san bernardino strait

NATIVE AMERICAN INDIANS AWARDED THE U.S. MEDAL OF HONOR 2

Charles George (Cherokee)

A 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.

Ernest Edwin Evans (Cherokee-Creek)

A Cherokee/Creek from Oklahoma, during the Battle for Leyte Gulf, 24-26 October 1944, Commander of the USS Johnston, he formed a part of the screen for escort aircraft carriers of the SEVENTH Fleet which on 25 October encountered off Samar the Center Force of the Japanese Fleet after it had transited San Bernardino Strait during the night of 24-25 October. The USS Johnston waged a gallant fight against heavy Japanese fleet units but was sunk by the enemy ships. Lieutenant Commander Evans was awarded the Navy Cross, later recalled and replaced by the Medal of Honor, awarded posthumously by United States Congress.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal and Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, Commander Evans had the China Service Medal, American Defense Medal, Fleet Clasp, and was entitled to the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with six engagement stars, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Philippine Defense and Liberation Ribbons with one star

Jack C. Montgomery (Cherokee)

A 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.

Pappy Boyington (Sioux)

Gregory “Pappy” Boyington: (December 4, 1912 – January 11, 1988) was a highly decorated American combat pilot who was a United States Marine Corps fighter ace during World War II. He received both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross.

2

The torpedoed light cruiser USS Reno under salvage, fleet tugboat USS Zuni alongside, 5 November 1944.

On the night of 3 November 1944, light cruiser USS Reno, a part of Admiral Sherman’s TG 38.3 (which in turn was a part of the greater TF 38, the Fast Carrier Task Force), was torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-41 east of the San Bernardino Strait while escorting USS Lexington. She was hit by two torpedoes; one of which hit her outer hull, didn’t explode, and was later defused. The other one exploded, which led to the death of 2 of her crew. 4 other crewmen were injured.

After spending a night dead in the water, she was attacked by another Japanese submarine. Fortunately for the light cruiser the three torpedoes the submarine fired all missed. Later fleet tugboat USS Zuni came to the rescue and towed Reno more than two thousand kilometers to the American anchorage at Ulithi Atoll for temporary repairs.