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H*5393
Session 115 (2003-2004) 

H*5393 Concurrent Resolution, By Scott, Allen, Altman, Anthony, Bailey, Bales, 
Barfield, Battle, Bingham, Bowers, Branham, Breeland, G. Brown, J. Brown, 
R. Brown, Cato, Ceips, Chellis, Clark, Clemmons, Clyburn, Coates, Cobb-Hunter, 
Coleman, Cooper, Cotty, Dantzler, Davenport, Delleney, Duncan, Edge, Emory, 
Freeman, Frye, Gilham, Gourdine, Govan, Hagood, Hamilton, Harrell, Harrison, 
Harvin, Haskins, Hayes, Herbkersman, J. Hines, M. Hines, Hinson, Hosey, Howard, 
Huggins, Jennings, Keegan, Kennedy, Kirsh, Koon, Leach, Lee, Limehouse, 
Littlejohn, Lloyd, Loftis, Lourie, Lucas, Mack, Mahaffey, Martin, McCraw, McGee, 
McLeod, Merrill, Miller, Moody-Lawrence, J.H. Neal, J.M. Neal, Neilson, Ott, 
Owens, Parks, Perry, Phillips, Pinson, E.H. Pitts, M.A. Pitts, Quinn, Rhoad, 
Rice, Richardson, Rivers, Rutherford, Sandifer, Scarborough, Simrill, Sinclair, 
Skelton, D.C. Smith, F.N. Smith, G.M. Smith, G.R. Smith, J.E. Smith, J.R. Smith, 
W.D. Smith, Snow, Stewart, Stille, Talley, Taylor, Thompson, Toole, Townsend, 
Tripp, Trotter, Umphlett, Vaughn, Viers, Walker, Weeks, Whipper, White, 
Whitmire, Wilkins, Witherspoon and Young
 A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO COMMEND THE EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM OF CORPORAL
 FREDDIE STOWERS AND TO HONOR HIM AS THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO BE AWARDED
 THE MEDAL OF HONOR FOR WORLD WAR I OR WORLD WAR II.

   06/01/04  House  Introduced, adopted, sent to Senate HJ-21
   06/01/04  Senate Introduced, adopted, returned with concurrence SJ-15



VERSIONS OF THIS BILL

6/1/2004



H. 5393

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

TO COMMEND THE EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM OF CORPORAL FREDDIE STOWERS AND TO HONOR HIM AS THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO BE AWARDED THE MEDAL OF HONOR FOR WORLD WAR I OR WORLD WAR II.

Whereas, born in Anderson County in 1896, Corporal Freddie Stowers grew up in the Sandy Springs community as the fourth of Wylie and Annie Stowers' ten children; and

Whereas, with a passion for education, Corporal Stowers' parents made sure that each of their children knew how to read and write even though only the youngest of their children could be spared from farm work to attend school; and

Whereas, Corporal Stowers was the beloved husband to Pearl Stowers, and together they had one daughter, Minnie Lee, before he left for the Army on October 4, 1917; and

Whereas, he was assigned to the all-black 371st Infantry Regiment, 93rd Division, National Army; and

Whereas, within two months, Corporal Stowers was promoted to private first class and by the spring of 1918, he was assigned to the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), sent to France, and promoted to corporal; and

Whereas, participating in the autumn AEF campaign in the Champagne Marne area which led to the Allied breakthrough of the German military line and German surrender six weeks later, Corporal Stowers led his squad during some of the bloodiest fighting of the war, especially for African American soldiers; and

Whereas, facing incredible enemy resistance, Corporal Stowers did not hesitate to take charge and set a courageousNext example while putting himself in great personal danger, and he inspired his men to follow him in the attack; and

Whereas, continuing to press the attack against a determined enemy, Corporal Stowers continued to move forward, even though himself mortally wounded, urging on the members of the squad until he died; and

Whereas, Corporal Stowers died on September 28, 1918, and was buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in France; and

Whereas, soon after the war ended, Corporal Stowers was recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross and, in December 1918, his commanding officer upgraded the recommendation to the Medal of Honor although it took nearly seventy-five years for his meritorious service to be properly honored; and

Whereas, in the mid-1980's, Historian Leroy Ramsey brought to light that no African American had ever received the Medal of Honor for either World War, although some had received it for the Civil War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War; and

Whereas, New York Governor Mario Cuomo, New York Congressman DioGuardi, and Texas Congressman Michey Leland took up the cause in 1987; and

Whereas, despite the Pentagon's initial opposition to reviewing possible honorees, they undertook an almost three-year review which lead to the award of only one Medal of Honor which was awarded posthumously to Corporal Stowers in 1991; and

Whereas, presented to Corporal Stowers' surviving family, sisters Mary Bowens of Greenville and Georgiana Palmer of Richmond, California, and great-great nephew, Army Staff Sergeant Douglas Warren, the Medal of Honor is a symbol of Freddie Stowers' service to his country and the exceptional Previouscourage he displayed in battle, and he will always be remembered for the ultimate sacrifice he made for his country; and

Whereas, the South Carolina General Assembly is pleased to pause to reflect on the life and military service of Corporal Freddie Stowers who after seven decades finally received the official recognition he so richly deserves and recognizes that he served as a role model, not just for African Americans, but for all Americans. Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:

That the members of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, by this resolution, commend the extraordinary heroism of Corporal Freddie Stowers and honor him as the first African American to be awarded the Medal of Honor for World War I or World War II.

Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the family of Corporal Freddie Stowers.

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