January 14th in African American History – John Earl Warren, Jr.

John Earl Warren, Jr.January 14, 1969 John Earl Warren, Jr., Medal of Honor recipient, was killed in action.

Warren was born November 16, 1946 in Brooklyn, New York. By January 14, 1969, he was serving as a first lieutenant in Company C, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, 25th Infantry Division of the United States Army in Tay Ninh Province, Vietnam. His actions on that day earned him the medal, America’s highest military decoration.

His citation partially reads, “While moving through a rubber plantation to reinforce another friendly unit, Company C came under intense fire from a well fortified enemy force. Disregarding his safety, 1st Lt. Warren with several of his men began maneuvering through the hail of enemy fire toward the hostile position. When he had come within 6 feet of one of the enemy bunkers and was preparing to toss a hand grenade into it, an enemy grenade was suddenly thrown into the middle of his small group.

Thinking only of his own men, 1st Lt. Warren fell in the direction of the grenade, thus shield those around him from the blast. His actions, performed at the cost of his life, saved 3 men from serious or mortal injury.” His medal was posthumously presented to his family by President Richard M. Nixon on August 6, 1970.


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