(KFVS) - February is Black History Month, and in the spotlight for Feb. 3 is Medal of Honor recipient Army Staff Sergeant Edward Carter, Junior (1916-1963).
No African American soldier or sailor was awarded a Medal of Honor during or shortly after World War II.
In 1993 a Department of Defense study found that systemic racism kept blacks from being nominated and recommended the Army consider a group of 10 soldiers for the Medal of Honor. SSG Edward Carter, Jr. was among those soldiers.
Carter had already been awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his heroic actions on near Speyer, Germany on March 23, 1945.
This is the citation as recorded by the Medal of Honor Society:
For extraordinary heroism in action on 23 March 1945, near Speyer, Germany. When the tank on which he was riding received heavy bazooka and small arms fire, Sergeant Carter voluntarily attempted to lead a three-man group across an open field. Within a short time, two of his men were killed and the third seriously wounded. Continuing on alone, he was wounded five times and finally forced to take cover. As eight enemy riflemen attempted to capture him, Sergeant Carter killed six of them and captured the remaining two. He then crossed the field using as a shield his two prisoners from which he obtained valuable information concerning the disposition of enemy troops. Staff Sergeant Carter's extraordinary heroism was an inspiration to the officers and men of the Seventh Army Infantry Company Number 1 (Provisional) and exemplify the highest traditions of the Armed Forces.
President Bill Clinton awarded SSG Edward Carter, Jr. the Congressional Medal of Honor on January 13, 1997, nearly 34 years after his death.
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