Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

DB: Last Living American Indian War Chief recieves the Medal of Freedom.


Recommended Posts

I guess Obama caught a few feathers.

I thought this story was kind of cool. The last living American Indian war chief. Dude completed all his tasks for war chief during WWII, including stealing 50 horses from the Nazi's. ? This guy has some stories.

  1. He touched a living enemy soldier
  2. and disarmed an enemy
    when he turned a corner and found himself face to face with a young German soldier: “ The collision knocked the German's weapon to the ground. Mr. [Medicine] Crow lowered his own weapon and the two fought hand-to-hand. In the end Mr. Crow got the best of the German, grabbing him by the neck and choking him. He was going to kill the German soldier on the spot when the man screamed out "momma." Mr. Crow then let him go.[1] ”
  3. He also led a successful war party
  4. stole 50 enemy horses, making a midnight raid to steal the horses from a battalion of German officers (as he rode off, he sang a traditional Crow honor song.) He is the last member of the Crow tribe to become a war chief.[1] Of his story, noted documentarian Ken Burns said, "The story of Joseph Medicine Crow is something I've wanted to tell for 20 years." [2] Mr. Medicine Crow was interviewed and appeared in the 2007 Ken Burns PBS series The War, describing his World War II service.

Joe Medicine Crow – High Bird

Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow, the last living Plains Indian war chief, is the author of seminal works in Native American history and culture. He is the last person alive to have received direct oral testimony from a participant in the Battle of the Little Bighorn: his grandfather was a scout for General George Armstrong Custer. A veteran of World War II, Medicine Crow accomplished during the war all of the four tasks required to become a "war chief," including stealing fifty Nazi SS horses from a German camp. Medicine Crow was the first member of his tribe to attend college, receiving his master’s degree in anthropology in 1939, and continues to lecture at universities and notable institutions like the United Nations. His contributions to the preservation of the culture and history of the First Americans are matched only by his importance as a role model to young Native Americans across the country



Presenting the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom

Image: J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

President Obama presented the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom to Joseph Medicine Crow, the last living Plains Indian war chief. During World War II, Medicine Crow accomplished all four tasks required to become a war chief, including stealing 50 Nazi horses from a German camp. He got a master’s degree in anthropology in 1939, and was the first person from his tribe to go to college. Perhaps his many accomplishments explain why he does not seem particularly excited to be receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom. But they certainly don’t explain the look on Obama’s face.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This guy was featured in Ken Burns' "the War"..and he tells these stories... it's pretty awe inspiring. His tales of battle are incredible. I love the horse story.

Good to see him honored.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perfect, Rocky!

Everyone should watch that.


As I remember it several American Indian tribes actually declaired war on germany during WWI before sending their young men off to war. I remember reading about one which did not re-declair war for WWII, because they had not been part of the Pariss armistace talks ending WWI so their declaration of war was still in effect for WWII.

Reminds me of two movies. One was a brad pitt movie which featured one of the worst acting jobs ever turned in by Anthony Hopkins.. "Legends of the Fall". The second was a Nicolas Cage film called code talkers.. where real life was more compelling than fiction. It detailed the Marines using Navajo Indians to relay intelligence reports in the Pacific and the Japanese unsucessful attempts to decern their meaning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did anyone see this excerpt from the story? Sounds suspicious.

In addition to the Medal Of Freedom, the Chief was also given a "ceremonial blanket", delivered seperately by men in white suits and respirators. The Chief was asked to wear it daily, but only after he gets home.
Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...