African American Troops In World War II by Alexander Bielakowski, Raffaele Ruggeri

By Alexander Bielakowski, Raffaele Ruggeri

Osprey's learn of the African american citizens' involvement in global battle II (1939-1945). regardless of the contribution of black devices to the yank Expeditionary strength in global battle I (1914-1918), and the commissioning of 1000s of black officials to steer them, the small interwar US military persisted to treat them as unsuited to either management roles and dealing with sleek know-how. even supposing African americans needed to wrestle prejudice for each likelihood to teach what they can in attaining, actually the wartime US military conceded possibilities for management unparaleled in American civil society at that date. In international struggle II tens of millions served in segregated devices. whereas the bulk have been denied the potential for wrestle, a minority of all-black, black-officered devices proved their worthy in all theaters and a couple of roles: black officer fighter pilots (the "Tuskegee Airmen") blazed the path, through numerous tank and tank-destroyer battalions and some box artillery devices; and greater than 20,000 black squaddies served lower than either white and black officials. the military additionally created the 1st totally built-in devices, whose good fortune brought on President Truman to reserve the whole integration of the army in 1948. the U.S. military and Marines have been slower to permit blacks to serve in wrestle roles and to fee black officials, yet via 1945 entire ships' businesses have been composed of African-Americans (though with white officers).

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NARA) A g u n c r e w of six A f r i c a n Americans who received the Navy C r o s s f o r s t a n d i n g by t h e i r 4 0 m m A A g u n w h e n t h e i r ship w a s d a m a g e d by e n e m y a t t a c k in t h e P h i l i p p i n e s . Dockery, A l o n z o A . S w a n n a n d Eli B e n j a m i n . (NARA) T h e captain o f PC 1264, Lt Eric P u r d o n , was n o t c h o s e n because o f any particular qualities relating to his African A m e r i c a n crew. Rather, he seems to have b e e n selected simply because he was available and had served o n a n o t h e r subchaser, b e f o r e briefly - for three months c o m m a n d i n g yet another.

NARA) 52nd Defense Battalion On December 15, 1943, the second African American U S M C defense battalion was o r g a n i z e d from a cadre o f 400 officers and men transferred f r o m 51st Defense Bn before it left for the Pacific. O n August 24, 1944, after m o r e than six months o f training, the 5 2 n d moved to Camp Pendleton, California, and o n S e p t e m b e r 21 b o a r d e d the transport USS Winged Arrow (AP-170). Arriving in the Marshall Islands, they t o o k over the d e f e n s e o f two M a r i n e air groups f r o m other A A units o n Majuro and Kwajalein atolls.

Since the United States was at war, these m e n were eligible for the death penalty; in the event they each received sentences o f between eight and 15 years at hard labor. In January 1946 all o f them were given c l e m e n c y and the r e m a i n d e r o f their sentences were remitted. Clinton granted them a full and complete pardon. US MARINE CORPS T h e outbreak o f World War II f o u n d the US Marine Corps without a single African American officer o r enlisted man. In fact, the Marine Corps had never allowed African Americans to j o i n , and was the last branch o f the US military to admit them when it was o r d e r e d to d o so by President Roosevelt in J u n e 1942.

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