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Transcript of African Americans
Benjamin O. Davis Jr.
First Black Air force General (Tuskegee Airmen Flight Squadron)
Led fighter groups.
Flew over 60 missions.
Father was the first Black General of US Army
More than 2.5 million African Americans signed up for the draft.
Less than 4,000 Americans served in the military before 1941 (only twelve had been promoted as officers).
1945: More than 1.2 million African Americans were enlisted in the military.
Army was segregated (until 1948).
AA's were assigned non-combat positions typically until 1945.
African American Women
1941-Only allowed 56 AA nurses
1943- Nurse Training Bill Amendment=2,000 AA women enrolled.
Navy dropped color ban in January 1945
joined WAAC, WAVES, and SPARS-1944
688th Central Postal Battalion 1944-Birmingham, England
-Made sure mail got to the soldiers.
Ironic and Hypocritical: fighting for freedom
and democracy in Europe when they could not enjoy those same privileges in their own country.
demoralized African American
Double V campaign: worked to end discrimination at home and ensure democracy abroad.
Tuskegee Air program
First black servicemen to serve as military aviators in the U.S. armed forces, flying with distinction during World War II
mostly Assigned to Italy
761st Tank Battalion
"Come out fighting"
On November 8, 1944, the Black Panthers became the first African-American armored unit to enter combat, smashing into the towns of Moyenvic and Vic-sur-Seille
Doris "Dorie" Miller
-Stationed on the USS Virginia when Pearl Harbor was bombed.
-Known for physical strength.
-Carried wounded soldiers to safety
-Received the Navy Cross
Promoted Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
Advancement of Colored Peoples (NAACP)
Soldiers who had left farm jobs in the South moved to cities to look for work that was similar to what they had learned in the armed forces.
Why? No social experiment.
"Jim Crow Military"- separate and rarely equal
Limited army's efficiency
Segregated units and training areas
segregated Red Cross blood banks
- Army General Classification Test (AGCT)
The Chamberlain Plan
Menial jobs - cooks, orderlies, and drivers, road repairmen
- Seldom fought at the front:
Quartermaster Corps -supply general items( no ammunition and medical, dig graves, do the laundry
Engineer Corps -design bridges and dams to prevent floods, construct military facilities
- occasionally: air force, tank battalions
Battle of the Bulge:
11 soldiers from the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion were massacred by the Waffen SS
integration effort was well received, and the African American soldiers were evaluated as having done "well."
Italy and Mediterranean theater:
the 92nd Infantry Division broke through the Gothic line and helped the Italians rebuild their farms after the Germans left
Fort Dix, New Jersey:
African Americans upset about segregated seating and access to movies and entertainment.
A gun battle between white soldiers for the right to use the telephones
one white soldier died and 2 african American soldiers died
Jackie Robinson refuses to give up his seat and sit in the back of the bus