Senator Pushes to Honor Forgotten Black WWII Hero

D-Day, June 6, 1944. The beginning of the end of WWII...

As the sun rose over the coast, tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers began storming Normandy through the French coast. The German forces on the other side anticipated the attack and greeted the American military with a barrage of bullets and bombs. 

Cpl Waverly Woodson Jr. was one of the U.S. army men that stormed the coast. He was a medic for the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, which was the only all-Black U.S. combat unit to storm Normandy on D-Day.

Woodson's craft hit a submerged mine as they approached the beach. The shell exploded and sliced open his leg, rupturing his groin. 

Woodson knew that he was critically injured, yet he still pushed forward towards Omaha beach, carrying a 125-pound gas bag designed to interfere with aircraft with him, 

When Woodson reached shore, he set up an army tent and treated soldier's wounds for 30 hours before he collapsed due to his injuries. Because of this Woodson received a bronze star and a nomination for the Medal of Honor, our nation's highest award for military valor and martyrdom. 

But, Woodson never received his medal. Woodson died in Clarksburg, MD in 2005. However, his reputation preceded him, and when the time came, a woman named Linda Hervieux wrote a book titled "Forgotten: The Untold Story of D-Day's Black Heroes, at Home and at War."

Woodson was one of the focal points of the book, which attracted the attention of U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. Since Hollen read the book in 2019, he has been pushing for the army to consider Woodson for the medal. 

The army has not taken action yet, but with continued political pressure, they're likely to crack soon. 

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