The US Army - Personalities

Personalities, Dorothy Donegan, Lester Granger, Bishop John Andrew Gregg, Capt. Benjamin Oliver Davis Jr, Miss Josephine Baker, Lena Horne, Joe Louis

We have gathered a collection of some of the best and most moving photos taken of African-American soldiers during the Second World War. They are from the National Archives in Washington D.C.
Please browse at your leisure. Meditate on the sacrifices given by these men and women in wartime.

This page is dedicated to African American Personalities in the US Army

Dorothy Donegan, pianist, and Camp Robert Smalls swing band at NTS, Great Lakes. June 16, 1943. 80-G-29490 Lester Granger, while inspecting facilities for Negro personnel at NAS, San Diego, CA, stops to chat with Rofes Herring, S1/c; Walter Calvert, S2/c; and Nollie H. Million, civilian employe[e], as Lt. Roper (left) stands by. June 20, 1945. 80-G-33398.
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Marian Anderson, world's greatest contralto, entertains a group of overseas veterans and WACs on [the] stage of the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium April 11, 1945. 208-PU-5A-3. Bishop John Andrew Gregg, Leader of [the] African Methodist Church in North Central United States and Envoy of President Roosevelt, fondles a pet koala bear adopted by Pfc. Sammy Hurt. Around the Bishop are members of the [630th] Ordnance Company. July 21, 1943. 111-SC-180917.
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Hattie McDaniel (center), Chairman of the Negro Division of the Hollywood Victory Committee, takes time off from rehearsals to lead a caravan of entertainers and hostesses to Minter Field, for a vaudeville performance and dance for soldiers stationed there. The young lady to the right of Miss McDaniel is Miss Virginia Paris, noted concert singer. N.d. 208-NS-4264-5. Brig. Gen. Benjamin O. Davis watches a Signal Corps crew erecting poles, somewhere in France. August 8, 1944. Cunningham. 111-SC-192258-S.
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Capt. Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr., of Washington, D.C., climbing into an Advanced Trainer. Tuskegee, Alabama. January 1942. Wilfred Morgan. 208-FS-872-3. Lena Horne conserves fuel (gas). N.d. Randt Studios, Inc. 208-NP-4CCC-1.
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War Correspondent Ted Stanford of The Pittsburgh Courier, a weekly, interviews 1st Sgt. Morris O. Harris, a tankman of the 784th Tank Battalion operating with the Ninth Army. March 28, 1945. 208-AA-32P-14. After receiving first aid treatment in practice raid in Washington, DC, air-raid 'victim' is removed to hospital by a Medical Corps of the Office of Civilian Defense. The physician is Dr. Charles Drew. N.d. Roger Smith. 208-NP-4W-2.
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First of the famous Mills Brothers quartet to enter Army service, Pvt. Harry Mills stops at the jukebox in the Reception Center PX to hear how he sounds on one of the latest Mills Brothers recordings. Left to right: S/Sgt. Arthur Whyte, Sgt. Robert Seymour, Pfc. George Blair, and Pvt. Harry Mills. Fort Custer, MI. 1943 111-SC-187426. Miss Josephine Baker, popular stage performer, sings the National Anthem as the finale to the show held in the Municipal Theater, Oran, Algeria, N. Africa. The band is directed by T/Sgt. Frank W. Weiss. May 17, 1943. 111-SC-175237.
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[Mary McLeod Bethune], Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt and others at the opening of Midway Hall, one of two residence halls built by the Public Buildings Administration of FWA for Negro government girls Washington, DC. May 1943. James Stephen Wright. 162-PBA-10-F-561. Sgt. Romare Bearden, noted young Negro artist whose paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums in several metropolitan centers is shown (right) discussing one of his paintings, 'Cotton Workers,' with Pvt. Charles H. Alston, his first art teacher and cousin. Both Bearden and Alston are members of the 372nd Infantry Regiment stationed in New York City. Ca. February 1944. Roger Smith. 208-NP-6W-1.
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Theodore R. Poston, head of the Negro Press Section, Office of War Information. N.d. 208-NP-4MMM-1. Mr. Truman K. Gibson, Jr., Civilian Aide to the Secretary of War, pictured at press conference Monday, April 9, following his return from Mediterranean and European Theaters of Operations. April 9, 1945. 208-PU-77F-5.
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After inspecting a regiment of Negro artillerymen during a visit to Hawaii, Under Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson congratulates Col. Chauncey M. Hooper, commander of the unit, while Lt. Gen. Robert C. Richardson, Jr. and Col. Harry B. Reubel, watch with approval. August 1943. 107-T-7-2. Judge William H. Hastie, dean of the Howard University Law School, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of War. Ca. 1941. 208-NP-6BBB-1.
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Earl 'Father' [Fatha] Hines, a great swing musician, is shown with Pvt. Charles Carpenter, former manager of the Hines orchestra Camp Lee, VA. N.d. 208-NP-5XX-9. Surrounded by recruits, Marva Louis, wife of champion Joe [Louis], takes time out from a tour of nightclubs to entertain men in the Negro regiments at the U.S. Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, IL. Some 2,000 bluejackets gathered in a regimental drill hall to hear her songs. N.d. 208-NP-8J-2.
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World Heavyweight champ Joe Louis (Barrow) sews on the stripes of a technical sergeant--to which he has been promoted. April 10, 1945. 208-PU-120V-12. Paul Robeson, world famous Negro baritone, leading Moore Shipyard [Oakland, CA] workers in singing the Star Spangled Banner, here at their lunch hour recently, after he told them: 'This is a serious job--winning this war against fascists. We have to be together.' Robeson himself was a shipyard worker in World War I. September 1942. Wide World Photos. 208-NS-3848-2.
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Admiral C. W. Nimitz, CinCPac, pins Navy Cross on Doris Miller, at ceremony on board warship in Pearl Harbor, T. H. May 27, 1942. 208-NP-8PP-2  
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