Friday, June 27, 2008

Honor Deferred

Honor Deferred part 1

Honor Deferred part 2

HONOR DEFERRED is the story of seven men worthy of the Medal of Honor for their valor during WWII, but who received their medals only recently, after six had already died. More than a million African-Americans served within the army's segregated ranks. Despite their bravery and courage, not one of the 432 Medal of Honor awards went to a black soldier. Was the army racist? Did African-Americans receive appropriate training? The program explores these issues and more in breathtaking recreations as we document the stories of the Congressional Medal of Honor winners. And watch as President Clinton presented the medals to Vernon Baker--the last living recipient--and the proud family members of the other six.

Among the dramatic real-life stories in HONOR DEFERRED are these:

* During fighting in Europe, Lieutenant John Fox found himself completely
surrounded by German forces. He called for U.S. artillery to be fired
directly on his position, dooming himself to death but taking more than
100 German soldiers with him.

* Private George Watson's cargo ship came under unexpected fire by the
Japanese in New Guinea and sank, stranding more than 150 soldiers, many
of whom couldn't swim, in the deep waters. Watson helped carry dozens of
men to safety before he himself drowned from sheer exhaustion.

* Sergeant Edward Carter was shot several times by German soldiers while
crossing hundreds of yards of wide-open land in the Rhineland. Despite
being shot, Carter managed to capture two German soldiers, who he
brought back to his unit, where they provided valuable information that
allowed U.S. forces to advance.

* Lieutenant Charles Thomas's vehicle was hit with artillery fire on a
scouting mission and badly damaged. Thomas, refused to evacuate the area
until he was sure the other vehicles in his unit could return fire. He
was killed, but his efforts saved the lives of many others.

* After performing a valuable scouting mission, Private Willie James was
shot and killed trying to rescue his commander from German sniper fire.

* In France, Staff Sergeant Ruben Rivers pressed on for three days on a
leg injured by a land mine and badly infected. He refused orders to
return to an aid station, and died covering the escape of others in his
tank unit in France.

* Vernon Baker is the only black soldier still alive today to receive the
award for service in World War II. After his commander abandoned the
unit, Baker assumed command and refused to fall back. He completed an
impossible mission, and bears sole responsibility for continuing to
engage the enemy.

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