UPDATED: 6:00 a.m. ET, Nov. 11, 2021 —
As the country observes Veterans Day, it’s important to remember that the history of especially Black people in the American military is a complicated one. On its surface, it’s yet another one of the countless ways that Black people have helped build this country and keep it safe. However, beneath that veneer lies some ugly truths that haunt the U.S. military’s legacy to this day.
And while much of that has to do with Black soldiers‘ time enlisted in the armed forces, the way that Black veterans have largely been treated has been the subject of much scrutiny since Crispus Attucks became the first American casualty of the Revolutionary War.
During the War of 1812, Black soldiers helped defeat the British in New Orleans. By the end of the Civil War, 10 percent of the union forces were Black. The 54th regiment, which was an all-Black fighting unit, was immortalized in the movie “Glory” and fought a number of important battles, eventually losing more than half of its troops. Two of Frederick Douglass’ sons also fought in the Civil War and Harriet Tubman severed as a scout for the 2nd South Carolina Volunteers.
During World War I, Black soldiers were given full citizenship, although they still fought in segregated units. Many credit Black soldiers for bringing jazz music to Europe and France.
In World War II, Black soldiers had an increased presence. The NAACP pushed for the War Department to form the all-Black 99th Pursuit Squadron of the U.S. Army Air Corps, otherwise known as the Tuskegee Airmen, the only U.S. unit to ever sink a German destroyer. Like the 54th Regiment, the Tuskegee Airmen were immortalized in a movie of the same name.
The Marines first opened themselves to Black volunteers in 1942. To the dismay of the Marines, only 63 African Americans joined.
Lieutenant Colonel Campbell C. Johnson, a Black officer, decided that he would actively recruit Black Marines. Due to his efforts, African Americans began joining the Marines at a rate of more than 1,000 a month in 1943.
Despite the opposition to the Vietnam war from Black leaders and athletes like Martin Luther King and Muhammad Ali, many Black soldiers both volunteered and were drafted to fight in the Vietnam war. Colin Powell joined the ROTC at City College and would go on to be a captain in Vietnam, later becoming a major. Powell would go on to be National Security Adviser (1987–1989), Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Army Forces Command (1989), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989–1993) and eventually the Secretary of State for President George W. Bush in 2001.
While that Black history in the American military is undeniable, so is what the Equal Justice Initiative reminded readers was how Black soldiers returning home “were more likely to face discrimination, disrespect, violence, and even death.” According to the New Yorker, much of that treatment was blamed on white people who “speculated that, while stationed in Europe, black soldiers had enjoyed wartime liaisons with white French women, increasing their lust—which, in the white imagination, was already dangerously high—for sex with white American women.”
On top of that, research from the Department of Veterans Affairs found that “African-American and Hispanic Veterans said they had more negative experiences in obtaining access to health care than whites.”
With that rich history in mind, scroll down to see dozens of vintage images of Black soldiers fighting foreign wars for the United States Of America.
1. Black Pilots Sharing StoriesSource:Getty
Pilots from the all-black fighter squadron share stories after a raid. The pilots are (from left to right): Lt. Herbert Clark, Lt. Robert Roberts, Lt. Willie Fuller, Lt. William Campbell, Lt. Herbert Carter, and Lt. Erwin B. Lawrence. All the pilots attended Tuskegee University.
2. Eleanor Roosevelt Awarding the Soldier’s MedalSource:Getty
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt pins the Soldier’s Medal on Private Sam Morris at a ceremony in Seattle in April 1943. Morris saved the lives of several people trapped in a burning packing plant when a bomber crashed into the building.
3. Black Troops Working HowitzerSource:Getty
Negro troops of a field artillery battery emplace a 155MM Howitzer in France during World War II in 1944. They were following the advance of the infantry and were setting up this new position.
4. Group Watching Parade Of Black InfantrySource:Getty
Group watching the parade of the 369th Colored Infantry — also known as the Harlem Hell Fighters — in New York City in 1919.
5. Soldier Laughing During DrillSource:Getty
A soldier is shown laughing during a gas mask drill in World War I.
6. Our Colored Heroes World War I PosterSource:Getty
7. Troops Seated, Reading LetterSource:Getty
Members of a 105-mm gun battery on the Fifth Army front in Italy catch up on the mail from home between spurts of action. Left to right are Romie Hall, Kingston, N.C., Pvt. John Hogue, Shelby, N.C, who is sharing his letter with his buddies, and Copr. William Bennett, Camden, N.J. Nov. 14, 1944.
8. Black Troops In Human Chain Recover BodySource:Getty
Members of the all-Black 92nd division of the U. S. Fifth Army found the bullet-riddled body of a buddy floating in this stream on Nov. 14, 1944, in Italy. To recover the body and give it a proper burial, they formed this human chain up the steep bank.
9. Tuskegee Airmen Waving on GangwaySource:Getty
Seven New York and New Jersey servicemen from the 16-member 99th Pursuit Squadron arrive at La Guardia Airport aboard a Trans-Atlantic ATC plane. The Squadron was the first all African American combat unit activated as a part of the 15th Air Force in Italy. (L-R) Sgt. Leon W. Coles, John H. Turner, Sgt. Robert T. Howard, Leonard R. Brewer, Sgt. Charles Davis, Sgt. Charles D. Hensley, and Sgt. Julius C. Lovett.
10. American Soldiers Crossing a RiverSource:Getty
American soldiers cross a river on the island of Bougainville carrying artillery shells on their way back to the front.
11. African American Soldiers on Anti-Aircraft BatterySource:Getty
An American anti-aircraft battery is manned entirely by Negro soldiers near the front lines above Venafar, Italy, on Jan. 9, 1944. Front row, left to right, Pvt. George H. Renick of Philadelphia, PA, Pvt. Walter West of Detroit, MI (rear) Sgt. Edweard Kemp, Jr. of Knoxville, TN, Pvt. Archie Jenkins of Greenville, MS and Pvt. Howard McKenney of Louisville, KY.
12. African American Soldier Shooting at EnemySource:Getty
One of the Negro soldiers of the American 93rd Division fires from a prone position in the South Pacific on July 14, 1944. This is the first time that “colored” ground troops were used in combat in this theater.
13. Black Woman Being Inducted Into WavesSource:Getty
Miss Jane Freeman, 22, of Roxbury, MA, is taking the oath as a Navy WAVE at district headquarters in Boston. She is being sworn in by Captain D. Causey, USN (retired) director of the Office of Naval Officer Procurement. Miss Freeman is the first African Americans enlisted WAVE in the New England area to be inducted.
14. Heroic Black Sailors Posing with GunSource:Getty
(Original Caption) 7/28/1945- Six Negro steward’s mates who received Bronze Stars for heroism are pictured on the U.S.S. Intrepid, grouped about the gun which they manned until a Japanese ‘Kamikaze’ suicide dive bomber ploughed into their position. Their courage and skill were cited as being in keeping with the Navy’s highest traditions. The men are: Johnell Copeland ,19, Que Gant, 22, James Eddie Dockery, 38, Alonzo Alexander Swann, Jr.,19, and Eli Benjamin, 20.
15. Troops Playing Cards on ShipSource:Getty
(Original Caption) 8/3/1942-ATLANTIC CONVOY- Somewhere on the Atlantic… Negro troops en route to the British Isles have plenty of time on their hands and these few lads choose to pass it in a game of chance. The third on the right seems to be debating whether or nor to take another card. We hope he filled his straight.
16. Two Soldiers Washing ClothesSource:Getty
The photographer surprised these two Fifth Avenue GIs, James L. Stintson of New York and Raymond C. Jones, cooperating on a laundry project on the Anzio-Nettuno beachhead. The boys take advantage of a sunny day to wash and dry their spare duds.
17. African Am Trooper @ Parachute TrainingSource:Getty
(Original Caption) 2/24/1944-Fort Benning, GA- In training as to how to descend upon the enemy are these Negro paratroopers at Fort Benning. Landing from the mock tower in the ‘B’ stage of paratroop training is Corporal Elijah H. Wesby of Philadelphia. Sergeant Roger S. Walden of Detroit lends an assisting hand.
18. Two Black Soldiers Seated W/RiflesSource:Getty
(Original Caption) 3/1944-Italy: Pvt. Jackson Brown of Dele, SC, and Pvt. Roy Williams of Savannah, GA, sit and enjoy the sunshine at the entrance to an air raid shelter of the Anzio-Nettuno beachhead. They are members of the Fifth Arvy forces holding the bulge against Nazi onslaughts.
19. Soldiers Seated in CampSource:Getty
(Original Caption) 4/16/1944-Italy: Relaxed in their cave quarters, refuge against enemy shells, at the Anzio beachhead in Italy are Pfc. George H. Todd, Great Neck, NY, and Pvt. Edward Prince, Buffalo, NY, Negro soldiers attached to the U.S. Fifth Army. Pvt. Prince proudly shows a photo of his wife.
20. Harry Moore in ParadeSource:Getty
(Original Caption) 4/5/1919-Boston, MA – Sergeant Harry Moore of the 372nd Colored Infantry riding in the parade of the regiment in Boston. The sergeant has been in the army for thirty-one years and has won several medals for valor. He served with the regiment in France.
21. Soldiers Marching with Machine Gun SignSource:Getty
(Original Caption) 1919-Boston, MA- Color bearers of 372nd Colored infantry in parade at Boston, MA. Undated WWI photograph depicting African American soliers marching holding a ‘machine gun’ sign.
22. Soldiers Group During WWIISource:Getty
(Original Caption) 1942-African American soldiers at Normandy fire. Photo depicts a group of soldiers standing full length.
23. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. in CockpitSource:Getty
Captain Benjamin O. Davis in the cockpit of a training aircraft in 1942. The following year he organized the 332nd Fighter Group, the ‘Tuskegee Airmen’. Davis eventually was promoted to General, the first African American Air Force general. His father was the first black general in the U.S. Army.
24. African American Soldiers Cutting Wood During World War IISource:Getty
African American soldiers on a wood cutting expedition in the winter during World War II.
25. The Arrival Of 369Th Regiment NycSource:Getty
(Original Caption) The arrival of the 369th Black infantry regiment in New York after World War I. Undated photograph.
26. African American Troops Marching Up Fifth AvenueSource:Getty
(Original Caption) New York, NY: World War I: The all black 15th regiment parading up Fifth Avenue, New York City, en route to an Army camp in New York State. Undated photograph.
27. World War I African American SoldiersSource:Getty
(Original Caption) World War I: Sergeants of the 369th, Negro Regiment: J. H. Jones, R, Flower, C. E. Davis, J. White, J. H. Carmen, S. C. Farrell, B. Lucas, H. L. Printer, E. N. Barrington. (Original Caption)
28. Black Military Engineers Line For LunchSource:Getty
(Original Caption) Negro members of an engineer battalion in Algeria in line for noon hour mess, World War II, Undated photograph.
29. Cigarette Table At Dinner For InfantrySource:Getty
(Original Caption) 2/17/1919-New York, NY: Men from the 369th Colored Infantry are served chicken dinner at the 71st Regiment Armory after the parade.
30. Soldiers Seated and Read LettersSource:Getty
(Original Caption) 4/16/1944-Italy: Sgt. Charles Glasco, Westchester, PA (l) and Sgt. Audrey Barnes, Chicago, IL, read mail from home in their cave shelters on the Anzio beachhead in Italy. The cave shelters are a refuge against enemy shells.
31. African American Infantrymen with Dead SS TrooperSource:Getty
(Original Caption) 4/17/1945-Germany- Two Negro infantrymen with their captain, all of the 104th First Army Division, stand alert while the captain looks over the body of an SS trooper they killed as he ran across the field. Pictured (L to R) are PFC Donald Bess of Hot Springs, Arkansas; Captain Larry Wolfe of Staten Island, New York; and Private James D. Ferguson of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
32. Soldiers Sharing LetterSource:Getty
(Original Caption) 3/1944-Italy: Greater love hath no man than that he share his mail from home with his buddy. Pfc. James Lang, of Carrolton, AL, and Jerome Taggart of Philadelphia are sharing a letter here on the beachhead below Rome. They are members of the Fifth Army forces holding the Anzio-Nettuno bulge.
33. Bible Class Army Ymca African Am WwiSource:Getty
(Original Caption) Travis, TX- Bible Class, Army YMCA Building NO.1, Camp Travis, TX. African American Y Secretary teaching class of men from first group 165th Depot Brigade. Notice the upside down book in the front row middle near teacher. undated WWI photograph.
34. Black Troops Coming AshoreSource:Getty
(Original Caption) 5/2/1944-Dutch New Guinea: American Negro troops come ashore through the open bow doors of an LST, jammed up on the beach in the Hollandia area of the Dutch New Guinea Coast, during the invasion which caught the Japs off guard there. Three important Nip airfields are now in Allied hands in that sector.
35. Officer Receives Service Cross HonorSource:Getty
(Original Caption) 3/31/45-Detroit, Michigan: Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Bastion, commander of the Percy Jones General Hospital, pins the distinguished Service Cross on Capt. Charles Thomas, commander of a tan destroyer company in France, for extraordinary heroism in action. Capt. Thomas hails from Detroit where he was employed by the Ford Motor Company before the war. U.S. Signal Corps photo.
36. Bill Robinson In Military UniformSource:Getty
(Original Caption) Bill Robinson, in World War I military uniform, strikes a dance pose on stage. Undated photograph.
37. Black Soldier Cleaning RifleSource:Getty
(Original Caption) 8/3/1942-Somewhere on the Atlantic: This Negro rifleman one of a contingent en route to the British Isles, is shown cleaning his rifle on board ship. The cleanliness of this instrument of war may decide whether or not the owner lives a ripe old age or not.
38. World War Ii French Soldiers Give CandySource:Getty
(Original Caption) World War II French soldiers fill the hands of American Negro soldiers with candy in Rouffach, France, after the closing of the Colmar pocket. Photograph 1945.
39. Black Pilots Return To U.S.Source:Getty
(Original Caption) 12/24/1944-New York: Homr on leave after flying with the 99th Fighter Squadron, fameed all Negro flying group, Captains, Charles B. Hall (Right) of Brazil, Ind., and Lemuel R. Custis, Hartford, CT., are devoting their furloughs to the sale of war bonds. Both Pilots have flown in the Mediterranean Theater, and Captain Hall has been awarded the distinguished Flying Cross. Through the two flyers The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has purchased $40,000 in war bonds during the Fifth War Loan Drive.
40. First All-Black Combat UnitSource:Getty
Personnel from the 99th Pursuit Squadron, the first all-black combat unit, wave after arriving from Casablanca.
41. Tuskegee Airmen in ItalySource:Getty
(Original Caption) World War II; Negro troops in Italy.
42. African American WacsSource:Getty
Group of African American members of the Women’s Army Corps (WACs) posing for a group photo in uniform during World War 2, 1940. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images).
43. Keep Us Flying! Buy War Bonds, WWII Tuskeegee Airman PosterSource:Getty
US WWII bond poster showing portrait of African American pilot, member of Tuskeegee airmen in flight uniform. 1943 U.S. Treasury Poster (Photo by David Pollack/Corbis via Getty Images)
44. Pvt. Joe Louis Says PosterSource:Getty
Pvt. Joe Louis Says Poster (Photo by David Pollack/Corbis via Getty Images)
45. Benjamin O. Davis Next to P-47 ThunderboltSource:Getty
Benjamin O. Davis, commander of the 332nd Fighter Group, stands next to a Republic P-47 fighter. (Photo by Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
46. Segregated Black Marines on Iwo JimaSource:Getty
Segregated Black Marines on Iwo Jima (Photo by © Joseph Schwartz/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
47. Workers On Lunch BreakSource:Getty
Black and white photograph of a group of African-American workers for an Emergency Defense Office, a United States federal emergency war agency set up to coordinate state and federal measures for protection of civilians in case of war emergency, housing construction job, during lunch break, standing around and sitting on large pipes, Washington, DC, December, 1941. From the New York Public Library. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).
48. African-American soldiers in WWISource:Getty
African-American soldiers of the 369th (15th N.Y.) regiment, who won the Croix de Guerre for gallantry in action in WWI. Unknown photographer, 1919, silver print. (Photo by VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images)
49. 369Th Colored Infantry On ParadeSource:Getty
(Original Caption) 2/1919-New York, NY: 369th Colored Infantry parade down 5th Avenue. Regiment colors on display passing review stand.
50. African American SailorSource:Getty
Portrait of an African American man smiling and standing in front of a wooden platform, he is a member of the United States Navy in World War 1 and is wearing his full uniform, his arms are bent and behind his back, 1917. (Photo by JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images).
51. African American SoldiersSource:Getty
Caucasian and African-American soldiers aboard a United States Navy vessel during World War 1, 1918. (Photo by JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images).
52. Us Soldiers Testing Gas MasksSource:Getty
World War 1 US Signal Corps members performing regular inspection and testing of gas masks; African American soldiers standing around higher ranked officers wearing gas masks, 1917. (Photo by JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images).
53. African American SoldierSource:Getty
African American soldier standing in front of a board of signs in Cheppy, France after the Battle of Verdun that took place during World War I, two military men are standing to the side, there is a crumbling building in the background, France, 1918. (Photo by JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images).
54. African American Wwi SoldiersSource:Getty
African American soldiers in World War I, four men, two seated, two standing, all wearing uniforms, facing the camera and using cooking equipment, neutral facial expressions, 1917. (Photo by JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images).
55. World War I 10th CavalrySource:Getty
Full landscape shot of American soldiers in the 10th cavalry during World War 1, most African American, wearing uniforms, two rows of men, first row kneeling wit some men holding small bouquets of flowers, neutral and happy facial expressions, 1917. (Photo by JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images).
56. 24th Us Infantry Passing Through NySource:Getty
24th US Infantry passing through Watertown, New York; African-American World War I United States Soldiers carrying guns on shoulders, dressed in uniforms, 1917. (Photo by JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images).
57. African American SoldiersSource:Getty
African American soldiers with neutral expressions, some of whom carry weaponry, stand in rows outdoors, 1915. (Photo by JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images).
58. African American SailorSource:Getty
Three-quarters length portrait of an African American World War I US Navy sailor, seated, wearing uniform, neutral facial expression, 1920. (Photo by JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images).
59. WW1 African American SoldierSource:Getty
Half portrait of an African American World War I soldier, wearing a double-breasted jacket and helmet, neutral facial expression, 1920. (Photo by JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images).
60. Parade of Vietnam VeteransSource:Getty
This was the parade they never had: ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home’, as their fathers had after WWII and earlier. Vietnam veterans march down Constitution Avenue toward the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which would be dedicated later that day. The South Carolina dedication marches toward the camera. (Photo by © Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
61. African-American Soldiers at London Dance HallSource:Getty
African-American soldiers and local girls dance to swing music at Bouillabaisse on New Compton Street, one of just a few London nightclubs that admitted colored people. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
62. U.S. Troops in EnglandSource:Getty
African American U.S. soldiers listen to a presentation at their posting in England midway through World War II. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
63. Playing PianoSource:Getty
Sergeant Franklin Williams singing with his sister, Sarah, his girlfriend Ellen Hardin, and his brother, Thomas, (l to r) while his sister Annetta plays piano. Baltimore, Maryland, May 1942. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
64. Two SoldiersSource:Getty
Two Negro soldiers in Columbus, Ohio. December 1940. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
65. Rolling Field EquipmentSource:Getty
Sergeant Franklin Williams rolling field equipment in the barracks. Fort Bragg, North Carolina, March 1942. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
66. Soldiers in JeepSource:Getty
Negro soldiers stationed at Fort Harrison, Helena, Montana. March 1942. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
67. Nazis Captured in the ForestSource:Getty
An African-American soldier of the 12th Armored Division stands guard over a group of Nazi prisoners captured in the surrounding German forest. April 1945. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
68. American Officers Pose With Young GirlSource:Getty
Officers of the ‘Buffalos,’ 367th Infantry, 92nd Division in France, ca. 1918. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
69. 1st Army Post BandSource:Getty
1st Army Post Band (Colored) — Souilly, France, 1918. | Location: Souilly, France. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
70. Negro OfficersSource:Getty
Group of recently appointed Negro officers. Eleven of these men were recently appointed to the temporary rank of Ensign D-V(S), and one to Warrant Officer, USNR. February 1944. | Location: inside building. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
71. Coast GuardsmenSource:Getty
Crew members who man the 20 MM guns of a Coast Guard fighting ship have won an enviable reputation for gunnery results, due primarily to incessant practice in assembly and operation. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
72. African American Soldiers in FranceSource:Getty
Negro troops in France. Part of the 15th Regiment Infantry, New York National Guard organized by Colonel Haywood, which has been under fire, ca. 1918. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
73. African-American Naval RecruitsSource:Getty
A Company of Negro recruits which has been entered in to the ‘Hall of Fame’ at the Great Lakes, Ill. Naval Training Station. The ‘hall’ is to honor first-rate recruits. August 1943. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
74. 369th Colored Infantry Returns HomeSource:Getty
Members of the famous 369th Colored Infantry, formerly 15th N.Y. regulars, arrive in New York City. ‘Back to little old New York.’ 1919. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
75. Women Honor Their SoldiersSource:Getty
Colored women open a club to care for their men in the service and honor men about to leave for camps. Newark, New Jersey, ca. 1918. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
76. Negro Sailors of the USS MasonSource:Getty
Negro Sailors of the USS Mason commissioned at Boston Navy Yard 20 March 1944 proudly look over their ship, which is the first to have a predominantly Negro crew. | Location: ship dock, USA. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
77. Pfc. Warren Capers, MedicSource:Getty
Pfc. Warren Capers was recommended for a Silver Star when he and other members of his medical detachment set up a dressing station, aiding over 300 soldiers on a beachhead on D-Day. August 18, 1944. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
78. Negro SeabeesSource:Getty
The Negro Seabees, members of Naval Construction Battalions, whose training center is at Camp Allen and Camp Bradford, near Norfolk, Virginia, are trained in landing tactics as well as in general military drill, ca. 1942. | Location: near Camp Allen and Camp Bradford in Norfolk, Virginia. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
79. Wartime Couple Sharing a SodaSource:Getty
Sgt. Franklin Williams, home on leave from army duty, splits a soda with his best girl Ellen Hardin. They met at Douglass High School. Baltimore, Maryland, May, 1942. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
80. 93rd Infantry Division in TrainingSource:Getty
The 93rd Infantry Division reactivated May 15, 1942, was the first African-American division to be formed during World War II. 2nd Lt. Arthur Bates waits for zero hour to give the command to attack. Fort Huachuca, Arizona, 1942. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
81. Enlisted Personnel During World War ISource:Getty
Quartette of 301st Stevedore Regiment attached to the 23rd Engineers in Legney, France during World War I. | Location: Legney, France. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
82. American Air Force CrewSource:Getty
An African American flight crew and their plane, somewhere in the Mediterranean during World War II. Feb. 3, 1944. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
83. African American Cadets Receive SaluteSource:Getty
African American cadet pilots receive a salute from a white officer. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
84. Returning OfficersSource:Getty
Officers of the 369th (old New York City) and 370th (Illinois) Infantries return home from France wearing the Cross of War. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
85. African-American Soldiers ExercisingSource:Getty
A group of African-American soldiers in a cantonment behind the lines of the Marne front, France, exercise before going to the front. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
86. Negro sailor, of the USS Mason. The first US Navy ship to have a predominantly Negro Crew. March 20, 1944Source:Getty
Negro sailors, of the USS Mason (DE-529). The first US Navy ship to have a predominantly Negro Crew. March 20, 1944 (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
87. African American Solider in JungleSource:Getty
African American Solider in Jungle (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
88. Corporal Holds Good Luck PictureSource:Getty
A portrait of Corporal Fred McIntyre of the 369th Infantry. He displays a framed photo of Kaiser Wilhelm II that he carries around for luck. Ca. 1917-1918. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
89. Stewards mates passing time the evening before battle at Manila with a card game in their bunk room. November, 1944.Source:Getty
Stewards mates passing time the evening before battle at Manila with a card game in their bunk room. November, 1944. | Location: Manila. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
90. Members of the 99th Fighter Group of the Army Air Forces famous all-Negro outfit, pose for a picture at the Anzio beachhSource:Getty
Members of the 99th Fighter Group of the Army Air Forces famous all-Negro outfit, pose for a picture at the Anzio beachhead. In the foreground, is 1st Lt. Andrew Lane. February 17, 1944. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
91. Black Air Force Pilots in World War IISource:Getty
African American pilots of a P-51 Mustang fighter group, members of the 15th U.S. Army Air Force, are briefed for a mission at a base in Italy. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
92. African-American Troops, Portrait Near Tents and American Flag, circa 1917Source:Getty
African-American Troops, Portrait Near Tents and American Flag, circa 1917. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
93. African-American Troops, World War I, circa 1917Source:Getty
African-American Troops, World War I, circa 1917. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
94. World War I: African-American soldier.Source:Getty
World War I: African-American soldier seated behind table, pencil in hand, with two hats on table. (Photo by: Photo12/UIG via Getty Images)
95. African American band members on the U.S.S. Philippine.Source:Getty
African American band members on the U.S.S. Philippine, during voyage to the United States from Brest, France, 1919. (Photo by: Photo12/UIG via Getty Images)
96. Soldiers Waiting for Train, Pennsylvania Station, New York City, New YorkSource:Getty
Soldiers Waiting for Train, Pennsylvania Station, New York City, New York, USA, Marjorie Collins for Office of War Information, August 1942. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
97. Boxing Match, Part of Physical Training Program, Air Service Command, Daniel FieldSource:Getty
Boxing Match, Part of Physical Training Program, Air Service Command, Daniel Field, Georgia, USA, by Jack Delano for Office of War Information, July 1943. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
98. Driver of Jeep of a Reconnaissance Unit, Fort Riley, KansasSource:Getty
Driver of Jeep of a Reconnaissance Unit, Fort Riley, Kansas, USA, by Jack Delano for Office of War Information, April 1942. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
99. Nurses In The Southwest PacificSource:Getty
A contingent of fifteen nurses arrive in the Southwest Pacific area after receiving their first batch of home mail at their station at the 268th Station Hospital in Australia, November 29, 1943. Image courtesy National Archives. (Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).
100. Black American NursesSource:Getty
Black American nurses commissioned second lieutenants in the United States Army Nurses Corps limber up their muscles in an early morning workout during an advanced training course at a camp in Australia, February, 1944. Image courtesy National Archives. (Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).