Joseph Oklahombi

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Joseph Oklahombi (May 1, 1895, Bokchito, Bryan County, Oklahoma - April 13, 1960) was an American soldier of the Choctaw nation.[1] He was the most-decorated World War I soldier from Oklahoma. He served in Company D, First Battalion, 141st Regiment, Seventy-first Brigade of the Thirty-sixth Infantry Division during World War I, where he was one of the Choctaw code talkers.

On October 8, 1918, Private Oklahombi was at St. Etienne, France. He and 23 other soldiers attacked an enemy position and captured 171 Germans while killing some 79 more. They held their position for four days while under attack. [2] Oklahombi was awarded the Silver Star with Victory Ribbon, and the Croix de Guerre from France's Marshal Henri-Philippe Petain. At the time the members of the Choctaw nation were not formally U.S. citizens.[3]

Oklahombi was married and had a son. He was killed on 13 April 1960 when hit by a truck while walking along a road. He was buried with military honors at Yashau Cemetery in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.[4]

From Chief Gary Batton of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma:

"Many of you know the story of the Choctaw Code Talkers of WWI and WWII and also the story of Code Talker Joseph Oklahombi, who single-handedly captured 171 Germans after moving 200 yards over open ground against artillery and machine gun fire, rushing a machine gun nest and capturing one of the guns. He not only turned the gun on the enemy for four days, keeping them under fire, he was without food and water those four days, killing numerous enemy soldiers until the rest surrendered. Although …[retroactively] awarded … the Silver Star and Marshal Pétain, former Commander-in-Chief of the French Armies of the East, awarded him the Croix de Guerre, the Congressional Medal of Honor was never presented. It is a long-overdue recognition and I am working to see the Medal of Honor presented to Oklahombi."[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/O/OK091.html
  2. ^ "Joseph Oklahombi". www.worldwar1.com. 
  3. ^ "Choctaw Code Talkers", PBS documentary, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-12-06. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  4. ^ https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/61970347 Joseph Oklahombi at Findagrave.com
  5. ^ Chief Gary Batton, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma - March 28, 2016