Profiles in Courage

Sgt Henry Johnson, U.S. Army (1918-1919) – America’s First World War Hero

Sgt Henry Johnson, U.S. Army (1918-1919) – America’s First World War Hero

Henry Johnson was a World War I soldier who singlehandedly beat back a German assault while critically wounded. He was a great American hero and received the highest military honor of two different countries. One of those countries, however, his very own, didn't bestow that medal until nearly 100 years after his service in WWI. The honor this man deserved was not awarded by the U.S. government upon his return home, because he was black. But that racism was eventually overcome, if only by the...

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Chiune Sugihara – Japanese Schindler Helped 5,580 Jews Escape The Holocaust

Chiune Sugihara – Japanese Schindler Helped 5,580 Jews Escape The Holocaust

Although Japan was one of the Axis Powers during WWII, one Japanese diplomat did his best to mitigate the horrors of his country's ally, Nazi Germany. Before the war ended, he saved thousands of Jews from concentration camps but ended up selling lightbulbs in order to survive. Chiune Sugihara helped Jews escape the Holocaust Chiune Sugihara was first assigned to Harbin, China in the early 1930s as Japan's Deputy Foreign Minister where he learned German and Russian. Despite a promising career,...

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LtGen Arthur MacArthur, U.S. Army (1862-1909)

LtGen Arthur MacArthur, U.S. Army (1862-1909)

With no less than 620,000 deaths recorded over four years of intense fighting between Confederate and Union forces, the American Civil War remains the bloodiest conflict in American history. Playing host to battles such as Shiloh, Antietam, Stones River, and Gettysburg, the Civil War holds tales of unprecedented violence, ferocious bravery, and unparalleled heroism. Among these many tales is that of Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur Jr. whose bravery at the most critical moment inspired his...

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Cpl William Thomas Perkins Jr., USMC (1966-1967) – Vietnam War Combat Photographer

Cpl William Thomas Perkins Jr., USMC (1966-1967) – Vietnam War Combat Photographer

The only Medal of Honor to be awarded to a combat photographer is now on display in the Medal of Honor Gallery in the "Price of Freedom" exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Marine Cpl. William Thomas Perkins Jr Marine Cpl. William Thomas Perkins Jr. died at the age of 20 on Oct. 12, 1967, when he flung himself on a grenade to preserve the lives of three other Marines during Operation Medina, a Marine search and destroy operation in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam....

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Gen Louis H. Wilson, U.S. Marine Corps (1941–1979) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Gen Louis H. Wilson, U.S. Marine Corps (1941–1979) – Medal of Honor Recipient

There have been a few Commandants who had been recipients of the Medal of Honor, but Louis H. Wilson was the last. And given that the entire ranks of the modern Marine Corps are currently devoid of any officers with the nation's highest military honor it could be quite some time before the world would ever see it again. His tenure as the nation's top Marine from 1975 to 1979 would be one of remarkable transitions. The World War II generation had all but faded out, and the Commandant who...

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Eileen Nearne – British WWII Heroine

Eileen Nearne – British WWII Heroine

The "Croix de Guerre" or "Cross of War," is a French military decoration honoring people for their resistance against the Nazis in WWII. Furthermore, being appointed a "Member of the Order of the British Empire" by King George VI for services rendered in France during the enemy occupation was a high British honor. Any man who was awarded such honors must have been a remarkable one. Only, in this case, we are dealing with a woman and a brave and tenacious one at that. Eileen Nearne, the woman...

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John W. Hinson – A Civil War Sniper Hell Bent on Revenge

John W. Hinson – A Civil War Sniper Hell Bent on Revenge

John W. "Jack" Hinson, better known as "Old Jack" to his family, was a prosperous farmer in Stewart County, Tennessee. A non-political man, he opposed secession from the Union even though he owned slaves. Friends and neighbors described him as a peaceable man, yet despite all this, he would end up going on a one-man killing spree. Jack's plantation was called Bubbling Springs, where he lived with his wife and ten children. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, he was fiercely determined to...

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Cpt Daniel K. Inouye, U.S. Army (1942-1945) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Cpt Daniel K. Inouye, U.S. Army (1942-1945) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Senator Daniel Inouye served in the United States Senate from 1963 until his death in 2012. At the time of his death, he was America's second-longest sitting Senator, which is not at all surprising considering he could easily be considered one of World War II's hardest men to kill. This Japanese-American, who faced discrimination and segregation, had every reason to sit this war out if he so chose with a bitter heart. But considering he was raised by a father who told him the following upon...

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The Dogs of the Vietnam War

The Dogs of the Vietnam War

I would wager that 90 percent of American combat troops killed in action during the Vietnam War never saw their killers. Whether it was a sniper at 200 yards, a rocket fired into a base camp or an attack from a well-concealed bunker complex, the element of surprise was usually on the side of our enemies. But our forces did have one elite weapon that sometimes took the advantage away. At times, these weapons even turned such situations upside down and enabled us to surprise and take them out....

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Cpt Humbert Roque “Rocky” Versace, U.S. Army (1959–1965) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Cpt Humbert Roque “Rocky” Versace, U.S. Army (1959–1965) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Captain Humbert Roque Versace, affectionately called "Rocky," was an officer of the United States Army. He went on to receive the Medal of Honor-the greatest military decoration of the United States-for the heroic actions he undertook as a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War. Puerto Rican-Italian by descent, he was the first member of the U.S. Army to have ever received such a distinction. Born on July 2, 1937, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Versace was the eldest of five children. Versace's father was...

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