‘Harlem Hellfighter’ Honored: Black War Hero To Receive Posthumous Award From President Obama


A member of the best-known African-American unit of World War I, popularly known as the “Harlem Hellfighters,” is scheduled to receive a posthumous Medal of Honor on Friday from President Barack Obama for heroism during combat.

The Medal of Honor will be bestowed upon Private Henry Johnson for his actions while serving as a member of Company C, 369th Infantry Regiment, 93rd Division, American Expeditionary Forces, according to a White House news release.

Command Sergeant Major Louis Wilson, New York National Guard, will join the president at the White House to accept the Medal of Honor on Private Johnson’s behalf. Army Sgt. William Shemin, who was Jewish and from the Bronx, NYC, is also scheduled to be honored for rushing three times across a battlefield to pull wounded comrades to safety in August 1918.

Nearly 100 years ago, then-Private Johnson, a train station porter from Albany, distinguished himself…

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