Forgotten 'Negro' Medal of Honor seaman | MassCops

Forgotten 'Negro' Medal of Honor seaman

Discussion in 'Military News' started by kwflatbed, May 2, 2016.

  1. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Forgotten 'Negro' Medal of Honor seaman buried in mislabeled grave remembered more than 130 years later
    Published May 01, 2016
    FoxNews.com
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    Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Robin Braun observes the wreath presentation by Sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard at the headstone ceremony April 29, 2016 for Medal of Honor recipient Joseph B. Noil at St. Elizabeths Hospital Cemetery. (U.S. Navy)

    A forgotten “Negro” Medal of Honor recipient was honored last week more than 130 years after he was buried in a mislabeled grave that made no mention of his heroism.

    Canadian native Joseph Benjamin Noil enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served during the Civil War. Military records simply referred to him as “Negro,” WJLA-TV reports.

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    Newly erected headstone of Medal of Honor recipient Joseph B. Noil. (U.S. Navy)

    In 1873 he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor after jumping from the deck of the U.S.S. Powhattan into bitter cold waters in Norfolk Harbor to save a fellow seaman from drowning, the station reported.

    He died nine years later at the Government Hospital for the Insane, known today as Saint Elizabeths in Southeast Washington.

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    Office of Veterans Affairs Tammi Lambert, left, and Director of the Department of Behavioral Health Tanya A. Royster, M.D., right, unveil the headstone of Medal of Honor recipient Joseph B. Noil during a ceremony April 29, 2016 at St. Elizabeths Hospital Cemetery. (U.S. Navy)

    His grave marker in the hospital cemetery made no reference to the Medal of Honor and the grave market misspelled his name Noel due to a typo on his death certificate.

    "As someone said to me recently, they didn't know he had a family,”

    - Bernadette Ricks, great-great granddaughter of Joseph Noil

    The ceremony Friday at St. Elizabeths was to replace the headstone and to reflect on Noil’s heroism, Navy spokesman Eric Lockwood said.

    Forgotten 'Negro' Medal of Honor seaman buried in mislabeled grave remembered more than 130 years later | Fox News
     

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