Item #18666 African Americans in the Navy - WWII Press Photo Archive. W. W. II African American.

African Americans in the Navy - WWII Press Photo Archive

Photo Archive

7 silver gelatin photos of African American Navy service members 1942-1945. Photos measure from 2.5" x 3.5" to 8" x 10". One picture captures an all African American squad disembarking from a landing boat, with a caption on verso stating: "Negro Seabees Train in Landing Operations East Coast - Members of an all Negro battalion of Seabees disembark from landing boats somewhere on the East Coast where they are receiving training in landing and combat operations." This action shot shows the troops jumping out of the landing boat into the surf wearing all of their gear as they hold their rifles. Seabees, which came from "CB" for "Construction Battalion" were employed by the Navy during WWII and conducted critical infrastructural work overseas in combat zones including building roads, storage units, housing, bridges, and airfields. In addition to this, the Seabees also fought alongside with other Army troops and provided integral support during the war. Other photos show black sailors in group shots, including one of a mixed-race group of friends. The sailors wear the standard uniform of the time, either the dark blues with a chapeau emblazoned "U.S. Navy" or in all white with blue arm stripes and tie. These pictures were taken when the US military was still segregated; all African American regiments were the norm at this time, but soldiers still fraternized across the lines of segregation when multiple units congregated. Two pictures are of all African American squads, and of a young Navy father and his wife and daughter in what looks like a cabin on the boat. Press photos such as the one in this archive which commended the service of black troops were published in main stream newspapers, and helped in slowly changing public opinion about African Americans' contribution to the war effort. In 1948, multiple generations of African American's heroic service dating back to the US Colored Troops in the Civil War, President Truman issued an executive order desegregating the military. All are in very good condition and are in clear, sharp focus.

Item #18666

Price: $1,500.00