Hidden History: Corporal Waverly Woodsen Jr

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On D-Day, June 6th, 1944, a black Army medic, Corporal Waverly Woodson Jr. saved hundreds of lives on Normandy’s Omaha Beach.

According to witnesses, a German shell blasted apart the boat Corporal Woodson was in, badly wounding him.

Corporal Woodsen set up a medical station where he cleaned wounds and saved soldiers lives, in the midst of the war around him, before he passed away in 2005.

But Washington Correspondent Morgan Wright reports there’s now an effort in Congress, to posthumously award Woodson the nation’s highest award for heroism, the Medal of Honor.

***Joann Woodson, Widow of Cpl. Waverly Woodson Jr. *** } He says many of them were frightened beyond speech.

Joann Woodson – the widow of Corporal Waverly Woodson Jr. reads the words of her late husband’s personal eyewitness account of D-Day.

{***Joann Woodson, Widow of Cpl. Waverly Woodson Jr. ***} Dawn broke as our ships approached the battleships.

Cpl. Woodson landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.

As a black Army medic, he was wounded himsel when a blast destroyed his boat.

{***Joann Woodson, Widow of Cpl. Waverly Woodson Jr. ***} …This D-Day Army prejudices took a backseat – as far as the soldiers helping one another was concerned.

Cpl. Woodson set up a medical aid station and for 30 hours he removed bullets, cleaned wounds, and saved lives…

Cpl. Woodson never received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions.

Despite the recommendations of his commanding officers.

And then in 1973… his military records were destroyed by a fire in St. Louis.

Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen says that shouldn’t matter.

{Senator Chris Van Hollen, D/MD} given the contemporaneous records of his heroism that were talked about in multiple newspapers at the time.

Van Hollen and the Congressional Black Caucus wrote a letter to Acting Secretary of the Army – requesting a formal review to posthumously award the Medal of Honor…

{Senator Chris Van Hollen, D/MD} This nation really needs to honor him in this way…

Despite no movement yet on the medal — Van Hollen and Woodson’s widow – hold onto hope that Woodson…and other African Americans’ heroism during World War II…. will one day be properly recognized.

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