MILITARY

Quest for Medal of Honor for black WWI hero from New York continues; process clears key hurdle

  • A statue of Henry Johnson is displayed in the Arbor Hill neighborhood on Thursday, July 10, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will consider whether the black World War I hero from Albany should be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor nearly 100 years after he single-handedly fought off a German attack, killing several of the enemy and saving a comrade despite suffering serious wounds. Johnson was a solider in an all-black outfit, the 369th Infantry Regiment, a New York National Guard unit based in Manhattan and known as the Harlem Hellfighters. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

    A statue of Henry Johnson is displayed in the Arbor Hill neighborhood on Thursday, July 10, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will consider whether the black World War I hero from Albany should be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor nearly 100 years after he single-handedly fought off a German attack, killing several of the enemy and saving a comrade despite suffering serious wounds. Johnson was a solider in an all-black outfit, the 369th Infantry Regiment, a New York National Guard unit based in Manhattan and known as the Harlem Hellfighters. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)  (The Associated Press)

  • A statue of Henry Johnson is displayed in the Arbor Hill neighborhood on Thursday, July 10, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will consider whether the black World War I hero from Albany should be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor nearly 100 years after he single-handedly fought off a German attack, killing several of the enemy and saving a comrade despite suffering serious wounds. Johnson was a solider in an all-black outfit, the 369th Infantry Regiment, a New York National Guard unit based in Manhattan and known as the Harlem Hellfighters. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

    A statue of Henry Johnson is displayed in the Arbor Hill neighborhood on Thursday, July 10, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will consider whether the black World War I hero from Albany should be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor nearly 100 years after he single-handedly fought off a German attack, killing several of the enemy and saving a comrade despite suffering serious wounds. Johnson was a solider in an all-black outfit, the 369th Infantry Regiment, a New York National Guard unit based in Manhattan and known as the Harlem Hellfighters. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)  (The Associated Press)

  • A statue of Henry Johnson is displayed in Washington Park on Thursday, July 10, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will consider whether the black World War I hero from Albany should be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor nearly 100 years after he single-handedly fought off a German attack, killing several of the enemy and saving a comrade despite suffering serious wounds. Johnson was a solider in an all-black outfit, the 369th Infantry Regiment, a New York National Guard unit based in Manhattan and known as the Harlem Hellfighters. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

    A statue of Henry Johnson is displayed in Washington Park on Thursday, July 10, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will consider whether the black World War I hero from Albany should be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor nearly 100 years after he single-handedly fought off a German attack, killing several of the enemy and saving a comrade despite suffering serious wounds. Johnson was a solider in an all-black outfit, the 369th Infantry Regiment, a New York National Guard unit based in Manhattan and known as the Harlem Hellfighters. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)  (The Associated Press)

The Pentagon is considering whether a black World War I hero from New York should be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor nearly 100 years after he single-handedly fought off a German attack, killing several of the enemy and saving a comrade despite suffering serious wounds.

Sen. Charles Schumer says Army Secretary John McHugh has approved a Medal of Honor application for Sgt. Henry Johnson. The request is now on the desk of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. If approved by Hagel, the application will be sent to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and President Barack Obama for final approvals.

Johnson, who lived in Albany, would become the second black soldier to receive the Medal of Honor for heroism during the First World War. His bravery was recognized by France but ignored by American military officials. He died in 1929.