Chapter XIII
Toward an Objective
The explanations, recommendations, and remedies advanced to deal with recurring signs of unsatisfactory progress in the training of Negro troops were many. Few observers failed to describe the situation as a complex one. Certain of the threads which went to make up a tangled skein were common to most observations and recommendations. The influence of real and imagined neglect of and discrimination against Negro soldiers; the educational and experiential backgrounds of the soldiers themselves; the lack of proper leadership and discipline in their units; the influence of the press, especially of the Negro press; the influence of local conditions, especially in the South; the orientation of white troops and police, especially military police, toward Negro troops; the failure to move Negro units overseas in large numbers; and the imperfect dissemination of War Department policies to officers in the field were the chief points at issue.
That these matters were all linked together, with interacting implications, began to be recognized more widely by mid-1943. While there was still a tendency to blame outside forces-the press and agitators in particular-for the major difficulties experienced, there was also a growing recognition that the root of the matter was both deeper and broader than these. Eighty-five percent of the Army, as one member of the Advisory Committee on Negro Troop Policies observed somewhat later, had ideas about Negroes that could not be changed quickly.1 But that did not prevent Assistant Secretary McCloy and the Advisory Committee from devoting considerable time and effort to improving the general situation.
McCloy was convinced that a fair appraisal would show that the Army, by mid-1943, was ahead of the rest of the country in recognizing and attempting to do something about its racial problems. He pointed out again and again that rumors and press concern over discriminatory practices obscured the attempts of the War Department to eliminate both racial friction and the major deterrents to effective training. Writing to Eleanor Roosevelt, the President's wife, he explained:
There has arisen a tendency in the Negro soldier to believe any wild story of discrimination or abuse. The story will spread like wildfire and the Negro soldier has been so sensitized by references to his abused position that he is prepared to believe anything and does. The Negro press has been quite careless in reporting and playing up accounts of alleged mistreatment. By no means all the blame can be traced to the Negro or the Negro press and . . . there is room for great improvement

in our handling of the Negro in the Army. General Marshall has recently issued a strong directive to the Army commanders which should initiate a much closer attention to the handling of those matters by the responsible officers.
The problem is a national one but the War Department is making every endeavor to see that the general condition of Negro troops in the Army is improved and that causes of friction between them and the white troops are removed. Unfortunately, the steps which one side feels would remove the trouble, almost invariably stimulates trouble from the other side and a solution in one part of the country in a particular situation can rarely be applied generally.2
Proceeding from the general point of view that racial conditions in the Army were considerably better than painted to the public and yet not good enough for the best utilization of all manpower, Secretary McCloy and the Advisory Committee set about examining the situation with the intention of improving it so that Negro troops might be more of an asset and less of a problem in the training and deployment of an Army at war.
Advice to Commanders
General Marshall's "directive," referred to by Secretary McCloy in his note to Mrs. Roosevelt, was the result of discussions and urgings in the Advisory Committee.3 A subcommittee, consisting of General Davis of The Inspector General's Office, Brig. Gen. Miller G. White, representing G-1, and Lt. Col. Willard S. Renshaw, representing Army Ground Forces, had drawn up a report on the general problem, which became the basis for General Marshall's letter to the field. The subcommittee's account of the provenance of disorders, taken from Inspector General reports, became the standard War Department view of the problem. It was essentially the same account that McCloy gave to Mrs. Roosevelt, but here the central emphasis was on command and control difficulties.
Most of the disturbances, the committee reported and General Marshall so described to the field ,4 began with real or fancied incidents of discrimination or segregation against Negro troops. No positive action was taken by commanders to overcome the causes of irritation and unrest. Gossip and rumor circulated. A minor incident occurring thereafter often brought on a general disturbance. There was a widespread failure of commanders of some echelons to appreciate the seriousness of the matters involved and their responsibility for dealing with them. Few commanders took preventive measures to forestall impending general disorder. In many cases commands made allowances for the improper conduct of white or Negro soldiers, among themselves or toward each other, until discipline was generally undermined. General Marshall in his

letter reminded commanders that the maintenance of discipline and good order between soldiers and the civilian population was a "definite command responsibility," and that those guilty of derelictions must be punished by prompt and effective disciplinary measures. "Failure on the part of any commander to concern himself personally and vigorously with this problem will be considered as evidence of lack of capacity and cause for reclassification and removal from assignment," he concluded.
The Advisory Committee, in its recommendations to the Chief of Staff, urged that the troop commander not only be impressed with the importance and difficulty of the problem but also that he be required:
(1) To maintain close personal contact with the situation.
(2) To follow implicitly the War Department policies and instructions, in letter and spirit, with respect to discrimination and the provision of equal facilities.
(3) To take positive action to insure early determination of the existence of unrest and disaffection among troops and to remove the causes therefor, whether they result from conditions under his jurisdiction or from unsatisfactory relationships with the civilian population.
(4) To develop definite programs within his own jurisdiction for the elimination of causes of friction on military reservations.
(5) To maintain close relations with the civil authorities and secure co-operative action by them to remove or correct causes of friction between soldiers and the civil population.
(6) To discover and suppress inflammatory gossip, rumors, or propaganda among the troops themselves, preferably by countermeasures to offset same. When unrest and the causes therefor are known to exist, he must see that the troops themselves are aware that he is so informed and are themselves informed as to the measures the commander is taking to remove the causes.
(7) When conditions so warrant and when it is apparent that the means under his jurisdiction are ineffectual to obtain corrective or remedial action, to immediately report all facts of the circumstance: to his superior.5
The committee recommended as well that the commanding generals of the Air, Ground, and Service Forces be directed to submit specific recommendations for changes in policies on the treatment of Negro personnel, the use of camp facilities, the organization of Negro soldiers into units, and the employment of those units. Negro combat troops, the committee urged, should be dispatched to active theaters at an early date: "In the opinion of the Committee, such action would be the moss effective means of reducing tension among Negro troops." 6 The three principal commands, moreover, should be directed to report to the Chief of Staff the action they had taken to carry out these recommendations.
Though much of the action suggested by the committee was implied in the letter of the Chief of Staff, the specific recommendations were not forwarded to the major commands. The committee knew that standing War Department policies and instructions were not being carried out fully in all commands, am that in some instances they were not ever fully known; it knew that commander were not paying sufficient attention to the seriousness of what was, after all, buy one of many problems with which they were faced. It believed that training

problems and disturbances were linked with the over-all question of Negro troop utilization and that War Department policies themselves were in need of revision. But there was still a reluctance to interfere with command responsibilities by pointing out more than that these responsibilities existed. Ameliorative efforts therefore proceeded in other directions.
The Bureau of Public Relations and the Press
On the question of the relationship of the press to morale, the Bureau of Public Relations, which was centrally concerned with public and press reactions, was especially disturbed not only by Army relations with the Negro press but also by recurring suggestions from G-2 and from field commanders that portions of the Negro press be censored or otherwise controlled.7 In the summer of 1942 when such suggestions had been frequently made as a result of the Negro press coverage of the racial disturbances of that year, the bureau replied that it was attempting to help, rather than hinder, the Negro press in obtaining and printing accounts of Negroes in the Army. "The policy of this Bureau," it told G-3, "has been to work for a higher degree of factual accuracy in published reports of the activities of Negro troops, to emphasize the many favorable aspects of Army practices and policy in racial matters, and to encourage the reconsideration of articles or editorials of a critical or controversial nature."8 The bureau gradually became a center for the regular visits of Negro reporters and it in turn sent its representatives for visits to the Negro publishers and to their annual conferences. A weekly illustrated mat service especially planned for Negro papers and the encouragement of public relations officers in the field to stimulate the reporting of news of Negro activities brought an increase of information on Negro soldiers in both the Negro and the metropolitan white press. A Special Interest Section to serve the needs of the Negro press was organized within the bureau in the summer of 1942 and Negro officers were brought in to operate it in 1943. Visits to maneuver areas were arranged for Negro reporters so that the progress and seriousness of the training of Negro troops could be observed at firsthand.
The bureau maintained a weekly analysis service of trends in the Negro press which sorted stories according to their favorable or unfavorable presentation of news concerning the Army. These analyses, plus those of Elmer Davis' Office of War Information, showed early that the Negro press was hungry for news of Negro soldiers and that it would use almost every item which the bureau could supply. In the summer of 1942, when so many unfavorable reports of the treatment of Negro soldiers in the Army appeared in the Negro press, a bureau analysis of the contents of one issue of the Pittsburgh Courier showed twenty-six articles attacking racial discrimination in general, eight attacking racial

discrimination in the Army, and one attacking discrimination in the Navy. Of general news concerning Negroes in the Army, there were twenty-three articles, all favorable, and two on the Navy, both favorable. The ratio of critical Army to critical general articles (8 to 26) was considered by the bureau an improvement. The preponderant effect, the bureau concluded, was not produced by editorials but by headlines and pictures. It proposed to keep a steady supply of news items and pictures flowing to the Negro papers.9 This it did, with the flow increasing as more war news became available. Most of the bureau news releases found wide use.
Despite these efforts, the reporting of events in a manner critical of the Army continued. In the opinions of field commanders, such articles were damaging to the morale of troops. In addition to making suggestions that all or particular Negro papers be placed under surveillance for possible subversive activities, a number of posts and stations from time to time banned one or another paper from sale in exchanges or libraries.10 Few posts went so far as the Antiaircraft Training Center at Fort Bliss, Texas. There, after the 1943 disturbances, Negro newspapers which, in the opinion of the commanding general, contained material of "such an agitational nature as to be prejudicial to military discipline within the training center" were banned from the post entirely. All mail received at the Fort Bliss post office for Negro battalions was delivered to the camp's postal officer, who extracted "objectionable newspapers." The remaining mail was then delivered, with the training center commander directing the final disposition of newspapers. While the legality of this procedure was endorsed by the Eighth Service Command's Director of Military Intelligence and by the Censorship Officer, El Paso Branch, Office of Postal Censorship, the Antiaircraft Command, when informed of the practice, sought further advice from the War Department.
Army Ground Forces, upon receipt of the Antiaircraft Command's report, telephoned the commanding general of the Antiaircraft Command to have the commanding general of the Fort Bliss training center discontinue his practices immediately. As an emergency measure, Ground Forces G-2 thought, a commander might properly stop a particular paper or an issue, but to do so permanently "would only serve to supply ammunition for agitation to colored papers." 11
Evidence of the unauthorized prohibition of Negro newspapers in libraries, reading rooms, service clubs, and post exchanges continued to reach the Bureau of Public Relations. Inquiries of service commands had revealed no formal bans, for actions of this type had not been taken through regular channels. But in some cases post intelligence officers, without an order from the post commander, had proceeded to ban papers. In at least one case a unit intelligence officer did so after receiving

from his service command the information that though the service command had no approved or disapproved list of papers, on certain posts specific papers, which were named, had been banned. The bureau felt that if it had not pursued its investigations below the level of camp commanders, it "might have been placed in the position of stating that there was no truth in the report . . . ." It took the position endorsed by Army Ground Forces earlier that so long as newspapers and magazines enjoyed post office privileges local commanders should not ban them from installations without War Department approval. The bureau was certain that, through its liaison officers, it would be able to remedy public relations situations considered damaging to morale. The bureau's position was approved by the War Department and commanders were so informed. 12
Both Negro and white editors and publishers became concerned with the influence which their papers had upon tense racial situations. How irresponsible editing had helped foment the Harlem riot of 1943 and how rumor clinics and careful handling of news had helped avert threatened racial difficulties in Indianapolis and Washington were discussed in the official organ of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Certain Southern dailies, such as the Mobile, Alabama, Register and the Shelby, North Carolina, Star made determined efforts to describe regularly in their columns the activities of Negro men and women in the war, giving Negro readers "the feeling that their work in defense of democracy is appreciated," and giving to the general public some picture of Negro participation in the war.13 Negro editors and publishers, when defending their own editorial practices, often arrogated to themselves much credit for initiating changes in Army policy,14 but they also began to check more frequently with the Bureau of Public Relations and the Office of the Civilian Aide before printing accounts of disturbances and discriminatory practices.15 They could and did point out that they had refrained from using many of the stories which came to their attention.16 But enough stories remained on their front pages to make Negro papers easy targets as sources of disaffection during most of the war.
The Bureau of Public Relations learned early that the manner of presen-

somewhere in France, 13 July 1944.
tation and phrasing of news releases about minorities was as critical in the development of favorable attitudes as the news facts themselves. "Being cognizant of [the] adverse effect of publicizing most Negro troops serving overseas in World War I, as 'labor battalions,' " the bureau had the War Department inform overseas commands in June 1942 that "the War Department announced the recent arrival of Negro troops in Northern Ireland without reference to composition." But the move was "nullified" by theater statements that these troops were intended for the Services of Supply only. These statements, the bureau cautioned, were interpreted as an attempt to label all Negro troops overseas as noncombatant. While both the War Department and overseas commanders were to "see that overseas arrival of Negro troops is well publicized at each opportunity," the arrival of noncombatant Negro troops was to be discussed in each instance as "Negro troops" without reference to

their composition, the communication directed.17 News and pictures of Negro soldiers which reinforced the traditional beliefs that the Army had little intention of employing Negroes as combat soldiers, the bureau realized, were almost as damaging as none at all.
News of Negro soldiers was not only useful in public relations but it was also a morale factor among soldiers themselves. Negro troops were quick to notice the absence of news about them or about their units in newspapers, magazines, and newsreels. The men of the gad Engineer General Service Regiment constructing the Alcan Highway from the Alaska end, for example, felt that their work received no public recognition in comparison with that of other units on the highway. "They want their friends to read about their regiment and feel that they understand their outfit is making an important contribution to the war effort," an officer of the regiment reported. The failure of correspondents to visit their portions of the road or to mention them in their articles "had a bad effect on morale and esprit de corps of the individual soldier and his regiment." 18
As larger numbers of Negro units were deployed overseas, the Bureau of Public Relations co-operated with Negro newspapers in getting their war correspondents into the theaters. In 1943, the Bureau of Public Relations and the Civilian Aide encouraged thirteen papers to organize a pool of correspondents so that better coverage might be available to all from among the limited number of correspondents available.19 By the end of the war, every major theater had been visited by at least one Negro war correspondent.
Aiding the Bureau of Public Relations in its attempt to improve public and soldier attitudes through the news was the film, The Negro Soldier,20 completed in the fall of 1943 and distributed in early 1944. This film was begun within the Special Service Division as one of a series of educational films designed to supplement the Why We Fight orientation films. As a pioneer venture in Army and film history, it received careful attention from a number of people. When Frank Capra sent the first complete script to General Osborn it had already had the benefit of a full memorandum on "Things to Do and Not to Do" by the division's consultant, Dr. Donald Young, and the skills of some of the best film and drama technicians.21 The finished script, done by Jo Swirling and Ben Hecht, was, Capra felt, "far superior to anything we have had. Done with taste and repression, this may not only be an information picture, but may also serve as an emotional glorification of the Negro war effort."22 It was just this emotional quality of the script that worried the Washington headquarters. "It is

undoubtedly a powerful script but the fact that it is, as you say in your letter, an emotional glorification of the Negro war effort," General Osborn replied to Capra, "puts it in a different class from the one we had intended and makes us very doubtful about showing it to troops without changes that would mean practically recasting the script." 23
Dr. Young and Capt. Charles bollard, analyzing the script from an audience reception angle, felt that it had been improved over an earlier version by the addition of a minister and mother as narrators. But, they pointed out, the new characters must be handled carefully:
The woman should not be a "mammy." Her race should be determinable only by her color; not by her dress or manner. The preacher might well be a relatively young man, typical of the new clergy of the cities. The emotional element in the situation should not be overstressed either in the language of the script or in the diction of the characters.
Much of the sermon and the soldier's letter was "just plain corny"; too often Negroes were reminded of the more bitter experiences of their past. The authors inadvertently "probe[d] at least one old wound on every page." Young and bollard recommended that since the film was to be shown as "produced by the War Department" it was doubly important that the script adhere rigidly to fact, and that it avoid all reference, direct or indirect, calculated to remind Negroes of old grievances.24
After much discussion, the film went into production in January 1943.25 Within the framework of a Negro church service, enabling the use of a choir with the minister's sermon as the connecting narrative thread, the film unfolded a chronicle of the Negro soldiers' participation in past American wars. Then, through the medium of a letter read by a proud mother in the congregation, it detailed the story of a Negro recruit, his training, and his rise to a second lieutenancy. The film was produced with a restraint and dignity previously rare in films on Negro subjects. Eventually, it was ordered shown to all troops "without special emphasis or introduction to the audience." 26
Before the film was ordered shown to all personnel, it was previewed by two groups of soldiers, one white and one Negro, both so chosen as to be representative of the Negro and white Army populations. The film was well received by both Negro and white soldiers, with nine-tenths of the Negroes and two-thirds of the whites saying they "liked it very much." There was less than I o percent difference between Northern and Southern white soldiers in the percentage liking the film. Most soldiers felt that the film gave an accurate picture of the Negro soldier, with less than three

percent of the Negroes and five percent of the whites thinking the film mostly one-sided or untrue.27 A short version of the film was made available in June 1944 for civilian exhibition.
Appearances of Negro soldiers in Army-produced films, except in glimpses, were rare until after the production of The Negro Soldier. Subsequent films, such as Westward Is Bataan,28 paid greater attention to the role of Negro soldiers, especially service troops. The orientation film for Americans in Britain, Welcome to Britain 29 contained a brief treatment of the difference between the British and American points of view about race. The Air Forces produced for the third anniversary of the Tuskegee Army Air Field a film, Wings for This Man,30 recounting the achievements of that training school and its graduates. At the request of the theater, a producing team went to Europe in 1944 for a film on the Negro's part in the European offensive, released as Teamwork.31 While not all of these ventures were unqualified successes, they were useful as morale and informational material for Negro and white soldiers and for the general public.
Instruction in Leadership
Taking advantage of materials newly collected by the Research Branch of the Special Service Division, the Advisory Committee sponsored in 1943 the publication of an unprecedented pamphlet intended to inspire improved leadership in Negro units and to inform officers in the field of the official War Department position on the employment of Negro troops. Such a statement had been urged from time to time in the Advisory Committee, whose members had felt that much of the difficulty experienced in Negro units was traceable to a lack of knowledge and to misinterpretation of War Department policies and points of view. The need for definitive information was pointed up by continuing requests from unit commanders and by the use, on certain posts, of unauthorized instructional materials culled from sources of varying reliability. The War Department pamphlet, issued as Command of Negro Troops,32 was prepared in the Special Service Division and in the Joint Army-Navy Committee on Welfare and Recreation as one of a series on command policies.33 The Special Service Division, in its manual for orientation officers, the Guide to the Use of Information Materials, in use since October 1942 as an office memorandum and distributed generally in December 1942 ,34 had already set the tone for this publication

by declaring: "Problems of race are a proper concern of the Army only so far as they affect the efficiency of the Army, no more, no less," and "To contribute by act or word toward the increase of misunderstanding, suspicion, and tension between peoples of different racial or national origin in this country or among our Allies is to help the enemy." Though limitations to its concern were set, that the Army had a concern with "race" was freely admitted in a way which would have been impossible in 1940. The division's "Pocket Guides" and "Language Guides" for American troops in foreign countries were contributions to an understanding between soldiers and alien but friendly populations.
The pamphlet on the command of Negro troops recognized an equal or greater problem of understanding between soldiers of different races within the American Army and attempted to deal with it within the framework of military necessity. Though the preparation of the pamphlet on command was begun early in 1943, and though its first appearance was on 27 September of that year, it represented such a major departure from previous Army practice that its actual distribution to the field, after successive readings and many suggestions by members of the Advisory Committee and by other interested agencies, was delayed until early 1944. It was then distributed to all Army units containing Negroes and to their higher headquarters.
The pamphlet, divided into sections on Negro manpower and on problems of command, was intended "to help officers to command their troops more effectively by giving them information which will increase their understanding of their men." 35 It stressed the fact that "Colored Americans, like all other Americans, have the right and duty to serve their country to the very best of their individual abilities" and that "the Army has the right and duty to see to it that its personnel of all races do so serve." 36 It examined the problem of Negro adjustment to the Army, comparing it with the adjustment problems of "a white soldier from California" as they differed from "a white soldier from Maine or Florida." While showing that the Negro population, on the average, had had inferior schooling, less skilled work experiences, and that "its role in the life of the Nation has been limited," it went on to counter stereotyped notions of Negroes by pointing out that "No statement beginning 'All Negroes' is true, just as no statement beginning `All Frenchmen,' 'All Chinese,' or `All Americans' is true." 37 Comparing the status of Negroes in World War I with progress made in World War II, it sought to reassure troop leaders of the potential value of their units.
The problems of low ACCT scores, classification and assignment, illiteracy, resentment on the part of Negro troops, and other sources of difficulty for Negroes and their commanders were discussed briefly and in simple language under such headings as "Know Your Men," "Good Soldiers Are Made, Not Born," "Little Expected, Little Gained," and "Negro Soldiers Are Americans." The pamphlet went specifically into the dangers of loose and offensive language, going farther than

either General Davis or judge Hastie had originally requested. It advised:
Many people who do not mean to be insulting use terms, tell jokes, and do things which are traditionally interpreted by Negroes as derogatory. Such words as "boy," "Negress," "darky," "uncle," "mammy," "aunty," and "nigger," are generally disliked by Negroes. There is also dislike of the pronunciation of the word "Negro" as though it were spelled "Nigra," because it seems to be a sort of general compromise between the hated word "nigger" and the preferred term "Negro." Colored and Negro are the only words which should be used to distinguish colored soldiers from white . . . . It is difficult, if not impossible, to characterize all behavior which is resented by Negroes, but perhaps the simplest, if too general, way to express it is to say that troop morale will suffer if the words or acts of officers imply either racial hostility or a patronizing, condescending attitude.38
The burden of the text was that the commander of Negro troops was faced with no new problems but only with the task of extending "to a specific situation the teachings of everyday experience in the handling of men." 39 To this end, a catechetical check list of fifteen points for commanders was appended to the pamphlet and included as well on an inserted, pocket sized card which the commander could remove and consult at any time. This check list, suggested by Colonel Leonard, the Secretary of the McCloy committee, posed the following questions for the commander:
1. Have I made due allowances for any lack of educational opportunity in my men?
2. Have I made proper effort to teach my men skills they have not previously had opportunity to acquire?
3. Have 1 provided literary classes for those needing them?
4. Have I used words and phrases that my men cannot fully comprehend?
5. Have I taken great pains with AGCT IV's and V's to explain to them the consequences of AWOL and venereal diseases?
6. Have I provided the most intelligent and responsible soldiers with a good chance to earn promotion and to use their best abilities, even at the expense of having them transferred from my command?
7. Have I done or said things that might wound the sensibilities of my men?
8. Have I protected the rights of my men in their relations with the public?
9. Have I required of my troops soldierly discipline, appearance, and conduct in their relations with the public?
10. Have I provided my public relations officer with as many items as possible relating to commendable performances by my outfit and individual soldiers in it?
11. Have I exacted the highest degree of discipline, care of equipment, care of grounds and buildings, etc., while making allowances for limitations on ability to perform where lack of education and mechanical skills may be a handicap?
12. Have I given my organization the opportunity to acquire pride and confidence in itself by giving it missions for which my men show superior qualifications?
13. Have I excused my own shortcomings as a commander by attributing inadequate training to lack of ability on the part of my command instead of to my own failure to correct shortcomings?
14. Have I constantly kept before my men the reasons why we fight?
15. Have I subordinated all else to my duties as a commander, and have my men been brought to realize the paramount place of the war effort?
The most elaborate of the intracultural educational media designed to aid training and diminish disciplinary and attitude problems was Leadership and the Negro Soldier, begun at the end of 1943 and issued as ASF Manual M-5 in

October 1944. This document was prepared at the request of Army Service Forces' Military Training Division for use as a course text in ASF officer candidate and officers' schools. It was especially desired by the Transportation Corps, which was then receiving large numbers of officers by transfer from overstaffed branches like antiaircraft artillery for whom retraining materials preparatory to their duty with Negro troops were needed. The manual came equipped with tests and questionnaires for classroom use. For a ten-hour course, each of its eight chapters was to provide "the main substance" of a one-hour lecture; another hour was to be devoted to a showing of the film, The Negro Soldier, and another to a discussion of the pamphlet, Command of Negro Troops. A digest of state and federal laws of importance to Negro troop commanders and a list of readily available reading materials were appended. Officers and civilians within the Army and in other agencies whose primary work was concerned with minority relations in the military or in the general cultural life of the nation were requested to prepare drafts of chapters dealing with aspects of the Negro soldier which they were especially fitted to discuss.40
The manual, essentially a more detailed extension of Command of Negro Troops, was intended to give a general description of Negro life in America as it affected military service and command. In addition to its use in ASF schools, the manual was distributed to each company of Negro troops in ASF, to all orientation officers, and to any requesting agency or unit of the other major commands. "The issue is not whether the Negro will be used in the War," the foreword to the manual pointed out, "it is how effectively he will be used. This question cannot be evaded. Furthermore, it cannot be met successfully by uninformed judgments on the basis of civilian associations and personal views on the subject. The problems involved are as technical as any other problem of personnel, and can be solved only with the benefit of special study, full information, and a serious interest in their resolution."
These instruments of deeper understanding and of a more serious application of principles of command to special problems in which too few of the Army's officers were well-grounded were warrants of the Army's determination to assure the maximum and most effective use of all manpower. That they came so late in the war was regrettable, but unavoidable. There was still a residual fear that the Army's efforts in this direction might be misinterpreted and that they might create new problems by focusing attention upon old ones. "It is essential that there be a clear understanding" Manual M-5 therefore warned, "that the Army has no authority or intention to participate in social reform as such but does view the problem as a matter of efficient troop utilization."
Concern over the possible misinterpretation of the purpose of this and similar materials was real. A clear statement of purpose disavowing any other intent that might have been implied was necessary to avoid public controversy of the

sort which, during the period of distribution of command of Negro Troops and preparation of Manual M-5, centered about the proposed use of another pamphlet by the Army. In January 1944, the Orientation Branch, Morale Services Division, ASF, ordered 55,000 copies of The Races of Mankind, prepared for the Public Affairs Committee, a private educational organization, by Professor Ruth Benedict and Dr. Gene Weltfish of the Department of Anthropology of Columbia University, The pamphlet was intended for distribution in kits supplied to information and education officers and to orientation centers. It was selected, the branch explained, for "adequacy of content and simplicity of statement of the essential facts regarding races." It was to be used as an aid in refuting Nazi "master race" theories.
Before the pamphlet could be delivered to and distributed by the Army, it had become a subject of public controversy involving two civilian service organizations. United Service Organizations barred the pamphlet from its service centers as promoting special interests, whereupon the Congress of Industrial Organizations' War Relief Committee, calling it "one of the best answers to Hitler's Aryan creed," announced that it would mail the pamphlet to all servicemen on its lists. Argument for and against the pamphlet became entangled in the domestic race issue, especially in relation to the quotation of World War I Alpha test scores of Northern Negroes and Southern whites cited to show the influence of environment and education upon mental test results. When the Army's purchase of the pamphlet became known, press comments upon the purchase, both pro and con, were widespread, despite the fact that the Orientation Branch, by 29 February, had decided not to use the pamphlet. The House of Representatives Committee on Military Affairs became interested. On 26 April its special subcommittee investigating the distribution of publications to Army personnel released a report concluding that "The committee is convinced that wartime is no time to engage in the publication and distribution of pamphlets presenting controversial issues or promoting propaganda for or against any subdivision of the American people." 41 The sponsors of Army materials giving a background in racial and minority matters wished to precipitate no similar controversy over their instructional material.
Two other attempts to improve leadership through providing instructional materials, both of them in the same area and both of them illustrative of the possibilities for misunderstanding inherent in all save the most carefully prepared materials, were made at the War Department and branch levels. One misfired and the other never went off.
Disturbed by the mixed effect of chaplains on leadership and morale in Negro units as reported both by senior chap-

lains and by field commanders, the Chief of Chaplains, "in the hope that a careful reading will help toward a more harmonious relationship," reproduced and circulated to all Negro chaplains, their commanders, and to the Chaplain School copies of a letter on leadership sent by a Negro chaplain to Chaplain Arnold. The letter had been received during the discussions of reducing the standards for Negro chaplains to help overcome the shortage of applicants for the chaplaincy.42 It had been proposed for publication to Negro chaplains at the time, but it did not appear until just after the National Baptists had discussed in bitter terms the problems of Negro chaplains. The letter read in part:
. . . It is with extreme regret that I contemplate the recent difficulties experienced by some Negro Chaplains, resulting in Court Martial. Much material is available from which a Chaplain may glean information and instruction, but there is little or nothing designed to counsel the new Negro Chaplain in his unique task. Many habits of thought and speech, customary to the newly commissioned colored minister, must be re-thought and adjusted to Army Service. Success in the parish ministry is not a guarantee of success in the Chaplaincy. This is especially true of the successful Negro ministry. For instance, the 'rabble rousing' success of most successful colored ministers will always be disastrous, when used, in military service. This technique, while effective in the parish, is at basis undisciplined and therein we find its inefficacy for a useful Chaplain. I say "useful" Chaplain because utility is the objective of the successful Chaplain; Utility for the good of the service. Religion in the Army is designed I believe to make its contribution towards the creation and maintaining of a victorious Christian Army. There is a time and place for the Chaplain to make his contribution toward the controversial aspects of Labor, Politics and even Race, but that time and place is not the time of war; not in the service. Unless the new Chaplain is acquainted early in his career, with these truisms, he will sooner or later run afoul Army regulations.
The Race Problem and Race Leadership are naturally a part of the Negro minister's responsibility. In many communities he is the focal point for adjustment and intercourse. Unless he is apprised differently early in his career, the colored Chaplain is apt to imagine himself the Protector of his troops from the expected injustice of their white officers. This attitude is probably at the root of the difficulties, recently experienced by some Negro Chaplains. It is an attitude guaranteed fatal to the success of the Negro Chaplain's work. With it, he can never be a good Chaplain in terms of usefulness to both officers and enlisted men. He thereby alienates the officers, some of whom need and would request his counsel and ministry. Again, he lays himself open to the charge of Complaint monger, and will find himself with little time to devote to the soldier consultant who has a perfect record but who still needs the religious advice and counsel of his Chaplain.
Very often when dealing with colored troops, a white officer's disciplinary rulings may be construed as prejudicial. The Negro Chaplain may immediately conclude that Racial prejudice is being practiced. This may be the case, but unless it is undeniably true, admittedly true or can be explained in no other way it should not be so charged. In other words, "for the good of the Service" Race prejudice is never present unless without the shadow of a doubt. If a Chaplain will only consider the matter objectively he will realize that it is very difficult in all cases, and impossible in most, to distinguish between racial prejudice and the many other types of prejudice with which ordinary human relations abound. Again, if the Chaplain is not careful he will sometime find himself ap-

pealing for Race prejudice, when an unprejudiced judgment would harm some
man he is trying to aid. At any rate the technique of deterred judgment as concerns racial prejudice will not only react to the advantage of the enlisted men involved but it will give the officer concerned the benefit of the doubt to which he is entitled. Loose talking and thinking in these matters is detrimental to the morale of the unit and will eventually weaken the Chaplain with officers and thoughtful enlisted men alike. Lousy and indifferent soldiers, of which every unit has its fair share, will charge all their misfortunes to Race prejudice; the Chaplain will be tempted to do the same. One day he will find himself a questionable champion of his Race, but an unquestionable failure as a chaplain. . . ,43
Reactions from chaplains ranged from "I am in hearty accord with spirit of the letter. . ." to "Careful reading of this letter many times to be certain of avoiding misunderstanding causes me to regret deeply that any man of God, Negro or otherwise, should feel justified in making some of the statements and observations therein." Some chaplains felt that they would have benefited had such a statement been available earlier in their careers. Some disliked the implication that many successful civilian ministers were "rabble-rousers." Some thought there was overemphasis on failures which might form the basis for "dubious and widespread generalization." 44 Most respondents were troubled by the implications of the letter's comments on chaplains and racial friction. "I can not close my eyes to what I feel to be a truth upon the assumption that `race prejudice is never present unless without a shadow of a doubt,' " one chaplain wrote.45 And another felt that: "The writer of that letter is certainly an impractical or an inexperienced chaplain. The chaplain who fails to combat these [discriminatory] practices is not worthy to carry the CROSS." 46
In reply to the more troubled chaplains, the Office of the Chief of Chaplains expressed sentiments such as: "No two men agree fully on any subject, especially the race question. Anyway, the problem exists and it behooves each negro and white chaplain to recognize its breadth and depth and act in the Christian spirit to alleviate as much of the tension as possible . . . ." 47 To a chaplain who objected to the indorsement of the letter by the Chief of Chaplain's Office, the reply went: "You are advised that this office did not indorse all the statements and terms used in the letter sent to all Negro chaplains and their commanding officers. It was believed that the letter contained sound counsel and would be suggestive reading for all concerned. The response from Negro chaplains has proven the wisdom of this judgment." 48
The Advisory Group of Church Representatives of the Joint Army and Navy Committee on Welfare and Recreation, headed by Charles P. Taft, determined after this episode to give its attention to the problem of the chaplaincy and its relation to the Army's racial problems.

In the winter and spring of 1944 a subcommittee of this group 49 prepared a manuscript, The Chaplain and the Negro in the Armed Services. It was primarily a reworking of the material in the War Department pamphlet, Command of Negro Troops, with the addition of materials on the religious background of Negro soldiers and specific suggestions on the aid which both white and Negro chaplains might give to commands and to soldiers in problems of racial relationships. After committee discussions with members of the Chief of Chaplain's staff, who were at first disposed to co-operate in its preparation,50 the manuscript was presented to the Advisory Group of Church Representatives in July. The Advisory Group voted unanimously to transmit it to the Chiefs of Chaplains of both Army and Navy after suggested changes were incorporated. Chaplain Arnold suggested at this meeting that copies be sent by his office to senior chaplains for comments before presentation to the War Department. The manuscript was transmitted to the Chief of Chaplains on 4 September,51 the same day that Maj. Gen. Stephen G. Henry, the new G-1, urged in the General Council that all staff divisions handling matters of racial relationships co-ordinate their efforts with all other interested agencies. 52 Acting upon an extracted reminder from the Director of Personnel, ASF,53 the Chief of Chaplains thereupon forwarded the manuscript asking if the proposed review procedure was in harmony with this policy.54
The Director of Personnel, ASF, then forwarded the manuscript to G-1, concurring in the proposal that it be circulated among experienced white and Negro chaplains for review and that its revision be submitted by the Chief of Chaplains through G-1 to the Advisory Committee on Negro Troop Policies for final approval.55 But G-1 determined that "The general tone of the proposed publication is one bordering upon effecting social readjustment," and believed that "publication of this manuscript would be subject to misinterpretation by agitators on both sides of our national racial problem. The War Department has consistently held that it is not a medium to effect social reforms." With the concurrence of Chaplain Arnold, it recommended both against publication and against circulation to Negro and white chaplains for review and comment.56 Despite Truman Gibson's objections that the reading in G-1 must have been superficial to merit such a conclusion-he pointed out as an example that the manuscript's statement that "the Negro is just another man" bore the penciled marginal query "social

equality?" and that an examination of the underscored sections indicated that the reader of the manuscript believed that "the matter of race in the Army should not be discussed at all"-the pamphlet was held in the Advisory Committee where action upon it was deferred.57 Partly because the Advisory Committee held few meetings for the remainder of 1944 and partly because the using service was by now no more enthusiastic about it than G-1, the manuscript was filed without action and without further revisions. Other than the letter on their responsibilities a letter which the Chief of Chaplain's Office denied endorsing fully-and materials prepared for line officers, chaplains received no specific instructions on the role they should play in the leadership of Negro troops.
New Instructions on Facilities
Most members of the Advisory Committee thought that the directive of 10 March 1943 had clearly defined policy on the use of post facilities by all troops. This directive forbade the designation of facilities by race but it permitted their allocation to units provided that all personnel and all units were given equal opportunity to use them. Reports from inspectors and from commanders in the next few months indicated that there was still a lack of information on how the War Department intended this policy to operate with regard to specific facilities, such as post exchanges.58 During a discussion of the problem, Secretary McCloy asked the members of his committee if another order should be issued, whereupon Maj. Gen. Miller G. White, the G-1, suggested that existing instructions be rewritten instead. No exchange could refuse to serve any soldier but the instructions had not made this clear. McCloy therefore asked that a clarification of the 1943 directive be prepared by General White and that, if necessary, a new one be written and distributed. The Inspector General was requested to add a report on discrimination in the use of facilities to his routine inspections. Truman Gibson later requested that special emphasis be placed on the use of exchanges, transportation, and Army motion picture theaters, for it was around these facilities that most reported difficulties had arisen.
The new letter, supplementary to that of March 1943, outlined specific requirements:
3. Exchanges.- While exchanges and branch exchanges may be allocated to serve specific areas or units, no exchange will be designated for the exclusive use of any particular race. Where such branch exchanges are established, personnel will not be restricted to the use of their area or unit exchanges but will be permitted to use any other exchange on the post, camp, or station.
4. Transportation.- Buses, trucks or other transportation owned and operated either by the Government or by a governmental instrumentality will be available to all military personnel regardless of race. Restricting personnel to certain sections of such transportation because of race will not be permitted either on or off post, camp, or station, regardless of local civilian custom.
5. Army Motion Picture Theaters.- Army motion picture theaters may be allocated to serve certain areas or units but no theater or performance in any theater will be de-

nied to any group or individual because of race.
6. Effective compliance with War Department policies enunciated herein will be obtained through inspection by responsible commanders and inspectors general. Each inspector general will be directed that if, during a periodic inspection [of] a post, camp, or station, he discovers evidence of racial discrimination or indirect violation of War Department policies on this subject, he will inform the commanding officer of the installation that such discrimination is contrary to War Department policy. If subsequent inspection of the installation indicates that proper remedial measures have not been taken, the commanding general of the service command will initiate action to insure full compliance with the announced policy.59
This directive did not immediately affect all of the enumerated services at all posts but, as subsequent inspections by service commands and Army Service Forces headquarters showed, it gradually dispelled tensions on posts where restrictions of movement had been a constant threat to good order. The directive was generally distributed to the lowest echelons by late summer. It was not generally reproduced for troops on posts, although some posts published it in daily bulletins. But the press, and particularly the Negro press, had long since announced the fact of its issuance, and, eventually, printed copies of the order itself. "Extra! U.S. Army Bans Jim Crow in PX's, Buses and Theaters," one paper headlined its story.60 Another captioned an editorial: "Four Years Late." Subsequently it published the full text of the directive itself, under the first page headline, "Here It is!" 61 With the directive readily available in the more widely circulated Negro papers, it was not long before most Negro soldiers knew of its existence.
Some commanders and some governors and congressmen of Southern states were disturbed over the intent and effect of the directive. Replies to inquiries clarified War Department policy as much as the new letter. Replying to a protest of Governor Chauncey Sparks of Alabama that the new directive would break down segregation in the South, Acting Secretary Robert P. Patterson restated the War Department's views:
There has been no change in the Vicar Department's practice concerning segregation of races. The most recent publication is a letter of July 8th which reiterates a previously announced policy and enjoins compliance therewith. I presume that the notice mentioned in your telegram stating that the War Department has ordered the termination of race segregation refers to this letter.
The War Department has maintained throughout the emergency and present war that it is not an appropriate medium for effecting social readjustments but has insisted that all soldiers, regardless of race, be afforded equal opportunity to enjoy the recreational facilities which are provided at posts, camps and stations. The thought has been that men who are fulfilling the same obligations, suffering the same dislocation of their private lives, and wearing the identical uniform should, within the confines of the military establishment, have the same privileges for rest and relaxation. 
I appreciate greatly your interest in this problem but I am sure you will understand the War Department's viewpoints in reference to it.62

While the point of view that within the military reservation standard treatment of all soldiers was to prevail was not included in any official War Department statements to the field, the new interpretation that racial separation applied to units only and not to other activities became standard within the higher levels of the War Department. Subsequent answers to similar inquiries on the same directive were based on this letter.63 General Marshall's redrafted version added another slant: "Occasionally it is necessary to reiterate former announcements, as was done in this instance, in order to admonish those who may not be diligently complying with a prior order." Continuing, he observed: "It is unfortunate that this directive has been publicized as setting forth a new War Department racial policy, and I see no justification for such publicity. The intent of the War Department was to insure continued fair treatment of all military personnel in the use of recreational facilities at military reservations and in the use of government transportation." 64 Secretary Stimson, in answering the reply of one of the protesting congressmen who had already received the War Department's interpretation, reiterated this viewpoint and distinguished between interference with local customs and the conduct of affairs within the Military Establishmen.65 Thus the new letter, through these interpretations, provided for the first time a clear distinction between Army racial policies to be applied on federal military reservations and local civilian laws and customs to be observed by members of the Military Establishment when off-post.
Most posts gradually adapted themselves to the specific instructions of the letter on facilities. Post facilities could still be designated for specific units or areas, but no facility could now be designated exclusively for specific units or areas. For the most part the new clarification of the use of facilities was adopted in whole or in significant part, although examples of evasion and indirect discouragement continued to be found by inspectors. A few months after the issuance of the directive, Colonel Leonard, the secretary of the Advisory Committee, observed that:
It was significant that the recent War Department letter on this subject was interpreted by both white and colored personnel as a radical change in policy. Commanding officers believed it necessary that conferences be held for the organizations of the command to explain the meaning of this letter, and many colored soldiers believed that all local instructions on these subjects were rescinded.
Bus transportation in general has been improved, due in part to the reduction of personnel at many camps. However, at some camps, as at Camp Claiborne, bus transportation is still considered unsatisfactory by colored personnel. Continuous study of this subject is necessary by camp authorities to insure fair treatment to all.
The principal difficulties at Post Exchanges had to do with restaurant service,

particularly for civilian patrons, and also white attendants objected to serving Negro personnel. These difficulties have been satisfactorily arranged.
At several camps, there was objection to any separation at theaters, particularly by the Air Force personnel at Fort Knox and at Walterboro Air Base. At Fort Knox the Commanding Officer believes it for the best interest to all to separate theater audiences into four groups as follows: officers, both white and colored; soldiers accompanied by women; unaccompanied white soldiers; and unaccompanied colored soldiers. At Walterboro Air Base colored personnel refused to attend theaters until the orders requiring separation were withdrawn.
Camps have become adjusted to the above-mentioned letter and no further trouble is anticipated.66
The fact that anyone could use any facility was enough to turn the tide of Negro soldiers' morale upward on many posts. Men often continued to use the exchanges and theaters in their own areas-they were closest-but they now had less reason to resent the existence of facilities which were no longer forbidden territory. On some posts, facilities were so arranged that it was less convenient for Negroes to use any others than those which had formerly been specifically designated for them. At Fort Bragg, North Carolina, by late 1944 it was reported:
No racial discrimination is practiced although there is a general tendency for the units made up of Negro soldiers to use the facilities most convenient to them. This, however, is due to personal desire and convenience: All soldiers are permitted to use any post theater, exchange, or other facilities . . . . No discrimination or segregation is practiced. Negroes may ride on any bus and occupy any seat on the intra-camp of [or] Fort Bragg-Fayetteville service. However, to expedite service specified buses are assigned runs to designated areas and of the twenty-three (2g) buses regularly assigned seven (7) operate direct to the colored area. Of the thirty-two (32) regularly assigned schedules, five (5) are scheduled to the colored area. . . ,67
At Fort Lewis, Washington, which had been sloughing off the visible signs of discrimination for many months, conscious efforts to avoid any semblance of segregation were obvious by the end of the year. In the Engineer Training Section of the Army Service Forces Training Center, where most Negro troops were then located, Negroes freely used the main exchange and theater adjacent to headquarters as well as those located in their units' areas. Championship athletic teams were organized from all Engineer unit teams to play the Medical Section for Training Center championships. A show, The Sons of Bridges, with a mixed cast and two orchestras, one white and one Negro, was produced. Minor altercations, of no serious consequence and of no racial significance, occurred but they were quickly controlled. "The best indication of the relationship between white and Negro troops stationed here," one observer wrote, "is evidenced by daily observation of mixed groups walking to and from the bus station." 68 Several months later the same observer, on a return trip, noted:
Racial relationship continues to be very good at Fort Lewis. No discrimination was observed either on the post or in Tacoma and Seattle. Adequate Theatres, Post Ex-

changes, Chapels and Service Clubs are available in the areas occupied by Negro troops; however, negro troops were observed in other Theaters and Exchanges. The general attitude is to consider them as other soldiers . . . .69
Though Fort Lewis received men with no better AGCT scores and civilian training than other centers and though an acute officer and instructor shortage existed there, training as well as morale were better than average: Of 1,111 Negro enlisted students enrolled in eight specialist courses, 987 or 88.8 percent satisfactorily completed their courses. Both the AWOL and the courts-martial rates for Negro troops were lower than for white troops. Of the substandard men marked for discharge processing (1,010 in November, 60 percent of them Negro) a number were returned to basic military training. One such group of f o8 men was organized into a separate company with three platoons of three squads each; results were "exceptionally" good. With small squads and platoons, more individual attention could be given: thirty-six of these men went quickly into regular training units; a few were court-martialed and discharged; and the rest were retained for the completion of basic training. Officer attitudes encountered were also exceptional: "None of the officers questioned had any objections to serving with Negro troops. In fact the majority expressed their surprise that such duty was not as `bad' as they had anticipated." 70
At a number of other stations adjustment to the new directive in word and spirit was a longer process. Some camps moved the office of the exchange officer to what had been a Negro exchange, designating it the main camp exchange and transforming the main exchange into a unit or area exchange; others, after ordering all personnel to obey the directions of attendants, experimented with instructions that ushers in theaters or field houses and attendants in bowling alleys were to direct Negro patrons to specified seat locations or aisles; at still other camps word of their new privileges was assiduously kept from Negro troops. But at most posts the new directive, for all practical purposes, removed a chief bone of racial contention. Where, because of area distances or other factors, it made no marked difference in the habits of enlisted men, Negro or white, the directive nevertheless assured Negro soldiers that, in principle, the War Department had endorsed its oft-repeated assertion that all soldiers were treated alike in the eyes of the Army. This knowledge raised morale higher in many units than the construction of the most elaborate service club or exchange had achieved in many another instance.
Developments in ASF
Complementing these efforts was the development, within Army Service Forces, of a system of periodic inspections and recommendations by teams of officers. After mid-1944 Army Service Forces had control of most Negro troops within the continental United States either through their assignment to ASF units or to posts under ASF control. In

October 1944 the command devised a system making its major staff divisions directly responsible for particular activities connected with the training and use of Negro troops. Though racial relations "in general" were much better on most posts than complaints to the War Department would indicate,71 to keep them good at posts where they had been good all along, to obtain lessons from these posts which could be applied elsewhere, and to improve conditions in areas where long-standing reputations for difficulties simply built new problems were major functions of the ASF observation teams.
ASF's Deputy Chief of Staff for Service Commands was charged with co-coordinating all policies and programs affecting Negro troops and of CO-coordinating ASF policies with those of the General Staff and of the Ground and Air Forces. The Director of Plans and Operations was to expedite the movement of troops overseas and, where possible, shift a portion of the troops from Southern to Northern camps near cities with sizable Negro populations, at the same time holding conversions of existing Negro units to a minimum. The Director of Personnel was to concentrate on improving leadership in Negro units and to increase the preparation and use of orientation and recreational facilities for Negroes on posts. The Director of Military Training was to designate an officer to make frequent inspection visits on Negro training as well as distribute special instructional material. All staff agencies were to maintain at least one officer to whom racial problems could be referred. Inspection teams, composed of representatives of each of the major ASF agencies, were to make frequent trips to ASF installations. 72 Colonel Leonard, previously secretary of the Advisory Committee, became the officer in charge of co-ordination in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Service Commands. The field observation committee, known as the Leonard Committee, made intensive surveys of the larger and more critical posts and areas, making some recommendations on the spot and keeping a close check on general trends in racial matters as they affected training and morale. The work of this committee produced notable results where its recommendations were followed, but its organization so late in the war gave it a scant year of intensive activity.73
By this time a majority of the Army's troop strength was overseas 74 and the domestic scene, while retaining importance, was of less general concern in the employment of Negro troops. Ground Forces training stations were progressively closing. For better training and supervision, small service units were concentrated in Army Service Forces Train-

ing Centers by type.75 Air Forces stations, generally operating under manning tables with their aviation squadrons absorbed in one or another section of the new base units, were tending, in the face of manpower shortages, to use Negro soldiers according to individual qualification and according to the stations' needs.
At the Richmond Army Air Base in 1945, for example, men of "C" Squadron, the former aviation squadron, were assigned to the motor pool as drivers, mechanics, and general duty men, and were used as cleaners, special vehicle operators, and special purpose operators in refueling, escorting, and parking planes. "And we have good success with our boys on the line," the squadron commander indicated. The field's supervisor of aircraft maintenance and supply reported that on the flight line "They are fair. They are a little bit slow, but that's only natural." 76
The Leonard Committee's visits revealed a generally increasing awareness of the nature of its problems among higher commanders and among white and Negro junior officers. It found that the War Department's efforts were paying dividends in better discipline and training. It found many an officer whose views generally coincided with those of one commander who, remarking on the subject of improving racial relations within the Army, declared of Negro troops:
The only thing I try to do deliberately is to try very much to impress them with the idea that there is no possible discrimination here and that we are always fair. We allow them to go anywhere on the post. They are told that, and after the invariable few days in which they always go from place to place to see if we really mean it, they keep fairly well to themselves and behave quite well. I always inculcate in every new officer that he must not refer or even think about a Negro "problem" or "situation"; and to always think of and act toward them as soldiers among other soldiers. If they misbehave they are punished promptly and exactly the same as a white soldier for the same offense. We try to bestow somewhat more praise and encouragement among them than among the whites as they react well to it and need it more than the whites. One thing we never do is to "study" them as though they were something special, nor do we make any special effort to "understand" them. Normally they do not want to be "studied, understood nor uplifted." If they get the idea that you look on them as a "PROBLEM" they immediately try to qualify for it. If you treat them normally and casually they do not tend to get such an idea . . . .77
None of these efforts, despite their salutary effect upon the morale of Negro soldiers and upon relations between Negro and white soldiers, served of themselves to correct the major problems which the Army was facing in the employment of Negro troops. Unfortunately, by the time most of the new

policies became effective the bulk of Negro units, including the large combat units, were already formed, trained, and moulded under circumstances considerably less favorable to their fullest employment. It was in the nature of America's preparation for war that this should be so, for until the problems presented themselves there was no machinery for remedying them. Nevertheless, all of the correctives of the later war years showed a greater awareness of the country's stake in the adequate use of available manpower and all of them helped create a better atmosphere for the employment of Negro troops. As guarantees of War Department support for commanders who sought to increase the morale and motivation of their men, and as guides to useful techniques in training and in the amelioration of petty fictions, as well as more serious disturbances, they were valuable to unit and higher commanders. That they did not entirely prevent future problems did not diminish their usefulness. They were additional steps toward the objective of preparing Negro units for the main business at hand-movement overseas and the further prosecution of the war.


Previous Chapter    Next Chapter

page created 15 January 2002

Return to the Table of Contents

Return to CMH Online