Black People : Black World War 2 Veterans

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Ankhur, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    By the time World War II commenced, the United States Military Organization had developed into a big Military Complex. The military offered positions for laborers, infantrymen, aircraft pilots, navy men, nurses, doctors, engineers, tankers, and combat officers, to name a few. Previous wars had tempered the American government to focus on bigger and more efficient military security forces. The military was also more divisionalized into larger separate branches of service with specific performance guidelines for each service division. The ARMY, the NAVY, the ARMY AIR FORCE (AAF), and the MARINES were the major groupings. The first PEACETIME U. S. DRAFT was approved on September 14, 1940, but Adolph Hitler had already taken an aggressive step to take over the country of POLAND on September 1, 1939. WORLD WAR II had thus started. Although over 2.5 million Black Americans registered for military service in World War II, only about 1 million served as draftees or volunteers.

    THE ARMY
    The ARMY took in most of the black military personnel. It was estimated that three fourths of the Blacks served in the ARMY. It is worth noting here that freedom to serve the country did not mean freedom to participate fully. Black soldiers were still in SEGREGATED UNITS within the ARMY. Most black soldiers acted as combat support groups or as labor battalions. The all black 92ND DIVISION and the 761ST TANK BATTALION were among the few exceptional Divisions to participate in full combat during World War II. Over 12,000 decorations and citations were awarded to the 92nd Division, and the 761st received the Presidential Unit Citation "for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy."

    THE NAVY
    The NAVY became more restricted in its assignments to Blacks during World War II. Most black Navy men were limited to tours of duty on shore or around small coastal harbors. By 1943, two segregated units, the USS MASON and the Submarine Chaser, the PC 1264, were granted full sailing duties. Over 150,000 Blacks served in the NAVY during World War II. The first black Naval Officer was assigned to an all black crew on the Submarine Chaser in 1943.

    THE ARMY AIR FORCE (AAF)
    In the 1940's, it was still believed that Blacks were incapable of flying aircraft. This myth was dispelled with the help of the U. S. Congress. On June 27, 1939 - THE CIVILIAN PILOT TRAINING ACT was passed. This solidary ACT helped to create a reserve of civilian pilots to be called in case of War. Young black pilots were given the opportunity to train with U. S. approved programs located at TUSKEGEE INSTITUTE, HOWARD UNIVERSITY, HAMPTON INSTITUTE, NORTH CAROLINA AandT, DELAWARE STATE, WEST VIRGINIA STATE, LINCOLN UNIVERSITY of Missouri, and HARLEM AIRPORT in Chicago. The SELECTIVE SERVICE ACT OF 1940 also increased the opportunity for a broader participation of Blacks in the military when it banned discrimination in the selection and training of all American citizens because of race and color.

    The success of the CIVILIAN PILOT TRAINING ACT helped put the 99TH PURSUIT SQUADRON OF TUSKEGEE on the map. It was said that "the success of Negro youth in the Army Air Force would be predicated upon the success of the 'Tuskegee Experiment.'" HBO's docudrama, THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN, is a good depiction of this era of Black Americans seeking acceptance as military pilots. Because of the opportunity provided by the Civilian Pilot Training Act, the number of Blacks in the ARMY AIR FORCE jumped from 2,250 in 1941 to over 145,000 by 1944.

    The two major groups to see combat as AAF men were the 99TH PURSUIT SQUADRON and the 332ND FIGHTER GROUP. Out of the 332nd Group came the 100th, 301st, and 302nd Squadrons under the command of Lieutenant Colonel BENJAMIN O. DAVIS, SR., who became America's FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN GENERAL on October 25, 1940. By 1944, the 99th was added to the 332nd and participated in campaigns in Sicily, Rome, and Romania. The 99th and 332nd earned many DISTINGUISHED UNIT CITATIONS.

    THE MARINE CORPS
    African Americans entered the MARINE CORP three years after World War II started. The MARINE CORP ended its 167 year ban on including Blacks and finally enlisted its first black Marines in 1942. Records showed that about 17,000 African American Marines served in World War II but were mostly assigned to service units such as depot and ammunition companies.

    African American women also joined the military during World War II. They served in the WOMEN'S ARMY CORP and the WAVES, a women's division of the NAVY.

    Among those who served:
    Vernon J. Baker * William Baldwin * Elvin Bell * Midan Bousefield * James R. Brown * Edward A. Carter, Jr. * Kenneth W. Coleman * Lyncurgus Connor * Joseph Cross * Charles W. David * Benjamin O. Davis, Sr * George A. Davison * Alonzo Douglas * Joseph Elsberry * Charles S. Finch * Katherine Horton * Royall B. Fleming * Trueheart Fogg * Wade Foggie * Charles F. Gandy, Jr. * Alex P. Haley * Charles Hall * West A. Hamilton * Leonard Roy Harmon * Eldern Holly * Jack D. Holsclaw * Edward S. Hope * Ruth C. Isaacs * June Jefferson, Jr. * Ernest A. Jenkins * Philip T. Johnson * Ervin Lattimore * Ulysses Lee * Clarence D. Lester * John M. Madison * Woodall I. Marsh * Dorie Miller * Walter Morris * Hugh N. Mulzac * Hansen Outley * Inez Patterson * Howard D. Perry * Wendell O. Pruitt * Ruben Rivers * Bernard W. Robinson * Clarence Samuels * Edward Taylor * Arthur L. Thompson * Rothschild Webb * Edgar E. Zeno

    THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN
    Period: World War II
    Racial exclusionary policies were in full force in certain areas of the military during the late 1930's and early 1940's. General H. H. Arnold had made it clear that "no Blacks would ever pilot a plane in the upcoming war." The United States was mobilizing for a possible war against the united front of the AXIS POWERS: GERMANY, ITALY, and JAPAN. The legal segregation of African Americans did not allow them to receive the necessary training to become FIGHTER AIR PILOTS at white-operated pilot schools. After some protest, the WAR DEPARTMENT, in 1941, agreed to accommodate an all-black FLIGHT SCHOOL at TUSKEGEE AIR FORCE BASE. That base produced the first African American COMBAT FIGHTER PILOTS, and they became known as the TUSKEGEE AIRMEN of the 99TH PURSUIT SQUADRON. Out of this squadron came Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., son of the first African American General, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. Colonel Davis was awarded the SILVER STAR for gallantry in COMBAT. He was later promoted to general in 1965

    full article;
    http://www.liu.edu/CWIS/CWP/library/aaffsfl.htm#WWTWO
     
  2. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GMZypnUhPs&feature=related
    an important film about the hell we had to fight here as well as "over there"
    to beat a man who wanted to exterminate all of us
     
  3. Corvo

    Corvo navigator of live MEMBER

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    Way cool Link! Thanks
     
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