Hidden History: Why lawmakers are pushing for this man to receive the Medal of Honor

Hidden History

WASHINGTON (KGPE) – Back in 1944, black Army medic Corporal Waverly Woodson Jr. saved hundreds of lives.

He died in 2005 and there’s now an effort in Congress to award him the Medal of Honor.

Corporal Woodson landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. He was wounded himself when a blast destroyed his boat.

“This D-Day, Army prejudices took a backseat as far as the soldiers helping one another was concerned,” said his widow Joann Woodson reading the words of her late husband’s personal eyewitness account of D-Day.

Cpl. Woodson set up a medical aid station and for 30 hours he removed bullets, cleaned wounds, and saved lives. He never received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions, despite the recommendations of his commanding officers, and then in 1973 his military records were destroyed by a fire in St. Louis.

Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen says that shouldn’t matter.

“Given the contemporaneous records of his heroism that were talked about in multiple newspapers at the time.”

Van Hollen and the Congressional Black Caucus wrote a letter to Acting Secretary of the Army requesting a formal review to posthumously award the Medal of Honor.

Despite no movement yet on the medal, Van Hollen and Woodson’s widow hold onto hope that Woodson and other African Americans’ heroism during World War II will one day be properly recognized.

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