Most decorated Native American soldier in US history, FOUR Silver Stars, Three Wars

Apr 15 , 2022

Most decorated Native American soldier in US history, FOUR Silver Stars, Three Wars

Pascal Cleatus Poolaw, Sr., the most decorated Native American soldier in US history

4 Silver Stars
5 Bronze Stars
3 Purple Hearts

He earned a total of 42 medals and citations.
Born on January 29, 1922, in Apache, Oklahoma, Poolaw, a full-blooded Kiowa, served with the United States Army in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Poolaw, his father and two brothers joined the Armed forces in 1942 during World War II. He earned his first Purple Heart when he was wounded in September 1944. While serving with the 8th Infantry Regiment's M Company near Recogne, Belgium, Poolaw's unit was engaging fire with the Germans. He pushed his unit forward under heavy fire and hurled hand grenades at enemy machine guns, causing numerous enemy casualties and as a result of his heroic actions, many of his comrades lives were saved and the company was able to continue the attack and capture strongly defended enemy positions.


Poolaw's military career did not end in Belgium ow with Germans. During the Korean War, Poolaw saw combat and was wounded again and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, a second Purple Heart, and two more Silver Stars.
He returned to the U.S. in 1952 and retired from the Army ten years later. This is not where his military career ends.


During the Vietnam War, all four of the Poolaw's sons were in the military. In February 1967, his son, Pascal Jr., was injured by a landmine in Vietnam. This injury resulted in amputation of his right leg below the knee. Poolaw’s youngest son, Lindy, was also drafted. Afraid of what could happen to his sons as the war progressed, Poolaw rejoined the Army at the age of 45. Giving up his rank as a 2nd Lieutenant with the intentions of serving in direct combat, Poolaw hoped to keep his youngest son away from the front lines by taking his place. Regulations prohibited two members of the same family from serving in combat at the same time without their consent. Unfortunately, by the time he arrived on the West Coast, Lindy had left for Vietnam the day before.


Poolaw was deployed on May 31, 1967 as a first sergeant of the 26th Infantry Regiment's C Company. His last Silver Star was for an event that occurred a few months later. On November 7, 1967, Poolaw's unit were part of a search and destroy mission near the village of Loc Ninh. Poolaw and his unit were ambushed by the Viet Cong force with intensive claymore mine, rocket, small arms, and automatic weapons fire. While wounded, he continued moving among his squad making sure everyone was positioned properly while pulling casualties back.


As Poolaw was carrying a wounded soldier to safety, he was struck by a rocket propelled grenade and killed. For his heroic actions Poolaw was awarded a Silver Star and a third Purple Heart posthumously. " He has followed the trail of the great chiefs," his wife Irene said at Poolaw's funeral. His people hold him in honor and highest esteem. He has given his life for the people and the country he loved so much."


Older Post Newer Post


Related Posts

Most Decorated Unit for its Size and Length of Service in the History of the US Military
Most Decorated Unit for its Size and Length of Service in the History of the US Military
Going For Broke: The 442nd Regimental Combat Team The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated Japanese America...
Read More
Desmond Doss: Hero of Hacksaw Ridge Saved 100 of His Own, Ended 75 Enemy Lives
Desmond Doss: Hero of Hacksaw Ridge Saved 100 of His Own, Ended 75 Enemy Lives
Desmond Doss The Hero of Hacksaw Ridge "President Harry S. Truman warmly shook the hand of Corporal Desmond Thomas D...
Read More
Flamethrowing WW2 Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams dies at 98
Flamethrowing WW2 Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams dies at 98
The last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II has passed on from this life at 98 years old. Marine ve...
Read More

20 Comments

  • 15 Apr 2022 Frederick Armayor

    Respect and prayer for a true and great warrior.

  • 15 Apr 2022 Les Gloege
    This hero well deserves the Medal of Honor! I, for one, would proudly sign any petition that can be generated.
  • 15 Apr 2022 Les Gloege
    This hero well deserves the Medal of Honor! I, for one, would proudly sign any petition that can be generated.
  • 15 Apr 2022 Randal Walker

    I too salute this great American Warrior who did so much for our Country before making the ultimate sacrifice. This hero well deserves the Medal of Honor! I, for one, would proudly sign any petition that can be generated.

  • 15 Apr 2022 James Ellis

    A true hero , I salute 1SG Poollaw Sr. I was a Recon Plt Ldr in VN. It would have been an honor to serve with him.



Leave a comment