Friday, October 01, 2010

Vernon Baker: WWII Medal of Honor Hero

In 1945, Vernon Baker rallied black troops after their white commander deserted. They captured a German stronghold in Italy, taking out three machine gun nests, two bunkers and an observation post. But he did not receive his award for more than half a century, and no black soldiers received the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for battlefield valor, during that era. An Army study initiated in the early 1990s concluded Baker and several other men had been denied the award because of racism. Baker and six other black World War II veterans received medals posthumously at a 1997 White House ceremony. He was the only Black WWII hero to receive his award while still alive.

Baker died July 13, 2010, St. Maries, Idaho. He was 90, and a genuine great American hero. Gone, but not forgotten.

H/T: the Field Negro

James C. Collier


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1 comment:

Sean said...

That is a great story. He was a fine and honorable man.

Please- post more pieces like this.