Immortal Valor

Immortal Valor

The Black Medal of Honor Winners Of World War II

General Military
  • Author: Robert Child
  • Short code: GNM
  • Publication Date: 6 Jan 2022
  • Number of Pages: 288
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The remarkable story of the seven African American soldiers ultimately awarded the World War II Medal of Honor, and the 50-year campaign to deny them their recognition.

In 1945, when Congress began reviewing the record of the most conspicuous acts of courage by American soldiers during World War II, they recommended awarding the Medal of Honor to 432 recipients. Despite the fact that more than one million African-Americans served, not a single black soldier received the Medal of Honor. The omission remained on the record for over four decades.

But recent historical investigations have brought to light some of the extraordinary acts of valor performed by black soldiers during the war. Men like Vernon Baker, who single-handedly eliminated three enemy machineguns, an observation post, and a German dugout. Or Sergeant Reuben Rivers, who spearhead his tank unit's advance against fierce German resistance for three days despite being grievously wounded. Meanwhile Lieutenant Charles Thomas led his platoon to capture a strategically vital village on the Siegfried Line in 1944 despite losing half his men and suffering a number of wounds himself.

Ultimately, in 1993 a US Army commission determined that seven men, including Baker, Rivers and Thomas, had been denied the Army's highest award simply due to racial discrimination. In 1997, more than 50 years after the war, President Clinton finally awarded the Medal of Honor to these seven heroes, sadly all but one of them posthumously.

These are their stories.

Biographical Note

Robert Child is a military history writer, director, and published author with Penguin/Random House. Besides his co-authored book, The Lost Eleven, with Denise George, he has published nine other nonfiction military history titles and military thrillers over the last eight years. The film rights to The Last Eleven have been acquired. Robert has garnered more than 26 writing and directing awards including an Emmy® nomination and is one of only a handful of writer/directors whose work has screened in the United States Congress. He lives in Atlanta.


(Subject to confirmation)
Chapter 1. Legacy of Valor
Chapter 2. Reuben Rivers: early life
Chapter 3. Reuben Rivers: military experience
Chapter 4. Reuben Rivers: Medal of Honor incident
Chapter 5. Vernon Baker: early life
Chapter 6. Vernon Baker: military experience
Chapter 7. Vernon Baker: Medal of Honor incident
Chapter 8. John R. Fox: early life
Chapter 9. John R. Fox: military experience
Chapter 10. John R. Fox: Medal of Honor incident
Chapter 11. Wily F. James Jr.: early life
Chapter 12. Wily F. James Jr.: military experience
Chapter 13. Wily F. James Jr.: Medal of Honor incident
Chapter 14. Charles L. Thomas: early life
Chapter 15. Charles L. Thomas: military experience
Chapter 16. Charles L. Thomas: Medal of Honor incident
Chapter 17. George Watson: early life
Chapter 18. George Watson: military experience
Chapter 19. George Watson: Medal of Honor incident
Chapter 20. Edward A. Carter Jr.: early life
Chapter 21. Edward A. Carter Jr.: military experience
Chapter 22. Edward A. Carter Jr: Medal of Honor incident
Chapter 23. A Campaign of Racism
Chapter 24. The Road Forward - Valor Medal Board

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