Colonel Van T. Barfoot, a Medal of Honor recipient. Technical Sergeant Van Barfoot, one of the most significant Native American heroes of World War II, was awarded the Medal of Honor while in the field in Épinal, France, on September 28, 1944. He received this recognition for his actions on May 23, 1944, when he led his unit through enemy minefields near Carano, Italy, destroying several positions and capturing others. Born June 15, 1919 and died March 2, 2012. Hero!