African Americans in the United States Army in World War II

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About the Book

The political, economic and social landscapes of the United States in the early 1940s were split by one overriding factor—race. This book explores the ways this separation extended to the military forces and the impact segregation had on World War II. Beginning with an overview of African Americans and the military from the inception of the United States and a brief history of the African American role in World War I, the focus moves to between-the-wars movements such as the Protective Mobilization Plan promoting racial integration of the military.
The main focus is the African American role in World War II and the stigma that remained despite their valor. Groups discussed include the Women’s Army Corps; tank destroyers; separate infantry regiments such as the 24th, 65th, 364th, 366th and 372nd; and the 2nd cavalry. Also included is a list of African American World War II veterans belatedly (and mostly posthumously) awarded medals of honor on January 13, 1997.

About the Author(s)

Bryan D. Booker is an assistant professor of history at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina and an adjunct professor of history at Fayetteville State University. He retired from the army as a chief warrant officer and lives in Garner, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Bryan D. Booker
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 366
Bibliographic Info: 37 photos, tables, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [2008]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6904-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9172-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction—“The Good War”      5

I. World War I      11

II. Between the Wars      32

III. The African American Press      52

IV. Combat Service Support Units      60
Early Deployments—Pacific Theater      68
Liberia Task Force      75
Road Builders      76
Combat Service Support Deployments      83
Truck Drivers—The Red Ball Express      85
Combat Support Units      87

V. Women’s Army Corps      96
6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion      105
Demobilization      108

VI. Artillery      111
Antiaircraft Artillery      127

VII. Tank Destroyers      131

VIII. Separate Infantry Regiments      145
24th Infantry Regiment      146
364th Infantry Regiment      150
366th and 372nd Infantry Regiments      159
65th Infantry Regiment (Puerto Rico)      160

IX. Paratroopers      162

X. 2nd Cavalry and 93rd Infantry Divisions      167
Army Divisions      167
2nd Cavalry Division      168
93rd Infantry Division      172

XI. 92nd Infantry Division      192
366th Infantry Regiment      210
December Offensive      212
Operation Fourth Term      223
Reorganization      247
Operation Second Wind      252

XII. Combat Infantry Replacements      274

XIII. Armored Forces      285
761st Tank Battalion      288
Camp Hood, Texas      290
Deployment to War      293
Baptism by Fire      295
Aftermath.      323

XIV. Conclusion      329

Appendix: The Medal of Honor      335
Chapter Notes      339
Bibliography      353
Index      357

Book Reviews & Awards

“highly recommended”—ARBA; “a new valuable, and important study of the men and women who faithfully served their nation despite national and institutional racism…an excellent primer for students and scholars”—The North Carolina Historical Review; “valuable”—The NYMAS Review; “rich with oral histories and thoroughly referenced by government records”—Reference & Research Book News.