Senators urge new look at black soldier's heroics

AP News
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Posted: Oct 05, 2011 6:34 PM
Senators urge new look at black soldier's heroics

Two Democratic senators say they have new evidence of a black soldier's heroics during World War I, and want him to be considered for the Medal of Honor.

Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon sent a letter asking Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to consider the honor for Sgt. Henry Lincoln Johnson. They say they have a handwritten account from Johnson's partner on sentry duty when 20 Germans attacked the 369th Infantry, also known as the Harlem Hellfighters, on May 15, 1918.

The senators say U.S. officials for 90 years have said there were not enough U.S. sources to confirm his story.

Johnson was awarded the Purple Heart in 1996 and the Distinguished Service Cross in 2003. He received France's highest award for valor in 1918.