African American World War II Casualties and Decorations in the Navy, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine

A Comprehensive Record

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About the Book

This book is an account of the 2,445 African American men who were killed or wounded or decorated during World War II in the Navy, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine. Because of the nature of the military’s racial policies, most of these men served either in the Steward’s Branch or in subordinate positions. As a result, the role of these fighting men has largely been ignored.
This book attempts to rectify this oversight, documenting each man lost with groupings primarily by ship and by shore service, as well as separate chapters for those lost at Pearl Harbor and those who died in the explosion at Port Chicago, an incident which accounted for about 20 percent of all deaths among African American seamen during the war.
Information of a more personal nature about each man is often included, highlighted by input from surviving black veterans as well as recollections from several families whose sons, fathers, and brothers were lost in the war. Also featured are several African Americans who were decorated posthumously for acts of bravery and heroism during their service, including Navy Cross winners Dorie Miller, William Pinckney and Leonard Roy Harmon.

About the Author(s)

Author and lecturer Glenn A. Knoblock is the author of many works of history. The top military contributor to the Harvard/Oxford University Press eight volume African-American National Biography (2008), he also writes on local history. He lives in Wolfeboro Falls, New Hampshire.

Bibliographic Details

Glenn A. Knoblock
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 592
Bibliographic Info: 465 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3473-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Introduction      1

I. The Pearl Harbor Attack of 7 December 1941      5

II. The United States Navy, 1941–1945      24

III. The Port Chicago Disaster      363

IV. The United States Coast Guard      386

V. The Merchant Marine Service      428

Bibliography      557

Index      563

Book Reviews

“black-and-white photos of servicemen add a substantial degree of personalization to what is already a compelling collection of individual accounts. A welcome addition for military, historical, and African American reference collections”—Booklist; “comprehensive…a wealth of information…a masterpiece of research and organization”—Midwest Book Review; “this will be a very useful resource for individuals studying African American history during World War II and should enhance our appreciation of the service and sacrifices of these individuals”—ARBA.