A Choctaw Warriors story.
Van T. Barfoot's Medal of Honor citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 23 May 1944, near Carano, Italy.
With his platoon heavily engaged during an assault against forces well entrenched on commanding ground, 2d Lt. Barfoot (then Tech. Sgt.) moved off alone upon the enemy left flank.
He crawled to the proximity of 1 machinegun nest and made a direct hit on it with a hand grenade, killing 2 and wounding 3 Germans.
He continued along the German defense line to another machinegun emplacement, and with his tommygun killed 2 and captured 3 soldiers.
Members of another enemy machinegun crew then abandoned their position and gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot.
Leaving the prisoners for his support squad to pick up, he proceeded to mop up positions in the immediate area, capturing more prisoners and bringing his total count to 17.
Later that day, after he had reorganized his men and consolidated the newly captured ground, the enemy launched a fierce armored counterattack directly at his platoon positions.
Securing a bazooka, Sgt. Barfoot took up an exposed position directly in front of 3 advancing Mark VI tanks.
From a distance of 75 yards his first shot destroyed the track of the leading tank, effectively disabling it, while the other 2 changed direction toward the flank.
As the crew of the disabled tank dismounted, Sgt. Barfoot killed 3 of them with his tommygun.
He continued onward into enemy terrain and destroyed a recently abandoned German fieldpiece with a demolition charge placed in the breech.
While returning to his platoon position, Sgt. Barfoot, though greatly fatigued by his Herculean efforts, assisted 2 of his seriously wounded men 1,700 yards to a position of safety.
Sgt. Barfoot's extraordinary heroism, demonstration of magnificent valor, and aggressive determination in the face of point-blank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers."
This 1944 Medal of Honor citation, listed with the National Medal of Honor Society, is for Second Lieutenant Van T. Barfoot, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry.
As a Native American Indian recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, Mr. Barfoot is one of only five American Indians that have been distinguished by receiving the United States' highest military honor (the Medal of Honor) during the 20th century.
Awarded by the United States Congress for military heroism "above and beyond the call of duty," these American Indian warriors exhibited extraordinary bravery in the face of the enemy and, in two cases, made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.