Colonel Charles Young p4
On a day in June, 1918 retired Lt. Colonel Charles Young, made his way on horseback, 500 miles from Wilberforce, Ohio to this nation's capital, to show he was as always, fit for duty. There, he petitioned the Secretary of War (now called Secretary of Defense) for immediate reinstatement and command of a combat unit in Europe.
The ride from Ohio to Washington D.C. brought bittersweet results. Young was reinstated and promoted to full Colonel, but he was assigned to duty at Camp Grant, Illinois. By the time his reinstatement and promotion were in effect the war was near its end.
Too weak to command in France they said, but not too weak to traverse and suffer the swamps of West Africa, Colonel Charles Young, was once again, assigned to Liberia as Military Attaché. He died at that post on January 8, 1922, while on a research expedition in Lagos, Nigeria.
Colonel Charles Young's funeral service was one of the few ever held at the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery. He is buried in Section 3 of the cemetery.
Today, Colonel Charles Young's home is scheduled to become the future site of the National Museum of African American Military History. Its unique history relives the days when it was a way station for the Underground Railroad.
Colonel Young was made an honorary member of the Omega Psi Phi in the early years of the fraternity's history. To commemorate his military and leadership achievements, the fraternity has established an International Award named in his honor. Recipients of this award are recognized for their outstanding leadership skills as demonstrated in their active duty military service to our great nation.
By Stanford L. Davis