Crow War Chief to Receive President’s Medal

By Beacon Staff

BILLINGS – A Crow Indian chief who wore war paint beneath his World War II uniform and went on to become an acclaimed Native American historian will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom next month.

President Obama is scheduled to present the nation’s highest civilian honor to Joe Medicine Crow and 15 other recipients on Aug. 11.

In 1939, Medicine Crow became the first member of his tribe to receive a master’s degree, in anthropology. He is now the Crow’s sole surviving war chief, an honor bestowed for a series of accomplishments during World War II including hand to hand combat with a German solider, whose life Medicine Crow spared.

He was nominated for the medal by U.S. Senator Jon Tester of Montana and former Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming.

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