Fort PolkThe U.S. Army facility in Louisiana currently named Fort Polk after Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk of the Confederate Army (left) will be renamed Fort Johnson after World War I U.S. Army Sgt. William Henry Johnson (right) who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 2015. Johnson also became one of the first Americans to be awarded the French Croix de Guerre avec Palme, France’s highest award for valor.  

Louisiana’s Fort Polk could be renamed after World War I hero 

By Scott Lewis
via the KLFY television station (LA) web site 

WASHINGTON (KLFY) — Louisiana’s Fort Polk could be renamed, along with eight other U.S. Army installations around the nation which were originally named for Confederate leaders.

The announcement comes from the military’s Naming Commission, which has submitted its recommendations to Congress. According to Wikipedia, Fort Polk was named in honor of Confederate Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk of Tennessee. Polk was also the founder of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America. He was also a second cousin of U.S. President James Polk.

Under the recommendation, Fort Polk could be renamed to Fort Johnson, in honor of Sgt. William Henry Johnson, an African-American World War I Medal of Honor recipient from North Carolina who served in the 369th U.S. Infantry Regiment.

According to the U.S. Army, Johnson and fellow soldier Pvt. Needham Roberts were ambushed by at least 12 German soldiers on May 15, 1918. Roberts and Johnson were both wounded, but Johnson not only prevented Roberts from being taken prisoner, but he advanced with only a knife to engage in hand-to-hand combat and held back the Germans until they retreated.

Johnson also became one of the first Americans to be awarded the French Croix de Guerre avec Palme, France’s highest award for valor. Johnson died in July 1929. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. Johnson was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart in 1996 and the Distinguished Service Cross in 2002.

Read the entire article on the KLFY web site here:

 

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