Not His Ancestor

This Nathaniel Bedford Forrest Deserves a Memorial

02.19.13 4:30 PM ET

Jamie McFadden writes in:

A lot of people don't know this (and I didn't know until quite recently) that the story of Nathan Bedford Forrest did not end either with defeat in the Civil War or the founding of the Ku Klux Klan.

The great-grandson and namesake of the Confederate General rose to the rank of Brigadier General in the US Army Air Corps during World War II. He was shot down during a bombing run - leading from the saddle, as his great-grandfather had been wont to do - during a bombing run on the Kiel shipyards in Germany. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross, and he was also the first American General officer to be killed in action in the War in Europe.