The Lincoln University in Pennsylvania has received an archival collection from Waverly B. Woodson, a university alumnus who was a decorated veteran of World War II. Woodson was a 21-year-old student at The Lincoln University when he suspended his studies to enlist in the U.S. Army, where he was trained as a medic. He was a member of the first Black battalion of the racially segregated U.S. Army that came ashore at Normandy on June 6, 1944. He was severely wounded but continued to continued to provide medical services to other wounded troops. Woodson received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
After the war, Woodson returned to The Lincoln University and received a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1950. He then re-enlisted in the U.S. Army. Woodson died in 2005.
Dr. Cheryl Renée Gooch, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at The Lincoln University, said that “there is a rapidly growing interest in the long-ignored heroic efforts of African-American World War II soldiers. This unique collection of his items will ensure that all Lincoln students know that a graduate of this institution played a role in the liberation of France and the ending of the Nazi occupation of Europe. The collection includes citations and medals, correspondence, photographs and news clip files, all of which are valuable to our teaching and interpretation of American history and world history.”