Chapter II

Peacetime Practices and Plans

During the years of peace, the War Department and its General Staff proceeded, as was their duty, to develop plans for the mobilization of manpower in the event of war. Plans for the use of Negroes explored various organizational possibilities. Some of these were derived from the recommendations of World War I commanders. Others came from the study of historical and sociological treatises. Still others were the, products of a priori reasoning. At times, the plans were ahead of the contemporary thinking of comparable civilian institutions. Religious denominations, public school systems, and industrial plants, like the Army, had to deal with problems of racial adjustment on a broad scale. Many of these, again like the Army, had developed separate methods and sub-institutions for their relations with Negroes. At other times, Army plans fell behind developing contemporary practices. But they always included social and political considerations along with purely military problems. 
The major problem, generally recognized in planning for the mobilization of Negro troops, was how best to build efficient military units from a portion of the population which, in general, had had little experience in the skills and responsibilities that go with efficient military administration and leadership and which, under existing peacetime conditions, had little opportunity to develop them. Neither in civilian economic and political life nor in military pursuits had Negroes generally attained positions of the type that required the development of technical, managerial, and leadership skills. While the lack of opportunities for the development of demonstrable native capabilities was certainly a factor in the low status of Negroes in the general American society, the lack of development itself, no matter what the cause, could not be overlooked if the Army was seriously to attempt to create efficient Negro military units on a large scale.
Presumably, it could build such units from the available material by removing the burden of military responsibilities and leadership from the Negroes themselves and passing it on to white officers and possibly to white noncommissioned officers. This method had been widely used in the organization of the United States Colored Troops in the Civil War and in Negro units in World War 1. A second method would be so to reduce the numbers of Negroes called for military service that the importance of the question would diminish to a near-vanishing point. A third method would be to abandon altogether the attempt to build Negro units and place Negroes in units along with white soldiers.

The first procedure would be ideal from the point of view of providing units with more experienced leadership, but almost every commentator was quick to see that, aside from the possibility that through the subtle two-way interplay of racial prejudices Negro units with all-white leaders might be no more efficient than in the past, this plan would be attacked at once because of its implicit denial of opportunities and incentives to all Negroes, whether qualified or not. Both of the other approaches, it was felt, would be political and social dynamite. As for reducing the number of Negroes to such a point that the problem of how to employ them would become a small one, this might work in peacetime, but in time of war, political and social pressures could be counted upon to create demands from both Negroes and whites for increased rather than diminished use of Negroes in the military services. If planned units for Negroes did not exist, attempts to place them in existing white units might be made. The majority of Army officers and War Department officials charged with determining policy on the employment of Negro troops did not believe that, within the existing social structure, there was any possibility of creating units racially mixed on an individual basis. It might be customary for Negroes and whites to work together in most parts of the country, but it was not customary for them to live and play together. Nor was the working relationship generally comparable to that which is required of men operating in a military team.
Where Negroes and whites worked together in civilian life, Negroes were generally in subordinate positions or in types of jobs traditionally reserved for them. They were the unskilled workers and helpers where whites were the skilled workers and foremen; they were the porters and janitors and watchmen in office buildings where whites were the accountants and salesmen and managers; they were the domestics and heavy laborers for white employers. The skilled and professional workers, the tradesmen and craftsmen among them, though engaged in a broader variety of pursuits than was generally realized, were few in comparison with the vast majority of unskilled workers who held neither responsible nor leadership positions in civilian life. Working relations between Negroes and whites in the same plant were seldom characterized by the upward and downward flow of both authority and confidence so essential to esprit in a military unit. Army planners took note that the United States Navy no longer employed Negroes in peacetime at all, except as mess boys, because of the problem of "mixing the races" aboard ship. Even the Navy's traditional Negro mess boys were giving way to Filipinos, Chamorros, and Japanese. Abandoning the separate Negro units was not seriously considered by the Army at all.
The Army recognized that large numbers of Negro troops would have to be employed in another war. They would probably have to be employed in separate Negro units which would fall heir to all the difficulties experienced in World War I, where separate Negro units with racially mixed leadership, especially in combat units, were the rule. The question was how to minimize these difficulties while still maintaining separate Negro organizations

"There Is Not Enough Army to Go Around"
In its planning for the future the Army, as already noted, had a core of Negro Regulars to consider. Their presence affected both military plans and the reaction of the Negro public to the Army as an institution.
The four Negro regiments, the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry, were established by legislation enacted in 1866 and 1869. The first of these acts, under which the Army was reorganized, increased the Regular Army to ten cavalry regiments and forty-five infantry regiments. Of the four new cavalry regiments two were to have Negro enlisted personnel, and of the thirty-five new infantry regiments four were to be Negro. The act of 1869 ordered the reduction of the infantry regiments to twenty-five as rapidly as a consolidation of the existing regiments could be made. Under the terms of this act, two of the Negro regiments, the 38th and 41st, were consolidated as the 24th Infantry and the other two, the 39th and 40th, became the 25th Infantry.1 The Revised Statutes of 1878, Sections 1104 and 1108, provided that the enlisted men of two cavalry regiments and two infantry regiments should be Negroes. There was no express repeal of these sections of the Revised Statutes in any later legislation concerning the Regular Army.
Therefore, although the National Defense Act of l920, under which the peacetime Army was organized, did not require the continued existence of any of the Regular regiments-it spoke of units and not of regiments-it was generally considered within the Army and by the Negro public that the Negro regiments were required by law. During the period of successive reductions of the size of the Army after World War I, the judge Advocate General advised that since repeals by implication were not favored and that since earlier opinions had held that to alter the composition of an arm or service by increasing or diminishing the number of Negro organizations would be an exercise of legislative power by the Executive, Negro units would have to be retained.2
The question was of importance in 1922 for two reasons. In the reduction of the size of the Army many white regiments had been placed in an inactive status. With prospects of further reductions in the total Army strength, other regiments might be made inactive. "It seems to me an absurdity," the Deputy Chief of Staff wrote to the judge Advocate General, "that with the reduction of the Army the War Department should be obliged to maintain these four regiments of colored soldiers. Carried to the logical extreme, if the Army were reduced to four regiments, it would necessarily have to be an exclusively colored army." 3 The second reason was that by law the 9th Cavalry, then in the Philippines, was due to return 400 men to the United States. There had to be an

organization on the mainland which could receive these men. The prospect for the 10th Cavalry was that it would become a recruit depot for the shifting of men to and from the overseas regiment. The need to retain these two regiments if their current assignments were continued seemed strong. At the same time, further reduction of the Army appeared to make it possible that the 2d Division might have to be broken up, making two of its regiments inactive, and that the 24th and 25th Infantry might have to be included in the 2d Division. This would be "contrary to the policy heretofore held of not brigading the two colors together." 4
While the Judge Advocate General did not believe that any of the four Negro regiments could be inactivated except by legislative action, he did suggest two practical solutions: portions of them might be made inactive, as had been done in 1890 when two companies of each infantry regiment and two troops of each cavalry regiment, white and Negro, were skeletonized to effect an overall strength reduction; 5 or the incorporation of existing Negro non-regimental detachments into the infantry and cavalry regiments might achieve an over-all
reduction of Negro strength though the regiments remained.6  
Further reduction of the Negro cavalry regiments was not going to be an easy matter. Under a general reorganization and reduction of the cavalry in 1921, six troops of the 9th and seven of the 10th Cavalry had already been ordered demobilized.7 Enlistments of Negroes, other than those who had been in the Army before April 1917, had ceased in 1919.8 A further general reduction of the Army was ordered by an act of 30 June 1922. The 24th Infantry's authorized strength was thus reduced, and the regiment had to absorb the Colored Detachment at Fort Benning, Georgia, acquiring a surplus of Negro infantrymen that could not be absorbed elsewhere. The surplus was prorated among all infantry regiments, with each white regiment's actual strength reduced by a proportionate share of the 24th'" surplus. This reduction in actual strength amounted to thirty men per regiment. Each fullstrength white regiment was to cease recruiting until its strength reached its authorized strength less thirty.9 A temporary cessation of new enlistments in the Negro regiments was ordered.10
The Negro regiments were filled to capacity-and remained so. Re-enlistments on the day following discharge,

or within twenty days for noncommissioned officers, were regularly high. The Negro units lost few men through normal discharges. Even before World War I these regiments had had a high percentage of career soldiers; during the period of reductions nearly all men of these regiments were professional soldiers. Vacancies and promotions became rarities in most Negro units.
In 1931 the Army found it necessary to reduce further the strength of the Negro units. An expansion of Air Corps units had been authorized by Congress in 1926. This expansion was to take place in five yearly increments. The men for the Air Corps units were to come from allotments to units of other branches. Negro ground units were not required to contribute to the first four increments, but in the fifth, or 1931 increment, they took their share of the reductions all at once.11 The reductions were coupled with the absorption of scattered detachments by the regiments and with changes in locations which split the 10th Cavalry and the 25th Infantry among several stations.
The increase of Air Corps units out of the Negro allotments meant more than the shift of men from one arm to another. It meant a general reduction in the strength of Negroes in the Army. Unlike the white units the Negro units had no new compensatory vacancies available in the Air Corps, since the Air Corps did not accept Negro enlistments.12 The Negro units once more found themselves over-strength both in numbers and in ratings. The War Department had to order a temporary cessation of enlistments, re-enlistments, and promotions for Negroes. Because excess men could be absorbed only by transfer among the few Negro units, the cessation of enlistments and promotions, planned to last not more than six to twelve months, persisted until 1934 in an acute form.13 Further, the strength of the Army was reduced at a time when, because of economic depression, the demand by Negroes for enlistment was higher than usual. Of the five years available for the Air Corps' increase, none, so far as relations with the Negro public went, was worse than 1931.
Although the original War Department letter of instructions plainly indicated that the orders suspending recruiting for Negro units were "Not for Press Release," 14 it was difficult to keep the news quiet. Before the month was out, the NAACP had received copies of the orders from "two sources" and had written President Herbert C. Hoover to inquire about their authenticity. "If we interpret these facts correctly," the NAACP said, "it appears . . . that it is the intention of the War Department to abolish the so-called colored regiments." 15

The fact that the directive was to receive no publicity added a note of deep and dark mystery. Within a few weeks the Negro press was carrying articles suggesting that the Negro regiments were being gradually disbanded. American Legion posts and civic groups were writing their congressmen to obtain definite reports on what the future of Negro troops was to be.16 The War Department answered certain of the inquiries, including those from the White House, by saying:
The War Department does not distinguish between its soldiers and treats white and black absolutely alike. Apparent effort is now being made to establish the principle that the negro soldier shall receive preferential treatment over the white soldier. The War Department wishes emphatically again to go on record that it believes it would be most harmful to establish any differential treatment between soldiers of the American Army because of difference of race or color.17
This justification, based on the equity of reductions in Negro units similar to previous ones in white units and on the fact that over 40 percent of the white units were split among several stations, enabled the NAACP to prepare a rejoinder in which it agreed fully with the principle as stated. "It is our most earnest desire," Walter F. White, the NAACP secretary, wrote, "that Negro and white soldiers receive the same treatment and the same consideration, with no preference for either white or black units." On the surface, he said, the present plan seemed fair and impartial, but in actual operation it created the very preferential treatment which the War Department had disavowed:
It is the conception of this Association that non-preferential treatment for white and colored soldiers, if adhered to by the War Department, would result in the Tenth Cavalry being kept together at one post; in Negroes being enlisted in the Air Corps and every other service of the Army; in full armament equipment being distributed to Negro combat units, that is, trench mortars, howitzers, machine guns, etc; in full staffs of colored noncommissioned officers in existing colored units; in free and unobstructed admission of Negro cadets to the United States Military Academy at West Point; and eventually in colored officers being promoted and assigned to commands on the basis of their ability and not their color.
The letter was not answered, but Maj. Gen. George Van Horn Moseley, Deputy Chief of Staff, noted: "This is a very good letter. General MacArthur will probably be interested in reading it when he returns." 18
The dissatisfaction of Negroes continued. President Robert R. Moton, successor to Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee Institute, made impassioned pleas to President Hoover for the preservation of the units, pointing out that, from his own observations at nearby Fort Benning, the fate of the 24th Infantry had been a slow withering away. Moton wrote:
The original declaration was that these Negro troops from the 24th Infantry were transferred to Fort Benning as a special straining unit. Whatever the original intention, this program has been entirely

abandoned. Negro troops at Fort Benning are without arms or equipment of any sort that could be used in training for combat service. They are called out twice a week for what are virtually the rudiments of drill, the only elements of training which they get.
Continuing, Moton urged the President:
I would respectfully ask you to consider the long and honorable career of Negro troops in the service of the United .States. It is the universal testimony that they are excellent soldiers and possessed with eager willingness in the performance of their duties under all conditions of service. It is more than unfortunate, it is an injustice, that regiments that have distinguished themselves in the way the 10th Cavalry and the 25th Infantry have done, should be reduced from combat service to be menials to white regiments, without chance for training or promotion and be excluded from other branches of the services. It is merely a pretense that Negroes are accorded the same treatment in the United States army as are given to white troops. It has never been the case and is not so now. This applies both to the rank and file, as witness the presence of the highest ranking Negro officer in the United States army at Tuskegee Institute at the present time, who, by reason of his color is denied service according to his rank and with his own regiment. 19
Republican clubs and workers suggested that it would help considerably in the coming campaign if the matter could be adjusted .20 The President, having written one personal note to the Secretary of War for information, now wrote another, saying: "We do not seem to be able to get the thing quiet. I am wondering if there is anything you can do in the matter." 21
"The matter" was not helped when The Cavalry Journal, which, in the opinion of laymen, ought to have known what it was talking about, carried an epitaph for the 10th Cavalry. Its text confirmed all the convictions of Negroes that the War Department had so completely denied:
The passing of the 10th Cavalry as a combat regiment is an event of note and will come as a shock to many distinguished officers and soldiers who have served with it. The 10th Cavalry returns saber with a proud consciousness of duty well done. The past will preserve for it a record second to none.
For the future we can confidently predict that it will carry on in its new role with the same loyalty and high spirit that has given its motto a living meaning, "Ready and Forward." 22
A photograph of 10th Cavalry master and first sergeants accompanying the article bore the legend: "Vale: The 10th Cavalry `Key Men' Returning Saber for the Last Time."
Nor was the War Department's public position on the necessity for splitting the 10th Cavalry improved when similar orders for the 2d Infantry were revoked following vigorous protests, mass meetings, and petitions from white residents in the vicinity of Fort Omaha, Nebraska,

where two companies of the 25th were to have been sent. The War Department declared that there was no connection between the two events, but the Negro citizens of Omaha, who had been as vigorously pressing for the location of the 25th's companies in their city, could not be convinced that the Army had not given in to white protests on the 25th while refusing to heed Negro protests on the 10th Cavalry. In order to assure their city's receipt of part of the 25th Infantry, they disavowed the NAACP's campaign to have both Negro units kept together and urged the War Department to change no orders at all .23
No matter what was done about the splitting of the regiments among several posts, the strength problem would have to be met. "In the adjustment of our military program," General Moseley wrote to Claude A. Barnett, director of the Associated Negro Press, "the fact is there is not enough Army to go around. This makes the problem often very difficult. As you probably know, we are abandoning a number of posts and this has brought down upon us violent protests from our white brethren. Thus far we have been able to withstand these attacks." 24
Even after the resumption of enlistments in 1934, the tight vacancy situation in Negro units allowed for little recruiting. Because enlistments could be accepted for vacancies only, a Negro who wished to join the Regular Army could not present himself at a recruiting station, make application, be examined, and be accepted or rejected. During the earlier years of the depression, the same situation with regard to an excess of applicants over vacancies existed for white units. White recruiting, however, never came to a complete halt, and in the middle and late thirties recruiting stations were nearly always able to accept well-qualified white applicants. But a Negro seeking to join the Army had to find out what posts had elements of a Negro unit, discover where vacancies existed, apply to the commanding officer of the post or unit where service was desired, and present himself at the post at his own expense once enlistment was authorized. The Army explained that it had no funds for transporting recruits over the great distances outside their own corps areas which many Negroes had to travel to reach posts where vacancies existed .25 Often a trip from the east coast to Arizona, where the 25th Infantry was stationed, was involved. As a result, few prospective enlistees got beyond the stage of making inquiries at a recruiting station. But the popularity of prospective military service was such that requests for enlistments in the old regiments sometimes came from great distances-even from as far away as the Philippines.
The restrictions on size, number, and types of Negro units, added to the high proportion of re-enlistments and the consequent inability to take many recruits, made it difficult for the Negro units to prepare themselves for the job

of providing a nucleus of young, trained Negro men who might be valuable in an expanded wartime Army. Because all elements of the regiments were seldom assembled and stationed at the same posts, and because so many of the elements and detachments were used for housekeeping duties, training beyond the level of the disciplined life of the garrison soldier was difficult. The regiments, or those portions available, did participate in field exercises with other units of the Army from time to time, but for the most part they had little save ceremonial and rudimentary training duties to perform. The Negro press and public, in their long campaign for increased enlistment opportunities, did not overlook the ready opportunity to cite the disadvantages of a situation in which recruiting posters and stations were in evidence in the business sections of most cities while potential Negro trainees lacked vacancies in which they could be placed. The young Negro who successfully found his way into the Regular Army as an enlisted man was looked upon as an extremely fortunate young man.
The opportunity for the young Negro to become a Regular Army officer was even more limited. Between 1920 and 1940 only one Negro was graduated from the Military Academy at West Point, though others were appointed.26. In 1940 two other cadets, in the classes of 1941 and 1943, were enrolled at the academy. The total number of Negro Regular Army officers was five, of whom three were chaplains.
The Civilian Components
During the period between world wars several large cities had National Guard units allotted to Negroes; most of the units had existed before World War I and some before the War with Spain. Only one of these, the 369th Infantry (New York) was maintained with all of its elements. The 8th Illinois Infantry was maintained minus one battalion. The 372d Infantry, with two battalions and one company of a third, was split among Massachusetts, Ohio, and the District of Columbia, with a New Jersey unit added just before mobilization in 1940. Maryland had a separate company, which became the Service Company of the 372d in 1940. The regiment's headquarters, band, and medical detachment were un-allotted; agreement among the states concerned was necessary before a commanding officer and other field officers could be appointed. Split as it was, among four states in four corps areas, supervision of this regiment for peacetime training as a unit was practically impossible.
Senior infantry units of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) were established at Howard University in Washington and at Wilberforce University in Ohio. Although Negro students at other Northern universities were permitted to take ROTC training in mixed units provided that they could qualify, Negroes in ROTC units outside of Howard and Wilberforce were rare. Charges were made in peacetime that at certain schools "qualifications" included being white. Despite investigations,

such charges were difficult to prove, for the decision on academic qualifications rested with the school authorities. 27
Negro Reserve officers, numbering 353 eligible reservists in 1940,28 were assigned to regiments of the Organized Reserves and were given summer camp training when they requested it. The only Negro Reserve regiment which was even nearly staffed was the 428th Infantry (District of Columbia). Correspondence and lecture courses were open to Negro reservists and, where their numbers were large enough, separate lectures were organized for them. Junior ROTC's, "55c" units, and high school cadet corps were available to Negroes in certain schools, such as Hampton Institute in Virginia, Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College, and Prairie View College in Texas, and in certain public high schools, notably in Washington, D .C.,29 Chicago, and Gary.
Citizens' Military Training Camps were organized and located on the basis of applications received. There were
periodic criticisms of the Army for not operating camps to which Negro youths could be assigned in each corps area.30 At various times, these camps were operated in the Third, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Corps Areas. In the late thirties the Third Corps Area camp was staffed by Negro officers.
Relatively few Negroes were directly affected by the opportunities in the civilian components for military experience. The Reserve elements and the National Guard units were so distributed geographically that the vast bulk of the Negro public hardly knew of their existence and had no means available for taking advantage of them. After being guaranteed retention of their National Guard units and after the establishment of ROTC units, most Negroes paid little attention to the training activities of the civilian components, although there were sporadic signs of concern over limited ROTC and Citizens' Military Training Camp opportunities. Like the rest of the population between wars Negroes were disposed to think of the Army primarily in connection with parades, veterans' organizations, and new and sensational weapons discussed in Sunday magazine supplements.
The Planning Problem
The Army in the meantime was developing its plans for employing Negro manpower in the event of war. The central theme of this planning was that types of units must be found in which Negroes could serve with greatest profit to the country, the Army, and themselves. Since cultural considerations the Army's estimate of the state of domestic race relations, an estimate strongly supported by most social and political institutions in the twenties made separate Negro units an undisputed reality, maintaining a workable balance between white and Negro units

was of prime importance to the development of a citizen army capable of defending the country without unduly offending either Negroes or whites. To this assumption several others were corollaries. It was generally assumed that Negro troops would respond to the training techniques that were effective with white troops, although it was frequently stated that their training period might have to be longer. Because of their civilian backgrounds and the reports from World War I, it was generally considered that they would be more useful as service than as combat troops. It was expected that they would respond to the same types of motivation and methods of leadership which were effective with white troops, although much emphasis was placed on the use of white officers if the best was to be obtained from Negro units. Any marked departure from the normal training standard for purposes of increasing the efficiency of Negro troops, it was felt, would be considered discriminatory.
Since most of the reports from World War I did not emphasize training or leadership deficiencies, except in relation to the use of Negro officers, the problems of leadership and training did not loom large in comparison with those of the formal organization of Negro troops for effective military service. It was assumed that no matter how Negro units were organized, they would have to be used as integral parts of corps and armies and not as units grouped separately into corps or armies of their own.31 How Negro units could best be organized for use with white units as part of a unified military team was an important issue but it was lost sight of in the attempt to find the answer to the primary question: How could the Negro portion of the nation's manpower best be employed in time of war? And then: How could Negro manpower be used with the least stress on military effectiveness and on social customs?
Units and numbers became the important considerations, while training, leadership, and, utilization techniques became secondary. The provision of Negro units in "proper" proportions would satisfy the major requirements. No serious attempt was made to use the existing peacetime Negro units as laboratories for experience in methods of training or leading Negro troops, nor was a serious attempt made to insure the development of adequate leadership or of improved training methods through the use of the Reserve components available to the Army. It was assumed that these problems would be no greater than in the past.
Most of the proposals outlined in plans made for the utilization of Negro troops were put into effect in one way or another during the course of World War II. Many of the administrative and organizational problems of the employment of Negro troops therefore may be better understood in light of both the World War I testimony and the developing plans of the War Department General Staff. In the unfolding story of the employment of Negroes in World War II, many details of plans made after

World War I and then virtually forgotten may be discerned. From the evolving policy it is also possible to see reasons for certain developments, such as the initial choice of particular types of units for Negroes, the imbalance existing between Negro and white inductions in the early period of mobilization, and the uncertainty which attended such questions as the provision and assignment of Negro officers and the commitment of Negro units to overseas duty.
The 1922 Plan
The basic features of the policy on the use of Negro manpower in time of war were formulated in 1922. The plan distributed at the end of that year remained essentially the same until it was rescinded in 1938. No expansion of the four Regular Army regiments, except to war strength, was provided. The formation of Negro National Guard units was left entirely to the states. Any Negro units requested by the states were to be separate organizations in addition to the eighteen National Guard divisions which had been authorized. The establishment of Reserve units for Negroes was left entirely to each corps area commander. Only two corps areas, the Fourth and Fifth, had provided any Reserve units for Negroes and none had made provision for Reserve combat units. The 1922 plan, therefore, had to provide an entirely new outline of what was needed if mobilization plans were to be representative of manpower as it existed in the population of the country.
The 1922 staff study on which the plan was based made several primary assumptions which eventually became
part of Army doctrine on the subject of the employment of Negro troops.32 Among these were:
1 . The use to be made of Negroes of military age in the event of complete mobilization is a basic problem in mobilization planning.
2. If mobilization plans do not include "a comprehensive policy in this regard that will be sound and fair and will appeal to intelligent judgment," political pressures will ensue that will force the War Department to shoulder the responsibility alone. "The possibility of arriving at a satisfactory solution under such circumstances is slight."
3. For the general social and economic good of the country, Negroes must be utilized in combat as well as in service units. "To follow the policy of exempting the negro population of this country from combat service means that the white population, upon which the future of the country depends, would suffer the brunt of loss, the negro population, none; the rising white generation 34 percent, and the rising negro population, nothing." 33
4. Military realities and not "social, ethnological and psychological" theories must be the deciding factors in determining the use to be made of Negro manpower. "Briefly, these [military realities are: that the negro is a citizen of the United States, entitled to all of the rights of citizenship and subject to all of the obligations of citizenship; that the negro constitutes an appreciable part of

our military manhood; that while not  the best military material, he is by no  means the worst; that no plan of mobilization for the maximum effort can afford to ignore such a fraction of the manhood, especially in these times when war makes demands upon the physical defectives and the women; and finally, that in a democracy such as ours political and economic conditions must be considered, and that decision must rest upon these two considerations alone."
The study offered solutions for the three major controversial questions raised by World War I: the use of Negroes as combat troops; the size and nature of Negro units; and the race of officers for Negro units.
On the question of the employment of Negroes as combat troops, the study concluded that, from World War I examination records, at least half of the Negro effectives were eligible for combat service and should be so assigned. Psychological test data from World War I showed that Negroes ranked lower than whites. But there were "some Negroes in all intelligence grades." The 1922 study concluded that: "As a matter of fact, we have to sift our white population for suitable combat material. The fact that the sifting would result in relatively fewer Negroes for combat duty is not an excuse for not sifting the Negro population at all."
As far as the size of Negro combat units was concerned, the paper agreed that' smaller units led by white officers and operating "either separately or in conjunction with other white troops" had achieved a greater measure of success in the past than large Negro units. The study therefore recommended: ". . . to play safe . . . Negro units should not be grouped exclusively in organizations as large as a division, but smaller units should be grouped with white units. We know that white regiments and negro regiments have operated successfully side by side, and, this being the case, there appears no good reason why they should not be brigaded together." Since there was no past experience in grouping Negro and white battalions in the same regiment, this type of organization was not recommended.
The use of Negro officers was the third controversial question which the study attempted to answer. The lack of success of Negro divisional troops in World War I may have been due to the "preponderance of Negro officers," but, the study pointed out, "the record of Negro regiments which operated with the French is not discreditable, even though in the case of at least two regiments, the Negro officers greatly predominated." 34 While the successful performance of Negro troops was dependent upon "proper leadership" by "white officers or by white officers in command of principal units," the study warned that
"it is not reasonable to expect that the negro will be willing to serve in the ranks with no hope of a commission. Moreover, it cannot be fairly stated that no negro possesses the necessary qualities of leadership to make him an efficient officer . . . . Not all our white officers are selected from the ranks of the most intelligent. As a matter of fact, we commission many white officers of only average intelligence. It follows that there must be some negroes of intelligence equal to some of the whites

whom we commission. The trouble in the past has been that we have not demanded from the negro the same standard of intelligence, grade for grade, as from the white.
Even in separate training camps giving identical courses "there was no means of comparing results." The only solution, the study concluded, was "to establish a rigid standard and to require whites and negroes alike to measure up to it."
Since the composition of National Guard units was under state control and the study argued that it should so remain-and since the four Regular regiments already provided for representation in the Regular Army, the 1922 plan confined its attention to the provision of units in the Organized Reserves, the only remaining component of the Army. Reserve units, thought of as "moulds into which the draft should be poured," were allotted to corps areas, whose commanders were to organize these units with a full complement of Reserve officers and a cadre of noncommissioned officers and specialists.
A major feature of the 1922 plan was the recommendation that corps area commanders, after "a careful study of the distribution of the Negro population," should block out regimental and battalion areas, properly subdivided into subordinate unit areas. From the units allotted to the corps areas, commanders would provide units for Negro troops. These units were not to be developed "for the present" except where properly qualified Negro officers were available to command them. Where no officers existed, units would remain unorganized until officers were developed.
The 1922 plan was approved by the Secretary of War, John W. Weeks, on 23 December and its provisions were communicated confidentially to corps area commanders on 27 December, with instructions that each corps area should make plans and recommendations for the use in initial mobilization of about 50 percent of the Negro effectives available in its area, half of these to be placed in combat organizations and the remainder in noncombatant organizations.35 Negro units were to be taken from unit allotments already made to the corps areas, except that extra infantry units might be formed if needed. All were to be non-divisional units. The instructions included sample suggestions for individual corps areas. For example, it was suggested that the First Corps Area (New England) might form an infantry or field artillery battalion, or several batteries of coast artillery for harbor defense. The Third Corps Area (Pennsylvania, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia) might form from its 24,000 Negroes available for combat duty one infantry regiment in the vicinity of Philadelphia and another in Washington. Non-divisional combat units could absorb the remaining 17,000 men. The Fourth Corps Area (southeastern states) , which contained the greatest number of Negroes, might provide ten or twelve extra infantry regiments, while the Ninth Corps Area (west coast and mountain states), with a small number of effectives, might provide a regiment of artillery or companies of harbor defense troops. All units were to have Negro officers, except that where they could not be obtained white officers might fill vacancies, provided that no

Negro officer should command a white officer.
Corps area commanders submitted their own plans for the use of the Negro manpower in their areas as requested. The only objections to the general plan came from two corps area commanders who felt that the Negro units should be in addition to their current allotments in order to prevent disruption of units already set up for white personnel. Extra cavalry units recommended by corps area commanders were not approved, but units of other arms and services were included in the authorized lists of units for Negroes. To prevent an unduly large number of extra infantry units, commanders were authorized to clear allotted artillery units of white personnel "if, in their opinion, it can be done without injury to morale" and then set these units aside for Negroes. The plans submitted by the commanders and the policy itself were approved and confirmed on 12 July 1923.36
The only large question concerning the use of Negro troops in service units of the Organized Reserves was raised by the Engineers. The Chief of Engineers, in 1921, and again in 1923, opposed the allocation of Negroes to general service units, pointing out that these units required officers and men with considerable technical skill and that their duties "compel these troops to be exposed to the same conditions of fire and all the severe circumstances of front line fighting . . . without the opportunity to relieve the nerve strain by returning the fire of the enemy." He recommended that the War Department adopt and "promulgate" the policy that all engineer units, except auxiliary (separate) battalions, be white or, "if troops of other colors, that the personnel be specially selected . . . ." The War Department answered that it did not plan to restrict the use of Negroes to "any particular types of organizations in any branch of the service" so far as corps area assignment to the Organized Reserves was concerned. The Engineer objection was nevertheless filed for consideration in future revisions of mobilization plans. Though general service units were not entirely removed, the majority of them were replaced by auxiliary and, later, by separate battalions.37
Modifications and Developments 1923-33
Later mobilization plans did not generally follow the 1922 policy so far as the ratios of combat to non-combat units was concerned; nor did they provide for the employment of Negro manpower in proportion to the general effective population available for military service. In addition to Reserve units, moreover, provision was made for Negro inactive Regular Army units which could be organized at specified periods after the beginning of mobilization. A 1928 plan, for example, provided for Regular Army inactive field artillery units among the combat arms; the bulk of Negroes were allotted to Regular Army inactive am-

munition trains, engineer auxiliary battalions, and quartermaster units. 38
During the 1920's the subject of the future employment of Negro troops came to be considered so sensitive that it was felt that it was not in the best interest of the service to disseminate information concerning it too widely. The policy of cloaking plans for the use and designation of Negro units in secrecy went so far in the late twenties that Negro units, as such, virtually disappeared from all except the War Department's own plans. After 1928, corps area commanders were not permitted to show on their mobilization plans those units which were to receive Negro troops. These instructions were not rescinded until 1938, when corps area commanders and chiefs of arms and services were directed to indicate "appropriately" the Negro units in their plans .39 As a consequence, it was widely assumed both outside and inside the Army that no comprehensive plan for the employment of Negro troops in time of war existed.
The basic assumptions of the 1922 plan nevertheless remained in operation. Four introductory points of a
summary of existing plans prepared in 1931 by the War Department Personnel Division (G-1) for the Deputy Chief of Staff are representative of those elements of peacetime planning for the utilization of Negro manpower which remained constant:
1. The negro being a citizen of the United States must, in a major emergency, bear his proportionate share of the war burden.
2. The negro manpower is 10-73% Of the whole.
3. Lack of policy regarding the use of the negro manpower caused the War Department to adopt during the World War, a course in regard to its use that was dictated more by political and racial conditions than sound military policy.
4. Unless our mobilization plans provide for the use of the negro manpower in combat units the War Department will be forced to do so after the emergency arises. This may be a cause of great embarrassment.40
Fractional percentages for Negro strength shifted during the period, as new census figures and estimates became available. But the available proportionate Negro manpower remained slightly above or below 10 percent of the population throughout the two decades between wars, and this percentage was used in policy papers. Providing for the full use of this proportionate share of population was a central theme in manpower studies and plans of the peacetime period.
In 1931 a new study of the Negro manpower problem provided a plan which emphasized the desirability of deferring the organization of Negro units until after an emergency was well under way. No units larger than a battalion were to be organized in the first year of mobilization. The advantages to be obtained by this procedure were: fewer officers would be required for Negro units at a time when capable officers would be in great demand elsewhere; more rapid mobilization would be achieved by minimizing the problem of

where to locate and house large Negro units; greater latitude in employment would be obtained through attachment of small Negro units to larger white or Negro organizations; 41 and the importance of the failure of a large Negro unit in combat would be minimized. The battalions would be inactive Regular Army units,42 making them available for staffing by Regular Army officers and obviating any legal or ethical necessity of assigning Negro officers to them. Thirty-six battalions of infantry, six squadrons of cavalry, and twenty-four battalions of field artillery were to be provided. They were allotted to the corps areas and remained so allotted until 1900, although they had disappeared from mobilization plans by 1938. They were not to be organized until an emergency had arisen. To organize them earlier, it was felt, would present problems of administration and invite political pressures which would be less likely after M-day, the date of the beginning of mobilization for war.
For the first twelve months of war, these units were to operate with white regiments, "arousing friendly rivalry and increasing racial pride." At the end of the first year of a war, they were to be supplemented by the mobilization of the Negro regiments of the Organized Reserves. Negro officers would be eligible for assignment to these Reserve regiments. Any larger units to be formed of Negro enlisted men could be grouped from the existing smaller units in the theater of operations once the smaller units had proved their combat efficiency.43
For initial mobilization, a plan of 1933 showed four infantry regiments (including two National Guard regiments), the separate combat battalions, two companies of infantry, two regiments of cavalry, nine engineer separate battalions, and two quartermaster service regiments. This provided for far less than a proportionate share of the manpower in the initial mobilization. Out of a total of 1,526,380 men in the initial mobilization, only 31,245 or 2.05 percent would be Negro, while current estimates of the available manpower showed that 9.45 percent would be Negro.
The 1937 Plan
The War Department Personnel Division, again studying the manpower problem in 1937, pointed out that failure to provide larger percentages of Negroes in initial mobilization would result in the repetition of mistakes made in World War I. The study described certain of the errors which it hoped to avoid. In the first registration of manpower between 21 and 30 years of age in 1917, 9,562,518 (89.87 percent) were white while 1,078,333 (10.13 percent) were Negro. Of these, 3,110,659 (32.53 percent) of the whites and 556,917 (51.65 percent) of the Negroes were placed in Class I (unlimited service). During the period of the first registration (5 June to 11 September. 1917) , enlist-

ments in this age group were approximately 650,000 whites and 4,000 Negroes. This disproportion was the result of an almost total prohibition on the voluntary enlistment of Negroes because of the failure to provide units to which Negroes could be sent. Therefore, when selective service calls began in September, the percentage of Negroes called was necessarily higher than that for whites (36.23 percent as compared with 24.75 percent up to 15 December 1917) . The result of this situation was that at first white citizens objected to the removal of large percentages of whites from regions in which Negroes, though heavily represented in the population, were not being enlisted at all and Negroes objected because they were being refused enlistment by the Army. After the operation of selective service began, the complaints were reversed: Negroes objected to their higher draft rates and whites objected to the removal of disproportionate numbers of Negro agricultural workers as well as to heavy concentrations of Negro soldiers in Southern camps. The system produced an unbalanced force within the Army, with Negroes, who could be expected to require a longer time for training, entering the Army later than men who were presumed to require less.44
To avoid the development of a racially unbalanced army in time of war, the G-1 plan of 1937 proposed that, from M-day on, Negroes and whites should be mobilized in proportion to population. In order to do this, mobilization plans should be required to provide enough Negro units for the initial period of expansion to guarantee a racially proportionate Army. To achieve this result, Negroes would have to be enlisted in the early stages of mobilization at a rate in excess of their proportion in the population, for in the existing Regular Army and National Guard they were below proportionate strength. Unless their initial disproportion were compensated for at the beginning of mobilization by a higher rate of enlistment and induction, they would remain below proportionate strength. Not only must additional units for Negroes be provided in mobilization plans, but also a greater opportunity for Negro citizens to volunteer during the enlistment period must be provided if a racially proportionate Army were to be achieved from M-day on. A greater number of units than those shown in current mobilization plans would have to be earmarked for the receipt of Negro volunteers and drafted men if the errors of 1917 were not to be repeated. In 1937 the strength of the Regular Army and the National Guard stood at approximately 360,000. Of this number 6,500 or approximately 1.8 percent were Negroes. To mobilize a million men, an additional 552,000 whites (86.25 percent) and 88,000 Negroes (13.75 percent) would have to be called if a proportion of 90.55 to 9.45 was to be attained. Thereafter, mobilization could proceed in an approximate ratio of 90.55 to 9.45 in all future stages of expansion.45
The 1937 G-1 study resulted in changes in basic War Department policy on the mobilization of Negro manpower. Not the least of these was the approval of the recommendation that all policies concerning Negro manpower, with one

exception, be removed from the "Secret" classification and the resulting air of mystery which had surrounded the question for more than a decade. The exception was the recommendation that Negro combat units have 50 percent more company officers attached than called for in tables of organization. This recommendation arose from the conviction that Negro troops, in addition to requiring more intensive training, would also require closer supervision in operations-supervision which their noncommissioned officers would be unable to insure unless far larger numbers of highly qualified noncommissioned officers were available than was the case in World War I. While the 50 percent officer over-strength policy was to be followed, it was not to be published. 46
Policies on the utilization of Negro manpower were to be announced in the same way that all other policies were announced, so that everyone concerned would understand what the full attitude of the War Department was before the beginning of an emergency. The 1937 plan implied that full publication in sources to which the public would have access was desirable. But, in addition to reservations which War Department agencies had about the full and free publication of any of the general plans for an emergency, there were special and continuing misgivings about publicizing basic policies on the use of Negro manpower. The Army War College commandant gave a representative summary of objections:
I doubt the wisdom of the War Department announcing this policy at large. Its early announcement will give time for its careful study by those seeking political capital, for points on which the War Department may be attacked, or embarrassed. For example, to announce that there will be no discrimination against the negro race in the question of opportunity to bear its proper share of combat and non-combatant duties; to announce that the negro population of the United States is approximately 9%; and then say . . . that "Existing units of the Regular Army and National Guard contain approximately 1.8% negroes," might serve as the basis for a drive for additional colored regiments in the Regular Army, or for the replacement of white regiments by colored, to make the proportion correct.47
Though the 1937 Policies were removed from the "Secret" classification they did not become readily available to either the public or to the Army.
The New Mobilization Regulations
The approved recommendations of the 1937 plan were incorporated into Mobilization Regulations then being rewritten .48 While this method of publication removed the plans for Negro participation from their former "Secret" classification, Mobilization Regulations had a restricted circulation. They were distributed in limited numbers to the highest headquarters only: to the chiefs of arms, services, and bureaus, and to the commanders of corps areas, armies, and departments; and to general and special service schools. Neither the general public nor the majority of the Army had ready access to them. No one was given authority to publicize or discuss

any part of their contents with individuals either in or out of the Army who were not directly concerned with mobilization planning. Moreover, from six to twenty-four months were needed to process, edit, and publish these regulations. As portions of the regulations were prepared, mimeographed copies were distributed to the higher headquarters of the Army for use and comment. This procedure created a time lag between the approval of the major features of the 1937 plan and their promulgation to even the restricted audience that they finally reached in their printed form. Thus, despite the decision to publish the Negro policy in detail in Mobilization Regulations-an advance over previous procedures in which only the most general statements were made-the Army's specific plans for the use of Negro troops remained an esoteric subject so far as the general public and most of the Army were concerned. By 1940 when the regulations were all completed and in print, the Army had already begun to move into its initial period of expansion, and mobilization had moved out of the realm of theory and into the realm of practice. References to the use of Negro troops in the new regulations represented a generally unabsorbed and unfamiliar policy.
The approved features of the 1937 War Department G-1 plan, as published in the Mobilization Regulations as they made their successive appearances, included the following provisions:
1. Negro manpower was to be indicated in mobilization plans, "when applicable," at a percentage of the total mobilized strength approximately equal to the ratio between the Negro man-power of military age and the total manpower of military age. 49
2. Each corps area was to furnish manpower approximately in the ratio of the total manpower mobilized, period by period, which the area's male population of military age bore to the total population of military age. "In the application of this provision whites and negroes will be computed separately." 50 Each corps area would therefore provide Negroes in a ratio equal to the ratio of its Negro manpower of military age to the total Negro manpower of military age.
3. "Unless conditions require modification in the interests of national defense, the ratio of Negroes mobilized in the arms as compared with those mobilized in the services will be the same as for white troops." 51
4. "Where desirable for training or other purposes, the War Department will provide for the early mobilization of negro units at war strength." 52
5. Negroes, except when assigned to pools, were to be placed in Negro organizations. 53 All warrant officers and en-

listed men of Negro organizations were to be Negroes. 54 "Negro personnel requirements for units are provided for and established by the negro units scheduled for mobilization by the War Department." 55 Warrant officer and enlisted personnel of another arm or service attached to Negro units were, except as otherwise prescribed by the War Department, to be Negroes. 56
6. Reserve officers for Negro units of the Organized Reserves, officers for Negro organizations in installations, and chaplains for Negro Regular Army units might be Negro.57 For National Guard units, Negro officers were to be restricted to those positions in Negro units authorized for Negro officers. Whether such authorized positions were to be filled by Negro officers would depend upon the availability of qualified personnel.58
7. The number of Negro officer candidates would not exceed the number required to provide officers for organizations authorized to have Negro officers, account being taken of the necessary loss replacements and of the number of Negro officers already available on initiation of mobilization. "The actual number procured, trained, and commissioned will depend, as for all other eligibles, upon the number who qualify under the prescribed standards." 59 "The prescribed standards will be rigidly applied on the basis of individual
merit, without exception as to such factors as race, religion, financial status, or social position." 60
8. Negroes were to be assigned to service command and War Department overhead installations in a percentage "not less than" the percentage of Negroes in the total male population of military age within the corps area in which these installations were located. In overhead installations controlled by the chiefs of arms and services, Negroes were to be employed in a percentage "at least equal to the percentage of Negroes in the total male population of military age." Rare exceptions might be made by the War Department on the basis of the merits of each case.61
9. So far as practicable, Negroes assigned to zone of interior installations such as reception centers, replacement centers, and unit training centers for processing, training, or permanent duty during mobilization, were to be assigned to installations in the general areas where they were procured.62
Percentages and Types
to a letter supplementing the issuance of the new Mobilization Regulations, the percentage ratio of Negroes to whites for the United States at large and for the installations under the control of chiefs of arms and services was fixed at approximately g percent. For the several corps areas and installations of the War Department not under the control of chiefs of arms and services located therein the percentages were fixed as follows: First Corps Area, 1.26 per-

cent; Second Corps Area, 4.26 percent; Third Corps Area, 11.25 percent; Fourth Corps Area, 33.37 percent; Fifth Corps Area, 6.45 percent; Sixth Corps Area, 4.25 percent; Seventh Corps Area, 5.58 percent; Eighth Corps Area, 10.52 percent; Ninth Corps Area, 1.03 percent. 63 These percentages were approximately the ratios of Negro to white manpower in each corps area. They provided a forecast of the distribution of Negro enlisted men by geographical area.
The 1937 plan provided that Negroes should be organized into the following types of units:
Infantry regiments, GHQ Reserve
Cavalry regiments, GHQ Reserve
Artillery regiments, heavy, long-range calibers, GHQ Reserve
Harbor defense troops
Corps and army ammunition trains
Engineer general service regiments, separate battalions, and dump truck companies 
Quartermaster service, remount, and truck regiments; service and port battalions; railhead and salvage companies; and pack trains
Ordnance companies (ammunition)
Corps area service command units
War Department overhead
Significantly, the list omitted the separate battalions of the combat arms which had been authorized in 1927 and which had appeared in the 1933 mobilization plans,64 thereby effectively rescinding the provision for separate battalions of Negro troops which could be attached to larger white units.65
The 1937 plan and policy, as outlined above, was the one in effect in 1940, the first year of active preparation for defense through a general peacetime  expansion of the Army. But policy and
practice, again, were not identical.
From the listing of Negro units in the Protective Mobilization Plan (PMP) of 1940, as shown in Table 1, it is obvious that, even within the limits of planning, in which inactive units could be shifted as necessary, the published mobilization planning policy as it affected Negroes was not being adhered to. The 1937 policy required that Negro manpower be maintained at a ratio approximately in proportion to the total manpower available, that is, from 9 to 10 percent. The units provided in the 1940 PMP contained 5.81 percent Negroes in the total of enlisted men.66 The policy required further that the ratio of Negro combat troops to service troops be the same as that of white troops. Of the 5.81 percent Negro personnel in the PMP, by far the largest proportions were assigned to the Infantry, the Engineers, and the Quartermaster Corps. Other arms had no Negro units or disproportionately small numbers of Negro units. None of the revisions of the PMP since 1938 had complied with the provision on the ratio of combat to service troops. In those

 (Continental United States) a
Unit Corps Area Status b Enlisted War Strength
Total     44,537
24th Inf Regt IV RA-PA 2,660
25th Inf Regt VIII RA-PA 2,660
369th Inf Regt II NG-A 2,660
8th Illinois Inf Regt (less 1 Bn) VI NG-A 1,910
372d Inf Regt      
2d Inf Regt V NG-A 750
3d Inf Bn I NG-A 750
Rifle Co A III NG-A 188
1st Sep Inf Rifle CO III NG-A 188
9th Cav Regt VII RA-PA 1,272
10th Cav Regt   RA-PA 1,244
94th Field Arty Regt (8-in. How) IV RA-I 1,968
44th Coast Arty Regt (155-mm. Gun TD) III RA-I 1,865
41st Engr Regt (Gen Service) IV RA-I 1,176
59th Engr Bn (Sep) IV RA-I 1,079
66th Engr Bn (Sep) IV RA-I 1,079
65th Engr Bn (Sep) V RA-I 1,079
99th Engr Bn (Sep) IV RA-I 1,079
62d Engr Bn (Sep) III RA-I 1,079
63d Engr Bn (Sep) IV RA-I 1,079
67th Engr Bn (Sep) IV RA-I 1,079
69th Engr Bn (Sep) V RA-I 1,079
70th Engr Bn (Sep) VI RA-I 1,079
98th Engr Bn (Sep) VI RA-I 1,079
16th Engr CO(Dump Truck) II RA-I 150
17th Engr CO (Dump Truck) V RA-I 150
21st Engr CO (Dump Truck) VII RA-I 150
47th QM Regt (Truck) VIII and IX RA-PA 1,300
48th QM Regt (Truck) IV and V RA-PA 1,300
354th QM Regt (Service) IV RA-I 2,518
255th QM Regt (Service) IV RA-I 2,518
201st QM Regt (Gas Supply) II RA-I 388
202d QM Regt (Gas Supply) VI RA-I 388
203d QM Regt (Gas Supply) V RA-I 388
204th QM Regt (Gas Supply) V RA-I 388
205th QM Regt (Gas Supply) IV RA-I 388
206th QM Regt (Gas Supply) IV RA-I 388
207th QM Regt (Gas Supply) VII RA-I 388
208th QM Regt (Gas Supply) VII RA-I 388
209th QM Regt (Gas Supply) III RA-I 388
210th QM Regt (Gas Supply) III RA-I 388

 (Continental United States) a--Continued
Unit Corps Area Status b Enlisted War Strength
211th QM Regt (Gas Supply) VI RA-I 388
212th QM Regt (Gas Supply) VI RA-I 388
391st QM Bn (Port) II RA-I 807
394th QM Bn (Port) IX RA-I 807
86th QM CO (Railhead) II RA-I 100
88th QM CO (Railhead) IV RA-I 100
92d QM CO (Railhead) VII RA-I 100
branches which contained both combat and non-combat types of units, Negro troops were placed principally in the non-combat types, such as engineer separate battalions. Aside from the active units of infantry and cavalry in the Regular Army and the National Guard, the number of combat units in the PMP yeas limited to one field artillery and one coast artillery regiment.
This condition was brought about largely by objections on the part of chiefs of arms and services who opposed the assignment of Negro personnel to their branches.67 Many of the objections of the branches may be traced to the legacy of World War I. To these must be added two other considerations influencing decisions: first, a large residue of popular beliefs and stereotypes concerning Negroes, many of which appeared in "documented" tracts and pseudoscientific studies of the first decades of this century, and second, imperfectly understood theories of intelligence and adaptability.
Student officers, many of whom later occupied policy making positions in their respective branches, absorbed the materials of successive school studies, adding to them whatever new materials might be readily available, producing by agglutination new school studies to be used in like manner by later classes. Out of these studies and accompanying discussions came a semiofficial credo matching in many ways beliefs widely held among the general public. Some of the more elaborate school studies were occasionally borrowed for use by staff divisions; their more important influence, however, was in molding the attitudes of the students who produced and used them. In the absence of other materials, their use was frequent.
One of the most complete of the brief summaries appearing in such a study, one produced at the Army War College by a committee of field grade students,

most of whom were to play important parts in World War II, provides a representative summary example of the personality problem which commanders expected to meet in the employment of Negro troops:
As an individual the negro is docile, tractable, lighthearted, care free and good natured. If unjustly treated he is likely to become surly and stubborn, though this is usually a temporary phase. He is careless, shiftless, irresponsible and secretive. He resents censure and is best handled with praise and by ridicule. He is unmoral, untruthful and his sense of right doing is relatively inferior. Crimes and convictions involving moral turpitude are nearly five to one as compared to convictions of whites on similar charges.
On the other hand the negro is cheerful, loyal and usually uncomplaining if reasonably well fed. He has a musical nature and a marked sense of rhythm. His art is primitive. He is religious. With proper direction in mass, negroes are industrious. They are emotional and can be stirred to a high state of enthusiasm. Their emotions are unstable and their reactions uncertain. Bad leadership in particular is easily communicated to them.68
"Intelligence" as a factor in the employability of Negroes was especially stressed by branches which considered their duties to require relatively high skills and considerable specialized training. By World War I "intelligence" test scores, nearly 80 percent of all Negroes were grouped in the two lowest classes. The conclusion was reached, in certain studies, that here was proof of the innate lower intelligence of Negroes.69 But within the range of information afforded by these tests, doubts that general racial conclusions of this sort could be drawn soon arose. Later studies pointed out that the test scores of Negroes varied within and among groups from different sections of the country. The example of Negroes from Northern industrial states, where both economic and educational opportunities were highly developed, who scored higher than whites from Southern agricultural states, where similar opportunities were less well developed, was often cited to show that opportunity and environment evidently had much to do with the

scores made on World War I tests .70 The more advanced Army studies took these factors into consideration. Some predicted that, as opportunities improved, so would test achievements, but most reached the conclusion that the reasons for the differentials in test scores did not alter the fact that Negroes, rated by the same standards on the same tests, generally scored lower than whites.
Therefore, it was reasoned, the chances of producing efficient military units with Negroes were considerably lower than with whites. As a result, even though the General Staff might approve an equitable representation of Negroes in all branches, the chiefs of branches who had immediate responsibilities for the production of trained units were reluctant to designate units in mobilization plans, or later, in troop bases, for their reception. Long and detailed justifications for their inability to do so were a commonplace. The continuing reluctance of all arms and most services to provide units for Negroes was a major deterrent to the application of War Department policies on the utilization of Negro troops throughout the first half of World War II.
The Revisions of 1940
In the summer of 1940, the War Department Organization and Training Division (G-3) sought to correct flaws in the application of the 19,17 policy to the Protective Mobilization Plan. Certain of the provisions such as the authorization of Negro personnel for corps and army ammunition trains were outmoded, since these units had been eliminated from the Army. The problem of the lack of balance between Negro combat and service troops remained. To solve it, G-3 recommended that the list of units authorized Negro personnel be expanded and that all arms and services,. except Air Corps and Signal Corps, be required to accept for assignment in appropriate units a "reasonable proportion" of Negroes. Restrictions on Negro separate battalions, G-3 pointed out, should be relaxed, since in the future separate battalions might prove desirable in certain arms, such as coast artillery harbor defense and antiaircraft units. Moreover, separate battalions would lessen the problem of the absorption of Negro officers should it be decided to replace them with white officers after the beginning of mobilization. G-3 recommended that the new policy provision read: "The largest unit of any arm or service to be organized of Negro personnel is the regiment." This would allow for the organization of separate battalions or smaller units and, at the same time, block any efforts of Negro civilian organizations to effect a brigade grouping of infantry regiments in the National Guard. "Otherwise," G-3 felt, "difficulty may be experienced during mobilization in absorbing negro general officers." 71
Both the Personnel Division and the War Plans Division disagreed with G-3 on that part of its proposal which would exempt the Air and Signal Corps from providing units for Negro troops. War Plans indicated that, in its opinion,
. . . it is neither desirable nor practicable in a major mobilization to exclude Negro

manpower per se from any Arm or Service. Furthermore, it is the opinion of this Division that Negro manpower can be as successfully employed in some capacities in both the Air Corps and the Signal Corps as it is in the other Arms and Services . . . . Any limitation in the use of Negroes in the Arms and Services must be predicated upon the actual availability of personnel with required qualifications rather than upon any arbitrary elimination of the Negro as a whole on the grounds of lack of technical capacity. Our greatest difficulty with the Negro troops in the World War came not primarily from a lack of technical capacity, but from psychological factors and from faulty leadership.
The only limitation to be placed on the organization of Negro units should be that accomplished by a "strict maintenance of equality between the qualifications" required for Negroes and whites in similar units .72 The Personnel Division withheld its concurrence on different grounds. G-1 felt that under the action recommended by G-3, proper racial proportions could not be maintained. G-1 believed that each arm and service should take as its share of Negroes approximately g percent of its total strength and that a proper proportion of this percentage should be placed in front-line units so that "the negro manpower of the country may bear its proportionate losses in the event of war." This could be accomplished, G-1 believed, only by the assignment of "some Negro regiments of infantry and field artillery to our infantry divisions." It recommended that this be done, since the assignment of Negro units to the GHQ Reserve would fail to meet the desired requirements in the peacetime Regular Army or under the mobilization plan.73
In support of its proposals G-3 cited the stands taken by the chiefs of the Air and Signal Corps. The Chief of the Air Corps had indicated that no air units, combat or service, could employ Negroes. The Chief of the Air Corps went on to say that when the Air Corps expansion bill was before Congress, the matter was studied intensively. The bill was so worded that the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA) was allotted responsibility for the training of Negro pilots, and the Secretary of War had adopted a policy that Negro pilots would not be trained by the Air Corps but by the CAA at one of the schools used by the Air Corps. Negro pilots, the Chief of the Air Corps continued, could not be used by "our present Air Corps units" since this would result in the "impossible social problem" of having Negro officers serving over white enlisted men; and to organize an all-Negro air corps unit would take several years in order to train the necessary enlisted men as competent mechanics.74
The Signal Corps believed that "it would be difficult to obtain properly qualified personnel, or personnel who could be properly trained for duty with and function efficiently in units such as Signal Battalions, Signal Companies, Signal Troops and Signal Service Companies." The Signal Corps was willing to consider an exception in the event that "a Negro Division is ever organized." Even then, it felt, it would be difficult to obtain properly qualified men

such as radio electricians, telephone technicians, and radio operators.75
G-3 felt that further explanation was unnecessary. It did not concur with G-1's proposal that Negro regiments of infantry and artillery be assigned to white divisions because that would mean the replacement of corresponding white units in each active division of the Regular Army and the National Guard. If new divisions were organized with a portion of their infantry and artillery composed of Negroes, G-3 said, "Not only would the training time of a mixed division be much longer but the relative combat efficiency of white and negro units might vary to such an extent as to affect adversely tactical - operations." Moreover, G-3 continued, there was nothing to prevent a theater of operations commander from attaching separate Negro regiments to divisions for combat operations if he should so desire; this would be quite different from requiring him to accept a mixed division with "doubtful combat efficiency." Only the authorization of all-Negro divisions, G-3 concluded, would assure the Negro's sharing of proportionate battle casualties. Such an authorization G-3 did not advocate.
On the Threshold of Mobilization
The plans of 19.37 and 1940 indicate not only the tenor but also the range of thinking within the War Department on the subject of the employment of Negro troops in a national emergency. Despite the 1937 provision that information on Negro troops should be disseminated in the same manner as information on other Army policies, little general knowledge of the Army's plans spread beyond the confines of the Mobilization Regulations to either the military as a whole or to the public at all. This was unfortunate, for up to the beginning of World War 11 the impression was widely held that the Army probably had no concrete plans for the use of Negro troops other than a grudging admission that in time of war they would be useful primarily as laborers and that they must be kept completely segregated from white troops. That any thinking had been done on such questions as the types and sizes of units, methods of employment of Negro troops, or the provision of opportunities for Negroes as specialists and in positions of leadership was generally unknown.
Much of the public agitation and questioning of the Army's purposes in regard to the use of Negro troops might have been avoided by full and frank discussion of the question in the years before the emergency had built itself to the high point of the summer of 1940. Because so little of what the Army was planning was known, racial and political pressure groups were unable to make concrete proposals which might have benefited their own interests as well as those of the Army and the nation. Of the Army's plans the public knew nothing except what it could infer from small bits of information and a few examples of official action. These, when added together, appeared to Negroes less than encouraging so far as full and equitable use of Negro manpower was concerned. The fulfillment of predictions concerning the effects of political and racial pressure, concerning the difficulties in-

herent in any plan which did not provide for a racially balanced Army from the beginning of expansion, and concerning the relative difficulties of maintaining a fair and workable balance among types of Negro units might also have been avoided had the Army's own personnel been aware of the thinking and reasoning behind the policy on Negro troop utilization. Instead, the Army's officers, as a whole, were relatively unfamiliar with much of the reasoning behind the policies. Many were unfamiliar with the policies as a whole or in significant part. Proposals from individual commanders and staff agencies, many of which had already been considered and discarded, made their appearance periodically during the early period of preparations for national defense. Many of the existing policies were misinterpreted, ignored, or sidetracked, usually because of lack of familiarity with the whole fabric of which specific directives formed only individual threads. Only if the general trends of high level thinking had been known could this have been avoided.
It should be kept in view also that the Army, in its employment of Negro troops, did not consider itself a free agent, psychologically, politically, or in any other sense. Aside from influences of personal feelings, neither all agencies of the War Department nor all field commands were at any one time fully agreed on the merits of current policies on the use of Negro manpower. Though there were many inside and outside the Army and the `war Department who felt that there was much that could be done within the Army to provide for a fuller use of Negro manpower, the War Department itself took the position that it was operating within a social framework which it did not create and which it did not have the power to alter in any significant manner. As G-1 expressed it in 1939, and as other agencies echoed it throughout the war:
The War Department has given serious thought to questions involving the induction of Negroes into the military service. However, the War Department is not an agency which can solve national questions relating to the social or economic position of the various racial groups composing our Nation. The War Department administers the laws affecting the military establishment; it cannot act outside the law, nor contrary to the will of the majority of the citizens of the Nation.76
In general, the position of the War Department on the subject of the utilization of Negro troops in the summer of 1940-on the eve of the beginning of the greatest expansion which the Army of the United States had known-may be summarized briefly as follows:
1. Negroes would be mobilized in proportions equal to their representation in the nation's manpower of military age. Preferably, they should be mobilized early, both to allow numbers to be built up to and maintained at a percentage level approximating 9 plus percent, and to provide earlier training, since adequate training might take a longer period than normal.
2. Negroes would be utilized in both arms and services and in all types of units for which they could qualify. Combat arms assignments for Negroes should be in the same ratio as for whites. Full agreement on their use in all arms and services had not been reached among staff agencies or by the chiefs of all

arms and services, but a strong stand on their proportionate use in all branches had been taken by the Personnel Division.
3. Negroes would be utilized in units with all-Negro enlisted personnel, but these units did not need to be employed separately. A strong group believed that Negro units should be kept small and used in attachment or assignment to larger white units. A less widely held view was that only as parts of otherwise white divisions could Negro combat units operate successfully and in a manner which would guarantee their sharing proportionately in battle losses and in battle credits.
4. Officers for Negro units might be Negro or white. They were to be assigned in 50 percent greater numbers than to similar types of white units. Negro officers were to be chosen and trained according to the same standards as white officers and, preferably, trained in the same schools. Negro officers were to serve only with Negro units and in overhead installations, and should command Negro troops only. Specific units for which Negro officers were authorized would be designated. Initially, these would include only the Reserve and National Guard units and such service units as might be so designated. For that reason, most Negro units in the Protection Mobilization Plan were designated "Regular Army-Inactive."
5. In their utilization, Negro troops were to be trained, officered, quartered, clothed, and provided with all facilities in the same manner as white troops.
In the working out of these plans, many apparently minor points arose which grew into major ones. Though the plans were well-laid, much intervened between planning and execution. Some of the causes and results of the difficulties and the successes encountered in the attempt to transfer plans to action will be discussed in succeeding chapters. Vestigial remains of many of the alternate plans reviewed here will be seen in many of the proposals and changes made during the course of World War II.


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