Photo ArchiveArchive of of black soldiers' photographs from the 1940s and 1950s deployed in Asia; Philippines and Korea regions. 38 silver gelatin black and white photographs with a sepia tone. Photos range in size, though most are 5" x 3". Most of these units appear to be all black units, but there is one snapshot of what appears as a mixed unit in a snowy camp, likely Korea, which could be after the desegregation order in 1948. These black soldiers in the US Army and have been deployed to the Southeast Asian island of the Philippines. The soldiers seem happy and smiling and two have become acquainted with the local people, especially some of the women, and they pose familiarly with them. In some of the photos the troops can be seen in dense jungle flora with villagers, socializing with each other, as well as several portrait shots. Only one photo is captioned, showing three well dressed Black soldiers, "Kee" of Youngstown, "Haynes" of Philadelphia" and "Borom" of Gary, Indiana. These three soldiers are seen with their dates, 3 Asian women. Several photos of a black soldier standing guard on base with helmet and rifles. In the mid 1940s, the Army had become the nation's largest minority employer with more than one million inducted black men into the armed forces. U.S. President Harry Truman on July 26, 1948 signed Executive Order 9981, desegregating the armed forces, and declared, “...there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color...”. The Philippines achieved its independence from the U.S. two years earlier in 1946, but US military bases remained in the country and included many African American soldiers in segregated battalions. The Korean War started in 1950 and Executive Order 9981 was slowly being introduced during that war. An estimated 600,000 African Americans served in the armed forces during the Korean War. The struggle for military integration in Korea mirrored similar civil rights struggles on the home front. However, those struggles paved the way toward the integration of the army and later the American society as a whole. Photos are in overall very good condition, some have slight bends and wear to edges.
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