A member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation is going to be honored Wednesday.
The State Senate will unveil a portrait of Oklahoma-native Lt. Col. Ernest Childers Wednesday in the Senate Chamber. The piece, by artist Mike Wimmer, is sponsored by Sen. Bill and Linda Brown along with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
In 1937, Childers, a full-blood Creek, joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard and was assigned to the 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division.
After the U.S. entry into World War II, he was sent to Europe and by September 22, 1943, he was a second lieutenant serving with 45th Infantry Division, 180th Infantry Regiment, in Italy. On that day, at Oliveto, he single-handedly killed two enemy snipers, attacked two machine gun nests, and captured an artillery observer. For these actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor seven months later, on April 8, 1944.
He is the only Native American Guardsman to earn the nation's highest award for valor.
Childers reached the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring from the Army. He died at age 87 and was buried at Floral Haven Memorial Gardens in his birthplace of Broken Arrow.
|The Senate dedicated a portrait Wednesday of Lt. Col. Ernest Childers, the only Native American Guardsman to earn the Medal of Honor. Pictured L-R: Muscogee (Creek) Nation Second Chief Louis Hicks; Dr. Clarence Oliver; Childers’ daughter, Elaine Childers; artist Mike Wimmer; Sen. Bill Brown; Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief James Floyd; and the president and founder of the Senate Historical Preservation Fund, former state Sen. Charles Ford.|