam War. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. ISBN 0-7864-1355-7
      .
Inline
  1. "A Brief History — The Medal of Honor". Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Department of Defense. August 8, 2006. http://www.defenselink.mil/faq/pis/med_of_honor.html. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 C. W. Hanna, African American recipients of the Medal of Honor, 3; Note: Hanna includes Clement Dees in his count, while this list does not, because Dees's medal was rescinded.
  3. "List of Double MOH Recipients". Congressional Medal of Honor Society. http://www.cmohs.org/recipients/double.htm. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "WWII African American MOH recipients". United States Army Center of Military History. http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/mohb.html. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  5. Owens, Ron (2004). Medal of Honor: Historical Facts and Figures. Turner Publishing Company. p. 23. ISBN 1-56311-995-1 . http://books.google.com/books?id=s65pmBAUmD4C. Retrieved December 31, 2012.

Other websites[change | change source]