Group to tour WWI battlefields where 2 NY heroes fought
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A group that includes a member of the New York Army National Guard will be touring European battlefields where two New Yorkers earned the Medal of Honor a century ago.
National Guard officials say Staff Sgt. Jonell Gittens of the Harlem-based 369th Sustainment Brigade is traveling Wednesday to France with Sgt. William Shemin’s descendants to visit battlefields where Shemin and Sgt. Henry Johnson, of Albany, fought in 1918 during World War I.
Both men were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on the same day in 2015.
Johnson served with the famous “Harlem Hellfighters,” while Shemin, who spent most of his life in the Bronx, served in the Army’s 4th Division.
The group from the U.S. includes Shemin’s daughters, Elsie Shemin-Roth, of St. Louis, and Ina Shemin Bass, of Somers in Westchester County.