Obama will decide on top honor for black WWI hero

AP News
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Posted: Dec 12, 2014 6:23 PM
Obama will decide on top honor for black WWI hero

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The decision to grant a posthumous Medal of Honor for a black World War I hero from New York moves to President Barack Obama's desk after Congress agreed to waive a time restriction.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says the defense authorization bill passed Friday lifts the requirement for the medal to be awarded within five years of heroic acts.

Obama is expected to sign the bill and then consider honoring Sgt. Henry Johnson.

Johnson was a train station porter from Albany. During the war, he rescued a comrade in the all-black 369th Infantry Regiment while fighting off a German attack in France in 1918. With U.S. armed forces segregated then, the unit was assigned to serve under French command.

Johnson supporters have been pushing for the Medal of Honor for decades.

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Associated Press writer Chris Carola in Albany contributed to this report.