About Ruben Rivers, SSG
Ruben Rivers (1921-November 19, 1944) was a Staff Sergeant in the 761st Tank Battalion, black tank battalion which served with distinction in the European Theater of Operations during World War II. Sgt. Rivers, who was half-Cherokee, was one of seven African-American soldiers to receive the Medal of Honor, although this official recognition of their heroic actions was not made until 1997
Medal of Honor
For extraordinary heroism in action during the 15–19 November 1944, toward Guebling, France. Though severely wounded in the leg, Sergeant Rivers refused medical treatment and evacuation, took command of another tank, and advanced with his company in Guebling the next day. Repeatedly refusing evacuation, Sergeant Rivers continued to direct his tank's fire at enemy positions through the morning of 19 November 1944. At dawn, Company A's tanks began to advance towards Bougaktroff, but were stopped by enemy fire. Sergeant Rivers, joined by another tank, opened fire on the enemy tanks, covering company A as they withdrew. While doing so, Sergeant River's tank was hit, killing him and wounding the crew. Staff Sergeant Rivers' fighting spirit and daring leadership were an inspiration to his unit and exemplify the highest traditions of military service.