Henry Lincoln Johnson (1897-1929) was a sergeant of the 369th Infantry Regiment, nicknamed the Harlem Hellfighters, during WWI. The first African-American regiment to be sent to Europe as part of the American Expeditionary Force, the 369th on the whole did some pretty badass stuff. During one battle, the regiment advanced ahead of its French counterparts on both flanks and risked being cut off; by the time the 369th managed to regroup and pull back, it had advanced fourteen kilometers ahead of the French through serious German resistance.
Sgt. Henry Lincoln Johnson became one of the regiment’s most celebrated members when he came under attack from an enemy patrol while on guard duty on May 14, 1918. Armed with only his rifle and a bolo knife (a machete-type knife originally used as a farming tool in the Philippines), many lesser men might have retreated or called for reinforcements. However, Sgt. Johnson wasn’t going to let something like a twenty-four man German Patrol get in his way.
Sgt. Johnson proceeded to single-handedly fight off the enemy patrol, despite serious injuries, and rescued his comrade (and fellow historical hottie) Pvt. Needham Roberts from capture, along with saving the lives of countless other soldiers in the process. This earned him the nickname “The Black Death” and earned him the first Croix de Guerre ever awarded to an American soldier by the French government.
Tragically, Sgt. Johnson died young and destitute in 1929 at a Veteran’s Hospital in New Lenox, Illinois with no official recognition from the US military. However, in 1996 he was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart by President Clinton and in 2003 a Distinguished Service Cross (the second highest award in the US Army) was presented to his son Herman A. Johnson—who was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen and something of a badass in his own right—on behalf of his father.
Something different for wine, I’ll have to experiment !