Black History Month Spotlight: WWII Medal Of Honor Milton Olive III

February is Black History Month, which was originally started as a special week by historian Carter G. Woodson. Each day we’re going to focus on either a person or a certain topic related to Black History Month.

Today we feature WWII Medal Of Honor Milton Olive III.

“On the list of those who have been awarded the nation’s highest honor is Milton Olive III, a slightly built young man from the South Side of Chicago. Pfc Olive was a member of the 503rd Infantry Regiment fighting in Vietnam, as he and four fellow soldiers were pursuing the enemy through the jungle, a grenade suddenly landed in their midst. Olive saved the lives of his fellow soldiers by throwing himself on top of the grenade, his body absorbing its full blast. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for this extraordinary heroism by President Johnson. There are 7.5 million veterans of the Vietnam War, and 2.4 million African-American military veterans in the U.S.”

For additional Black History Month profiles, click here.

[Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features, CB12-FF.01, Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012, t. 521]


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