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Pentagon chief OKs Medal of Honor for WWI hero

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Updated: 8/26 7:55 am

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has recommended awarding a posthumous Medal of Honor to a black soldier from upstate New York who saved a comrade while fighting off a German attack in France during World War I.

Sen. Charles Schumer said Tuesday the Pentagon chief has sent Congress a letter saying Sgt. Henry Johnson should receive the nation's highest military decoration for bravery in combat.

The railroad porter from Albany was serving in the all-black 369th Infantry Regiment when he killed or wounded several enemy soldiers while saving a fellow soldier from capture during a raid in May 1918.

President Barack Obama gets the final word on the medal request, which first requires passage of special legislation in Congress because Johnson's actions were more than five years ago.

 

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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