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African-Americans in Hawaii <br />(Yank Magazine, 1943)African-Americans in Hawaii
(Yank Magazine, 1943)
Colonel Chauncey Hooper was a World War I veteran; of African-American stock, he had served with the "Harlem Hellfighters" (the 369th Regiment, 93rd Division). When 1943 came along, he could be found as an army colonel in Hawaii, lording over a regiment of "colored" New Yorkers calling themselves "Hooper's Troopers". This article is by no means about Hooper as much as it concerns the high number of Harlem Jazz musicians who served under his command

Dorie Miller was an African-American hero during the Second World War, click here if you would like to read about him.

Dorie Miller at Pearl Harbor  <br />(Bluebook Magazine, 1962)Dorie Miller at Pearl Harbor
(Bluebook Magazine, 1962)
Mess Attendant 2nd Class Dorie Miller had never handled a machine gun, yet he shot down four Japanese planes in twenty minutes, rescued the captain of the USS West Virginia and saved a dozen men from drowning.

Read about an African-American from the First World War...

African-American Fighter Pilots <br />(Click Magazine, 1943)African-American Fighter Pilots
(Click Magazine, 1943)
A three page photo-essay found on the yellowing pages of a 1943 issue of Click Magazine introduced American readers to the flying Black Panthers of the U.S. Army Air Force; a fighter squadron composed entirely of African American pilots, trained "at the new $2000,000 airfield in Tuskegee, Ala.". The four paragraphs that tell their story are accompanied by eight portraits of the pilots and snap-shots of the assorted ground crew, mechanics and orderlies - all Black.

"They undoubtedly will reach a combat area this summer. One squadron, the 99th, has arrived overseas already. [These] pilots, whose insignia is a flame-spewing black panther, are rarin' to join them. They want to roar a personal answer to the Axis 'race superiority' lies."

Racism in the U.S. Navy 1941 - 1945 <br />(Coronet Magazine, 1960)Racism in the U.S. Navy 1941 - 1945
(Coronet Magazine, 1960)
A single page report on the instituted racist policies practiced by the U.S. Navy throughout the course of the Second World War.

Click here the institutional racist policies of the W.W. I American Army.

The Segregated U.S. Army <br />(Coronet Magazine, 1960)The Segregated U.S. Army
(Coronet Magazine, 1960)
Here is a segment from a longer article that tells the sad story about racial segregation in the U.S. Armed Forces. The small portion that is attached here tells of a secret group of fifty army researchers who were dispatched to the European front and

"interviewed thousands of [White] soldiers about their attitudes toward Negro platoons fighting experimentally within their divisions."

Their findings proved that to these front-line respondents, the experimental platoons were truly their equal. In 1948 this research was showed to President Truman, who signed Executive Order 9981, thus bringing to an end racial segregation within the ranks of the U.S. Military.

The U.S. Navy was the biggest offender

A Segregated WAAC <br />(Click Magazine, 1942)A Segregated WAAC
(Click Magazine, 1942)
A single page from the early war period tells the tale of Natalie Donaldson

Click here to read about the African-American efforts during the First World War.

African-Americans in the U.S. Army <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)African-Americans in the U.S. Army
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
Here are a few fast facts about the African-Americans who served in the U.S. Army during the Second World War (it should be noted that the record keeping in 1945 was not nearly as accurate as they had hoped; the number of Black servicemen and women was way off compared to what is known today. Pentagon figures today number W.W. II African-American service at 1.2 million).

Those councilors who advised FDR on all matters African-American were popularly known as "the Black Brain Trust"...

The African-Americans Fighting in France and Italy <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)The African-Americans Fighting in France and Italy
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
Here are two Yank Magazine articles from the same issue that report on the all-black combat units that fought the Germans on two fronts in Europe: one organization fought with the Seventh Army in France and Germany, the other fought with the Fifth Army through Italy:

"Hitler would have a hemorrhage if he could see the white boys of the 411th Infantry bull-sessioning, going out on mixed patrols, sleeping in the same bombed buildings, sweating out the same chow lines with the Negro GIs."

Click here to read about the African-American efforts during the First World War.

With The War Came New Opportunities <br />(United States News, 1942)With The War Came New Opportunities
(United States News, 1942)
"The government, endeavoring to meet the problem by raising the economic stature of the Negro, create committees, change regulations. The Army admits Negro candidates for officer training to the same schools as whites. It is training Negro pilots for the Air Corps. Negro officers will command Negro troops. The Navy opens new types of service for the Negro in the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, inshore establishments, Navy yards and construction crews."
The First Black Fighter Pilots <br />(The American Magazine, 1942)The First Black Fighter Pilots
(The American Magazine, 1942)
This article partially explains the excitement of being a Tuskegee Airman and flying the Army's most advanced fighters and partially explains what it was like to be a black man in a segregated America:

"I'm flying for every one of the 12,000,000 Negroes in the United States. I want to prove that we can take a tough job and handle it just as well as a white man."

Jim Crow at <em>Newsweek</em> <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)Jim Crow at Newsweek
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
What a thoroughly outrageous article this is! In my experience reading news pieces from both world wars I have never once come across one in which the journalist pinpoints a particular fighting unit and labels it as substandard - but that is exactly what happens in this article about the all-black 92nd Division. Previously, I never thought such a thing would ever happen with a censored press that sought to preserve the morale of both soldiers and home front - but I was wrong.
Discrimination Abroad <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)Discrimination Abroad
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
"Much has been written and much more whispered about relations between American Negro soldiers and white girls in Britain and elsewhere. To get at the facts, Newsweek assigned William Wilson of its London bureau to a candid review of the subject. His findings , largely from the standpoint of the Negro soldiers themselves [are as follow]."
''White Man's War'' <br />(PM Tabloid, 1942)''White Man's War''
(PM Tabloid, 1942)
During the winter of 1942, Private Harry Carpenter, U.S Army, made a big honking mistake when he decided to declare that the current war was "a white man's war". Arrested by the MPs and carted-off to stand before Magistrate Thomas O'Hara, Carpenter found that he had reaped the whirlwind: he was charged with treason against the United States.
Asking Important Questions <br />(The Pittsburgh Courier, 1942)Asking Important Questions
(The Pittsburgh Courier, 1942)
"Should I sacrifice my life to live half American?’ Will things be better for the next generation [of colored Americans] in the peace to follow? ‘Would it be demanding too much to demand full citizenship rights in ex- change for the sacrificing of my life?"
Jim Crow and the Draft <br />(PM Tabloid, 1940)Jim Crow and the Draft
(PM Tabloid, 1940)
Wishing to avoid some of the taint of racism that characterized the American military during the First World war, Republican Senator William Barbour (1888 - 1943) announced that he intended to introduce an amendment to the 1940 conscription legislation that would open all branches of the U.S. Military to everyone regardless of skin color. The article goes on to list all the various branches that practiced racial discrimination.
U.S. General Benjamin Oliver Davis <br />(Coronet Magazine, 1944)U.S. General Benjamin Oliver Davis
(Coronet Magazine, 1944)
Civil Rights leader Walter White (1893 - 1955) recognized an historic moment when he saw one: during the summer of 1944 he wrote about the first African-American general - Benjamin O. Davis (1912 - 2002; West Point '36):

"He had endured snubs because of his color and seen less able men promoted over his head without complaint. Some soldiers of his own race charge that he is not as militant as they think he should be in redressing their grievances. Non of this disturbs him."

Bringing the African-Americans On-board <br />(PM Tabloid, 1942)Bringing the African-Americans On-board
(PM Tabloid, 1942)
Here is a small notice concerning the Office of War Information and the steps they took during the Summer of 1942 to ensure the patriotic enthusiasm of the African-American community in the war effort:

"Two well-known Negro newspapermen have been selected to supervise the gathering and issuance of Negro news. The head of the new division - still untitled - will be Ted Poston, former New York newspaperman. He will be assisted by [filmmaker] William D. Alexander [who will make newsreels]."