June 6th, 1944 was D-Day, and the forces were all out. Sergeant Waverly “Woody” Woodson Jr. was the 21-year-old medic for the only Black combat unit there to fight on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France.
War had its way, however. Sergeant Woodson was so punctured with shrapnel that he thought death was certain. Even with such ghastly wounds, what he did next was pure bravery…
Under heavy machine-gun fire, his thighs and buttocks torn from shrapnel, Sergeant Woodson set up a medical aid station and gave medical aid to soldiers for 30 hours.
He removed bullets, cleaned wounds, fixed broken bones, amputated a foot, and even saved some from drowning. But Woodson never got the highest honor for a soldier - the Medal of Honor.
Military units were segregated back then and of ALL the hundreds of Medals of Honor given at the time, not one medal was for a Black soldier.
Woodson exemplifies the disrespect shown to the 1 million Black WWII soldiers, and to this day his wife fights the Army to award him a Medal of Honor posthumously. So let’s honor Sergeant Woodson for his extraordinary valor!