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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Re: French Embassy's Links D-Day

Normandy, D-Day, Remember African American Soldiers!

K Wyer Lane,

Thank you, Bennie McRae, Art Thomas and others for your vigilance in keeping the memory and acknowledgement of African American soldier in our conscience. Memorial Day meant time-off from work and barbeques to me. We didn't go to any of the parades. I didn’t have folks in my family talking about the wars. I do recall seeing photos of a couple of uncles in uniforms but no one ever talked about them. The newsreels never showed Black soldiers as significant to the outcome of these engagements. It's as if they weren't a part of the war at all. Thankfully, that perception is changing.

Thank you Fabrice Jaumont for giving us a selection of links to D-Day facts and considerations. You have added to my understanding and awareness of what D-Day really suggests; subjugation, struggle, and liberation.

Here’s some of the things I have gleaned:
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African Americans Gain Fame as World War II Red Ball Express Drivers

"When Gen. Patton said for you be there, you were there if you had to drive all day and all night. Those trucks just kept running. They'd break down, we'd fix them and they'd run again," said James D. Rookard, a truck driver with the famous World War II Red Ball Express.

Army Gen. George S. Patton's bold armored advance across France in 1944 is credited historically as a significant contribution to the Allied victory in Europe in World War II. The Allied breakout from Normandy and the French hedgerow country in the summer started a race to Paris and points north and east. Patton stretched his supply line to near-collapse.

Read more: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Feb2002/n02152002_200202151.html
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A group of African-American veterans, whose role in history has been somewhat overlooked, got their own little ceremony for the first time on the beach.

Read more: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/435529.html
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French-American taking black vets to Normandy for D-Day anniversary

American blacks who fought on D-Day 60 years ago were battling on two fronts.

Like other Allied units who landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944, they faced the German enemy on the beachhead in front of them. But African-Americans also fought a second war against a racist system back home that put them into segregated units.

read more: http://www.knoxstudio.com/shns/story.cfm?pk=DDAY-BLACKS-05-20-04&cat=HR
~~~~~
WWII African American Combat Medics

The .... group of African American medics landed on Utah Beach/Normandy on D-Day + 4, as part of a 9 person all Black team of medics, which included 2 officers, and spent most of the rest of the European campaign attached to the 3rd Army while participating in many of its major actions. This team served with the 687th and the 530th Medical Detachments.

http://home.att.net/~steinert/newpage18.htm
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The USS Mason (... Black Crew...) proudly served WW II America.

During World War II, when the storm of the century stopped a naval convoy station in Normandy, the African-American men of the USS Mason were chosen to escort them to safety. The deck split, and under appalling conditions the men heroically repaired the ship at sea, rescuing the entire convoy. Their heroic action continued to bring down the Navy’s racist color barriers and policies opening the doors for a new generation of African-Americans. The Mason was called "Eleanor’s Folly," a reference to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, a vocal advocate of desegregation of the armed forces.

http://www.aaregistry.com/african_american_history/790/The_USS_Mason_proudly_served_WW_II_America
~~~~
Please go to the Afrigeneas ‘Books~Authors~Reviews’ forum for information on the following books.
http://www.afrigeneas.com/forum-books

We Were There : Voices of African American Veterans, from World War II to the War in Iraq
by Yvonne Latty (Author), Ron Tarver

American Soldiers: Ground Combat in the World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam
by Peter S. Kindsvatter, Russell Weigley

The Road to Victory: The Untold Story of World War II's Red Ball Express
by David P. Colley

The African-American Soldier: From Crispus Attucks to Colin Powell
by Michael Lee Lanning (Editor)

G.I. Nightingales: The Army Nurse Corps in World War II
by Barbara Brooks Tomblin

Peace
“Guided by the Ancestors”


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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