JUNE 15, 1919


Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Van T. Barfoot, whose grandmother was Choctaw, was born in Edinburg, Mississippi.  While not enrolled in the tribe, Barfoot was eligible for membership.  Barfoot earned the Medal of Honor for actions taken near Cerano, Italy, on May 23, 1944.  Then-Tech. Sgt. Barfoot, with his platoon engaged in an assault, knocked out one German machinegun nest with a grenade and another with his submachine gun.  A third machinegun crew then gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot. Later, during an armored German counterattack, Barfoot, with a bazooka, took up an exposed position directly in front of 3 advancing Mark VI tanks. From a distance of 75 yards he destroyed the track of the leading tank, forcing the other 2 to move toward the flank. While returning to his platoon position, Barfoot assisted 2 of his seriously wounded men 1,700 yards to a position of safety. Barfoot died March 2, 2002, in Henrico, County, Virginia.

Sources:  Richard Goldstein, "Van Barfoot, Medal of Honor Recipient, Dies at 92". The New York Times, 3/4/2012.  Retrieved 7/3/2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/05/us/van-barfoot-medal-of-honor-recipient-dies-at-92.html “Van T. Barfoot,” World War II Medal of Honor Recipients, A-F.  Retrieved 7/3/2019, https://history.army.mil/html/moh/wwII-a-f.html#BARFOOT
Photo:  U.S. Army, date unknown.   Public Domain.  Photograph taken by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code

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