AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive
Re: Red Ball Express
In Response To: Red Ball Express ()
: I am trying to find any information regarding men that served in
Sad to say, but I do not think a roster of the soldiers of the Red Ball Express has ever been compiled. The "Red Ball Express" was not an autonomous unit, but made up of soldiers assigned to numerous units.
"In Europe, three-fourths of the truck companies were manned by black drivers, mechanics, and administrative clerks. These motor transport units operated the so-called Red Ball Express, carrying fuel, ammunition, and other cargo from the French coast to the armies advancing upon Germany." Bernard C. Nalty. STRENGTH FOR THE FIGHT: A History of Black Americans in the Military. New York: The Free Press, 1986.
For starters there is a excellent narrative (Driving the Red Ball Express) by Staff Sergeant Chester Jones, 3418th Trucking Company, on his experiences with the Red Ball Express in the book, THE INVISIBLE SOLDIER: The Experience of the Black Soldier, World War II, compiled and edited by Mary Penick Motley, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1987. Pages 185-193.
Excerpt from S/Sgt. Jones' statement, "It was after we left Cherbourg that the Red Ball Express was formed. There were a few white companies in this group but it was overwhelmingly black, except for officers. It was composed of six trucking companies. My company was one of those assigned to pick up supplies at the beach and haul it to the front".