18. Completion of the Program
In Europe the original deadlines for completing integration in combat and service units were March 1953 and March 1954, respectively. Generally speaking, the program was completed within these time limits. This was true even though the administrative difficulties encountered in implementing the integration program tended to delay the process for certain units. In some cases the program was actually ahead of schedule. After one year (i.e., April 1953), integration in USAREUR's combat units was 98 percent complete. The only all-Negro combat-type units left in the command consisted of 1 combat engineer battalion, 1 combat engineer company, and 2 engineer bridge companies. The integration of service units, proceeding at a slower pace than that of combat units, was 67 percent complete at the same time. Some 50 units of company size or less remained to be integrated. Strengthwise, of 34,493 Negro enlisted men in USAREUR, 28,666 or 83 percent were serving in integrated units as of 1 April 1953.1 The integration program was considered "virtually complete" by 30 September 1953. In terms of the magnitude of the entire program, the fact that at that time there were still 38 all-Negro transportation units to be integrated was of little significance. That the stumbling block was in transportation units Was not surprising in view of the overstrength of Negro truck drivers
1. (1) Memo, to USAREUR COFS, 2 Apr 53, sub: Status of Racial Integration Program, 2 Apr 53. (2) Ltr, CINCUSAREUR to SACEUR, 10 Apr 53, no sub. Both in USAREUR SGS 291.2 (1953), Vol. I. (3) Status of integration, 30 Apr 53. In USAREUR G1 Mil Pers Br Integration file (1954).
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and the simultaneous shortage of white replacement drivers.2 The integration of
combat-type units was completed by November 1953, about 7 months beyond the originally directed deadline.
By March 1954 a total of 20 transportation truck companies remained to be integrated. Of these 13 were in Seventh Army and 7 were in COMZ. Representatives of Seventh Army, COMZ, the USAREUR Transportation Division, and the 307th Replacement Group conferred in Heidelberg on the feasibility of completing the racial integration of transportation units. With 906 Caucasian driver replacements (in MOS 1931 and MOS 4345) and only 5 Negro drivers expected in March 1954, the time had finally arrived for integrating the remaining transportation units and thereby winding up the program.3 On 9 July 1954 the last all-Negro unit in Seventh Army, a transportation truck company, was integrated. That summer there were only 4 unintegrated all-Negro units in USAREUR; 3 were transportation truck companies with an average strength of 110 each, and 1 was an engineer battalion. Sufficient white replacements in the needed transportation MOS's arrived during the summer to complete the integration of the 3 transportation units. Thus, for practical purposes, the program was completed on 11 August 1954 when the 68th Transportation Company was integrated. However, on 27 November 1954 the 94th Engineer Construction Battalion, a General Reserve unit on loan to COMZ from the United States, was inactivated. Technically, therefore, this date marked the unequivocal completion of the integration program in USAREUR.4
19. Public Relations
Despite the classified nature of the integration program and the official policy directing the integration program to proceed without special publicity releases or pronouncements, the general public did not remain completely ignorant of the program. USAREUR had not intended to conceal racial integration and, even if that had been intended, any attempt to hide the changing complexion of hundreds of military units involving many thousands of men would have been futile. On the other hand, publicity was so well avoided in the command that no official announcements were made to the public until the program was completed.
2. (1) Ltr, USAREUR AG to TAG, 30 Sep 53, sub: Racial Integration in USAREUR Units. In USAREUR SGS
291.2 (1953), Vol. I. (2) Memo, for Reps Seventh Army, USAREUR COMZ, USAREUR Trans Div, & 307th Repl Gp, 10 Mar 54, sub: Racial
Integration of Transportation Units in USAREUR. In USAREUR G1 Mil Pers Br files (1954).
3. Memo cited above.
4. (1) Memo, Lt Col H. M. Schiller, USAREUR ACOFS G1 Mil Pers Br, to USAREUR Hist Div, 22 Jul 54, no sub. In USAREUR Hist Div classified files. (2) Intervs, Mr. R. Sher, USAREUR Hist Div, with Lt Col H. M. Schiller, 29 & 30 Sep 54.
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Newspapers and magazines, of course, reported the news of integration wherever and whenever it was discovered. As early as 4 April 1952 The New York Times had reported that integration was under way in Europe, but this reference presumably was to the modified policy of integration that was in effect before April 1952. The news of full-scale integration initiated by the European Command was first released to newspapers in the United States in May 1952.5 Some journals reported erroneously that the integration order of 1 April 1952 was a secret document and that General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR), was the issuing authority. As a result of such confusions and of demands to make the integration order public, Army officials announced that such an order had been issued in Washington but they did not elaborate further. USAREUR headquarters realized that integration would receive some attention in the stateside press over which it had no control. However, command policy was to assure the furnishing of factual information to those commercial news representatives who had requested data about integration. Moreover, the command was to avoid any deliberate attempt to stir up publicity through regular news channels or through its own news media, including The Stars and Stripes, the American Forces Network (AFN), and post and unit newspapers. For this reason the news stories on integration that had been prepared by The Stars and Stripes were never published.6 As the integration program neared completion USAREUR headquarters entertained several proposals for a publicity release announcing the elimination of segregation in the command. During the summer of 1954 representatives of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G1, and the Public Information Division recommended to the Department of the Army that a world-wide release be made on the day that the last unit in the command was integrated. The Army gave qualified approval to the USAREUR-proposed publicity releases. There was to be no emphasis on a timetable or on a schedule of events in order to avoid conveying the impression of a "controlled" program. In so far as the program was controlled, it was in the sense that military factors generally governed the speed and time of integration. The program would still be classified (CONFIDENTIAL) until the release.7
5. Copies of two UP dispatches, 22 May 1952. In USAREUR PID integration file.
6. (1) IRS, C/EUCOM AFIED to CINCEUR, 24 Jun 52, sub: Quarterly Meeting with Editorial Staffs of S&S, AFN, and PID EUCOM, and PIO's of Seventh Army, Navy, and Twelfth AF, Tab C. In USAREUR SGS 000.76 (1952), Vol. II, Item 63. (2) C/N 2, EUCOM DCOFS Opns to EUCOM PID, 12 Jun 52, sub: Stars and Stripes News Story on Integration, to IRS, EUCOM PID to EUCOM COPS, 5 Jun 52, same sub. In USAREUR PID integration file.
7. Intervs, Mr. R. Sher, USAREUR Hist Div, with Lt Col H. M. Schiller, USAREUR G1 Mil Pers Br, 22 Jul 54, 29 & 30 Sep 54.
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The opportunity for USAREUR to originate a news release on integration never arose. Instead, in
October 1954 the Department of Defense chose to release a report announcing the abolishment of all Negro units within the military
and the satisfactory conclusion of integration ahead of schedule.8 The publication of this news in The Stars and Stripes
on 31 October 1954 was the first public mention in USAREUR of the fact of integration.
20. Crime Rates
In the course of implementing the integration program, USAREUR was interested in determining the degree of correlation between the progress of integration and the command crime rates. An analysis of Seventh Army units showed no positive effects of integration on crime rates. A limited conclusion was that implementation of the program was not accomplished by a corresponding drop in the incidence of crime. The crime rate did accompany the movement and transfer of Negro soldiers, but the over-all rate did not appear to have changed.9
21. Accomplishment of Objectives
The main objective of the integration program was to increase the combat or operating efficiency of former all-Negro units. The standard guides for determining whether appropriate levels of performance and effectiveness have been reached are the various unit training tests and inspections. The results of these tests [Army Field Forces (AFF) Army Training Tests (ATT)] and the reports of these inspections [Annual General Inspections (AGI's) and Command Maintenance Inspections (CMI's)] in the integrated units showed generally that integration had raised the level of performance of former all-Negro units and had improved their capability to perform their mission. Moreover, integration had not decreased the combat effectiveness of former all-white units.10
8. UP Release 2359 GMT by John W. Finney, Stf Correspondent, Washington, D.C., 30 Oct 54. In
USAREUR PID Integration file. (2) Department of Defense Progress Report, Integration in the Armed Services (Government Printing
Office, Washington, D.C., 1955). Prepared by Mr. James C. Evans, Civilian Assistant on Racial Problems to the Assistant Secretary
of Defense for Manpower and Personnel.
9. (1) Memo, to USAREUR PM, 10 Apr 53, sub: Effect of Racial Integration Progress on Command Crime Rates. In USAREUR SGS 291.2 (1953), Vol. I. (2) IRS, PM to DCOFS Admin (thru ACOFS G1), 4 Dec 53, and Incl 1, memo, Mr. M. H. Selman, PM Stat Rcds Sec, 30 Nov 53, sub: Crimes of Violence by Race. In USAREUR PMG 250 PAS (1953). (3) Comment 15, to DF, PM Div to ACOFS G1, 27 Aug 54, sub: Effect of Racial Integration on Command.
10. Ltrs, USAREUR DCOFS Opns to CAFF, 27 Jan 53, 5 May 53, 28 Jul 53, sub: Quarterly Narrative Report of Operational Readiness of Major Units, USAREUR. In USAREUR SGS 353 (1953), Vol. I, Item 4A atchd.
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a. Results in Former Negro Units. Integrated in July
1952, the 16th Armored Field Artillery Battalion received an excellent rating in its Annual General Inspection in the fall of the
same year. In November 1953 the battalion received another excellent score in the AGI. The unit possessed superior morale, was
close-knit, proud, and efficient and capable of performing any logical mission.11
The 17th Armored Engineer Battalion was integrated on 22 April 1952. An AGI was held in July of that year and Company B received an excellent rating. As an all-Negro unit it had scored only satisfactorily in a similar inspection in December 1951. The company received another excellent score in an AGI in October 1953.12
Before its integration in May 1952, the 3d Battalion of the 22d Infantry Regiment had had the poorest statistical record in the regiment. The battalion had never won anything in regimental competition as a segregated unit. By November 1952 the battalion had honor companies; by February 1953 the 3d Battalion had the best statistical record in the regiment. Tested in June 1953, the battalion scored 86 (excellent)-second best in the regiment. Scoring generally was over 90 thereafter. The battalion also scored high in marksmanship. In the Command Maintenance Inspection in June 1953 the 3d Battalion was very close to placing first in the regiment. The performance of this unit and its high morale were attributed to good leadership.13
The efficiency of the 29th Tank Battalion before integration (which took place on 21 April 1952) was unsatisfactory and its combat effectiveness was rated zero. About a month after integration, another battalion test was administered to stimulate the new men into raising their unit's combat effectiveness. However, the newness of the men itself was a factor that caused them to score poorly. About a year later the battalion received an excellent score in Army Training Test 17-7 at Baumholder. Moreover, efficiency generally increased after integration because the white personnel provided colored troops (especially at platoon sergeant levels) with new ideas.l4
11. (1) Memos 11 Oct 52, 23 Nov 53, sub: Report of Annual General Inspection Of 16th AFA Bn. In V
Corps AG 333 file (1953). (2) 16th AFA Bn Comd Rept, 1952. In USAREUR Hist Div file.
12. Memos, Jul 52, 26 Oct 53, sub: Report of AGI of Co B. 17th Armd Engr Bn. In V Corps IG 333 file (1953).
13. (1) Interv, Mr. R. Sher, USAREUR Hist Div with Col J.L. Chabot, Seventh Army G1 ExO (and formerly CO, 3d Bn, 22d Inf Regt), 2 Feb 54. (2) AFF Inf Bn Test. In V Corps G3 Tng Br files (1953).
14. (1) Interv, Capt R.A. Gugeler and Mr. R. Sher, USAREUR Hist Div, with Col J. F. Rhoades, USAREUR G1 Div (formerly CO, 29th Tk Bn), 1 Dec 53. (2) 1st Ind, Hq V Corps to CG Seventh Army, 21 Jul 53, sub: Results of Battalion Training Tests, to Rept, Hq 2d Armd Div to CG V Corps, 3 Jun 53, same sub. CVACT 353. In Seventh Army G3 Tng Br files (1953).
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Integration was begun in the 35th Engineer Combat Battalion on 14 December 1952 and was completed in
May 1953. The battalion received unsatisfactory ratings in every aspect of its CMI during October 1952 and only a satisfactory
rating in a training inspection the following month. In February 1953 the battalion scored satisfactorily in its AGI. Despite the
low score, the inspection report noted that the 35th had made remarkable progress since integration had begun. Moreover, the unit
was definitely on the upgrade and rapid progress was expected. A command maintenance reinspection held shortly after integration
yielded almost all superior and excellent scores. The battalion received a superior rating in an AGI in November 1953; the score in
the training portion of the inspection was excellent.l5
Other all-Negro units (such as the 46th AAA Battalion; the 272d, 594th, and 599th Field Artillery Battalions; the 597th Armored Field artillery Battalion; the 317th, 406th, 1279 Engineer Combat Battalions; and the 371st and 372d Armored Infantry Battalions) with previous poor training and inspection records showed similar improvement after integration.l6 Some units were inspected and/or tested very soon after they had been integrated and consequently fared poorly, although retests and/or reinspections at later dates generally showed improvement. Integration in these cases temporarily impaired the combat readiness of the unit. However, the loss of key personnel through rotation, or shortages of technicians or specialists, or the insufficient training of replacements also adversely affected combat readiness. For instance, the 371st Armored Infantry Battalion (integrated in November 1952) was considered combat ineffective because of a lack of mechanics. Although integration temporarily disrupted the battalion's training, the shortage of mechanics appeared to have been more serious.17
b. Impact on Former White Units.18 The 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment reported that its integration in June 1952 had been highly successor in terms of maintenance of morale and operational efficiency. The 6th Infantry Regiment thought that integration (begun in May 1952) had in no way effected its operational efficiency. Four of fourteen teams representing the 8th Infantry Regiment in division military competition were
15. 535th Engr C Bn, CMI Repts, 24-Nov 52, 29 Jan 53; AGI Repts, 11 Feb 53, 24 Nov 53. In V Corps
AG 333 (1952-53).
16. Reports of inspections and training tests for these and other units are available in V Corps AG 333 file and in CVACT 353 file in Seventh army G3 Tng Br files. (2) See also 4th Inf Div Arty and VII Corps Arty Comd Repts, 1952.
17. 371st AIB Comd Rept, 1952.
18. Information in this subparagraph is based upon the 1952 command reports of the units cited in the text.
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commanded by Negro NCO's. One of these teams (light machine gun) won the division championship.
Integration in the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment was completed in June 1952 without affecting the regiment's capability to fulfill its tactical mission. The integration of the 30th Field Artillery Battalion in April 1952 created no problem, although Negro replacements to this unit were not considered satisfactory. The 37th Engineer Combat Group reported that the white battalions showed no appreciable loss of efficiency after integration. As a matter of fact, integration contributed to the general improvement of the group in training and in maintenance.
The integration program in April 1952 virtually stripped the 42d Field Artillery Battalion of its cadre, since over one-third of the Regular Army personnel were taken from this battalion. The battalion experienced tremendous difficulty in classifying and assigning the personnel received from the 272d Field Artillery Battalion. Over 5,000 errors were discovered in an inspection of the records of the men from the 272d. Personnel were assigned on the basis of incorrect MOS data, which created overages in some sections and shortages in others. This in turn required retraining men in other specialties to relieve the shortages. The caliber of the incoming men was considered very poor. The complaints of this organization, which were typical of other white units, were not so much directed against integration as such, but rather against the disruptive consequences of integration. Many units already at a high level of combat readiness were required to give up well-trained key personnel in exchange for poorly qualified men from combat ineffective outfits. Thus for a time the combat or operational efficiency of such units was adversely affected by integration.
The 102d Infantry Regiment, with its proportion of Negroes to whites at 19 percent, complained that the desired percentage of Negro to Caucasian was growing above the level set by the Army. This unit maintained that the efficiency of an infantry regiment was adversely affected when the proportion of Negroes rose above 12 percent.
The 118th Engineer Combat Battalion reported that the exchange of its skilled white personnel for Negro personnel with lesser skills had an adverse effect during the early phase of the integration program. However, the arrival of qualified NCO's improved the situation.
The 169th Infantry Regiment experienced better results from the integration program than had been anticipated. The Negro replacements were absorbed by the regiment without the loss of combat effectiveness other than that attributable to a purely coincidental reduction in regimental strength that occurred while integration was being effected. Experience in this unit had indicated the maximum effective ratio of Negro to white to be 12 to 15 percent. Integrated in the spring of 1952; the 206th Field Artillery Battalion received an award for being
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the best artillery battalion in the 42d Division. The only detrimental effect of integration on the 485th Engineer Combat Battalion was to aggravate the already critical personnel turnover situation. The majority of Negro personnel performed on a par with other soldiers. Based upon results in this unit, integration was an unqualified success. Integration in the 517th Armored Field Artillery Battalion suffered no loss of efficiency or morale. Although the battalion was required to exchange some of its best personnel for less qualified men, the resulting inadequacies were overcome by concentrated training and direct supervision.
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