Your Army

Black WWII veteran still waiting for medals 70 years later

BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for the Army to award three long-overdue service medals to an African-American World War II veteran from western New York.

Ninety-three-year-old George Watts served in an all-black unit stationed in the South Pacific from 1943 to 1946. Upon his discharge, the Buffalo man was supposed to receive three medals he earned overseas.

But Watts never got the decorations, possibly due to racism. Watts says he doesn't know any fellow black soldiers who received their medals.

Schumer, a Democrat, met Watts on Tuesday to personally tell him that he's working to right the Army's 70-year-old wrong.

Watts is the last-known living Erie County WWII veteran to have served in a segregated unit. President Harry Truman integrated the U.S. military in 1948.

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