Black WW2 hero’s story of pulling 15 men to safety through shark-infested waters gets a new audience – Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska 2021-05-04 23:15:37 –

Omaha, Nebraska (KMTV) — The story of a Black Navy veterinarian who saved 15 crew members during World War II was known to only a few families for years. But now, through social media, the story of Noncommissioned Officer Charles Jackson French is shared by thousands of people, who want the heroes of war to be properly recognized.

In September 1942, in the midst of World War II, USS Gregory was attacked by a Japanese destroyer off the coast of Guadalcanal.

On board was a confused officer, Noncommissioned Officer Charles Jackson French, who remained in the background until that day.

But as he and his crew approached the line of fire and floated on a raft, the French jumped into the shark-infested water, tied a rope around their hips, and secured at least 15 men for six hours. I drew it to a nice place.

International Swimming Hall of Fame Museum

A picture of a French hero.

The French story was shared with his family here in Omaha, and when he visited, he welcomed the hero, paraded around the town and in a Nebraska-Clayton football game.

Roscoe Harris says the story of heroic deeds is something more people need to know.

“As I got older, I thought it was a great achievement, but I didn’t see it in history books.”

This is also a story that Robert Adrian, who was in USS Gregory, later told the newspaper, a story he shared with his children about the person who bears his life.

“We heard that, and he always wanted his recognition,” said Julie Decker, Adrian’s eldest daughter.

Charles Jackson French and sisViola2.jpg

International Swimming Hall of Fame Museum

Charles Jackson French and his sister

Decker says it was one of his father’s dying wishes in 2011, and the French got the perception that he felt worthy of the man. The two men could not reconnect and the French died at the age of 37.

The black veteran was celebrated by the people he rescued and his community, but he only received a certificate from the Navy for his heroic deeds.

Dr. Nikita Imani, a professor of black studies at UNO, says this is not uncommon for black war heroes during this period before the Civil Rights Act.

“Ultimately, the more we recognize heroes, the more we need to be more inclusive of society as a whole,” Imani said.

But now Social media, The story of French is open to the public.

Bruce Wigo, study, Shared the story I’m glad to see more people learning about the protagonist 12 years ago.

“I was really impressed that something might happen to recognize this guy,” Wigo said, thinking that the Olympic swimming trial should honor the guy and his family when he was in Omaha in June. I added that there is.

The French and Adrian families want the Navy to examine the story and consider higher honors. French nephew Chester French says the award will be good for families and communities.


Julie Decker

Robert Adrian

“The posthumous award is really appropriate in this case,” said the French.

And Imani agrees that in order to create a society of consciousness and personality, we need to recognize our shared history and the unspoken French-like story.

“Maybe this prominent veteran can do another service for us again. This is not the battlefield of war, but here only in another kind of battlefield for the idealism of peace.” Imani said.

The Adrians contacted Congressman Don Bacon and recommended that the French be awarded a high award.

Bacon issued this statement:

“Petty Officer Charles Jackson French approval of US Navy Officer has been postponed for a long time and I support continued efforts to address this surveillance. The most diverse and integrated of American society. In part, it is correct that our African-American military heroes are also fully recognized in their service. We do this ourselves, our army, our retirement. I owe it to the military, and all future Americans to answer that call. This 30-year veteran pays homage to him. “

The Navy’s chief operating officer said he would work with the Navy’s chief operating officer to review the story again.

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Black WW2 hero’s story of pulling 15 men to safety through shark-infested waters gets a new audience Source link Black WW2 hero’s story of pulling 15 men to safety through shark-infested waters gets a new audience

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