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Independence Day remembrance

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Independence Day remembrance

FAYETTEVILLE — On this Independence Day weekend, ArkansasRazorbacks.com remembers the two University of Arkansas varsity athletes who received the nation’s highest honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor, for their service during the Second World War.Three-time Razorback football letterwinner Maurice “Footsie” Britt and two-time letterman Nathan Gordon went on from the university to serve with extreme bravery in combat.Britt earned every major United States Army medal during his service in the European theater.Gordon was one of only six Naval Aviators to receive the Medal of Honor, and the only Arkansan to do so in air combat.Gordon graduated Arkansas in 1939, playing football in 1936 and 1937. Britt graduated in 1941, and played both basketball (1939) and football (1938-40). Both were native Arkansans, Gordon from Morrilton and Britt from Carlisle.Britt played a single season for the Detroit Lions before going into service.Each Congressional Medal of Honor has an official text associated with the recipient. To read the accommodation story of Britt jump here, and for Gordon jump here.Britt lost his arm in the action leading to his Medal of Honor. He is buried in the Little Rock National Cemetery.Gordon’s four rescue landings under fire in the Pacific for his Medal of Honor were performed in his PBY-5 Catalina flying boat, appropriately named Arkansas Traveler. Gordon was an inaugural member of the Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame in 1980.The two former Razorback football players and Medal of Honor recipients share a third interesting bond: from 1946 until 1970, they were the Arkansas lieutenant governors.Britt won the position in 1946, and served for 10 re-elections until 1966 when Gordon became the lieutenant governor. The first Republican since reconstruction in the office, Gordon was reelected once.To learn more about Gordon and Britt, along with other Arkansas veteran heroes, jump to Arkansas ROTC "Hog Heroes".



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