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Joseph Oklahombi - The Native American Sergeant York you've never heard of. Mr. Oklahombi was "Oklahoma's Greatest War Hero of WW1" and he deserves The Medal of Honor. He was also the very first Native American Code Talker along with 18 of his fellow Choctaw warriors in World War One!

This is one of the most important websites I've created. His amazing exploits surpass even Sgt. York's, while being almost the same, and a few days apart from each other. Joseph Oklahombi was the most decorated soldier from Oklahoma during WW1. 

Award Joseph Oklahombi the Medal of Honor Posthumously

In 1918, at the tender age of 26, a young First Nations (Choctaw) man named Joseph Oklahombi served in the same theater of war as Sgt. Alvin York. Despite not being able to speak English or vote due to his heritage, he demonstrated unparalleled bravery and heroism on the battlefield. His exploits mirrored those of Sgt. York's, occurring only a few days apart from each other.

Unable to speak English, Joseph decided that he should “speak the language of warfare in fighting for his country.” Little did he know that his native language would become an invaluable tool to help the United States defeat Germany.

The Choctaw were the very first "Code Talkers" and Joseph was one of the first. Joseph served in the Thirty-Sixth Infantry Division's Company D, First Battalion, 141st Regiment, Seventy-First Brigade stationed in France during WWI. One day while he was conversing with other Choctaws, Colonel A.W. Bloor realized that he was unable to understand what the Indians were saying. He deducted that since he could not understand their conversations, neither could the Germans. Working with the Choctaw soldiers, Bloor put together a code that substituted the Choctaw language in place of the code used by the military. Joseph and 18 other native born Choctaws became known as the original "Code Talkers."

However, Joseph Oklahombi contributed much more than merely the translation of correspondence. On October 8, 1918, at St. Etienne, France, during the fierce Meuse-Argonne campaign, with the assistance of twenty-three other soldiers, Oklahombi attacked German machine gun nests and captured many of the enemy. According to the official report, Joseph, “under the most violent barrage” pushed through over 200 yards of “barbed wire entanglements, rushed on machine gun nests, capturing 171 prisoners.” Joseph single handedly kept these prisoners at bay “for three long hours until others in the company arrived.” And even though the German fortification contained over “fifty machine guns and trench mortars,” led by the brave “man-killer,” the Choctaw Indian squad seized the weaponry, “turned the captured guns on the enemy,” and held their position for “four days in spite of a continued barrage of large projectiles and gas shells.” Brave Joseph “crossed no man’s land many times to get information and assist wounded comrades.” Based on a statement issued by French Marshal Petain, Oklahombi killed seventy-nine German soldiers, and aided by his fellow Choctaws took care of those that were wounded.

Because of his gallant efforts, General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in Europe during World War I, awarded him the Silver Star to be worn on the Victory Ribbon, while Marshal Petain bestowed upon him the Croix de Guerre, one of France's highest honors for bravery. The chivalry that this full blood Native American displayed overseas fulfilled a prophecy made by Pushmataha, a Choctaw chief who passed way in 1827, “that the Choctaw ‘War Cry’ would be heard in many foreign lands.”

Joseph Oklahombi's actions during World War I were nothing short of extraordinary and deserving recognition with the Medal of Honor - America's highest military honor for acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. Yet, despite his heroic deeds that saved countless lives, he was never awarded this prestigious medal.