98 year old Joseph Medicine Crow-High Bird is the last surviving War Chief of the Crow Indians. In order to become War Chief, he had to accomplish four tremendous tasks: 1. Lead a successful war party on a raid. 2. Capture an enemy's weapon. 3. Touch an enemy without killing him. 3. Steal an enemy's horse. Not only did Joseph Medicine Crow-High Bird do all of these things, he did them during World War II.
When the war began, Joseph Medicine Crow was working on his PhD. When the U.S. entered the war, he enlisted as a scout in the 103rd Infantry, and in Western France as the Allied forces made their push from Paris to Berlin, Medicine Crow was wordered to take a team of seven soldiers and lead them across a field fortified with barbed wire, artillery fire, and enemy forces shooting at them, grag some dynamite from a destryoed American position and assult the German bunkers. Joseph Medicine Crow High-Bird did exactly as he was ordered, charging with his men across the field, grabbing the dynamite, and charging German machine gun nests carrying armloads of dynamite. He then blasted a hole in the wall representing the Siegfried Line. Even more incredibly, he did all this without losing a single man from his team. Check for criteria #1.
After moving through the Siegfried Line, Joseph Medicine Crow's scouts were ordered to flank around through the back alley of a town that was heavily fortified with enemy soldiers. Medicine Crow was somehow seperated from his unit, and was sprinting through the town looking for them when he ran full speed into a Nazi soldier who stepped from behind a wall, rifle at the ready. The Nazi was knocked sprawling, but instead of shooting the (now unarmed) soldier, Joseph Medicine Crow-High Bird threw down his rifle and punched the Nazi in the face. The two began wrestling, and at one point the Nazi pinned Medicine Crow to the ground. At that point, the Native American grabbed the Nazi by the through and began to squeeze as hard as he could, choking the life out of the German soldier. When the soldier cried out, Medicine Crow took the soldier's rifle and held the Nazi as a prisoner of war. Check for criteria #2 and #3.
In 1945 he finally got the chance to fulfill the fourth and final criteria for becoming War Chief. Joseph and his men were behind enemy lines watching for troop movements when they came across a farm where German senior offers were bunked down with around 50 thoroughbred race horses. In the early morning hours, Joseph Medicine Crow snuck past the sleeping guards armed with his Colt 1911 .45-caliber service pistol and some rope, found the best horse in the group, tied the rope into a bridle mounted the horse bareback and whooped out a Crow war cry as he herded the horses out of the corral. He reportedly sang a Crow war song to himself as he raced bareback across the German countryside in the dead of night with German soldiers shooting at him from behind.