An American soldier of the Choctaw nation. He was the most-decorated soldier from Oklahoma during World War I. He served in the Thirty-sixth Infantry Division’s Company D, First Battalion, 141st Regiment, Seventy-first Brigade where he was one of the Choctaw code talkers.
You’ve most likely seen this photo before, and you may also know the young man inside the insert is none other than United States Marine Corporal Ira Hamilton Hayes. He’s the guy on the far left standing up the flag. He is also known as Chief Falling Cloud and was also an enrolled member of the Gila River Pima Indian Reservation.
Ira Hayes Not The Only Native Warrior
Ira won many awards and served as a valiant warrior with honor, but he was not alone in that pursuit. According to a government news article written by Rudi Williams, “More than 10 percent of the Native American population, or one-third of all able-bodied Indian men from 18 to 50 years of age saw service during World War II, said LeHockey, commander of the Officer Candidates School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.
“In some tribes, the percentage of men in the military reached nearly 70 per cent,” he said. “Several hundred Indian women also served with the Women’s Army Corps, the Navy’s Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service and Army Nurse Corps. Indian participation in World War II was so extensive that it later became part of American folklore and popular culture.” Continue reading