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The War at Home Soldiers of Color in WWII: Fighting Racism Abroad & at Home.

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Presentation on theme: "The War at Home Soldiers of Color in WWII: Fighting Racism Abroad & at Home."— Presentation transcript:

1 The War at Home Soldiers of Color in WWII: Fighting Racism Abroad & at Home

2 Segregated Society In 1896 the US Supreme Court passed Plessy v. Ferguson, ruling “separate but equal” accommodations for whites and “colored”.

3 The “Jim Crow” Army Segregation seeped into all aspects of American society, including military service. For years Black Americans were prohibited from enlisting in the armed forces. However, Black Americans have always been involved in war efforts, including the American Civil War.

4 The World Wars… During WWI Black soldiers fought on behalf of the Allies. Most notably were the 93rd Infantry Division also known as the “Blue Helmets”, a name given to them by French troops. Their uniforms later bore the symbol :

5 World War 2 However, with the need for more soldiers and as rising criticism mounted, FDR ordered more units of African American soldiers. Although Blacks served in segregated military units, they were rarely sent to armed combat. Usually they were given menial jobs as cooks, repairmen, etc…

6 The Double War The irony of WW2 for soldiers of color was that although they were fighting for the protection of civil rights and equalities abroad, they were treated as second class citizens at home. Black soldiers, Latinos and even Japanese-American soldiers were often targets of hate crimes by American citizens, and even their white comrades.

7 The War at Home…

8 Latinos in WW2 There were an estimated 250, ,000 Latino/Hispanic soldiers who were enlisted during WW2. The number of Latino casualties is unknown because of poor record keeping. However the 65th Infantry Regiment and the Puerto Rican National Guard recorded 9,000 fatalities.

9 65th Regiment, Puerto Rico

10 The 442nd Infantry Was composed of Asian-Americans, mostly of Japanese heritage. An estimated 3,800 soldiers fought as members of the regiment. They were active from


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