|Birth: ||May 1, 1895|
|Death: ||Apr. 13, 1960|
Husband of Agnes Watkins. Father of at least one child, Jonah (1918-1993).
Joseph Oklahombi, from Wright City has been lauded as Oklahoma's greatest war hero of World War I. He received citations from General John J. Pershing and French Marchall Pertain for his action in the St. Etienne sector in France.
A month before the armistice in 1918, Oklahombi and his buddies in Company D, 141st Infantry, 36th Division, were cut off from the rest of the company. They came across a German machine gun emplacement, with about 50 trench mortars. The American soldiers captured o ne gun and turned its fire back on the Germans. For four days they held the enemy down, until help finally came. Of the enemy, 171 were taken prisoner.
General orders cited Oklahombi for his bravery in moving about 200 yards of open territory, braving machine gun and artillery fire. He was awarded the Silver Star to be worn on the Victory Ribbon by General Pershing, and the Croix de Guerre from Marshall Pertain. Medals were reissued to his son, Jonah, in 1992 and are currently on display at the Choctaw Capitol Museum at Tushka Homma.
Pvt. Oklahombi's citation for the Croix de Guerre reads:
'Under a violent barrage, [Pvt. Oklahombi] dashed to the attack of an enemy position, covering about 210 yards through barbed-wire entanglements. He rushed on machine-gun nests, capturing 171 prisoners. He stormed a strongly held position containing more than 50 machine guns, and a number of trench mortars. Turned the captured guns on the enemy, and held the position for four days, in spite of a constant barrage of large projectiles and of gas shells. Crossed no man's land many times to get information concerning the enemy, and to assist his wounded comrades."
Oklahombi, on returning to his homeland, was another soldier home from the war – no triumphant entry into the port of New York, no bands playing nor ticker tape parade. He was merely another soldier from the war making his way back to his home in the Kiamichi Mountains in southeastern Oklahoma to be with his wife and son. Joseph settled back to a life of farming, hunting and fishing.
As this country grew nearer the brink of war in 1940, Oklahombi was called upon to give his views of another conflict. "The United States must prepare itself and really prepare immediately," he said. "Of course, I'm not in favor of war, but if the peace of the United States is molested, we must be prepared to defend ourselves." Besides his fighting activities in Europe during the war, Oklahombi was valuable to Allied Troops because of his Indian background. Allies used the Choctaw language as a code for messages – a code never broken by the German intelligence officers.
After the war Oklahombi returned to Wright City to be reunited with his wife and son. Despite being offered a Hollywood role in a war movie, he refused to leave Oklahoma. He was struck and killed by a truck as he walked along a road on April 13, 1960, and was buried with military honors in the Yashau Cemetery northwest of Broken Bow.
Information in part was taken from the web site: http://www.choctawnation.com/
His birth date was obtained from Joseph's WWI Registration papers. S.S. Death Index indicates 1895.
Thank you to sniksnak for sponsoring this memorial.
Agnes Watkins Oklahombi (1903 - 1983)*
Jonah Oklahombi (1918 - 1993)*
Plot: Row #1, third grave from the north end of cemetery.
Created by: Kathy Londo Barnes
Record added: Nov 21, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 61970347
Added: Jun. 3, 2016
Memorial Day Blessings ❤⚑❤ "And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier's tomb and beauty weeps the brave." ~ Joseph Rodman Drake|
Added: May. 30, 2016
Added: May. 19, 2016
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