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Nick Fish

Commissioner, City of Portland

phone: 503-823-3589

fax: 503-823-3596

1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Honoring Sergeant Henry Lincoln Johnson

Henry Lincoln Johnson may receive the Congressional Medal of Honor after all—thanks to the recent recommendation of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and the tireless support of U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Ron Wyden, The Skanner, and many others. 

A WWI veteran who served in the 369th Regiment, Sergeant Johnson was the first American to receive the France’s highest military honor, the Croix de Guerre with Palm

The 369th, also known as the Harlem Hellfighters, was an African American regiment which served with distinction during WWI.  Nick’s grandfather, Hamilton Fish, was a Captain in the regiment.  During WWI, U.S. troops were segregated. So, the Hellfighters fought under the French flag.

In 1918, a wounded Sergeant Johnson courageously fought off a German raider party for an hour, with only his jammed rifle and bolo knife. His actions saved his partner, Needham Roberts, from capture. 

Sergeant Johnson is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. In 1996, President Bill Clinton posthumously awarded Sergeant Johnson with the Purple Heart.  In 2003, he received the Distinguished Service Cross award, the Army’s second highest honor. 

We hope 2014 is the year Sergeant Johnson receives our nation's highest honor for his heroism.

WWI Hellfighter Closer to Getting Medal of Honor Award

Helen Silvis in the Skanner

It’s never too late to honor a real war hero: Editorial

The Oregonian Editorial Board

WWI African-American soldier Henry L. Johnson closer to Medal of Honor, with push from Oregon, New York

Mike Francis in The Oregonian


Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.