CREEK LT. COL. ERNEST CHILDERS BORN–WWII MEDAL OF HONOR WINNER
Born in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, attended Chilocco Indian Agricultural School with Jack C. Montgomery (see February 22) before joining the Oklahoma Army National Guard in 1937 as a 2nd Lieutenant. On September 22, 1943, in Oliveto, Italy, Childers, despite fracturing his instep, led an advance up a hill toward enemy machinegun nests. At a rock wall, Childers ordered a base of fire across the field so that he could advance. He killed 2 enemy snipers, moved behind and killed both occupants of one machinegun nest, and threw rocks into the second causing its 2 occupants to raise up. He then shot 1 and his team killed the other. From there, Childers continued up the hill and, single-handed, captured an enemy mortar observer. For his actions, Childers was awarded the Medal of Honor—the first awarded to a Native American since the Indian Wars. Childers remained in the Army after the war retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He died on March 17, 2005, and is buried in Broken Arrow.
Sources: “Childers, Ernest,” Medal of Honor Recipients, World War II (A-F). Retrieved 12/11/2019, http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/wwII-a-f.html Wikipedia Photo: War Department, 4/12/1944. Public Domain.