Chapter IV

Expanding Negro Strength
From the beginning of World War II in Europe to Pearl Harbor the active Negro enlisted strength of the Army increased more than twenty-five-fold, from 3,640 men on 31 August 1939 to 97,725 on 30 November 1941.1 By the end of December 1942, Negro enlisted strength had risen to 467,883.2 As already noted this expansion, like the expansion of the whole Army, was far greater than prewar plans had contemplated. In achieving its Negro strength the Army faced and overcame many administrative problems. Others it was unable to solve. Many of these problems revolved about the question of maintaining a proportional balance between Negroes and whites, a question that was ever present between 1941 and 1943. It affected most of the normal processes incident to the expansion of over-all Army strength.
The Army's difficulty in making room for additional Negroes meant much more than a simple adjustment to large numbers of Negro inductees. The expansion of the Army to its maximum authorized strength was theoretically limited only by the nation's manpower, by appropriations, and by the Army's ability to provide training facilities.
Training facilities involved not only the need for new housing and equipment but also plans for new units, cadres, training and replacement centers, and officers to supervise training and tactical units. All too frequently one or more of these elements were unready or unavailable in carrying out the expansion as planned. These uncertainties affected white trainees too, but not to the same extent as Negro trainees, for white units existed in all branches and in most types. Existing units could provide for the relatively orderly reception and training of white recruits, but the few Regular Negro units were unable to form the needed base for the twenty-five-fold increase in Negro strength before December 1941. In the fall of 1940, Negro recruits destined for most arms and services were assured neither units, billets, nor training cadres.
Initial Expansion
The plan of 1937 for the utilization of Negro manpower in the event of mobilization had provided for an initial rate of increase of Negro strength which would be higher than that for whites in order to bring the proportion of Negroes in the Army up to their proportion in the available manpower of military age. Thereafter, the rate of increase was to continue at the level of the population

ratio. Since separate Negro units were to be continued, all calculations had to be based on a close accounting of men by race. The development of the necessary administrative machinery for determining and controlling racial quotas presented immediate difficulties. Furthermore, since the census of 1940 had not been completed by the time the Selective Service Act went into effect, the exact proportions and the geographical distribution of Negroes in the manpower of military age were not available until Selective Service registration  figures could be compiled. The dual method of receiving men by ordinary volunteer enlistments and through inductions, the latter including volunteers who entered the Army through Selective Service, complicated the matter of fixing quotas by race. Quota calls, fixed by the Army, had also to be adjusted to the availability of housing and units as well as to the rate of acceptance of volunteers.
To make matters even more complex, in the first year of mobilization a little more than 13 percent of those classified 1-A (available for immediate induction) were Negroes instead of the 9 or 10 percent expected. The 3 or 4 percent variation from the estimate may not appear to have been very far off, but when this percentage was applied to large numbers of men it made a considerable difference, in this case, forty to fifty thousand additional men. As time went on, the proportion of Negroes in Class 1-A showed every likelihood of increasing instead of diminishing. Relatively few Negroes had industrial, technical, and professional jobs that carried a deferred classification. Proportionately more Negroes than whites were therefore available for Class 1-A Neither the Navy nor the Marine Corps used Selective Service in the first years of the draft and neither accepted Negroes, except that the Navy used them as messmen and in a few other classifications. White volunteers for the naval services were likely to reduce further the proportion of whites as compared to Negroes in the Selective Service Class 1-A category.
If "the balance of Negro and white manpower" was to be maintained, quota calls had to be divided not only among the nine corps areas and subsequently into state and local board quotas but also into racial quotas within those areas according to local racial distributions. To add to the administrative complexities of the situation, the Army, basing its theory on World War I test scores and actual distribution of skills among Negroes, desired proportionately more Northern than Southern Negroes for technical and combat units. As if these complications were not enough, no final decisions on locations, types of units, or housing facilities for Negro selectees had been made by the fall and winter of  1940-41 . Several branches-notably the Signal Corps and the Air Corps-were still attempting to avoid accepting any Negroes, and others were attempting to keep their number as small as possible. All of these factors helped to delay the mobilization of the Negro portion of the Army considerably, and as a result the expansion of the Army began without obtaining anything like the officially desired initial proportionate balancing of white and Negro troops.
Since calls for Negro troops, according to the Selective Service Act and according to the laws of chance by which the

draft lottery was operated, should have occurred on the whole at the same rate as for white troops, Selective Service proceeded to classify Negroes as their names appeared on local board listings. When their numbers were reached, Selective Service, lacking sufficient Army requisitions for the numbers of Negroes available, sent them "notices of selection." These notices indicated that the recipients had been selected for induction and that they would be ordered to report at a later date-how far off Selective Service could not say. Many Negroes quit or lost their jobs because of these notices. Some, not actually inducted for months, complained bitterly about the delay and about their resulting unemployment, for employers were reluctant to hire a man who already had a notice of selection. Of course delayed inductions affected white as well as Negro inductees, but in a much lower proportion of instances.
With the low and uncertain economic position of Negroes as the dominant factor and with the "passed over" policy as an added incentive, many Negroes volunteered through Selective Service. As of 30 September 1941, the number of Negro volunteers was 38,538, or 16.1 percent of the total number of volunteers entering the Army through Selective Service and more than a third of all the Negroes in the Army. Of the volunteers awaiting induction on this date, 25-3 percent were Negroes.3 The volunteer-through-Selective-Service figures were made higher because of an additional factor: it was still almost impossible for Negroes to volunteer through regular recruiting stations. All volunteers moved to the top of local Selective Service board lists without regard to race. In some cases, the rate of Negro volunteering was so high that local boards did not have to call on selectees at all to fill their quotas.
Calls for Negroes up through January 1 941 were deferred. The February call was for but a small part of the Negroes originally allotted for that month. In New York, for example, 900 Negroes were selected in January 1941 and notified to expect induction in February. Because of construction delays at Fort Devens, Mass., where they were to have been sent, approximately 500 of these men were not inducted in February but were carried over to March. Those originally scheduled for the February and March calls were consequently delayed. In the District of Columbia, l,100 white men and no Negroes at all were called for March.4
Time did not improve the situation. By September 1941, the total number of Negroes passed over and awaiting induction was 2'7,986, with the possibility that 1 7,399 of these would remain uncalled on 1 January 1942. To these, the Negroes who were reached in October, November, and December and were not to be inducted in those months had to be added.5 For February 1942, the voluntary enlistment of Negroes through recruiting stations was reduced to fifty a week-five from each corps area. The March selectees were reduced to a minimum in an attempt to avoid the threatened congestion of available housing in reception centers, units, and in-

stallations.6 By early 1943, the War Manpower Commission estimated that approximately 300,000 Negroes had been passed over to fill white calls.7
Some local boards protested vigorously. "We do hereby record our belief and opinion," an Ohio local board wrote, "that the February call for nine white men is unfair, unjust, and discriminatory against both the white and colored races. This arbitrary method of induction of men by color rather than by order number we believe is a flagrant and totalitarian violation of both the letter and spirit of the law." 8 South Carolina boards likewise objected that too few Negro selectees were being called.9 The Director of Selective Service warned:
This general situation permits both Negroes who have volunteered for induction and white men who have higher order numbers, but who are inducted before the Negroes with lower order numbers, to claim, whether justified or not, that there is discrimination contrary to the provisions of the law.10
He recommended that "unusual efforts" be made to bring requisitions for each state into line with the racial distribution of the population of the state.
This situation did not grow up overnight, nor was the War Department unaware of the possibility of its development. From the time of the debates on the Selective Service Act, the General Staff divisions had warned of the necessity for prompt action to prevent such a racial imbalance in the expanding forces. But the staff divisions could not agree on how, short of strict induction by order number, such a situation could be prevented. Induction by order number, the staff divisions feared, might produce what was considered an even more undesirable imbalance: a tremendous disproportion of Negroes in comparison with whites which would, at the end of the first year's training, be followed by a reverse imbalance.
In October 1940, G-1 urged that the War Department make provision to bring the Army's proportion of Negroes up to to percent, since new census estimates indicated that, instead of the expected 9 percent provided for in the 1940 PMP, 10.07 percent of the population affected by the draft would be Negroes. "The longer the delay in setting up such requirements," the Personnel Division warned, "the greater will be the number of Negroes which will ultimately have to be taken to meet the requirements of the law and satisfy public demand." 11 Though G-3 objected that disruption of construction of housing and hospitalization facilities or an increase in the number of Negroes in overhead would result, the War Department, in December 1940, directed that the troop basis for the distribution of trainees be refigured so that by July 1941 to percent of the

men in training under the Selective Service Act would be Negroes.12
Answering Selective Service's objections to the disproportionately low acceptances of Negro selectees, the War Department explained that it had been impossible to take a "proper percentage of negroes because of lack of shelter and cadres." The department promised Selective Service that it would "make every effort" to keep the proportions of white and Negro selectees balanced if Selective Service would keep a check on the states to prevent them from placing "an undue proportion" of Negroes in Class 1-A.13
In March 1941, G-3 estimated that because of their higher rate of volunteering, their lower economic status, and their consequent lower percentage of draft deferment, the proportion of Negroes entering the Army might go as high as 14 percent. Replacement center allocations should therefore be increased to provide for a 13 to 14 percent proportion of Negro selectees and existing Negro units should be brought up to full strength. An infantry replacement center for Negroes should be established at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and a to percent overstrength should be authorized for Negro units and overhead troops. To provide for additional Negro troops, new construction and the substitution of Negroes for white troops to the extent necessary were recommended. G-3 observed as well that, unless the War Department made reasonably prompt provisions for the induction of Negroes, legal action might compel it to do so.14
The Supply Division pointed out that it would be more economical to convert white units in the PMP to Negro and use existing or planned housing rather than construct additional housing especially for Negroes. G-4 estimated that $13,554,400 would be needed to build a replacement center at Fort Huachuca and to provide the additional construction needed elsewhere for the accommodation of Negro selectees.15 Maj. Gen. William Bryden, Deputy Chief of Staff, agreed that this expenditure was not justified. Housing vacated by National Guard units departing at the end of their year's training might be used by Negroes. Moreover, General Bryden felt, if the Army refused to induct illiterates the number of Negro selectees would be reduced.16 The G-3 recommendations were approved by the Chief of Staff with the stipulation that no additional construction was to be authorized. Temporary overstrength was to be housed in tents, and if necessary excess personnel was to be sent direct to units instead of to replacement centers.17
When the first requisitions for inductees were submitted to the states by corps area commanders in November 1940, it was impossible to determine by race the number that would appear. Some states had not broken their regis-

trants down by color. Only the Fourth Corps Area 18 submitted requisitions to the states by color, and the Fourth was able to do so only because delays in construction caused a corresponding delay in the submission of the corps area's requisitions. This delay gave the commanding general time to request permission of the War Department to submit, on his first call, separate requests for whites and Negroes.19 An excess of men over available space was likely in any event, for the National Guard units already inducted had brought more men than anticipated. The allotted strength of Guard units had been increased for the fiscal year 1941 and many of these units had recruited to full peacetime strength. A number of inactive Guardsmen had also been called to duty. Moreover, Regular Army enlistments under the authorized increase from 242,000 to 375,000 enlisted men had exceeded expectations. As a result of shelter shortages, instructions were sent to all corps area commanders directing them to specify the numbers of men desired by color in all future periods.20 Since no information on the total number of Negroes and whites who would be inducted would be available until the first induction period closed on 28 November, all corps area commanders were authorized to use reception centers for temporary assignments to take care of any excess in either race.
This did not settle the matter. The First Corps Area (New England) discovered that Connecticut boards were not inducting by color. The First's requisitions had to be increased to cover this contingency. It was instructed to hold at Fort Devens Reception Center any excess Negroes who might appear. They could be used in the 336th Infantry, scheduled for activation in February 1941,21
Corps areas were not mutually exclusive organizations in the disposition of selectees. The Fourth Corps Area, by its own request, was given authority to submit requisitions to the states for 5,500 white and l,000 Negro men. But the Second Corps Area (New York, New Jersey, and Delaware) was authorized to ship 500 Negroes to Fort Benning, Georgia, in the Fourth Corps Area for the 24th Infantry and ego to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, in the Eighth Corps Area (southwestern states) for the 25th Infantry. The commanding general of the Fourth Corps Area radioed the War Department that shelter was not available at Benning for the 24th's new men, The Second Corps Area was then instructed to ship no men to Benning but to send the entire 790 to the 25th Infantry.22
The result was that for several months Negro inductees were assigned to units neither by occupational specialities, by educational background, by tested aptitudes, nor by any other classification method. They were assigned accord-

ing to the numbers of men received and according to the availability of space in units. A unit which required 250 men in order to reach its authorized strength would not receive them if its station had no additional housing for Negro troops, while a unit which needed no additional men but whose post had available housing might be swamped with successive increments of men. Normally, reception centers assigned men on the basis of occupational skills, in accordance with tables which had been worked out for each branch of service, and, later, for each type of unit. These tables showed the approximate proportion of each occupational speciality which a given type of unit would require. But so long as replacement centers were not receiving Negroes and so long as the number of Negro units was small, Negro selectees had to be assigned primarily on the basis of the numbers and not the types of men required. The new Negro units, from the beginning of the expansion of Negro strength, therefore received large numbers of men who did not fit the needs of the unit. This was frequently true for white units as well, but seldom for the same reasons and seldom with so little probability of correction.
The 41st Engineer General Service Regiment, one of the new units activated in August 1940, discovered by the end of December 1940 that most of its selectees did not have "the qualities of intelligence, education and initiative highly enough developed to qualify them for duty in a general service regiment." 23 Engineer general service regiments were supposed to be able to do all types of engineer work in army areas, including construction of roads and bridges and operation of utilities. The unskilled labor unit with which these units were often confused was the engineer separate battalion. It was not widely realized that general service regiments required a high percentage of skilled labor and a relatively high average of ability on the part of the individual men. The Chief of Engineers recommended that reception centers send only men of average or better classification to these units. The War Department in denying his request stated that it was impossible, at the time, to assign Negroes on any other than a numerical basis. It suggested that whenever new Negro engineer units with lower requirements, such as separate battalions, became available, the 41st could transfer its unsuitable men to these units.24
The 7th Aviation Squadron illustrated the opposite effect of assignment by availability. Aviation squadrons were, primarily, labor units assigned to air bases. Of the 7th Squadron's 220 men, most of whom had come from the Middle Atlantic States, approximately half had high school and college training at a time when new combat units were bemoaning the lack of adequately schooled selectees. The occupational qualifications of the men in this unit, as compared with their educational qualifications, illustrated another major difficulty in organizing new Negro units. Despite the relatively high educational qualifications of the men of this unit, few skilled occupations were represented. Aside from teachers and students, the better-trained men, on the

average, had no higher occupational skills than the less well trained men. Most of those with a year or more of college training had been working as porters, shipping clerks, sales clerks, maintenance men, bartenders, chauffeurs, kitchen helpers, and miners. What secondary skills these men might have had could not be determined from their occupational histories. The more highly skilled men, such as auto mechanics, sheet metal workers, power pressmen, factory foremen, carpenters, and photographers were seldom high school graduates. The relationship of jobs to education was directly related to the prewar economic status of Negroes. Young graduates of high schools and colleges had had to take whatever jobs were available; skilled jobs were scarce. Nevertheless Judge Hastie felt that these men, despite the misuse of their training in civilian life, would have been more useful in technical and combat units than in the squadron to which they were assigned.25
In an attempt to rectify the situation produced by numerical assignment without specific relation to qualifications, a series of shifts in procurement requisitions took place in the spring of 1941. Fifty semiliterate selectees, to be employed as aircraft hands, painters, mess attendants, and guards, were ordered transferred from the 34th Coast Artillery Brigade (AA) to the Air Corps at Chanute Field, Illinois. These men were to be replaced by fifty relatively skilled men-receiving and shipping clerks, electricians, automobile mechanics, metal workers, radio operators, and draftsmen-from the Second Corps Area. The shift was explained as necessary in order to give the 34th Brigade a better distribution of intelligence and skills. The Second Corps Area, it was thought, could best provide the skilled men desired by the 34th and at the same time provide the skilled men needed to complete the Chanute Field requirement, while the 34th Brigade could provide the unskilled men needed at Chanute from its own overabundant supply of untrained men.26
Similarly, a requisition on the Sixth Corps Area (Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois) for 596 selectees for shipment to the Ordnance Replacement Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, was canceled. The 34th Brigade was directed to send 300 low scoring selectees to Aberdeen. The Second Corps Area would send 596 selectees to the 34th Brigade with qualifications determined by antiaircraft regimental tables of organization, and 296 men to the Ordnance Replacement Center. The reasoning was the same: some 300 men of the Fourth Corps' 34th Brigade were in low classification grades or illiterate; ordnance ammunition companies "need approximately 50 percent skill and intelligence; 50 percent should be `strong backed' labor." It was assumed that the Second Corps Area could provide the skill and intelligence needed by both types of units, while the Fourth Corps Area could provide the "strong backed" labor from men already misassigned to the 34th Coast Artillery Brigade.27

Similar shifting of procurement quotas continued through the spring of 1941. New Fourth Corps Area allotments for the 99th and tooth Coast Artillery (AA) (SM) to be activated at Camp Davis, North Carolina, were canceled and re-allotments were made to include Northern and Middle Western areas in order to give these regiments "required occupational skills and intelligence not available in colored selectees from the Fourth Corps Area." 28
Shifts of personnel, though calculated to relieve the maldistribution of skills and training in certain units, could also relieve the pressures created by large numbers of passed-over Negro selectees in politically sensitive areas. For one shift, G-1 noted that "postponing induction of 16o8 colored selectees from June to July in the Fourth Corps Area will have no repercussions in that corps area," while for another shift it was explained that passed-over Negro selectees in Illinois could be taken care of by a reallotment of corps area quotas .29
Actually, the shifts for purposes of improving the distribution of skills had little good effect. Despite the fact that Northern corps areas had a greater percentage of skilled Negroes than Southern, the availability of the desired types of men at a given time in a given reception center was limited. So long as assignment by numerical availability and not by careful classification methods was employed, Negro units in which the shifts occurred were not much better off after the shifts than before. Many other units in which maldistribution resulting from numerical block assignment occurred had no opportunity to benefit from subsequent transfers of men.
Other annoyances arose out of the necessity of balancing white and Negro manpower by units. Occasionally a unit appearing as Negro in the War Department mobilization plan or, later, in the troop unit basis was carried as white by the corps area or command to which it was allotted. Radiograms directing reallotments of whites and Negroes then bounced back and forth between the War Department and the corps area and camp commanders concerned. At times, such difficulties were corrected before shipment was made.30 In a few instances Negro troops appeared when whites were expected and sometimes the reverse occurred.
The situation arose, in part, from the decision to remove the term "colored" as an inseparable part of a unit's designation. Older Negro units had carried the identification as a part of the unit name, for example, 47th Quartermaster Truck Regiment (Cld). In 1940, as a result of protests over the similar designation of certain National Guard units and as part of the decision that all Army units were to be trained, equipped, and employed alike, regardless of race, the identifying term was dropped.31 Des-

ignations such as "this is a colored unit" or "a colored unit" were permitted, if needed. Obviously, such designations were cumbersome and might easily be overlooked. To avoid repeating these awkward phrases, the custom of using an asterisk and an accompanying footnote indicating race soon came to be the accepted means of identifying Negro units in station lists, orders, or in any list of units.32 Since asterisks could easily be transposed to the wrong unit or omitted entirely, station and troop lists became notoriously unreliable in this respect. To prevent such errors, agencies shipping men were ultimately required to notify the receiving agency that the shipment contained Negroes. If the men were accompanied by officers, their race was to be indicated as well. The receiving agency was, by this means, enabled to prepare billets and other facilities on a separate basis in advance of the arrival of troops, thus avoiding all-around "embarrassment." 33 Troop lists, despite all precautions, remained unreliable in their identification of Negro units. Occasional mix-ups occurred throughout the war.
The amount of construction needed to house the new Army was tremendous. Vast acreages had to be purchased or leased, and graded and laid out, before construction could begin. Contracts had to be let, construction gangs had to be recruited, transported, and housed, and emergency changes in construction plans had to be made. Priorities for projects had to be established.34 Despite initial allotments of a portion of the new construction to Negroes, the provision of housing for Negro troops was relatively slow and uncertain.
In the spring of 1941, G-4 conducted a survey of all camps and exempted stations to determine where housing, without additional construction, was already available. Most exempted stations replied that they had no housing available for Negro troops, and, in some cases, that they had no housing available at al1.35 Corps areas reported few camps with facilities for more than a small number of additional Negroes: 50 at Fort Eustis, 343 at Fort Belvoir, 5 at Fort Myer, 132 at Fort Knox, 64o at Fort Riley, do at Jefferson Barracks, 92 at Fort Ord, 202 at Camp Luis Obispo, and 32 at Camp Edwards were typical of the reports. The entire Fourth Corps Area had facilities, without additional construction, for only 4,851 more Negroes, 2,646 of whom could be placed in station complements at fourteen posts.36
Much of the difficulty arose from the physical layouts of posts and from the varying definitions of what constituted available housing for Negroes. Not every area of currently unused housing was available for Negro troops. An area constructed to house divisional troops

would normally be held for divisional use. A division required a continuous block of housing and the attendant motor parks, shops, and recreational and mess facilities which were necessary to its efficient training as a unit. Because the maximum size of a Negro unit in the first years of expansion was set at the brigade level, divisional areas were not available for Negro troops at all. Negro units had to be put in the barracks and tent areas that remained after divisions and their attached units had been housed.
Theoretically, new housing was allocated to Negro units on a proportionate basis, but many posts had not expected to receive a proportionate number of Negroes. Moreover, the number of Negroes on a given post was expected to be small enough to allay the fears of surrounding communities-small enough, that is, to be certain that the white troops present could control any racial disorders that might arise. This meant that not too many Negroes though the numbers often exceeded 10 percent-could be assigned to a given post.
Again, housing for Negroes had to be located so as to carry out the principle of segregation by units. This required an extension of segregation into the allotment of housing. The main portion of a camp, often constructed in a huge arc with parade grounds and headquarters near the center and hospital wards and warehouses at either end, was allotted to divisional and attached units or to other large units assigned to the camp. Off at a tangent from the main sweep of camp buildings, a regimental or smaller area was constructed for Negro troops. All Negro units assigned to the post had to be fitted into this or similar blocks of housing. Initially these areas, as at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and Fort Devens, Massachusetts, were at a considerable distance from the main camp area. Later construction filled in the intervening spaces, usually with warehouses, stockades, and motor parks rather than with barracks. Usually the Negro areas remained distinct and separate, though in some of the newer camps, such as Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky, and Camp Ellis, Illinois, they were merely separated from identical white quarters by a parade ground or a fire break. The Negro area came to be known as such; often it was so shown on camp layouts. It was, essentially, a separate camp adjoining the major portion of the post. It was usually provided with its own branch exchange, its own recreation hall, and, later, its own motion picture house, its own chapel, and, if the area were large enough, its own service club and guest house.37
In most cases, the result was that available housing for Negroes was not measured by available vacancies but by vacancies in the Negro area. Conversely, available housing for whites was limited to housing outside the Negro area, unless all Negroes could be removed from the section of the post involved. An objection from Fort Leonard Wood explained a type of housing-strength problem arising from this procedure:
The schedule attached to the basic letter includes 1.760 white trainees for the week of December 7-19, which number is apparently based on the assumption that one battalion of white trainees could be

substituted for one of colored trainees in order to fill this center to its limit of capacity, inasmuch as the schedule provides for a total of 8 battalions of white trainees and two of colored trainees. Such a substitution is not practicable. There are barracks at this station for 7 battalions of white trainees in one area, and for
battalions (one battalion less one company) of colored trainees in another area well separated from the area for white trainees. Further, the enlisted cadres of 3 battalions (one battalion less one company) are colored troops.38
Housing by race meant that if Negro increments did not arrive in training centers according to schedule the whole training process for Negro troops was delayed. Delays in filling a training unit meant delays not only for that unit but for the next unit to follow. The influx of Negro trainees into the Camp Wheeler (Georgia) Infantry Replacement Training Center was so slow in the summer of 1941 that the 16th Training Battalion, consisting of Negro trainees, was not able to start training three of its five rifle companies until September, though all companies had been scheduled to start training in August. Housing for the October load therefore was not available until November when the delayed companies had completed their training. Eight hundred and eighty trainees had to be deferred until housing became available for them.39 Similarly, at the Fort Bragg (North Carolina) Field Artillery Replacement Training Center, the arrival of Negroes in small groups produced an excess of trainees over housing capacity. Small groups for specialist training had to wait until their numbers were built up to a point where classes were of sufficient size to make training feasible. The waiting men took up space which grew cumulatively more valuable as successive increments arrived. "The shipment of colored trainees in small groups results in unsatisfactory specialist training," the center reported.40
The housing shortage slowed up or postponed the training of many of the new Negro units. The 41st Engineer General Service Regiment, activated in August 1 940, could not expect housing accommodations for its full complement of 1,176 men until 15 January 1941. In October 1 940 the unit requested Boo additional men as soon as possible since by 15 February 1941 it was scheduled to furnish cadres totaling 562 men. The unit was told that housing difficulties precluded expansion beyond a total of 835 men and that space had been allotted for only 140 new men. Abandonment of unit training to the extent necessary to provide for cadre training was authorized. By December the unit had 697 men, with 425 new selectees due from the Fourth Corps Area in January. When the unit asked for permission to enlist locally a maximum of 375 men to make up its deficiency, the request was denied since the Third Corps Area (Pennsylvania, Maryland, District of Columbia, and Virginia) had 375 passed-over selectees whom it could and would send to the unit as soon as housing was available.41 The 54th Coast

Artillery, originally scheduled for activation at Barrancas, Florida, was moved from that station at the request of the Navy Department. Its activation was subsequently delayed by slow construction of Camp Wallace, Texas, its new station. The arrival of both the regiment's cadre and its selectees was held up until construction could be completed. Lack of housing was also the bottleneck holding up The Surgeon General's entire program for the use of Negroes, for Negro Medical Department personnel could not begin training until separate shelter and housekeeping facilities were constructed.42
A minor byproduct of the housing shortage in 1941 was the effect upon training and discipline in units already activated. Often, Negro units awaiting fillers, who were, in turn, awaiting space in replacement training centers and reception centers, shared vacant housing with other units. Later, the fact that the sharing unit failed to receive adequate space of its own left the host unit with crowded quarters. The 41st Engineer General Service Regiment complained that "on a basis of neighborly obligation" it had shared its infirmary and officers' quarters with the 96th Engineers. This arrangement created friction through division of responsibility, intermingling of soldiers, and crowding of quarters. The 41st requested quarters for "our sister organization" so that each unit could control all activities in its own area. The 758th Tank Battalion and the 371st Infantry made similar requests for housing for units which had to share their areas' supply, mess, and infirmary facilities.43
Camp Locations
In addition to the availability of housing at stations designated for the receipt of Negro troops, the physical location of camps to which Negroes were to be sent was itself a determining factor in procurement and assignment. Finding suitable camps for training Negro troops was to vex the War Department and Negro soldiers-throughout the war. The answer was not simply one of locating suitable barracks space and training facilities within areas under Army jurisdiction. Purely military considerations played but a small part in determining the location of Negro troops in the early period of mobilization. The main considerations were: availability of housing and facilities on the post concerned; proportions of white and Negro troops at the post; proximity to civilian centers of Negro population with good recreational facilities that could absorb sizable numbers of Negroes on pass; and the attitude of the nearby civilian community to the presence of Negro troops.
Many communities objected to the presence of any Negro troops at all. Others objected to the presence of certain categories: military policemen, combat troops, officers, Northern troops. Community attitudes also fluctuated from time to time. It had long been one of the canons of War Department

policy, based on a past history of riots and disturbances there, that no Negro units should be mobilized in Texas.44 Although the order on which this policy was based was rescinded in 1937,45 the prohibition still operated in fact. The policy did not prevent citizens of less prosperous areas in Texas from requesting camps near their towns. The postmaster of Calvert, Texas, pointed out that there was a large Negro population in his town, that the two races got along well together, and that plenty of wood, good soil, and natural gas were available. "Our cotton crop on our upland East of Calvert was a failure, we haven't had a C. C. Camp in our county, our town, also our county population certainly needs something to stimulate business and employment," lie added.46 On the other hand Arizona citizens, who had requested Negro troops in 1940, were ready by 1943 to petition that Negro troops be withdrawn and that no more be sent to the state .47
A great many communities could not be convinced that the exigencies of the situation demanded the stationing of Negro troops in their vicinities. They often made their views known through their congressmen. An early and typical protest came from Representative Patrick H. Drewry of Virginia on behalf of the citizens of Petersburg. In September 1940, before the opening of Camp Lee and before the large expansion of Negro manpower, Representative Drewry visited General Marshall and the chief of the War Plans Division to ask that, in view of racial difficulties in Petersburg during World War I, no Negro troops other than a small number of labor troops be stationed at Camp Lee.48 One of the first "correctives" to the fear of potential race riots was formulated in connection with this request. As a supplement to plans already made to establish quartermaster and medical replacement centers at Lee with a peak load of 19,000 trainees, 3500 of whom would be Negroes, G-3 proposed that a rifle company of the 12th Infantry be made available if necessary to help prevent race riots. The Chief of Staff approved the G-3 proposal and Negro troops were assigned to Camp Lee.49 The 12th Infantry's rifle company was never needed.
Another type of protest, based on the inability of a camp town to provide recreational facilities for Negroes on pass, came from Wyoming. Early in 1941, Senator Schwartz asked that the number of Negroes stationed at Fort Warren be reduced because of the small Negro population in Cheyenne. In April 1941, the June quota Of 500 Negroes for Fort Warren was accordingly changed to 500 for Camp Lee.50 This

reduction produced a local housing snag at Fort Warren. The Seventh Corps Area declared that the reduction of Negroes and the substitution of white men could not be accomplished if strict segregation was to be held to:
Substitution can be made but segregation can not repeat can not be accomplished stop no housing available for 
any increased quota of white selectees except in barracks adjacent to colored selectees stop strongly recommend that white and colored selectees be segregated stop consider vacant space in area for colored troops Ft Warren replacement center advisable rather than quartering white and colored together repeat strongly recommend no substitution . . . of white for colored selectees be made at QMRC end.51
In the meantime the city provided local recreational facilities for Negroes and Cheyenne protests were modified.52
In 1942, protests about the location of Negro troops continued to pour into the War Department from all over the country. The state of Mississippi and Camp Wheeler, Georgia, wanted no Negro officers.53 The citizens of Rapid City, South Dakota, were afraid that their town could not offer the proper entertainment facilities for Negro troops. A "thunder of complaints" went up from all over the state when a Negro cavalry regiment was ordered to Fort Clark, Texas.54 Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Spokane, Washington, citizens objected to stationing Negro Air Forces units at nearby fields, for they felt that their own Negro populations were too small to provide social contacts for Negro men. Las Vegas, Nevada, and Battle Creek, Michigan, objected to military police and field artillery units respectively. When the citizens of Morehead City, North Carolina, heard that a white coast artillery station at nearby Fort Mason was going overseas and would be replaced by a Negro unit, they asked their senators and congressmen to intervene.55
In November 1941 General Marshall directed his staff to resurvey the allocation of Negro units, "with the idea of planning a proper proportion of Negro personnel at locations adjacent to communities with a large colored population." 56 The staff consulted army and corps area commanders, and post, camp, and station commanders reported their observations and recommendations through the corps area commanders. These reports indicated that, aside from small station complement detachments of service troops, few post or higher commanders felt that additional Negro troops could be accommodated without causing protests or resentment from nearby civilian communities. Negro troops, according to the post commanders, would be resented at five out of six Northern posts, over half of the Southern posts,

and practically all of the southwestern and western posts. Nearly all commanders of Southern posts indicated that Northern Negro troops would produce greater resentment than Southern Negro troops. Post commanders felt that large numbers of Negroes should not be stationed at any one post and that in no case should more Negro than white troops be placed on a given post, except that the commanding general of the Eighth Corps Area recommended that an all-Negro post of 20,000 capacity be located in eastern Texas near Italy, a town which was reasonably close to several centers of Negro population. Some commanders felt that the attempt to place Negroes near large centers of Negro population could produce new problems. The commanding general of the Second Army felt that large towns should be avoided because of the possible interaction of the presence of Negro troops and large groups of Negro civilians. The commanding general of the Second Corps Area felt that Negroes should not be placed near big cities such as New York and Philadelphia.57
In January 1942 G-3, indicating that no military purpose would be served by further shifts of Negro troops and that most permanent stations were "as suitable as is practicable at this time," specifically recommended that:
1. No changes be made in the permanent stations of Negro troops, except for military reasons.
2. The size of nearby Negro civilian communities be a determining factor in selecting stations of newly activated or transferred units.
3. Insofar as practicable, Negroes inducted in the North be stationed in the North.
4. No Negro unit larger than a brigade be stationed at any post within the continental limits of the United States, except that one infantry division may be stationed at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.58
While these proposals were not remedies for the conditions which made finding acceptable locations for Negro troops so difficult, the first provision strengthened the position of assigning agencies in their insistence that military needs take precedence over local attitudes, the second would be likely to reduce the strain on local community attitudes in areas where large numbers of Negroes, in or out of uniform, were an unfamiliar sight, and the fourth lessened the possibility of the establishment of a group of all-Negro posts, isolated from the rest of the Army if not from civilians.
Only the third provision was completely ineffective and unworkable. Yet this proposal, that Northern Negro troops be kept in the North, was made frequently in recommendations to the War Department, and was echoed in the Southern press. The Dallas Morning News, for example, editorialized:
The federal government apparently has never learned that it cannot without unfortunate consequences billet northern-trained Negro troops in the south. Until it does learn that axiomatic fact, there will continue to be trouble.59
Mobilization Regulations had provided that Negroes in the zone of the interior should be assigned to stations in the general areas where they were pro-

cured.60 Within the War Department, the Morale Branch agreed that Northern Negroes should not be sent to Southern camps.61 A meeting of Southern governors assembled at Hot Springs, Arkansas, in the spring of 1942 made two requests: that no Negro military police be used around Southern airports or anywhere else that might make it necessary for them to direct or control white soldiers and civilians and that Southern Negroes be kept South and Northern Negroes, North. This last request, although communicated to the Army in May 1942, was not practical .62 All major replacement training centers and many camps were in the South. Further, since Negro skills and educational qualifications were not evenly distributed geographically, it would add to the difficulties of building potentially useful Negro units. It would complicate the problem of locating Negro units at posts that were suitable both from the training and the social point of view. It would mean Northern duplication of such facilities as the Army Flying School at Tuskegee, Alabama, and it would interfere with maneuvers, for maneuver areas were primarily in the South.63
Once the War Department determined that military needs must take precedence over local attitudes, it billeted Negro troops at most camps, stations, and airfields in the United States. After the reorganization of the Army in March 1942 each major command controlled the location of troops under its jurisdiction. The commands soon determined that shifting troops not only interfered with the continuity of training but that it did little more than transfer objections from one community to another. For example, Army Ground Forces pointed out that Little Rock had a sizable Negro population and that the choice of Camp Robinson was therefore logical, and emphasized that if Negroes were not stationed at Robinson they would have to go elsewhere "where they will be resented as much, if not more, than in Arkansas." Continuing, the Ground Forces stated: "We have 3,000 set up for Camp Swift, Texas, where the Mayor asked his Congressman to inform the President that he would personally shoot the first one who came into town." 64
The headquarters of the major commands became convinced that the problem of locations was one which could be settled best by strong and wise local commanders whose knowledge of their troops and of the nearby communities must be relied upon to reduce areas of tension between white and Negro troops on posts and between troops and civilians in nearby towns. Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, the commander of Army Ground Forces, summed up what came to be a general War Department attitude when he held that the only solution to the problem of locations for Negro

troops lay in competent commanders "who can forestall racial difficulties by firm discipline, just treatment, strenuous training, and wholesome recreation." 65 He later expanded this to include advice against shifting Negro troops as a result of community pressures:
It is inadvisable to yield to pressure to move colored troops elsewhere, since such action shows weakness of command and fosters complaints from the civil population. Colored troops are unavoidable under the law, their assignment to station is made after careful consideration of the many factors involved, and a community receiving such troops must accept the situation created and handle it as they handle other social problems. On the other hand, a civil community has every right to expect colored units to be commanded effectively, and prevented from committing outrages such as occur all too frequently.66
To lessen the chance of racial difficulties, the War Department recommended that an advance check be made by the assigning agency to determine the adequacy of recreational facilities at both the station and in nearby communities, for "proper recreational facilities and opportunities for association in nearby communities will assist to a great extent in lessening the possibility of racial difficulties." Sufficient notice of the arrival of Negroes was to be given commanders of the new station so that adequate preparations for their reception and accommodation might be made.67
Though the principle that pressure to move Negro troops would be resisted and that Negro troops could be distributed generally throughout the Army's posts where similar types of units were trained was held to, no definite directives on the question of retaining Negro troops at posts in the face of public opposition were issued. Cases were dealt with as they arose. In most cases, the Army urged protesting communities to consider the necessity of training Negro troops where facilities existed, that is, in nearly every camp in the country. Appeals were made to high community patriotism and to community leaders of both races. After communities understood that they were sharing the distribution of Negro troops with other areas all over the country, most protests were withdrawn. Uncertainty, fear, and sometimes open animosity reflected in troop-town relations continued to exist in some towns. In others, local church, school, welfare, and recreation groups, with the help of national bodies, especially the United Service Organizations (USO) and the American Red Cross, combined to provide troops with community services that reduced and relieved tensions which could otherwise have been counted upon to produce friction and open disturbances of one sort or another if allowed to continue unchecked. Nevertheless, a few cases of shifting units for other than military reasons occurred throughout the war. While particular units were thus shifted, clearing a camp of all Negro units for other than military reasons became a rarity. Sometimes these shifts were to the advantage of the units themselves when they involved movement from an area relatively unprepared for their pres-

ence to one which could provide better facilities.
No particular advantage, other than a clearing of the administrative air, was gained by the decision itself, for by the time it was decided that the location of Negro troops was primarily a matter of military necessity that could be justified as such, the possibility of further major shifts of Negro troops was definitely limited by the available space. By 1942, most camps which were to house Negro troops in sizable numbers throughout the war were already doing so.68 Most ports of embarkation and their subsidiary posts housed Negro troops. To illustrate further the geographical range of camps with permanent concentrations of Negro troops, once the Air Forces began to employ large numbers of Negro units virtually every air station had at least one aviation squadron and at least one quartermaster platoon (aviation) composed of Negro troops.
The larger the unit, the more difficult was the choice of a location. This situation lasted throughout the war. It encouraged the organization of small Negro units and discouraged the activation of large units. The first of the all-Negro divisions, the gad Division, was located in the spring of 1942 at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, a post which had housed Negro troops traditionally and which was far enough away from civilian communities to minimize local protests over sending so large a unit there. Even so, the commanding general of the post's service command had not recommended it as a division camp for Negro troops.69 When the second Negro infantry division, the 92d, was to be activated in the fall of 1942, no single post could be found for it. The division was therefore activated at four widely separated posts in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Indiana. This division could not be assembled until the 93d left Fort Huachuca. Several attempts were made to find other divisional camps for Negroes, with Fort Meade, Maryland, Fort Dix, New Jersey, and Camp Butner, North Carolina, favorably mentioned because of their location near Negro centers of population.70 When the 2d Cavalry Division was about to become all Negro, no single camp was available, though Fort Clark, Texas, could have been adapted to the whole division if it had not been Negro. The division was therefore divided between Fort Clark and Camp Lockett, California, both of which had then to be expanded with

housing and stables to take care of this last of the horse cavalry divisions.71
Cadres for Units
The vast and rapid increase in the strength of the Army posed another problem that was much more serious for new Negro units than for corresponding white units. New units are built around cadres supplied by older "parent" units of the same or similar types. Cadres are supposed to be made up of experienced, trained men, properly balanced in numbers, skills, and leadership abilities according to the needs of the new unit being activated. New units then receive fillers from reception or replacement centers to bring themselves to full strength. Among Negro units there were neither enough older units nor enough units of similar types to supply the cadre needs of new units. Only the four Regular regiments and a few other detachments had existed long enough before mobilization to be trained at all. From the beginning, therefore, Negro units were hard put to furnish cadres in sufficient numbers and of sufficient quality to provide for the proper organization and training of new units of varying types in all arms and services. Many a unit complained bitterly that cadres for younger units were stripping it of all noncommissioned officer and specialist material before the unit itself had got its own training well under way. The new units, in turn, after receiving the best that the parent units had to offer, often complained that their cadres could not meet their needs.
The problem of cadres was one whose ultimate effect was far-reaching, for original units trained with less than adequate cadres produced in turn new cadres for younger units that were likely to be even more inadequate. The lifeblood of cadres was well-trained, well-disciplined, well-informed personnel with high leadership abilities. As activations of new units continued to increase, the quality of the cadres deteriorated rapidly and the lifeblood sapped from the older units grew so thin that many of the newer units began their careers with cadres poor enough to constitute a handicap from which some of them never recovered.
The older Negro units, composed primarily of career cavalrymen and infantrymen, could not, all at once, provide the required cadres for new artillery, chemical warfare, and engineer units. But because there was no other source they had to provide cadres for most of the earlier units, with the result that they themselves were weakened. It is questionable whether the traditional Regular units were ever able to provide adequate cadres for new units of even their own arms. Despite their reputation of containing large numbers of well disciplined and responsible career soldiers, the older units had long been in need of additional training and men. They were brought to full strength relatively slowly and their heavy losses through the production of cadres and through other necessary transfers kept them from acquiring the finished training which they were too often assumed to have had. The regiments had been at reduced strength for several years before the beginning of mobilization and, "although classed as combat regiments,

[the cavalry regiments] actually were used as service troops at Forts Myer, Leavenworth and Riley and at the United States Military Academy." 72 In May 1941, Brig. Gen. Terry Allen explained that the Negro regiments of the 2d Cavalry Division were "several months behind the Third Cavalry Brigade, owing to delay in organization and because they had only a small nucleus of trained men to start with."73 During the period 1940-42, nevertheless, these units and their infantry counterparts, which were no better prepared for their tasks, were continuously furnishing cadres to new Negro units in all arms and services.
Because of the lack of adequate Negro cadres, the early coast artillery regiments were activated with sufficient white noncommissioned officers assigned to assist in training these units to carry on "work connected with their specialities." The white NCO's remained assigned to these regiments until July 1941, when they were transferred to white units. They actually remained on detached service with the Negro regiments for some time thereafter, or until Negroes became available for promotion to the first three grades and until accommodations for Negro enlisted men were made available at the Coast Artillery School.74 Negro coast and antiaircraft artillery regiments were unable to furnish all the cadres needed for the Coast Artillery Replacement Training Center at Fort Eustis, Virginia, and, despite the objections of the center, white cadremen were used as instructors until Negroes could replace them.
As early as January 1941, The Quartermaster General reported that all Negro quartermaster units in all corps areas were depleted by cadre calls to such an extent that they could supply no further cadres to units. He suggested that commanders requiring cadres for new Negro quartermaster detachments for station use should organize, supervise, and train their detachments with whatever personnel was available. If none was available, key personnel should be enlisted locally.75 Fort Knox reported in December 1940 that Company K, 48th Quartermaster Regiment, stationed there, had already trained two cadres and was to furnish another in January. It therefore could not take care of more selectees due to arrive at Knox in January 1941. The post needed twenty-two enlisted men from another source at once to provide a cadre for the new quartermaster service company into which the January selectees were to be put. Fort Knox was informed that, if necessary, white personnel might be utilized temporarily to organize the Negro company.76
Medical units faced similar difficulties in attempting to provide cadres from an insufficiency of properly trained men.

Cadres for the medical detachments of Negro regiments and battalions, including the Regular Army units, were furnished by the Colored Medical Detachment at West Point and by medical personnel at Fort Huachuca.77 These sources could furnish "necessarily small" cadres only. As a result, the fourteen-man cadre sent to Fort Bragg in March 1941 had to be shared by medical detachments of three regiments, and the eleven-man cadre sent to Camp Livingston was shared by the detachments of three regiments and one separate battalion. Within a month these new detachments were being called upon to furnish cadres for other units.78
The cadre problem persisted, sometimes taking other forms. As late as the summer of 1942, staff officers at Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, were still pondering the wisdom of requiring one type of unit to furnish a cadre for a different type of unit, though this measure had been resorted to many times before. They pointed to the example of a truck company which, although it had no such technicians, was called upon to furnish a cadre, including shop foremen, for a light maintenance company. Ground Forces G-3 explained that the sole Negro light maintenance companies then active had only their original cadres. Neither of the Quartermaster Replacement Training Centers could furnish further technicians from their limited instructor and overhead personnel without seriously affecting training at the centers. The only Negro units left with a certain amount of mechanical training were the truck companies. Ground Forces G-4 suggested the use of graduates of the Hampton Quartermaster School, but these men lacked the military and leadership training necessary for good cadremen.79 In another case, half of the men sent to two new signal construction companies by an antiaircraft regiment were rated so poor in ability by the receiving unit that it felt that it would be impossible to train and use them as cadremen. No investigation was ordered because, after fifteen indorsements and several weeks of effort, Army Ground Forces had been unable to fix the responsibility for the equally poor quality of the cadre previously sent out by the same regiment.80
Cadre problems in Negro units lasted up to the end of the war. In the late fall of 1944, for example, the Engineer Training Center at Fort Lewis, Washington, was using white cadres to train Negro troops. As fast as Negroes completed training and qualified for occupational specialties, they replaced the white cadremen. Nevertheless, in May of the following year, some cadres there were still all white, some were mixed, and only one was all Negro. While the white cadremen could be employed in the training center, and while the use of mixed cadres was proceeding without difficulty, the white cadremen could not be assigned to the organized units themselves. It was therefore necessary to devise all possible means to develop

Negroes to replace white cadremen when units left the center.81
The initial problems in the expansion of Negro strength, with the exception of cadre difficulties, were relatively minor when compared with later questions involving the use of Negro troops and when compared with the larger questions of full-scale mobilization involving the Army as a whole. They affected the administrative processes of the Army more than they affected the troops themselves. They did serve to delay and at times to confuse the orderly process of establishing and training Negro units. They had as well a nuisance value that affected the views of higher headquarters on the entire question of the employment of Negro troops. The larger questions affecting directly the planned employment of Negro troops and the training, morale, and efficiency of these troops were yet to come. These were primarily internal Army problems which could not be settled by adjusted quotas, expanded construction, or by appeals to civilian communities urging them to remember their higher obligations to the nation in time of war. They could be solved only by a rigorous examination of Army organization, practice, and policy as they affected the employment of Negro manpower.


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