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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Re: Last Living Buffalo Soldier

OK Bennie:

Buffalo Soldier seems to be "catch all" for men over 100!

I have another question regarding the Buffalo Soldier in WW I. Did any of them serve in WW I in France? Herbert Young served in France and was at first thought to be a member of the 369th. I arranged for the Consul General of France to honor him when he was 109 years of age. Later someone from the 369th said that he was from a Pioneer Division...a Buffalo Soldier.

Was this correct?

I will forward photos of the event below of Herbert Young for your website.

Below is the press release that I wrote for the parade. Sorry for the bad formatting.




The Famed 369th of Harlem honors W W II Heroes

New York...May 2, 1995 ... Harlem's legendary 369th Veterans Association will hold its 28th Annual Memorial Parade on Sunday, May 7, 1995. This year's parade, held on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Victory in Europe will honor the men and women who fought in The Second World War. The parade will begin at 1:00 PM at 61st and Fifth Avenue and continue to 86th Street and Third Avenue. New York officials, NYC Controller, Alan Hevesi, Congressman Charles Rangel, Borough President, Ruth Messenger and other elected officials will march in the parade.

This year's Grand Marshal is Major General Nathaniel James, Commanding General, New York Army National Guard. Accompanying him are Deputy Grand Marshals, Major General Francis D. Terrell, Commanding General, the 77th US Army Reserve Command, and the Hon. Joseph H. Holland, Commissioner, NYS Housing & Community Renewal. Marching behind them will be veterans of WW II who served their country in Europe, The Central Pacific and Okinawa.

"I am especially proud of the highly decorated African-American men and women and their contribution to the Allied victory in World War II, " said Brigadier General, (Ret) Samuel Phillips,. president of the 369th Veterans Association. "This year's parade is in special tribute not only to our patriotic World War II veterans, but to all veterans regardless of their ethnicity and the wars they served in."

One of the highlights of the parade will be the appearance of Herbert W. Young, the oldest surviving African-American soldier in New York State. Mr, Young, a sergeant with 807 Pioneer Infantry fought in France during WW I. He celebrated his 109th birthday on Monday, May 1st.

Opening dedication ceremonies begin at12:00 PM at the Reviewing Stand at 68 Street and Fifth Avenue. One of the noted dignitaries at the 369th's Reviewing Stand will be Andre Baeyens, Consul General of France. Since his arrival in New York, Mr. Baeyens has worked closely with the 369th and Parade Grand Marshall, General Nathaniel James. "The 369th and France share a history and friendship that began in 1918 on the battlefield at Chateau Thierry during World War I," noted the Consul General.

The 369th was formed as the 15th Infantry, one of the first "colored" regiments in New York State in 1913. Re-designated as the 369th Infantry in 1918, the unit formed part of the 161st Division under of the 4th French Army. The Regiment held the American military record for longest consecutive days in battle....191 days. Under the command of the famous General Gouraud, 170 soldiers were individually cited for bravery and the entire unit was decorated with the Croix de Guerre. Today, the 369th of Harlem proudly bears the battle streamer of the Croix de Guerre on its regimental flag. The US government awarded members of the regiment with the Distinguished Service Cross for bravery.

"France is honored that the 369th Armory will name one of its major rooms after the legendary General Henri Gouraud, who led the famous 'Harlem Hell Fighters' in battle and awarded the Croix de Guerre to so many of these valiant men. In appreciation of this noble gesture, I support the 369th in its efforts to erect a monument at Sechault in honor of the brave young men from Harlem who died on French soil so long ago," stated Consul General Baeyens.

The sons of the original 369th Regiment were to distinguish themselves in the Second World War in the Central Pacific Theater, and Okinowa. In October 1953, servicemen who had served in the 369th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Group and affiliated units of World War II, formed the federally chartered 369th Veterans Association. Since its inception, over 7 decades ago, "The Nine" has produced seventeen Generals.

Grand Marshal, Major General Nathaniel James commented, "The freedom to serve our country in war was a hard won battle for African-Americans. We continue to teach our youth that under such adversity and in the face of the enemy, we patriotic African-American men and women served our country well. We pass on to them a legacy of dignity, achievement and possible dreams."

For more information about the 369th's parade on Sunday, May 7, 1995 and its history, Contact: K. W. Lane.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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