I recently purchased a copy of Kareem Abdul-Jabar's "Brothers in Arms", about the 761st Tank Battalion in WWII. I'm looking forward to reading it, as it seems like a good book.
I'm guessing he didn't know that a lot of the drivers on the "Red Ball Express" were black. Or that many of the Engineer units building roads were also black. And I could guarantee that the bomber pilots escorted by the Tuskegee Airmen found them vital, just as my former JROTC instructor (his bomb group was escorted by them several times). I could go on, and on, but educating people is what this thread was started for in the first.
Photos of African American service members during WWII....
Disclaimer..All captions are the original captions written at the time the pictures were taken.
"Pilots of a U.S. Army Air Forces fighter squadron, credited with shooting down 8 of the 28 German planes destroyed in dog-fights over the new Allied beachheads south of Rome, on Jan. 27, talk over the day's exploits at a U.S. base in the Mediterranean theater. Negro members of this squadron, veterans of the North African and Sicilian campaigns, were formerly classmates at a university in the southern U.S." February 1944. 208-MO-18H-22051.
"[Capt. Andrew D. Turner], who in a few minutes will be escorting heavy bombers en route to enemy targets, signals to the chief of his ground crew before taking off from a base in Italy. He is a member of the 15th U.S. Army Air Force, which has been smashing enemy objectives in Germany and the Balkans with both fighter and bomber craft. The pilot's plane, a Mustang, is named for a type of wild
"Negro sailors of the U.S.S. Mason (DE 529) commissioned at Boston Navy Yard on 20 Mar. 1944 proudly look over their ship which is the first to have [a] predominately Negro crew." March 20, 1944. 80-G-218861.
A gun crew of six Negroes who were given the Navy Cross for standing by their gun when their ship was damaged by enemy attack in the Philippine area." Crew members: Jonell Copeland, AtM2/c; Que Gant, StM; Harold Clark, Jr., StM; James Eddie Dockery, StM; Alonzo Alexander Swann, StM; and Eli Benjamin, StM. Ca. 1945. 80-G-334029.
"Enlisted men serving on Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides...placing 6-inch shells in magazines at the Naval Ammunition Depot." From left to right: S1/c Dodson B. Samples, S1/c Raymond Wynn, S1/c Edward L. Clavo, and S1/c Jesse Davis. N.d. 80-G-123941.
"Hospital Apprentices second class Ruth C. Isaacs, Katherine Horton and Inez Patterson (left to right) are the first Negro WAVES to enter the Hospital Corps School at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD." March 2, 1945. 80-G-12650.
"Negro GIs and American Red Cross workers, college graduates, join in some musical fun at Assam, India..." Left to right: Cpl. Robert Barttow, Pvt. James Montgomery, Jeannette C. Dorsey, and Willie Lee Johnson. August 23, 1944. Grigg. 111-SC-32974.
"Christmas Dance at Negro Service Club #3. The dance was sponsored by the 1323rd Engineers. They had their own orchestra. Camp Swift, Texas." December 23, 1943. Pvt. Greene. 111-SC-18834.
"Admiral C. W. Nimitz, CinCPac, pins Navy Cross on Doris "Dorie" Miller, at ceremony on board warship in Pearl Harbor, T. H." May 27, 1942. 208-NP-8PP-2.
"U.S.-built Army trucks wind along the side of the mountain over the Ledo supply road now open from India into Burma..." n.d. 208-AA-45L-1
"Cpl. Carlton Chapman...is a machine-gunner in an M-4 tank, attached to a Motor Transport unit near Nancy, France." 761st Mt. Bn. November 5, 1944. Ryan. 111-SC-196106-S.
"Crews of U.S. light tanks stand by awaiting call to clean out scattered Nazi machine gun nests in Coburg, Germany." April 25, 1945. 208-AA-32P-10.
^ Looks interesting, Oswald. I'll have to look for it.
I recently spotted another book about your dad's unit too.
Oh? You remember the name?
No! I'm trying to recall which bookstore in which I saw it, too.
I'll be posting pix in this old thread this month..enjoy!
http://www.nps.gov/pwso/honor/miller.htmAdmiral Chester W. Nimitz pins Navy Cross on Doris Miller, at ceremony on board warship in Pearl Harbor, May 27, 1942
On December 7, 1941, when the Japanese made their infamous surprise attack at Pearl Harbor, a black cook, Doris "Dorie" Millertook over a machine gun aboard theUSS West Virginia and became one of the first heroes of World War II. Miller dragged the ship's commanding officer, Capt. Bennion out of the line of fire, and manned the ship's machine gun. Despite shooting down several attacking aircraft his citiation for bravery his citation reads: "For distinguished devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and disregard for his own personal safety during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941. While at the side of his Captain on the bridge, Miller, despite enemy strafing and bombing and in the face of a serious fire, assisted in moving his Captain, who had been mortally wounded, to a place of greater safety, and later manned and operated a machine gun directed at enemy Japanese attacking aircraft until ordered to leave the bridge."
Like Miller, no African-American sailor or officer was ever recommended for or awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor. They served despite many other similar heroic efforts, and under extremely oppresive conditions during World War II. Many often fought a quiet, internal battle with officers who consistantly implemented unlawful orders, denied them equal protection under the Constitution, and generally put their men at risk in the face of the enemy.
"However pressing his duties STM2/c James Lee Frazer always finds time to read a few chapters from his Bible each day. In this study he is especially intense about his devotional routine...it was the night before the opening strike of a raid on Manila Bay." January 9, 1945.
. "1st Lt. Lee Rayford...who has returned to the United States from Italy where he served with the 99th Fighter Squadron. The nature of his assignment here has not been announced. Other pilots formerly assigned to the 99th now back in America include 1st Lts. Walter I. Lawson, Charles W. Dryden, Graham Smith and Louis R. Purnell."
"An armorer of the 15th U.S. Air Force checks ammunition belts of the .50 caliber machine guns in the wings of a P-51 Mustang fighter plane before it leaves an Italian base for a mission against German military targets. The 15th Air Force was organized for long range assault missions and its fighters and bombers range over enemy targets in occupied and satellite nations, as well as Germany itself." Ca. September 1944.
"Members of a Negro mortar company of the 92nd Division pass the ammunition and heave it over at the Germans in an almost endless stream near Massa, Italy. This company is credited with liquidating several machine gun nests..." ca. November 1944
"Cpl. Carlton Chapman...is a machine-gunner in an M-4 tank, attached to a Motor Transport unit near Nancy, France." 761st Mt. Bn. November 5, 1944.
"Hospital Apprentices second class Ruth C. Isaacs, Katherine Horton and Inez Patterson (left to right) are the first Negro WAVES to enter the Hospital Corps School at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD." March 2, 1945.
I tried this putting this up on the post, mostly white boards and email at work as a team building thing "black history month" it was when i worked at microsoft canyon park circa 1994 .. it was immediately shut down by HR..too sensitive for work ethics i guess..
I've always found it interesting that some of the most persecuted people in history were the most brave and loyal in time of need. I understand some of it has to do with proving themselves with people who didn't fully give them the respect and credit that they deserve but because of this, I think their service and sacrifices warrant greater honor than we accord them.
Black soldiers (men and women) throughout history (Glory, incidentally, is one of my favorite movies)
The Nisei soldiers during WWII
The Navaho code talkers
All women who sign up to serve their country's military despite the fact that in many places they are treated as second class citizens.
And since I'm on the subject, the courageous but foolish Koreans who volunteered as kamikaze pilots for Imperial Japan.
Will be going to see Red Tail later today. I hope it's worth the drive on the most congested road in the Bay Area.