Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Negro Soldiers Heroes -- September 11, 2018

Tacoma Time, 20-May-1918

I missed the 100th anniversary of 15-May-1918, when Henry Johnson and Needham Roberts were on guard duty in the Argonne Forest. Johnson fought off a German raiding party in hand-to-hand combat. Johnson also rescued Roberts, who was badly wounded.  Johnson was wounded 21 times. Johnson and Roberts were part of the famous Harlem Hellfighters, the 369th Infantry Regiment. The US Army didn't want an African American unit, so the 369th fought under French command. The French gave Johnson and Roberts the Croix de Guerre with a palm. Johnson died in poverty in 1929. Because of racism, the US Army did not award Johnson and Roberts the Purple Heart until 1996. President Barack Obama awarded Henry Johnson the Medal of Honor in 2012.

Fight Off 20 Enemy Attackers

(United Press Leased Wire.)

WASHINGTON, D. C. May 20 -- Quiet prevailed along the American front, except for aerial activity, yesterday, Gen. Pershing reported today. Two enemy machines were brought down. The statement follows: "Section A -- Aside from the activities of the air forces on both sides, the day was quiet at all points occupied by our troops. Our aviators brought down two hostile machines.

"Section B -- Reports in hand show a notable instance of bravery and devotion shown by two soldiers of an American colored regiment operating in a French sector.

Attacked by 20.

"Before daylight on May 15, Private Henry Johnson and Private Roberts, while on sentry duty at some distance from one another, were attacked by the German raiding party, estimated at 20 men, who advanced in two groups, attacking at once from flank and rear.

"Both men fought bravely in hand to hand encounters, one resorting to the use of a bolo knife after his rifle jammed and further fighting with bayonet and butt became impossible. There is evidence that at least one and probably a second German was severely cut. A third Is known to have been shot

"Attention is drawn to the fact that the two colored sentries were attacked and continued fighting after receiving wounds and despite the use of grenades by a superior force. They should be given credit for preventing by their bravery the capture of any of our men. Three of our men were wounded, two by grenade. All are recovering, and the wounds in two cases were slight.

Present Colors.

"Maj. Lufbery was killed in flight during which he had been in combat. He was seen to fall from his machine, which fell a short distance from him. He was possibly wounded or dead before he fell. Earlier reports stated that he was, at the time, in long running fight and was flying upHide down at 2,000 feet.

"Last night one of our aviators engaged two German planes and brought down one in the vicinity of Apremont.

"This morning Lieut. Douglas Campbell, flying at 4500 meters, brought down a hostile biplane in the vicinity of Fliry. The hostile plane fell within our lines.

"On May 15 a descendant of one of the French officers who served with the American revolutionary forces presented in the name of the descendants of all such officers a stand of national and regimental colors to two regiments of newly arrived American division.

"The flags bore the inscription, "From the sons of the French champions of American liberty to the American champions for France and humanity."


(United Press Leased Wire.)

WITH THE AMERICAN ARMY IN LORRAINE, May 20.-— Lieut. Douglas Campbell of Mount Hamilton, Cal., brought down his second German airplane this afternoon.

The fight took place at a great height. The German plane crashed into the American lines.

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