African American Troops in World War II

African American Troops in World War II

Elite 158
  • Author: Alexander Bielakowski
  • Illustrator: Raffaele Ruggeri
  • Short code: ELI 158
  • Publication Date: 10 Nov 2007
  • Number of Pages: 64
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About this Product

About half a million African Americans served overseas during World War II, almost all in segregated second-line units. This artificially limited their potential contribution, but their work - especially along the logistic lifelines of the fighting divisions - was vital. This book summarizes the service of these men and women; and it also focuses on the small proportion who, remarkably, overcame prejudicial barriers to reach the battlefields in combat units of the US forces and Coast Guard. Their story is illustrated with wartime photographs, and color plates - including portraits of the most outstanding African Americans, the true heirs of the old "Buffalo Soldiers.”

Biographical Note

Alexander M. Bielakowski completed his Ph.D. in U.S. military history at Kansas State University. He has written several articles on various aspects of military history, with a special interest in horse cavalry during the 20th Century. In 2000 he attended the West Point Summer Seminar in Military History at the United States Military Academy, and served as a historical consultant and interviewee for the History Channel documentary ""Animals in Action: Horses"" (2002). Dr. Bielakowski is an Associate Professor of Military History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Raffaele Ruggeri was born in 1964 in Bologna where he still lives and works. After studying at the Fine Arts Academy he worked in several areas of graphics and design before deciding to devote himself to illustration. He has long been interested in military history and has illustrated a number of books for Osprey.


INTRODUCTION: Racial segregation in the US forces - the Selective Service Act - President Roosevelt and Executive Order 8802 US ARMY: General Benjamin O.Davis Sr; US Army Air Corps
Force: Colonel Benjamin O.Davis Jr and the ‘Tuskegee Airmen' - 99th Fighter Squadron - 33nd Fighter Group - 477th Bombardment Group; Armored Force and Tank Destroyers: 761st Tank Battalion - 827th Tank Destroyer Battalion; Cavalry; Field, Coast and Antiaircraft Artillery; Infantry: 92nd Infantry Division - 93rd Infantry Division - 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion - volunteer infantry replacements, 1945 - Executive Order 9981; support and service troops; life overseas US NAVY: Steward's Mate Doris Miller; USS Mason - PC 1264 - Naval Construction Battalions; The Port Chicago Disaster, July 17, 1944 - its aftermath US MARINE CORPS: Letter of Instruction 421; Gunnery sergeant Gilbert H.Johnson; 51st Defense battalion - 53nd Defense Battalion - other units OTHER MARITIME SERVICES: US Coast Guard - early integration; US Merchant Marine - SS Booker T Washington BIBLIOGRAPHY PLATE COMMENTARIES: Uniforms: US Army - US Navy - US Marine Corps

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