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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=29904
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: June 26, 2019 11:44 AM
From: Representative Movita Johnson-Harrell
To: All House members
Subject: Honoring D-Day Hero Waverly Woodson, Jr.
 
For too long it was believed that African-Americans were not among the troops who stormed the beaches of Normandy, France on D-Day, June 6, 1944, to begin the liberation of western Europe from the control of Nazi Germany. Not only is this belief inaccurate, it is harmful to overlook the actions and the sacrifices that those brave men made on that day to protect our freedom.

Philadelphia native Waverly Woodson, Jr. was a combat medic with the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, the only African-American unit present at Omaha Beach on D-Day. For over 30 hours, Mr. Woodson saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers despite having been seriously wounded by burning shrapnel while making his way ashore. Mr. Woodson was hailed as a hero upon his return home and his actions on D-Day earned him a nomination for the Congressional Medal of Honor, our military’s highest award for valor, in 1944. However, the institutionalized racism that existed in the military at that time kept him from receiving the award. Sadly, Mr. Woodson passed in 2005 without ever receiving the Medal of Honor.

As this June marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day, I am introducing a resolution which honors Mr. Woodson for his heroic, life-saving actions on that day and urges Congress to posthumously award him with the Congressional Medal of Honor which he is beyond deserving of. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important resolution to ensure that this Pennsylvanian hero is no longer forgotten.



Introduced as HR440