Indigenous Native Americans Who Have Received the Medal of Honor


The United States' highest military honor is the Medal of Honor. Given for military heroism "above and beyond the call of duty," it has only been given to indigenous Native Americans a handful of times during the United States' military history. The Native American warriors listed below exhibited extraordinary bravery in the face of the enemy - exemplifying their traditional culture in the face of great hardship.



Alchesay. Sergeant, American Indian Scout. Place and date: Winter of 1872-73. Entry of service date unknown. Entered service at: Camp Verde, Arizona. Born: 1853, Arizona Territory. Date of issue: 12 April 1875. Citation: Gallant conduct during campaigns and engagements with Apaches.

Blanquet. American Indian Scout. Place and date: Winter of 1872-73. Entry of service date unknown. Arizona. Date of issue: 12 April 1875. Citation: Gallant conduct during campaigns and engagements with Apaches.

Chiquito. American Indian Scout. Place and date: Winter of 1871-73. Entry of service date unknown. Birth: Arizona. Date of issue: 12 April 1875. Citation: Gallant conduct during campaigns and engagements with Apaches.

Co-Rux-Te-Chod-Ish (Mad Bear). Sergeant, Native American Pawnee Scouts, U.S. Army. Place and date: At Republican River, Kansas, 8 July 1869. Entry of service date unknown. Birth: Nebraska. Date of issue: 24 August 1869. Citation: Ran out from the command in pursuit of a dismounted Indian; was shot down and badly wounded by a bullet from his own command.

Elsatsoosu. Corporal, American Indian Scout. Place and date: Winter of 1872-73. Entry of service date unknown. Birth: Arizona. Date of issue: 12 April 1875. Citation: Gallant conduct during campaigns and engagements with Apaches.

Jim. Sergeant, American Indian Scout. Place and date: Winter of 1871-73. Entry of service date unknown. Birth: Arizona Territory. Date of issue: 12 April 1875. Citation: Gallant conduct during campaigns and engagements with Apaches.

Kelsay. American Indian Scout. Place and date: Winter of 1872-73. Entry of service date unknown. Birth: Arizona. Date of issue: 12 April 1875. Citation: Gallant conduct during campaigns and engagements with Apaches.

Kosoha. American Indian Scout. Place and date: Winter of 1872-73. Entry of service date unknown. Birth: Arizona. Date of issue: 12 April 1875. Citation: Gallant conduct during campaigns and engagements with Apaches.

Machol. Private, American Indian Scout. Place and date: Arizona, 1872-73. Entry of service date unknown. Birth: Arizona. Date of issue: 12 April 1875. Citation: Gallant conduct during campaign and engagements with Apaches.

Nannasaddie. American Indian Scout. Place and date: 1872-73. Entry of service date unknown. Birth: Arizona. Date of issue: 12 April 1875. Citation: Gallant conduct during campaigns and engagements with Apaches.

Nantaje (Nantahe). American Indian Scout. Place and date: 1872-73. Entry of service date unknown. Birth: Arizona. Date of issue: 12 April 1875. Citation: Gallant conduct during campaigns and engagements with Apaches.

Rowdy. Sergeant, Company A, American Indian Scouts. Place and date: Arizona, 7 March 1890. Entry of service date unknown. Birth: Arizona. Date of issue: 15 May 1890. Citation: Bravery in action with Apache Indians.

Jack C. Montgomery. An indigenous Cherokee from Oklahoma, and a First Lieutenant with the 45th Infantry Division Thunderbirds. On 22 February 1944, near Padiglione, Italy, Montgomery's rifle platoon was under fire by three echelons of enemy forces, when he single-handedly attacked all three positions, taking prisoners in the process. As a result of his courage, Montgomery's actions demoralized the enemy and inspired his men to defeat the Axis troops.

Ernest Childers. An indigenous Creek from Oklahoma, and a First Lieutenant with the 45th Infantry Division. Childers received the Medal of Honor for heroic action in 1943 when, up against machine gun fire, he and eight men charged the enemy. Although suffering a broken foot in the assault, Childers ordered covering fire and advanced up the hill, single-handedly killing two snipers, silencing two machine gun nests, and capturing an enemy mortar observer.

Van Barfoot. An indigenous Choctaw from Mississippi, and a Second Lieutenant in the Thunderbirds. On 23 May 1944, during the breakout from Anzio to Rome, Barfoot knocked out two machine gun nests and captured 17 German soldiers. Later that same day, he repelled a German tank assault, destroyed a Nazi fieldpiece and while returning to camp carried two wounded commanders to safety.

Mitchell Red Cloud Jr. An indigenous Winnebago from Wisconsin, and a Corporal in Company E., 19th Infantry Regiment in Korea. On 5 November 1950, Red Cloud was on a ridge guarding his company command post when he was surprised by Chinese communist forces. He sounded the alarm and stayed in his position firing his automatic rifle and point-blank to check the assault. This gave his company time to consolidate their defenses. After being severely wounded by enemy fire, he refused assistance and continued firing upon the enemy until he was fatally wounded. His heroic action prevented the enemy from overrunning his company's position and gained time for evacuation of the wounded.

Charles George. An indigenous Cherokee from North Carolina, and Private First Class in Korea when he was killed on 30 November 1952. During battle, George threw himself upon a grenade and smothered it with his body. In doing so, he sacrificed his own life but saved the lives of his comrades. For this brave and selfless act, George was posthumously award the Medal of Honor in 1954.




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