Friday, July 16, 2021

Fullbore Friday

Five years ago, an exceptional American Army NCO from WWII passed away, Technician 5th grade (E4) from the 103rd Infantry Division, awarded the Bronze Star by the USA and L├ęgion d'honneur from France.

He lived 102 years, and with him passed the last war chief of the Crow Tribe.

A great American, Joe Medicine Crow;

According to Crow tradition, a man must fulfill certain requirements to become chief of the tribe: command a war party successfully, enter an enemy camp at night and steal a horse, wrestle a weapon away from his enemy and touch the first enemy fallen, without killing him.

Joe Medicine Crow was the last person to meet that code, though far from the windswept plains where his ancestors conceived it. During World War II, when he was a scout for the 103rd Infantry in Europe, he strode into battle wearing war paint beneath his uniform and a yellow eagle feather inside his helmet. So armed, he led a mission through German lines to procure ammunition. He helped capture a German village and disarmed — but didn’t kill — an enemy soldier. And, in the minutes before a planned attack, he set off a stampede of 50 horses from a Nazi stable, singing a traditional Crow honor song as he rode away.

“I never got a scratch,” he recalled to the Billings Gazette decades later.

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