Lest We Forget - African American Military History by Researcher, 
					Author and Veteran Bennie McRae, Jr.

First Lieutenant John R. Fox

First Lieutenant John R. Fox

...honored posthumously after 38 years

 

By Bennie J. McRae, Jr.

 

 


Copyright � 1995. LWF Publications, Trotwood, Ohio. Reprinted and posted from the July 1995 edition of the quarterly publication, Lest We Forget.

 

 


 

On May, 15, 1982, after almost 38 years, the nation’s second highest medal for valor in combat, The Distinguished Service Cross, was presented to Mrs. Arlene Fox in honor of her late husband, First Lieutenant John R. Fox, who was killed in action during World War II.

 

Lt. Fox, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio and a graduate of Wilberforce University, was a forward observer with the 366th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Infantry Division.

 

Shortly after midnight on December 26, 1944, Lt. Fox with ample time to withdraw prior to a German attack maintained his position on the second floor of a house directing defensive artillery fire until only a handful of defenders remained. As a large number of Germans closed in, Fox called artillery fire close to his position, and after continuing the attack and surrounding the house, Fox “called for fire directly on the house.” The artillery unit questioned Fox as to whether the mission was safe to fire and he replied, “Fire it! There’s more of them than there are of us.”

 

When American troops retook the position, the bodies of Fox and others in his unit were found. The Army credited his actions with killing at least 100 Germans and delaying the attack until forces could be organized for the attack.

 

The award was presented at Fort Devens, Massachusetts by Major General James F, Hamlet, who also served in the 92nd during World War II. The citation presented to Mrs. Fox read as follows: “Lieutenant Fox’s gallant and courageous actions, at the supreme sacrifice of his own life, greatly assisted in delaying the enemy advance until other infantry and artillery could reorganize to repel the attack.”

 

“His extraordinarily valorous actions were in keeping with the most cherished tradition of military service and reflect the utmost credit on him, his unit, and the U. S. Army.”

 

References:
Army Times, April 5, 1982
The Washington Times, May 19, 1982
The Cincinnati Call & Post June 12, 1982.

 

 


 

Fifteen years later on 13 January 1997, Lt. John R. Fox was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, over fifty years after his sacrifice. For more information on this African-American hero (including pictures of him), click here

 

 


 

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Posted by: Bennie J. McRae, Jr.
LWF Network
Trotwood, Ohio

Category: World War II | Subcategory: People | Tags: World War II , Washington , 1944
Related Topics / Keywords / Phrases: 1944, 1982, 1995, 1997, African-American, Cincinnati, Cincinnati (Ohio), German, Maine, Massachusetts, Medal of Honor, Ohio, Washington, World War II,