KIOWA PASCAL C. POOLAW, JR. BORN—MOST DECORATED NATIVE AMERICAN SERVICEMAN
Born in Apache, Oklahoma, Poolaw, in 1942, joined his father and brothers in the Army and served in World War II. He earned his 1st Purple Heart in September 1944 and 1st Silver Star for his actions near Recogne, Belgium while with the 8th Infantry. Poolaw then served in the Korean War earning two more Silver Stars and another Purple Heart. He retired from the Army in 1962. However, after his son was disabled by a landmine while serving in Vietnam, Poolaw rejoined the Army to prevent his youngest son, who had been drafted from having to deploy to Vietnam. Learning that his son had already shipped out, he decided to follow his son to Vietnam and was first sergeant of the 26th Infantry Regiment’s C Company. On November 7, during the first battle of Loc Ninh, Poolaw and his unit were ambushed by the Viet Cong. He was killed attempting to pull a man to safety, and posthumously awarded a 4th Silver Star. In total, Poolaw earned 42 medals, including 5 bronze stars.
Source: “Pascal C. Poolaw, Jr.,” American Indians in the U.S. Army. Retrieved 12/6/2019, https://www.army.mil/americanindians/poolaw.html Photo: U.S. Army, 1950-52. Public Domain.