Henry Lincoln Johnson (1897-1929), who served valiantly as part of the 369th regiment (known as the Harlem Hellfighters) received the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously in a ceremony at the White House on June 2, 2015, almost one hundred years after his return from war.
At the same White House ceremony, Sgt. William Shemin (1896-1973) , another World War I hero, was also honored with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Shemin had faced discrimination because he was Jewish.
“We are a nation, a people, who remember our heroes,” President Barack Obama said of the two men, according to press reports. “They both left us decades ago, before we could give them the full recognition that they deserve. But it’s never too late to say thank you.
“It takes our nation too long, sometimes, to say so,” he continued. “We have work to do as a nation to make sure that all of our heroes’ stories are told. The least we can do is to say, ‘We know who you are, we know what you did for us. We are forever grateful.’”
Johnson is only the second African American to receive the Medal of Honor for World War I service.