~ motto of the 442 nd
Asian Americans have fought for the United States since the Civil War. Joseph L. Pierce, who arrived in the U.S. from China at about age 10, enlisted in the 14 th
Connecticut Infantry in
August 1862. This brief collection of images will focus on WWII.
Learn more : http://www.army.mil/asianpacificsoldiers/history
After the Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbor, Hawaii, Japanese-Americans were perceived as a threat to national security based solely on their ethnic ancestry. Consequently, on March 18,
1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the War Relocation Authority.
Under Executive Order 9066, thousands of Japanese-Americans were moved involuntarily to internment camps created throughout the United States. Despite being subjected to prejudice and discrimination, a large number of Nisei
(second generation Japanese-
Americans born in the United States) volunteered for service in the U.S.
Army. Nisei units were deployed in the Mediterranean and European theaters of war.
Oakland, Calif., March 1942. A large sign reading "I am an American" placed in the window of a store, at 13th and Franklin streets, on December 8, the day after Pearl Harbor. The store was closed following orders to persons of
Japanese descent to evacuate from certain West
Coast areas. The owner, a University of
California graduate, was added to the list of people to be sent to an internment camp.
Source: Library of Congress Prints and
First volunteer in the Territory of Hawaii to take the oath of induction into the U.S. Army
Combat Regiment being organized for Americans of
Japanese ancestry, Mitsuru
Doi, eighteen, of Lihue, Kauai, pledges allegiance to the
U.S. Army Signal Corps photo.
March, 1943: Mitsuru Doi and other Japanese-
American volunteers (Hervert Y. Kondo, eighteen, son of a World War I veteran; and
Chits Ugi, twenty-three, and Minoru Manabe, twenty-eight, first pair of brothers to be inducted into the AJA combat regiment) train with Sergeant John H. Chynoweth. U.S. Army
Japanese Americans in military uniforms hold American flag over casket while priest gives service. L to
R: Sam Kojima, unidentified soldier,
Sam Masuhara, unidentified priest,
Bob Ishimoto, Tom Hara, unidentified soldier.
Source: California State University,
Sacramento. Library. Dept. of Special
Collections and University Archives.
All blood runs red
~ mottoes of the
Pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group, "Tuskegee Airmen," the elite, all-African American 332nd Fighter
Group at Ramitelli, Italy. From left to right, Lt. Dempsey W. Morgan, Lt. Carroll S. Woods, Lt. Robert
H. Nelson, Jr., Capt. Andrew D. Turner, and Lt. Clarence P. Lester. Circa August 1944. Source: U.S.
Air Force / National Archives and Records Administration.
Black Americans have been involved in
American military activity since the
Revolutionary War. Boston patriot,
Crispus Attucks is widely believed to have been the first casualty of the
Revolutionary War in 1770.
On January 16, 1941, the War Department announced the formation of the 99th
Pursuit Squadron, an African-American unit, and of the Tuskegee Institute training program. On March 7, 1942, the first graduating class of the Air Corps
Advanced Flying School at Tuskegee
Field included Col. (later Gen.)
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., who became the commanding officer of the 99th Fighter
Squadron and later the 332d Fighter
Group. The squadron later used new fighter planes, P-51 Mustangs. The tails were painted crimson according to the
Tuskegee Airmen's motto: "All blood
Col. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. at an air base in
Photo by Toni Frissell. Source: Library of
Congress Prints and Photographs Division
(Source: National Archives)
The Tuskegee Airmen’s success disproved bigoted beliefs that Blacks were unable to maintain and fly airplanes.
Crew chief Marcellus G. Smith, Louisville,
KY, 100th F.S., Ramitelli, Italy, March, 1945.
Photograph shows a pilot from the 332nd Fighter
Group signing the Form One Book, indicating any discrepancies of aircraft, prior to take off.
Photos by Toni Frissell. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
Tuskegee airmen Marcellus G. Smith and Roscoe C. Brown, Ramitelli, Italy,
March 1945. Photo: Toni Frissell.
The 99th Fighter Squadron went to
North Africa in April 1943 and flew its first combat mission against the island of Pantelleria on June 2, 1943. Capt. Charles B.
Hall was the first African-
American pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft. Later the squadron, operating from its base in North Africa, supported the invasion of Italy and participated in the air battle against Sicily.
The 332d Fighter Group flew more than 3,000 missions in Europe and destroyed almost 300 enemy planes. Eighty-eight of the group's pilots received the Distinguished
Flying Cross, proving their test by fire a success.
(Source: National Archives)
Members of the 332nd Fighter Group attending a briefing in Ramitelli, Italy, March, 1945. Photograph by Toni Frissell shows members of the 332nd, from left to right: Robert W.
Williams, Ottumwa, IA, Class 44-E; (leather cap) William
H. Holloman, III, St. Louis, Mo., Class 44-?; (cloth cap)
Ronald W. Reeves, Washington, D.C., Class 44-G; (leather cap) Christopher W. Newman, St. Louis, MO, Class 43-I;
(flight cap) Walter M. Downs, New Orleans, LA, Class 43-B.
(Source: Photographer's notes and Tuskegee Airmen 332nd
Fighter Group pilots.)
Col. Benjamin O. Davis, full-length portrait, and Edward C. Gleed, wearing flight gear, standing next to airplane, and looking upward, at air base in Italy. March,
1945. Photo by Toni Frissell. Source:
Library of Congress Prints and
During WWII, the Black press (for example, newspapers such as the Pittsburgh Courier and the Chicago Defender) called for a
“Double V”, victory at home: victory in the
USA against racist violence, as well as legislated and de facto racial segregation
(“Jim Crow”) in addition to victory over the
Hispanic soldiers enter a recording van set up to let soldiers record their voices for family and friends. Source: National Archives at Riverside, California. Learn more about the history of
Hispanic / Latino soldiers in the U.S. Army: http://www.army.mil/hispanicamericans/
Soldiers of 65th Infantry during and after maneuvers at Salinas, Puerto
Rico, August 1941.
Source: U.S. Army.
Navajo Code Talkers Henry Bake and George Kirk,
December 1943. Source: National Archives.
During World War II, the U.S. Marine
Corps, in an effort to find quicker and more secure ways to send and receive code enlisted Navajos as "code talkers." the U.S. Marine Corps, in
World War II, enlisted Navajo Indians as "code talkers." These Native
Americans became signalmen and used their own mostly unwritten
Navajo language to code and send messages and help the Marines battle across the Pacific from 1942 to 1945.
The Japanese were never able to break the code.
After the war, the "code talkers" returned home but were sworn to secrecy about the code, which remained classified until 1968. In
2001, President George W. Bush honored 29 code talkers with special gold medals.
Choctaw and Comanche signalmen and other Native American soldiers also served as code talkers.
"Since the birth of America,
[American Indians and Alaska
Natives] have contributed immeasurably to our country and our heritage, distinguishing themselves as scholars, artists, entrepreneurs, and leaders in all aspects of our society. Native
Americans have also served in the
United States Armed Forces with honor and distinction, defending the security of our Nation with their lives."
A Proclamation by President
• Learn more: http://www.army.mil/nativeam ericans/
Pfc. Preston Toledo and Pfc. Frank Toledo,
Navajo cousins in a Marine artillery regiment in the South Pacific, relay orders over a field radio in their native tongue.
Source: National Archives and Records
Learn more about the Comanche Code Talkers in this article about Charles Chibitty: http://www.army.mil/article/90294/Charles_Chibitty__Comanche_Code_Talker/
National Archives and Records Administration Still Picture Branch
Doris ("Dorie") Miller was born in Waco,
Texas, on 12 October 1919. He enlisted in the
U.S. Navy in September 1939 as a Mess
Attendant Third Class. On 7 December 1941, while serving aboard USS West Virginia (BB-
48), he distinguished himself by courageous conduct and devotion to duty during the
Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December
7, 1941. Miller fired an anti-aircraft machine gun at attacking airplanes while bombs fell on the ship. After numerous articles about Miller and the lack of official recognition were published in the Black press, he was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions on this occasion.
Doris Miller served aboard USS Indianapolis
(CA-35) from December 1941 to May 1943. He was then assigned to the escort carrier Liscome
Bay (CVE-56). Cook Third Class Miller was lost with that ship when she was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on 24 November 1943, during the invasion of the Gilbert Islands.
Dorie Miller just after being presented with the
Navy Cross by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, on board
USS Enterprise (CV-6) at Pearl Harbor, 27 May
1942. Speaking of Miller, Admiral Chester W.
“This marks the first time in this conflict that such high tribute has been made in the Pacific Fleet to a member of his race and I'm sure that the future will see others similarly honored for brave acts.”
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives collection.
Major General Henry T. Burgin, commanding general, Central Pacific
Base Command, presents Miss
Vivian Chong, Honolulu, Hawaii, with her record of service with the
Women's Army Volunteer Corps at the final review of the Organized
Defense Volunteer Unit at Iolani
Palace on 2 July 1945.
Members of this organization donated their services to the Army as their contribution to the prosecution of the war against
Japan, driving trucks, performing many types of clerical work, without compensation.
Source: U.S. Army Signal
Corps/University of Hawaii at
Manoa Library, Hawaii War Records
African American WACs stand in formation during basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, in April
Source: Marjorie R. Suggs Edwards papers, Jackson Library, The University of North Carolina at
Petrina Moore, “a full-blooded Cherokee
Indian” woman, welding for the war effort at the Todd Hoboken dry dock, circa 1943.
Photographer: Alfred T. Palmer. Source:
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs
Portrait of WAC (Women’s Army
Corps) member Marjorie Randolph
Suggs Edwards, circa 1944. Source:
Marjorie Randolph Suggs Edwards
Papers, Jackson Library, The
University of North Carolina at
U.S. Government Printing Office, 1942. Library of Congress
Prints and Photographs Division.
"U.S. Army nurses, newly arrived, line the rail of their vessel as it pulls into port of Greenock, Scotland, in European Theater of Operations. They wait to disembark as the gangplank is lowered to the dock.“
08/15/1944. Source: Department of Defense / Signal Corps Photographs of American Military Activity.
"American Negro nurses in
Australia." Source: Prints and Photographs Division,
Library of Congress.
Marine Corps women reservists Minnie Spotted
Wolf (Blackfoot), Celia Mix (Potawatomi), and
Viola Eastman (Chippewa). Camp Lejeune, NC.
October 16, 1943.
Photo credit: Office for Emergency Management.
Office of War Information. Overseas Operations
Branch. News and Features Bureau. Picture
Division. (1942 - 1945). Records of the Office of
War Information. Source: National Archives.
Members of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, the first all-African-American, allfemale unit to serve overseas in World War II, take part in a parade ceremony in honor of Joan d'Arc at the marketplace where she was burned at the stake.", 05/27/1945. Paris, France.
Photograph by Alexander Liberman, 1943
Printed by the Government Printing Office for the War Manpower Commission
NARA Still Picture Branch
NSCC Program Planners:
Kevin Christopher, Arts and Lectures
Janet Hoppe-Leonard, Student Leadership and Multicultural Services
Kelly Hsu, Library
Lydia Minatoya, Counseling
Zola Mumford, Library
Wadiyah Nelson, Library
Tomoko Okada, Arts and Lectures, student
Sharon Simes, Library
Student Fee Board
Davin Simmons, Vet Corps, student
Gregg Tessensohn, Veterans and Special Accounts
This presentation was researched and assembled by
Zola Mumford, NSCC Library
African American Women in the Military and at War: Selected Reading List http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/SciRefGuides/africanamericanwomenwar.html
African Americans in the U.S. Navy: A Bibliography http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq57-1.htm
Asian Pacific Americans in the U.S. Army: http://www.army.mil/asianpacificsoldiers/history.html
Cool Chicks from History http://coolchicksfromhistory.tumblr.com
Double Victory, a documentary film produced by George Lucas and directed by Anthony
Hispanic Americans in the U.S. Army: http://www.army.mil/hispanicamericans/
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division http://www.loc.gov/pictures/
Native Americans in the U.S. Army: http://www.army.mil/nativeamericans/
National Archives: www.archives.gov
NSCC Library LibGuide by Librarian Michelle Schewe , on the history of veterans of color: http://bit.ly/Vzc4TT
"Semper Fidelis, Code Talkers" by Adam Jevec http://1.usa.gov/w93pUu
Takaki, Ronald. Double Victory: a Multicultural History of America in World War Two.
New York: Little, Brown, 2000.
U.S. Army History: http://www.army.mil/info/history/
Veterans History Project : www.loc.gov/vets/