Congressional Black Caucus wants posthumous Medal of Honor for African American soldier

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is pushing for an African American soldier to be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on D-Day.

The CBC, along with Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), sent a letter to acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy Wednesday asking him to open a formal review of Cpl. Waverly B. Woodson Jr., an Army medic assigned to the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion. They said he continued to work to save lives for 30 hours on Omaha Beach after he was wounded.

{mosads}“Cpl. Woodson went above and beyond the call of duty by spending 30 grueling hours saving the lives of dozens, if not hundreds, of his fellow soldiers,” the letter reads. “Cpl. Woodson was a war hero who has been inadequately recognized for his actions on D-Day.”

Woodson was part of a balloon battalion that was the only African American combat unit to land on Normandy. Its duty was to set up explosive-rigged balloons to deter German planes during the famous assault.

The letter’s signatories say he was not awarded for his bravery “because of the color of his skin.” 

“We respectfully ask the Army to rectify this historic injustice and appropriately recognize this valorous Veteran with a posthumous recommendation for the Medal of Honor,” they wrote.

Woodson died in 2005. Van Hollen became involved in his case in 2015 when his widow, who lives in Maryland, contacted him. 

“He needs to be given credit for what he did,” Joann Woodson told The Associated Press. “It’s never too late to correct something or to recognize something that should have been done.”

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