Sgt. Henry Johnson

The Story of how an African American World War 1 hero is awarded the countries highest military honor

Albany Soldier awarded Medal Of Honor

Sgt. Henry Johnson was a soldier serving in the infantry during World War 1. He was part one of the first all black infantry units to exist during the war and it will be in this unit, where his actions awarded him the Medal of Honor. Hailing from Albany, New york, Sgt. Johnson fought off a group of German soldiers all by himself with just a rifle and a knife in order to retrieve his wounded comrades. He was wounded 21 times and single handedly stopped the Germans advance through Frances lines. <a name="body1" href="#fn1">[1]</a> His actions would posthumously award him not only the Distinguished service cross, but also Frances highest military honor and on top of that, as of recently, he received the Medal of Honor. Sadly, at first, france was the only country to recognize his sacrafice. His efforts were overlooked by the United States only because of the color of his skin. It was'nt until 1996 was he awarded his purple hearts and years after there was he awarded the Destinguished Service cross and the Medal of Honor.
He was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC, and this monument was erected in 1996.

Street Address:

Washington Park, Albany, NY 12203 [map]

Cite this Page:

T.McKenna, “Sgt. Henry Johnson,” Albany Walks for Health, accessed October 18, 2019,

Related Tour

Share this Story