September 17, 2014

Tuesday Afternoon Thread: Phyllis Hyman Week

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Betcha By Golly Wow
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Tuesday Open Thread: African American War Heroes

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Good Morning POU!

Today’s feature is a soldier that ordered his own death in order to defend this country.

John R. Fox 9

John R. Fox was born in Cincinnati, Ohio May 18, 1915, and attended Wilberforce University, graduating with an ROTC commission in 1940. He was 29 years old when he called artillery fire on his own position the day after Christmas in 1944, for which he was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in 1982. More than fifty years after his death, Fox was awarded the Medal of Honor. He is buried in Colebrook Cemetery in Whitman, Massachusetts.

The 92nd Infantry Division (colored), known as the Buffalo Soldiers, was a segregated division that fought in World War II. First Lieutenant John R. Fox was with the 366th Infantry Regiment’s 598th Field Artillery Battalion when he made the ultimate sacrifice in order to defeat the enemy and save the lives of his fellow soldiers.

When a massive German assault was launched on Sommocolonia, a windswept mountain village in the Serchio River Valley in the Apennine Mountains of northern Italy. in December 1944, a scant two platoons of American infantrymen were dug in here. Their own commanding officers expected them to throw down their guns and run. But for 20 critical hours, the tiny complement of 70 men, held out against an offensive that might have changed the course of World War II.

A mile to the north of Sommocolonia was the forward encampment of the German 14th Army, which had been instructed not to take prisoners from the 92nd Division because its soldiers were black – and, by official Nazi standards, not fully human. [Continue Reading...]

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