Black Ancestors : Sgt. Henry L. Johnson

Discussion in 'Honoring Black Ancestors' started by cherryblossom, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Lincoln_Johnson

    Henry Johnson, an African American, was born in Alexandria, Virginia in 1897 and moved to Albany, New York when he was in his early teens. He worked as a redcap porter at the Albany Union Station on Broadway. Johnson enlisted in the Army June 5, 1917, joining the all-black New York National Guard unit, the 15th New York Infantry, which, when mustered into federal service was renamed the 369th Infantry Regiment, based in Harlem. Assigned to the French command in World War I, Johnson arrived in France on New Year’s Day, 1918. While on guard duty on May 14, 1918, Private Johnson came under attack by a German raider party. Johnson displayed uncommon heroism when, using his rifle and a bolo knife, he repelled the Germans, thereby rescuing a comrade from capture and saving the lives of his fellow soldiers. This act of valor earned him the nickname of "Black Death", as a sign of respect for his prowess in combat.
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    SGT Henry L. Johnson
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    Henry Johnson biographical cartoon by Charles Alston, 1943
    Sergeant Henry Johnson was the first American soldier in World War I to receive the Croix de Guerre with star and Gold Palm from the French government.[citation needed]
    Johnson died in New Lenox, Illinois at the Veterans Hospital, on July 5, 1929, penniless, estranged from his wife and family and without official recognition from the U.S. government. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
    Interest in obtaining fitting recognition for Johnson grew during the 1970s and 1980s. In November 1991 a monument was erected in Albany, New York's Washington Park in his honor, and a section of Northern Boulevard was renamed Henry Johnson Boulevard.
    In June 1996, Johnson was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart by President Bill Clinton. In February 2003, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army’s second highest award, was presented to Herman A. Johnson, one of the Tuskegee Airmen, on behalf of his father.[1] John Howe, a Vietnam War veteran who had campaigned tirelessly for recognition for Johnson, and U.S. Army Major General Nathaniel James, President of the 369th Veterans Association, were present at the ceremony in Albany.[2][3]
    In December 2004 the Postal facility at 747 Broadway was renamed the “United States Postal Service Henry Johnson Annex.” Work continues to upgrade his Distinguished Service Cross to the Medal of Honor.
    On September 4, 2007 the City of Albany dedicated the Henry Johnson Charter School. Johnson's granddaughter was in attendance.

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    Johnson in 1918, wearing his Croix de Guerre.​
    Birth name​
    Henry Lincoln Johnson
    Nickname​
    Black Death
    Born​
    1897
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Died​
    July 5, 1929 (aged 31-32)
    New Lenox, Illinois
    Allegiance​
    [​IMG] United States of America
    Service/branch​
    United States Army
    Years of service​
    1917-1918
    Rank​
    Sergeant
    Unit​
    New York Army National Guard
    369th Infantry Regiment
    Battles/wars​
    World War I
    Awards​
    Distinguished Service Cross
    Purple Heart
    Croix de Guerre
     
  2. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    [​IMG]
    Henry Lincoln Johnson
    Sergeant, United States Army

    JOHNSON, HENRY
    Sergeant, U.S. Army
    Company C, 369th Infantry Regiment, 93d Division, A.E.F.
    Date of Action: May 13 - 15, 1918
    Awarded under Act of Congress, 2002
    Home Town: Albany, New York
    Citation:
    The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Henry Johnson, Sergeant, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action in France during the period 13 - 15 May 1918.
    Private Johnson distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force.
    While on a double sentry night duty, Private Johnson and a fellow soldier were attacked by a raiding party of Germans numbering almost twenty, wounding both. When the Germans were within fighting distance, he opened fire, shooting one of them and seriously wounding two more. The Germans continued to advance, and as they were about to be captured Private Johnson drew his bolo knife from his belt and attacked the Germans in a hand-to-hand encounter. Even though having sustained three grenade and shotgun wounds from the star, Private Johnson went to the rescue of his fellow soldier who was being taken prisoner by the enemy. He kept on fighting until the Germans were chased away.
    Private Johnson’s personal courage and total disregard for his own life reflect great credit upon himself, the 369th United States Infantry Regiment, the United States Army, and the United States of America.....
    http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/henry-johnson.htm
     
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