Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: February 3, 2016
The Senate dedicated a portrait Wednesday of Lt. Col. Ernest Childers,
the only Native American
Guardsman to earn the Medal of Honor. Pictured L-R: Muscogee (Creek)
Nation Second Chief
Louis Hicks;Dr. Clarence Oliver; Childers’ daughter, Elaine
Childers; artist Mike Wimmer;
Sen. Bill Brown; Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief James Floyd;
and the president
and founder of the Senate Historical Preservation Fund, former state
Sen. Charles Ford.
Portrait of Lt. Col. Ernest Childers Dedicated
A portrait of Oklahoma-native Lt. Col. Ernest Childers,
the only Native American Guardsman to earn the nation’s
highest award for valor, was dedicated Wednesday by the Senate.
The piece, by artist Mike Wimmer, is sponsored by Sen. Bill and
Linda Brown along with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
Childers, a full-blood Creek Indian, was born in February 1918
in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and attended Chilocco Indian School.
He joined the Oklahoma Guard in 1937, rising to the rank of first
sergeant by the time the 180th landed in Sicily in July 1943.
He earned a battlefield commission to second lieutenant during
LTC Childers remained with his Army company when it landed at
Anzio, Italy, on September 13th. While leading his men near Oliveto,
Italy, on September 22, 1943, he earned the Medal of Honor for
single-handedly capturing two machine gun nests, killing at least
five enemy soldiers and then captured a German mortar observer,
all with a fractured ankle.
After World War II, Childers remained in the Army, obtaining the
rank of lieutenant colonel before his retirement in 1965. He passed
away in 2003.
The portrait is a project of the Oklahoma State Senate Historical
For more information, contact:
Sen. Brown: (405) 521-5602