All the services developed new racial policies in the immediate postwar period. Because these policies were responses to racial stresses peculiar to each service and were influenced by the varied experiences of each, they were, predictably, disparate in both substance and approach; because they were also reactions to a common set of pressures on the services they proved to be, perhaps not so predictably, quite similar in practical consequences. One pressure felt by all the services was the recently acquired knowledge that the nation's military manpower was not only variable but also limited in quantity. Military efficiency demanded, therefore, that the services not only make the most effective use of available manpower, but also improve its quality. Since Negroes, who made up approximately 10 percent of the population, formed a substantial part of the nation's manpower, they could no longer be considered primarily a source of unskilled labor. They too must be employed appropriately, and to this end a higher proportion of Negroes in the services must be qualified for specialized jobs.
Continuing demands by civil rights groups added to the pressure on the services to employ Negroes according to their abilities. Arguing that Negroes had the right to enjoy the privileges and share the responsibilities of citizenship, civil rights spokesmen appeared determined to test the constitutionality of the services' wartime policies in the courts. Their demands placed the Truman administration on the defensive and served warning on the armed forces that never again could they look to the exclusion of black Americans as a long-term solution to their racial problems.
In addition to such pressures, the services had to reckon with a more
immediate problem. Postwar black reenlistment, particularly among service
men stationed overseas, was climbing far beyond expectation. As the armed
forces demobilized in late 1945 and early 1946, the percentage of Negroes
in the Army rose above its wartime high of 9.68 percent of the enlisted
strength and was expected to reach 15 percent and more by 1947. Aside from
the Marine Corps, which experienced a rapid drop in black enlistment, the
Navy also expected a rise in the percentage of Negroes, at least in the
near future. The increase occurred in part because Negroes, who had less
combat time than whites and therefore fewer eligibility points for discharge,
were being separated from service later and more slowly. The rise reflected
as well the Negro's expectation that the national labor market would deteriorate
in the wake of the war. Although greater opportunities for employment had
developed for black Americans, civilians already filled the posts and many
young Negroes preferred the job security of a military career. But there
was another, more poignant reason why many Negroes elected to remain in
uniform: they were afraid to reenter what seemed a hostile society and
preferred life in the armed forces, imperfect as that might be. The effect
of this increase on the services, particularly the largest service, the
Army, was sharp and direct. Since many Negroes were poorly educated, they
were slow to learn the use of sophisticated military equipment, and since
the best educated and qualified men, black and white, tended to leave the
services faced the prospect of having a large proportion of their enlisted
strength black and unskilled.
Clearly, a new policy was necessary, and soon after the Japanese surrender Assistant Secretary McCloy sent to the recently appointed Secretary of War the accumulated pile of papers on the subject of how best to employ Negroes in the postwar Army. Along with the answers to the questionnaires sent to major commanders and a collection of interoffice memos went McCloy's reminder that the matter ought to be dealt with soon. McCloy wanted to form a committee of senior officers to secure "an objective professional view" to be used as a base for attacking the whole race problem. But while he considered it important to put this professional view on record, he still expected it to be subject to civilian review.1
Robert P. Patterson became Secretary of War on 27 September 1945, after serving with Henry Stimson for five years, first as assistant and later as under secretary. Intimately concerned with racial matters in the early years of the war, Patterson later became involved in war procurement, a specialty far removed from the complex and controversial racial situation that faced the Army. Now as secretary he once again assumed an active role in the Army's black manpower problems and quickly responded to McCloy's request for a policy review.2 In accordance with Patterson's oral instructions, General Marshall appointed a board, under the chairmanship of Lt. Gen. Alvan C. Gillem, Jr., which met on 1 October 1945. Three days later a formal directive signed by the Deputy Chief of Staff and approved by the Secretary of War ordered the board to "prepare a policy for the use of the authorized Negro manpower potential during the postwar period including the complete development of the means required to derive the maximum efficiency from the full authorized manpower of the nation in the event of a national emergency."3 On this group, to be known as the Gillem Board, would fall the responsibility for formulating a policy, preparing a directive, and planning the use of Negroes in the postwar Army.
GENERAL GILLEM [Photograph not included]
None of the board members was particularly prepared for the new assignment. General Gillem, a Tennessean, had come up through the ranks to command the XIII Corps in Europe during World War II. Although he had written one of the 1925 War College studies on the use of black troops and had many black units in his corps, Gillem probably owed his appointment to the fact that he was a three-star general, available at the moment, and had recently been selected by the Chief of Staff to direct a Special Planning Division study on the use of black troops that had been superseded by the new board.4 Burdened with the voluminous papers collected by McCloy, Gillem headed a board composed of Maj. Gen. Lewis A. Pick, a Virginian who had built the Ledo Road in the China-Burma-India theater, Brig. Gen. Winslow C. Morse of Michigan, who had served in a variety of assignments in the Army Air Forces culminating in wartime duties in China, and Brig. Gen. Alvan D. Warnock, the recorder without vote, a Texan who began his career in the Arizona National Guard and had served in Iceland during World War II.5 These men had broad and diverse experience and gave the board a certain geographical balance. Curiously enough, none was a graduate of West Point.6
Although new to the subject, the board members worked quickly. Less than a month after their first session, Gillem informed the Chief of Staff that they had already reached certain conclusions. They recognized the need to build on the close relationships developed between the races during the war by introducing progressive measures that could be put into operation promptly and would provide for the assignment of black troops on the basis of individual merit and ability alone. After studying and comparing the racial practices of the other services, the board decided that the Navy's partial integration had stimulated competition which improved black performance without causing racial friction. By contrast, strict segregation in the Marine Corps required longer training periods and closer supervision for black marines. In his memorandum Gillem refrained from drawing the logical conclusion and simply went on to note that the Army had, for example, integrated its black and white patients in hospitals because of the greater expense, inefficiency, and general impracticality of duplicating complex medical equipment and installations.7 By inference the same disadvantages applied to maintaining separate training facilities operational units, and the rest of the apparatus of the shrinking Army establishment. At one point m his progress report, Gillem seemed close to recommending integration, at least to the extent already achieved in the Navy. But stated explicitly such a recommendation would have been a radical step, out of keeping with the climate of opinion in the country and in the Army itself.
On 17 November 1945 the Gillem Board finished the study and sent its report to the Chief of Staff.8 In six weeks the board had questioned more than sixty witnesses, consulted a mass of documentary material, and drawn up conclusions and recommendations on the use of black troops. The board declared that its recommendations were based on two complementary principles: black Americans had a constitutional right to fight, and the Army had an obligation to make the most effective use of every soldier. But the board also took into account reports of the Army's wartime experience with black units. It referred constantly to this experience, citing the satisfactory performance of the buck service units and some of the smaller black combat units, in particular the artillery and tank battalions. It also described the black infantry platoons integrated into white companies in Europe as "eminently successful." At the same time large black combat units had not been satisfactory, most often because their junior officers and noncommissioned officers lacked the ability to lead. The difficulties the Army encountered in properly placing its black troops during the war, the board decided, stemmed to some extent from inadequate staff work and improper planning. Poor staff work allowed a disproportionate number of Negroes with low test scores to be allocated to combat elements. Lack of early planning, constant reorganization and regrouping of black units, and continuous shifting of individuals from one type of training to another had confused and bewildered black troops, who sometimes doubted that the Army intended to commit them to combat at all.
It was necessary, the board declared, to avoid repetition of this experience. Advance planning was needed to develop a broader base of trained men among black troops to provide cadres and leaders to meet national emergencies more efficiently. The Army had to realize and take advantage of the advances made by Negroes in education, industry, and government service. The wide range of skills attained by Negroes had enhanced their military value and made possible a broader selectivity with consequent benefit to military efficiency. Thus, the Army had to adopt a racial policy that provided for the progressive and flexible use of black manpower "within proportions corresponding to those in the civilian population." This policy, it added, must "be implemented promptly . . . must be objective by nature . . . must eliminate, at the earliest practicable moment, any special consideration based on race . . . and should point towards the immediate objective of an evaluation of the Negro on the basis of individual merit and ability."
The board made eighteen specific recommendations, of which the following were the most important.
"That combat and service units be organized and activated from the Negro
manpower available in the postwar Army to meet the requirements of training
and expansion and in addition qualified individuals be utilized in appropriate
special and overhead units." The use of qualified Negroes in overhead units
was the first break with the traditional policy of segregation, for though
black enlisted men would continue to eat and sleep in segregated messes
and barracks, they would work alongside white soldiers and perform the
same kind of duty in the same unit.
"The proportion of Negro to white manpower as exists in the civil population be the accepted ratio for creating a troop basis in the postwar Army."9
"That Negro units organized or activated for the postwar Army conform in general to other units of the postwar Army but the maximum strength of type [sic] units should not exceed that of an infantry regiment or comparable organization." Here the board wanted the Army to avoid the division-size units of World War II but retain separate black units which would be diversified enough to broaden the professional base of Negroes in the Regular Army by offering them a larger selection of military occupations.
"That in the event of universal training in peacetime additional officer supervision is supplied to units which have a greater than normal percentage of personnel falling into A.G.C.T. classifications IV and V." Such a policy had existed in World War II, but was never carried out.
"That a staff group of selected officers whose background has included commanding troops be formed within the G-1~ Division of the staffs of the War Department and each major command of the Army to assist in the planning, promulgation, implementation and revision of policies affecting all racial minorities." This was the administrative machinery the board wanted to facilitate the prompt and efficient execution of the Army's postwar racial policies.
"That reenlistment be denied to regular Army soldiers who meet only the minimum standards." This provision was in line with the concept that the peacetime Army was a cadre to be expanded in time of emergency. As long as the Army accepted all reenlistments regardless of aptitude and halted black enlistments when black strength exceeded 10 percent, it would deny enlistment to many qualified Negroes. It would also burden the Army with low-scoring men who would never rise above the rank of private and whose usefulness in a peacetime cadre, which had the function of training for wartime expansion, would be extremely limited.
"That surveys of manpower requirements conducted by the War Department include recommendations covering the positions in each installation of the Army which could be filled by Negro military personnel." This suggestion complemented the proposal to use Negroes in overhead positions on an individual basis. By opening more positions to Negroes, the Army would foster leadership, maintain morale, and encourage a competitive spirit among the better qualified. By forcing competition with whites "on an individual basis of merit," the Army would become more attractive as a career to superior Negroes, who would provide many needed specialists as a "nucleus for rapid expansion of Army units in time of emergency."
"That groupings of Negro units with white units in composite organizations be continued in the postwar Army as a policy." Since World War II demonstrated that black units performed satisfactorily when grouped or operated with white combat units, the inclusion of a black service company in a white regiment or a heavy weapons company in an infantry battalion could perhaps be accomplished "without encountering insurmountable difficulties." Such groupings would build up a professional relationship between blacks and whites, but, the board warned, experimentation must not risk "the disruption of civilian racial relationships."
"That there be accepted into the Regular Army an unspecified number of qualified Negro officers . . . that all officers, regardless of race, be required to meet the same standard for appointment . . . be accorded equal rights and opportunities for advancement and professional improvement; and be required to meet the same standard for appointment, promotion and retention in all components of the Army." The board set no limit on the number of black officers in the Army, nor did it suggest that black officers be restricted to service in black units.
Its report rendered, the board remained in existence ready to make revisions "as may be warranted" by the comments of the many individuals and agencies that were to review the policy in conformance with a directive of the Secretary of War.10
No two individuals were more intimately concerned with the course of events that led to the Gillem Board Report than John J. McCloy and Truman Gibson, and although both were about to leave government service, each gave the new Secretary of War his opinion of the report.ll McCloy called the report a "fine achievement" and a "great advance over previous studies." It was most important, he said, that the board had stated the problem in terms of manpower efficiency. At the same time both men recognized ambiguities in the board's recommendations, and their criticisms were strong, precise, and, considering the conflicts that developed in the Army over these issues, remarkedly acute. Both agreed the report needed a clear statement on the basic issue of segregation, and they wanted the board to eliminate the quota. Gibson pointed out that the board proposed as a long-range objective the utilization of all persons on the basis of individual ability alone. "This means, of course," he announced with more confidence than was warranted, "a completely integrated Army." In the interest of eventually achieving an integrated Army he was willing to settle for less than immediate and total integration, but nevertheless he attacked the board for what he called the vagueness of its recommendations. Progressive and planned integration, he told Secretary Patterson, demanded a clear and explicit policy stating that segregation was outmoded and integration inevitable, and the Army should move firmly and steadily from one to the other.
On some fundamental issues McCloy thought the board did "not speak with the complete clarity necessary, " but he considered the ambiguity unintentional. Experience showed, he reminded the secretary, "that we cannot get enforcement of policies that permit of any possibility of misconstruction." Directness he said, was required in place of equivocation based on delicacy. If the Gillem Board intended black officers to command white officers and men, it should have said so flatly. If it meant the Army should try unsegregated and mixed units, it should have said so. Its report, McCloy concluded, should have put these matters beyond doubt. He was equally forthright in his rejection of the quota, which he found impractical because it deprived the Army of many qualified Negroes who would be unable to enlist when the quota was full. Even if the quota was meant as a floor rather than a ceiling, McCloy thought it objectionable. "I do not see any place," he wrote, "for a quota in a policy that looks to utilize Negroes on the basis of ability."
If the Gillem Board revealed the Army's willingness to compromise in treating a pressing efficiency problem, detailed comments by interested staff agencies revealed how military traditionalists hoped to avoid a pressing social problem. For just as McCloy and Gibson criticized the board for failing to spell out concrete procedures toward integration, other staff experts generally approved the board's report precisely because its ambiguities committed them to very little. Their specific criticisms, some betraying the biases of the times formed the basis of the standard traditionalist defense of the racial status quo for the next five years.
Comments from the staff's personnel organization set the tone of this criticism.l2 The Assistant Chief of Staff for Personnel, G-1, Maj. Gen. Willard S. Paul, approved the board's recommendations, calling them a "logical solution to the problem of effective utilization of Negro manpower." Although he thought the report "sufficiently detailed to permit intelligent, effective planning," he passed along without comment the criticisms of his subordinates. He was opposed to the formation of a special staff group. "We must soon reach the point," he wrote, "where our general staff must be able to cope with such problems without the formation of ad hoc committees or groups." 13
The Assistant Chief of Staff for Organization and Training, G-3, Maj. Gen. Idwal H. Edwards, was chiefly concerned with the timing of the new policy. In trying to employ black manpower on a broader professional scale, he warned, the Army must recognize the "ineptitude and limited capacity of the Negro soldier." He wanted various phases of the new policy timed "with due consideration for all factors such as public opinion, military requirements and the military situation." If the priority given public opinion in the sequence of these factors reflected Edwards's view of their importance, the list is somewhat curious. Edwards concurred in the recommendations, although he wanted the special staff group established in the personnel office rather than in his organization, and he rejected any arbitrary percentage of black officers. More black officers could be obtained through expansion of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, he suggested, but he rejected the board's call for special classification of all enlistees in reception and training centers, on grounds that the centers were not adequate for the task. 14
The chief of the General Staff's Operations Division, Lt. Gen. John E. Hull, dismissed the Gillem report with several blunt statements: black enlisted men should be assigned to black units capable of operational use within white units at the rate of one black battalion per division; a single standard of professional proficiency should be followed for white and black officers; and "no Negro officer be given command of white troops.''l5
The deputy commander of the Army Air Forces, Lt. Gen. Ira C. Eaker,
agreed with the board that the Army should not be "a testing ground for
problems in race relationships." Neither did he think the Air Forces should
organize units for the sole purpose of "advancing the prestige of one race,
especially when it is necessary to utilize personnel that do not have the
proper qualifications in order to keep these units up to strength." Black
combat units should be limited by the 10 percent quota and by the small
number of Negroes qualified for tactical training. Most Negroes should
be placed in Air Forces service units, where "their wartime record was
the best," even though such placement would leave the Air Forces open to
charges of discrimination. The idea of experimental groupings of black
and white units in composite organizations might prove "impractical," Baker
wrote to the Chief of Staff, because an Air Forces group operated as an
integral unit rather than as three or four separate squadrons; units often
exchanged men and equipment, and common messes were used.
Composite organizations were practical "only when it is not necessary for the units to intermingle continually in order to carry on efficiently." Why intermingling could not be synonymous with efficiency, he failed to explain. The inference was clear that segregation was not only normal but best.
Yet he advocated continuing integrated flying schools and agreed that Negroes should be stationed where community attitudes were favorable. He cited the difficulties involved in stationing. For more than two years the Army Air Forces had tried to find a suitable base for its only black tactical group. Even in northern cities with large black communities—Syracuse, New York, Columbus, Ohio, and Windsor Locks, Connecticut, among others—officials had vehemently protested against having the black group.
The War Department, Faker concluded, "should never be ahead of popular opinion on this subject; otherwise it will put itself in a position of stimulating racial disorders rather than overcoming them." Along these lines, and harking back to the Freeman Field incident, he protested against regulations reaffirmed by the Gillem Board for the joint use of clubs, theaters, post exchanges, and the like at stations in localities where such use was contrary to civilian practices. 16
The Army Ground Forces headquarters concurred generally with the Gillem Board's conclusions and recommendations but suggested the Army not act alone. The headquarters recommended a policy be formulated for the entire military establishment; only then should individual elements of the armed forces come forward with their own policies. The idea that Negroes should serve in numbers proportionate to their percentage of the population and bear their share of battle losses "may be desirable but is impracticable and should be abandoned in the interest of a logical solution.''l7 Since the abilities of Negroes were limited, the report concluded, their duties should be restricted.
The commanding general of the Army Service Forces claimed the Gillem Board Report was advocating substantially the same policy his organization had followed during the war. The Army Service Forces had successfully used an even larger percentage of Negroes than the Gillem Board contemplated. Concurring generally with the board's recommendations, he cautioned that the War Department should not dictate the use of Negroes in the field; to do so would be a serious infringement of command prerogatives that left each commander free to select and assign his men. As for the experimental groupings of black and white units, the general believed that such mixtures were appropriate for combat units but not for the separate small units common to the Army Service Forces. Separate, homogeneous companies or battalions formed during the war worked well, and experience proved mixed units impractical below group and regimental echelons.
The Service Forces commander called integration infeasible "for the present and foreseeable future." It was unlawful in many areas, he pointed out, and not common practice elsewhere, and requiring soldiers to follow a different social pattern would damage morale and defeat the Army's effort to increase the opportunities and effectiveness of black soldiers. He did not try to justify his contention, but his meaning was clear. It would be a mistake for the Army to attempt to lead the nation in such reforms, especially while reorganization, unification, and universal military training were being considered. 18
Reconvened in January 1946 to consider the comments on its original report, the Gillem Board deliberated for two more weeks, heard additional witnesses, and stood firm in its conclusions and recommendations.l9 The policy it proposed, the board emphasized, had one purpose, the attainment of maximum manpower efficiency in time of national emergency. To achieve this end the armed forces must make full use of Negroes now in service, but future use of black manpower had to be based on the experience gained in two major wars. The board considered the policy it was proposing flexible, offering opportunity for advancement to qualified individuals and at the same time making possible for the Army an economic use of national manpower as a whole.
To its original report the board added a statement at once the hope and despair of its critics and supporters.
The Initial Objectives: The utilization of the proportionate
ratio of the manpower made available to the military establishment during
the postwar period. The manpower potential to be organized and trained
as indicated by pertinent recommendations.
The Ultimate Objective: The effective use of all manpower made available to the military establishment in the event of a major mobilization at some unknown date against an undetermined aggressor. The manpower to be utilized, in the event of another major war, in the Army without regard to antecedents or race.
When, and if such a contingency arises, the manpower of the nation should be utilized in the best interests of the national security.
The Board cannot, and does not, attempt to visualize at this time, intermediate objectives. Between the first and ultimate objective, timely phasing may be interjected and adjustments made in accordance with conditions which may obtain at this undetermined date.
The board based its ultimate objective on the fact that the black community had made important advances in education and job skills in the past generation, and it expected economic and educational conditions for Negroes to continue to improve. Since such improvement would make it possible to employ black manpower in a variety of ways, the board's recommendations could be only a guide for the future, a policy that must remain flexible.
To the specific objections raised by the reviewing agencies, the board replied that although black units eventually should be commanded by black officers "no need exists for the assignment of Negro commanders to units composed of white troops." It also agreed with those who felt it would be beneficial to correlate Army racial policies with those of the Navy. On other issues the board stood firm. It rejected the proposal that individual commanders be permitted to choose positions where Negroes could be employed in overhead installations on the grounds that this delegation of responsibility "hazards lack of uniformity and makes results doubtful." It refused to drop the quota, arguing it was needed for planning purposes. At the same time the board did admit that the 10 percent ratio, suitable for the moment, might be changed in the future in the interest of efficiency—though changed in which way it did not say.
SECRETARY PATTERSON [Photograph not included.]
The board rejected the proposition that the Army Service Forces and the Army Air Forces were unable to use small black units in white organizations and took a strong stand for elimination of the professional private, the career enlistee lacking the background or ability to advance beyond the lowest rank. Finally, the board rejected demands that the color line be reestablished in officers' messes and enlisted recreational facilities.
"This large segment of the population contributed materially to the success attained by our military forces.... The Negro enjoyed the privileges of citizen ship and, in turn, willingly paid the premium by accepting service. In many instances, this payment was settled through the medium of the supreme sacrifice."
The board's recommendations were well received, at least in the highest
echelons of the War Department. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, now Chief
of Staff,20 quickly sent the proposed policy
to the Secretary of War with a recommendation for approval "subject to
such adjustment as experience shows is necessary."21
On 28 February 1946 Secretary Patterson approved the new policy in a succinct
restatement of the board's recommendations. The policy and the full Gillem
Board Report were published as War Department Circular 124 on 27 April
1946. At the secretary's direction the circular was dispatched to the field
"without delay."22 On 4 March the report was
released to the press.23 The most
exhaustive and intensive inquiry ever made by the Army into the employment of black manpower had survived the review and analysis process with its conclusions and recommendations intact.
Attitudes toward the new policy varied with interpretations of the board's statement of objectives. Secretary Patterson saw in the report "a significant development in the status of the Negro soldiers in the Army." The immediate effect of using Negroes in composite units and overhead assignments, he predicted, would be to change War Department policy on segregation.24 But the success of the policy could not be guaranteed by a secretary of war, and some of his advisers were more guarded in their estimates. To Truman Gibson, once again in government service, but briefly this time, the report seemed a good beginning because it offered a new approach, one that had originated within the Army itself. Yet Gibson was wary of its chances for success. The board's recommendations, he told the Assistant Secretary of War, would make for a better Army "only if they are effectively carried out."25 The newly appointed assistant secretary, Howard C. Petersen, was equally cautious. Explaining the meaning of the report to the Negro Newspaper Publishers Association, he warned that "a strong policy weakly enforced will be of little value to the Army."26
Marcus H. Ray, Gibson's successor as the secretary's adviser on racial affairs,27 stressed the board's ultimate objective to employ manpower without regard to race and called its recommendations "a step in the direction of efficient manpower utilization." It was a necessary step, he added, because "any racial group which lives under the stigma of implied inferiority inherent in a system of enforced separation cannot give over-all top performance in peace or in war."28
On the whole, the black community was considerably less sanguine about the new policy. The Norfolk Journal and Guide called the report a step in the right direction, but reserved judgment until the Army carried out the recommendations. 29 To a distinguished black historian who was writing an account of the Negro in World War II, the Gillem Board Report reflected the Army's ambiguity on racial matters. "It is possible," L. D. Reddick of the New York Public Library wrote, "to interpret the published recommendations as pointing in opposite directions."30 One NAACP official charged that it "tries to dilute Jim-Crow by presenting it on a smaller scale." After citing the tremendous advances made by Negroes and all the reasons for ending segregation, he accused the Gillem Board of refusing to take the last step.3l Most black papers adopted the same attitude, characterizing the new policy as "the same old Army." The Pittsburgh Courier, for one, observed that the new policy meant that the Army command had undergone no real change of heart.32 Other segments of the public were more forebearing. One veterans' organization commended the War Department for the work of the Gillem Board but called its analysis and recommendations incomplete. Citing evidence that Jim Crow, not the enemy, "defeated" black combat units, the chairman of the American Veterans Committee called for an immediate end to segregation.33
Clearly, opposition to segregation was not going to be overcome with palliatives and promises, yet Petersen could only affirm that the Gillem Board Report would mean significant change. He admitted segregation's tenacious hold on Army thinking and that black units would continue to exist for some time, but he promised movement toward desegregation. He also made the Army's usual distinction between segregation and discrimination. Though there were many instances of unfair treatment during the war, he noted, these were individual matters, inconsistent with Army policy, which "has consistently condemned discrimination." Discrimination, he concluded, must be blamed on "defects" of enforcement, which would always exist to some degree in any organization as large as the Army. 34
Actually, Petersen's promised "movement" toward integration was likely to be a very slow process. So substantive a change in social practice, the Army had always argued, required the sustained support of the American public, and judging from War Department correspondence and press notices large segments of the public remained unaware of what the Army was trying to do about its "Negro problem." Most military journalists continued to ignore the issue; perhaps they considered the subject of the employment of black troops unimportant compared with the problems of demobilization, atomic weaponry, and service unification. For example, in listing the principal military issues before the United States in the postwar period, military analyst Hanson Baldwin did not mention the employment of Negroes in the service. 35
Given the composition of the Gillem Board and the climate of opinion in the nation, the report was exemplary and fair, its conclusions progressive. If in the light of later developments the recommendations seem timid, even superficial, it should be remembered to its credit that the board at least made integration a long-range goal of the Army and made permanent the wartime guarantee of a substantial black representation.
Nevertheless the ambiguities in the Gillem Board's recommendations would be useful to those commanders at all levels of the Army who were devoted to the racial status quo. Gillem and his colleagues discussed black soldiers in terms of social problems rather than military efficiency. As a result, their recommendations treated the problem from the standpoint of how best Negroes could be employed within the traditional segregated framework even while they spoke of integration as an ultimate goal. They gave their blessing to the continued existence of segregated units and failed to inquire whether segregation might not be a factor in the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of black units and black soldiers. True, they sought to use qualified Negroes in specialist jobs as a solution to better employment of black manpower, but this effort could have little practical effect. Few were qualified—and determination of qualifications was often done by those with little sympathy for the Negro and even less for the educated Negro. Black serviceman holding critical specialties and those assigned to overhead installations would never amount to more than a handful of men whose integration during duty hours only would fall far short even of tokenism.
To point out as the board did that the policy it was recommending no longer required segregation was meaningless. Until the Army ordered integration, segregation, simply by virtue of inertia, would remain. As McCloy, along with Gibson and others, warned, without a strong, explicit statement of intent by the Army the changes in Army practice suggested by the Gillem Board would be insignificant. The very acceptance of the board's report by officials traditionally opposed to integration should have been fair warning that the report would be difficult to use as a base for a progressive racial policy; in fact it could be used to justify almost any course of action. From the start, the War Department encountered overwhelming difficulties in carrying out the board's recommendations, and five years later the ultimate objective was still out of reach.
Clearly, the majority of Army officers viewed segregated service as the acceptable norm. General Jacob L. Devers, then commanding general of Army Ground Forces, gave a clue to their view when he told his fellow officers in 1946 that "we are going to put colored battalions in white divisions. This is purely business—the social side will not be brought into it."36 Here then was the dilemma: Was not the Army a social institution as well as a fighting organization? The solution to the Army's racial problems could not be achieved by ignoring the social implications. On both counts there was a reluctance among many professional soldiers to take in Negroes. They registered acute social discomfort at the large influx of black soldiers, and many who had devoted their lives to military service had very real misgivings over using Negroes in white combat units or forming new black combat units because they felt that black fighters in the air and on the ground had performed badly in the past. To entrust the fighting to Negroes who had failed to prove their competence in this highest mission of the Army seemed to them to threaten the institution itself.
Despite these shortcomings, the work of the Gillem Board was a progressive
step in the history of Army race relations. It broke with the assumption
implicit in earlier Army policy that the black soldier was inherently inferior
by recommending that Negroes be assigned tasks as varied and skilled as
those handled by white soldiers. It also made integration the Army's goal
by declaring as official policy the ultimate employment of all manpower
without regard to race. Even the board's insistence on a racial quota,
it could be argued, had its positive aspects, for in the end it was the
presence of so many black soldiers in the Korean War that finally ended
segregation. In the meantime, controversy over the quota, whether it represented
a floor supporting minimum black participation or a ceiling limiting black
enlistment, continued unabated, providing the civil rights groups with
a focal point for their complaints. No matter how hard the Army tried to
justify the quota, the quota increased the Army's vulnerability to charges
The Navy's postwar revision of racial policy, like the Army's, was the inevitable result of its World War II experience. Inundated with unskilled and undereducated Negroes in the middle of the war, the Navy had assigned most of these men to segregated labor battalions and was surprised by the racial clashes that followed. As it began to understand the connection between large segregated units and racial tensions, the Navy also came to question the waste of the talented Negro in a system that denied him the job for which he was qualified. Perhaps more to the point, the Navy's size and mission made immediately necessary what the Army could postpone indefinitely. Unlike the Army, the Navy seriously modified its racial policy in the last year of the war, breaking up some of the large segregated units and integrating Negroes in the specialist and officer training schools, in the WAVES, and finally in the auxiliary fleet and the recruit training centers.
Yet partial integration was not enough. Lester Granger's surveys and the studies of the secretary's special committee had demonstrated that the Navy could resolve its racial problems only by providing equal treatment and opportunity. But the absurdity of trying to operate two equal navies, one black and one white, had been obvious during the war. Only total integration of the general service could serve justice and efficiency, a conclusion the civil rights advocates had long since reached. After years of leaving the Navy comparatively at peace, they now began to demand total integration.
There was no assurance, however, that a move to integration was imminent
when Granger returned from his final inspection trip for Secretary Forrestal
in October 1945. Both Granger and the secretary's Committee on Negro Personnel
had endorsed the department's current practices, and Granger had been generally
optimistic over the reforms instituted toward the end of the war. Admirals
Nimitz and King both endorsed Granger's recommendations, although neither
saw the need for further change.37 For his
part Secretary Forrestal seemed determined to maintain the momentum of
reform. "What steps do we take,"
he asked the Chief of Naval Personnel, "to correct the various practices . . . which are not in accordance with Navy standards?"38
ADMIRAL DENFELD [Photograph not included.]
In response the Bureau of Naval Personnel circulated the Granger reports throughout the Navy and ordered steps to correct practices identified by Granger as "not in accordance with Navy standards."39 But it was soon apparent that the bureau would be selective in adopting Granger's suggestions. In November, for example, the Chief of Naval Personnel, Admiral Louis E. Denfeld, arguing that officers "could handle black personnel without any special indoctrination," urged the secretary to reject Granger's recommendation that an office be established in headquarters to deal exclusively with racial problems. At the same time some of the bureau's recruiting officials were informing Negroes that their reenlistment in the Regular Navy was to be limited to the Steward's Branch.40 With the help of Admiral Nimitz, Chief of Naval Operations, Forrestal quickly put an end to this recruiting practice, but he paid no further attention to racial matters except to demand in mid-December a progress report on racial reforms in the Pacific area.41 Nor did he seem disturbed when the Pacific commander reported a large number of all-black units, some with segregated recreational facilities, operating in the Pacific area as part of the permanent postwar naval organization.42
In the end the decision to integrate the general service came not from the secretary but from that bastion of military tradition, the Bureau of Naval Personnel. Despite the general reluctance of the bureau to liberalize the Navy's racial policy, there had been all along some manpower experts who wanted to increase the number of specialties open to black sailors. Capt. Hunter Wood, Jr., for example, suggested in January 1946 that the bureau make plans for an expansion m assignments for Negroes. Wood's proposal fell on the sympathetic ears of Admiral Denfeld, who considered the Granger recommendations practical for the postwar Navy. Denfeld, of course, was well aware that these recommendations had been endorsed by Admirals King and Nimitz as well as Forrestal, and he himself had gone on record as believing that Negroes in the peacetime Navy should lose none of the opportunities opened to them during the war.43
Denfeld had had considerable experience with the Navy's evolving racial policy in his wartime assignment as assistant chief of personnel where his principal concern had been the efficient distribution and assignment of men. He particularly objected to the fact that current regulations complicated what should have been the routine transfer of sailors. Simple control procedures for the segregation of Negroes in general service had been effective when Negroes were restricted to particular shore stations and duties, he told Admiral Nimitz on 4 January 1946, but now that Negroes were frequently being transferred from shore to sea and from ship to ship the restriction of Negroes to auxiliary ships was becoming extremely difficult to manage and was also "noticeably contrary to the non-differentiation policy enunciated by the Secretary of the Navy." The only way to execute that policy effectively and maintain efficiency, he concluded, was to integrate the general service completely. Denfeld pointed out that the admission of Negroes to the auxiliary fleet had caused little friction in the Navy and passed almost unnoticed by the press. Secretary Forrestal had promised to extend the use of Negroes throughout the entire fleet if the preliminary program proved practical, and the time had come to fulfill that promise. He would start with "the removal of restrictions governing the type of duty to which general service Negroes can be assigned," but would limit the number of Negroes on any ship or at any shore station to a percentage no greater than that of general service Negroes throughout the Navy.44
With the enlistment of the Chief of Naval Personnel in the cause, the move to an integrated general service was assured. On 27 February 1946 the Navy published Circular Letter 48-46: "Effective immediately all restrictions governing types of assignments for which Negro naval personnel are eligible are hereby lifted. Henceforth, they shall be eligible for all types of assignments in all ratings in all activities and all ships of naval service." The letter went on to specify that "in housing, messing, and other facilities, there would be no special accommodations for Negroes." It also directed a redistribution of personnel by administrative commands so that by 1 October 1946 no ship or naval activity would be more than 10 percent Negro. The single exception would be the Naval Academy, where a large contingent of black stewards would be left intact to serve the midshipmen's meals.
The publication of Circular Letter 48-46 was an important step in the Navy's racial history. In less than one generation, in fewer years actually than the average sailor's service life, the Navy had made a complete about-face. In a sense the new policy was a service reform rather than a social revolution; after a 23-year hiatus integration had once again become the Navy's standard racial policy. Since headlines are more often reserved for revolutions than reformations, the new policy attracted little attention. The metropolitan press gave minimum coverage to the event and never bothered to follow later developments. For the most part the black press treated the Navy's announcement with skepticism. On behalf of Secretary Forrestal, Lester Granger invited twenty-three leading black editors and publishers to inspect ships in the fleet as well as shore activities to see for themselves the changes being made. Not one accepted. As one veteran put it, the editors shrank from praising the Navy's policy change for fear of being proved hasty. They preferred to remain on safe ground, "givin' 'em hell." 45
The editors had every reason to be wary: integration was seriously circumscribed in the new directive, which actually offered few guarantees of immediate change. Applying only to enlisted men in the shore establishment and on ships, the directive ignored the Navy's all-white officer corps and its nonwhite servants branch of stewards. Aimed at abolishing discrimination in the service, it failed to guarantee either through enlistment, assignment guidelines or specific racial quotas a fair proportion of black sailors in the postwar Navy. Finally, the order failed to create administrative machinery to carry out the new policy. In a very real sense the new policy mirrored tradition. It was naval tradition to have black sailors in the integrated ranks and a separate Messman's Branch. The return to this tradition embodied in the order complemented Forrestal's philosophy of change as an outgrowth of self-realized reform. At the same time naval tradition did not include the concept of high-ranking black officers, white servants, and Negroes in specialized assignments. Here Forrestal's hope of self-reform did not materialize, and equal treatment and opportunity for Negroes in the Navy remained an elusive goal.
But Forrestal and his military subordinates made enough of a start to draw the fire of white segregationists. The secretary answered charges and demands in a straightforward manner. When, for example, a congressman complained that "white boys are being forced to sleep with these negroes," Forrestal explained that men were quartered and messed aboard ship according to their place in the ship’s organization without regard to race. The Navy made no attempt to prescribe the nature or extent of their social relationships, which were beyond the scope of its authority. Although Forrestal expressed himself as understanding the strong feelings of some Americans on this matter, he made it clear that the Navy had finally decided segregation was the surest way to emphasize and perpetuate the gap between the races and had therefore adopted a policy of integration.46
What Forrestal said was true, but the translation of the Navy's postwar racial policy into the widespread practice of equal treatment and opportunity for Negroes was still before him and his officers. To achieve it they would have to fight the racism common in many segments of American society as well as bureaucratic inertia. If put into practice the new policy might promote the efficient use of naval manpower and give the Navy at least a brief respite from the criticism of civil rights advocates, but because of Forrestal's failure to give clearcut direction—a characteristic of his approach to racial reform—the Navy might well find itself proudly trumpeting a new policy while continuing its old racial practices.
As part of the naval establishment, the Marine Corps fell under the strictures of Secretary Forrestal's announced policy of racial nondiscrimination.47 At the same time the Marine Corps was administratively independent of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Chief of Naval Personnel, and Circular Letter 48-46 which desegregated the Navy's general service, did not apply to the corps. In the development of manpower policy the corps was responsible to the Navy, in organization it closely resembled the Army, but in size and tradition it was unique. Each of these factors contributed to the development of the corps' racial policy and helped explain its postwar racial practices.
Because of the similarities in organization and mission between the Army and the Marine Corps, the commandant leaned toward the Army's solution for racial problems. The Army staff had contended that racially separate service was not discriminatory so long as it was equal, and through its Gillem Board policy it accepted the responsibility of guaranteeing that Negroes would be represented in equitable numbers and their treatment and opportunity would be similar to that given whites. Since the majority of marines sewed in the ground units of the Fleet Marine Force, organized like the Army in regiments, battalions, and squadrons with tables of organization and equipment, the formation of racially separate units presented no great problem.
Although the Marine Corps was similar to the Army in organization, it was very different in size and tradition. With a postwar force of little more than 100,000 men, the corps was hardly able to guarantee its segregated Negroes equal treatment and opportunity in terms of specialized training and variety of assignment. Again in contrast to the Army and Navy with their long tradition of Negroes in service, the Marine Corps, with a few unauthorized exceptions, had been an exclusively white organization since 1798. This habit of racial exclusion was strengthened by those feelings of intimacy and fraternity natural to any small bureaucracy. In effect the marines formed a small club in which practically everybody knew everybody else and was reluctant to admit strangers.48 Racial exclusion often warred with the corps' clear duty to provide the fair and equal service for all Americans authorized by the Secretary of the Navy. At one point the commandant, General Alexander Vandegrift, even had to remind his local commanders that black marines would in fact be included in the postwar corps.49
One other factor influenced the policy deliberations of the Marine Corps: its experiences with black marines during World War II. Overshadowing the praise commanders gave the black depot companies were reports of the trials and frustrations suffered by those who trained the large black combat units. Many Negroes trained long and hard for antiaircraft duty, yet- a senior group commander found them ill-suited to the work because of "emotional instability and lack of appreciation of materiel." One battery commander cited the "mechanical ineptitude" of his men; another fell back on "racial characteristics of the Negro as a whole" to explain his unit's difficulty.50 Embodying rash generalization and outright prejudice, the reports of these commanders circulated in Marine Corps headquarters, also revealed that a large group of black marines experienced enough problems in combat training to cast serious doubt on the reliability of the defense battalions. This doubt alone could explain the corps' decision to relegate the units to the backwaters of the war zone. Seeing only the immediate shortcomings of the large black combat units, most commanders ignored the underlying reasons for the failure. The controversial commander of the 51st Defense Battalion, Col. Curtis W. LeGette,51 however, gave his explanation to the commandant in some detail. He reported that more than half the men in the 51st as it prepared for overseas deployment—most of them recent draftees—were in the two lowest categories, IV and V, for either general classification or mechanical aptitude. That some 212 of the noncommissioned officers of the units were also in categories IV and V was the result of the unit's effort to carry out the commandant's order to replace white noncommissioned officers as quickly as possible. The need to develop black noncommissioned officers was underscored by LeGette, who testified to a growing resentment among his black personnel at the assignment of new white noncoms. Symptomatic of the unit's basic problems in 1944 was what LeGette called an evolving "occupational neurosis" among white officers forced to serve for lengthy periods with black marines.52
The marines experienced far fewer racial problems than either the Army or Navy during the war, but the difficulties that occurred were nonetheless important in the development of postwar racial policy. The basic cause of race problems was the rigid concentration of often undertrained and undereducated men, who were subjected to racial slurs and insensitive treatment by some white officials and given little chance to serve in preferred military specialties or to advance in the labor or defense units or steward details to which they were invariably consigned. But this basic cause was ignored by Marine Corps planners when they discussed the postwar use of Negroes. They preferred to draw other lessons from the corps' wartime experience. The employment of black marines in small, self-contained units performing traditional laboring tasks was justified precisely because the average black draftee was less welleducated and experienced in the use of the modern equipment. Furthermore, the correctness of this procedure seemed to be demonstrated by the fact that the corps had been relatively free of the flareups that plagued the other services. Many officials would no doubt have preferred to eliminate race problems by eliminating Negroes from the corps altogether. Failing this, they were determined that regular black marines continue to serve in those assignments performed by black marines during the war: in service units, stewards billets, and a few antiaircraft artillery units, the postwar successors to defense battalions.53
GENERAL THOMAS [Photograph not included.]
The development of a postwar racial policy to carry out the Navy Department's nondiscrimination order in the Marine Corps fell to the Division of Plans and Policies and its director, Brig. Gen. Gerald C. Thomas. It was a complicated task, and General Thomas and his staff after some delay established a series of guidelines intended to steer a middle path between exclusion and integration that would be nondiscriminatory. In addition to serving in the Steward's Branch, which contained 10 percent of all blacks in the corps, Negroes would serve in segregated units in every branch of the corps, and their strength would total some 2,800 men. This quota would not be like that established in the Army, which was pegged to the number of black soldiers during the war and which ultimately was based on national population ratios. The Marine Corps ratio of blacks to whites would be closer to 1 in 30 and would merely represent the estimated number of billets that might be filled by Negroes in self-sustaining segregated units.
The directorate also established a table of distribution plan that for the first time provided for black regular marines in aviation units and several other Marine Corps activities. Aviation units alone accounted for 25 percent of the marines in the postwar corps, General Thomas contended, and must absorb their proportionate share of black strength. Further, the Navy's policy of nondiscrimination demanded that all types of assignments be opened to black marines. Segregation "best suits the needs of the Marine Corps," General Thomas concluded. Ignoring the possibility of black officers and women marines, he thought that the opening of all specialties and types of duty to the enlisted ranks would find the Marine Corps "paralleling Navy policy."54 Clearly, the Division of Plans and Policies wanted the corps to adopt a formula roughly analogous to the Gillem Board's separate but equal system without that body's provisions for a fixed quota, black officers, or some integrated service.
But even this concession to nondiscrimination was never approved, for the Plans and Policies Division ran afoul of a basic fact of segregation: the postwar strength of many elements of the Marine Corps was too small to support separate racial units. The Director of Aviation, for example, argued that because of the size and nature of his operation, segregated service was impossible. A substantial number of his enlisted men also did double duty by serving in air stations where Negroes could not be segregated, he explained. Only completely separate aviation units, police and maintenance, and construction units would be available for Negroes, a state of affairs "which would be open to adverse criticism." He recommended instead that Negroes in aviation be used only as stewards.55 He failed to explain how this solution would escape adverse criticism.
General Thomas rejected these proposals, repeating that Secretary Forrestal's nondiscrimination policy demanded that a separate but equal system be extended throughout the Marine Corps. He also borrowed one of the Gillem Board's arguments: Negroes must be trained in the postwar military establishment in every occupation to serve as a cadre for future general mobilizations.56 Thomas did not mention the fact that although large branches such as Fleet Marine Force aviation could maintain separate but equal living facilities for its black marines, even they would have to provide partially integrated training and working conditions. And the smaller organizations in the corps would be forced to integrate fully if forced to accept black marines. In short, if the corps wanted segregation it must pay the price of continued discrimination against black marines in terms of numbers enlisted and occupations assigned.
The choice was left to Commandant Vandegrift. One solution to the "Negro question," General Thomas told him, was complete integration and the abolition of racial quotas, but Thomas did not press this solution. Instead, he reviewed for Vandegrift the racial policies of the other services, pointing out that these policies had more often been devised to "appease the Negro press and other 'interested' agencies than to satisfy their own needs." Until the matter was settled on a "higher level, " Thomas concluded, the services were not required to go further than had been their custom, and until Vandegrift decided on segregation or integration, setting quotas for the different branches in the corps was inappropriate. Thomas himself recommended that segregated units be adopted and that a quota be devised only after each branch of the corps reported how many Negroes it could use in segregated units.57 Vandegrift approved Thomas's recommendation for segregated black units, and the Marine Corps lost the chance, temporarily, to adopt a policy in line with either the Navy's limited and integrated system or the Army's separate but equal system.
General Thomas spent the summer collecting and reviewing the proposals of the corps' various components for the employment of black marines. On the basis of this review General Vandegrift approved a postwar policy for the employment of Negroes in the Marine Corps on 26 September 1946. The policy called for the enlistment of 2,264 Negroes, 264 as stewards, the rest to serve in separate units, chiefly in ground security forces of the Fleet Marine Force in Guam and Saipan and in Marine Corps activities of the naval shore establishment. No Negroes except stewards would serve in Marine aviation, Marine forces afloat, or, with the exception of service depots, in the Marine logistic establishment.58
The policy was in effect by January 1947. In the end the Marine Corps' white-only tradition had proved strong enough to resist the progressive impulses that were pushing the other services toward some relaxation of their segregation policies. Committed to limiting Negroes to a token representation and employing black marines in rigidly self-contained units, the Marine Corps could not establish a quota for Negroes based on national racial proportions and could offer no promise of equal treatment and opportunity in work assignments and promotions.
Thus all the services emerged from their deliberations with postwar policies that were markedly different in several respects but had in common a degree of segregation. The Army, declaring that military efficiency demanded ultimate integration, temporized, guaranteeing as a first step an intricate system of separate but equal treatment and opportunity for Negroes. The Marine Corps began with the idea that separate but equal service was not discriminatory, but when equal service proved unattainable, black marines were left with separatism alone. The Navy announced the most progressive policy of all, providing for integration of its general service. Yet it failed to break the heavy concentration of Negroes in the Steward's Branch, where no whites served. And unlike the segregated Army, the integrated Navy, its admission standards too high to encourage black enlistments, did not guarantee to take any black officers or specialists.
None of these policies provided for the equal treatment and opportunity guaranteed to every black serviceman under the Constitution, although the racial practices of all the services stood far in advance of those of most institutions in the society from which they were derived. The very weaknesses and inadequacies inherent in these policies would in themselves become a major cause of the reforms that were less than a decade away.
1Memo, McCloy for SW, 17 Sep 45, SW 291.2; Ltr, McCloy to author, 25 Sep 69, CMH files.
2See, for example, Memo, SW for CofS, 7 Nov 45, SW 291.2; see also Ltr, McCloy to author, 25 Sep 69.
3Quoted in Memo, Gen Gillem for CofS. 17 Nov 45, sub: Report of Board of General Officers on Utilization of Negro Manpower in the Post-War Army, copy in CSGOT 291.2 (1945) BP.
4Interv, Capt Alan Osur, USAF, with Lt Gen Alvan C. Gillem (USA Ret.,), 3 Feb 72, copy in CMH.
5Memo, Maj Gen Ray Porter, Dir, Spec Planning Div. for Gillem, 28 Sep 45, sub: War Department Special Board on Negro Manpower, WDCSA 320.2.
6In a later comment on the selections, McCloy said that the geographical spread and lack of West Point representation was accidental and that the use of general officers reflected the importance of the subject to him and to Patterson. See Ltr, McCloy to author, 25 Sep 69, and Ltr, Gen Morse to author, 10 Sep 74, CMH files.
7Memo, Gen Gillem for CofS, 26 Oct 45, sub: Progress Rpt on Board Study of Utilization of Negro Manpower in the Post-War Army, WDCSA 291.2; see also Interv, Osur with Gillem.
8Memo, Gillem for CofS, 17 Nov 45, sub: Report of Board of General Officers on the Utilization of Negro Manpower in the Post-War Army. Unless otherwise noted this section is based on the report.
9The 10 percent quota that eventually emerged from the Gillem Board was an approximation; Gillem later recalled that the World War II enlisted ratio was nearer 9.5 percent, but that General Eisenhower, the Chief of Staff, saying he could not remember that, suggested making it "an even 10 percent." See Interv, Osur with Gillem.
10Memo, Brig Gen H. I. Hodes, ADCofS, for Gillem, 24 Nov 45, sub: War Department Special Board on Negro Management, WDCSA 320.2 (17 Nov 45).
11Memo, Civilian Aide for ASW, 13 Nov 45, ASW 291.2 Negro Troops (Post War); Ltr, idem to SW, 13 Nov 45; Memo, McCloy for Patterson, 24 Nov 45; Memo, Gibson for SW, 28 Nov 45. Last three in SW 291.2. The Gibson quote is from the 28 November memo.
12For examples of this extensive review of the Gillem Board Report in Gel, see the following Memos: Col J. F. Cassidy (Exec Office,G-I) for Col Parks, 10 Dec 45; Chief, Officer Branch, Gel, for Exec Off, G-1 Policy Group, 14 Dec 45; Actg Chief, Req and Res Br, for Chief, Policy Control Group, 14 Dec 45, Lt Col E B. Jones, Special Projects Br, for G-1, 19 and 21 Dec 45, sub: Policy for Utilization of Negro Manpower in Post-War Army. All in WDGAP 291.2.
13Memo, Gen Paul, G-1, for CofS, 27 Dec 45, sub: Policy for Utilization of Negro Manpower in Post-War Army, WDGAP 291.2 (24 Nov 45).
14G-3 Summary Sheet to ADCofS, 2 Jan 46, sub: War Department Special Board on Negro Manpower, WDGCT291.21 (24Nov45).
15Memo, Lt Gen John E. Hull, ACofS, OPD (signed Brig Gen E. D. Post, Dep Chief, Theater Gp, OPD), for ACofS, G-3, 4 Jan 46, sub: War Department Special Board on Negro Manpower, WDGCT 291.21.
161st Ind, Lt Gen Ira C. Eaker, Deputy Cmdr, AAF, to CofS, 19 Dec 45, sub: War Department Special Board on Negro Manpower, copy at Tab H. Supplemental Report of Board of Officers on Utilization of Negro Manpower in the Post-War Army, 26 Jan 46, copy in CMH.
17Memo, Lt Col S. R. Knight (for CG, AGE) for CofS, 18 Dec 45, sub: Army Ground Forces Comments and Recommendations on Report of the War Department Special Board (Gillem) on Negro Manpower, dated 17 Nov 45, GNGPS 370.01 (18 Dec 45); AGE Study, "Participation of Negro Troops in the Postwar Military Establishment," 28 Nov 45, forwarded to CofS, ATTIC: Dir, WD Special Planning Div. GNDCG 370.01 (28 Nov 45).
18Memo, Maj Gen Daniel Noce, Actg CofS, ASF, for CofS, 28 Dec 45, sub: War Department Special Board on Negro Manpower, copy at Tab J. Supplemental Report of War Department Special Board on Negro Manpower, 26 Jan 46, CMH files.
19Supplemental Report of War
Department Special Board on Negro Manpower, "Policy for Utilization of
Negro Manpower in the Post War Army," 26 Jan 46. The following quotations
are taken from this amended version of the Gillem Board Report, a copy
of which, with all tabs and annexes, is in CMH.
20Eisenhower succeeded Marshall as Chief of Staff on 19 November 1945.
21Memo, CofS for SW, 1 Feb 46, sub: Supplemental Report of Board of Officers on Utilization of Negro Manpower in the Post War Army, WDCSA 320.2 (1 Feb 46).
22Ltr, TAG for CG's, AGE et al., 6 May 46, sub: Utilization of Negro Manpower in the Post-War Army WDGAP 291.2.
23WD Press Release, 4 Mar 46, "Report of Board of Officers on Utilization of Negro Manpower in the Post-War Army."
24Memo, SW for CofS, 28 Feb 46, WDCSA 320.2 (28 Feb 46).
25Memo, Truman Gibson, Expert Consultant to the SW, for Howard C. Petersen, 28 Feb 46, ASW 291.2 Negro Troops (Post-War).
26Remarks of the Assistant Secretary of War at Luncheon for Negro Newspaper Publishers Association, 1 Mar46, ASW 291.2.
27Ray, a former commander of an artillery battalion in the 92d Infantry Division, was appointed civilian aide on 2 January 1946; see WD Press Release, 7 Jan 46.
28Ltr, Marcus Ray to Capt Warman K. Welliver, 10 Apr 46, copy in CMH. Welliver, the commander of a black unit during the war, was a student of the subject of Negroes in the Army; see his "Report on the Negro
29Norfolk Journal and Guide, March 9, 1946.
30Ltr, L. D. Reddick, N.Y. Pub. Lib., to SW, 12 Mar 46, SW 291.
31Ltr, Bernard Jackson, Youth Council, NAACP Boston Br, to ASW, 4 Apr 46, ASW 291.2 (NT).
32Pittsburgh Courier, May 11, 1946.
33Ltr, Charles G. Bolte, Chmn, Amer Vets Cmte, to SW, 8 Mar 46; see also Ltr, Ralph DeNat, Corr Secy, Amer Vets Cmte, to SW, 28 May 46, both in SW 291.2 (Cmte) (9 Aug 46).
34Ltrs, ASW to Bernard H. Solomon and to Bernard Jackson, 9 Apr 46, both in ASW 291.2.
35Hanson Baldwin, "Wanted: An American Military Policy," Harper's 192 (May 1946):403-13.
36Remarks by Gen J. L. Devers, Armored Conference Report, 16 May 46.
37Ltr, CINCPAC&POA to SecNav via Ch, NavPers, 30 Oct 45, sub: Negro Naval Personnel—Pacific Ocean Areas, and 2d Ind, CNO, 7 Dec 4 5, same sub, both in P 16-3 / MM, OpNavArchives.
38Memo, J. F. for Adm Jacobs, 23 Aug 45, 54-1-13, Forrestal file, GenRecsNav.
39Memo, Asst Ch, NavPers, for SecNav, 10 Sep 45, sub: Ur Memo of August 23, 1945, Relative to Lester B. Granger . . . 54-1- 13, Forrestal file, GenRecsNav.
401st Ind, Chief, NavPers, to Ltr, CINCPAC&POA to SecNav, 30 Oct 45, sub: Negro Personnel—Pacific Ocean Areas (ca. 15 Nov 45), P16-3MM, OpNavArchives; Memo, M. F. Correa (Admin Asst to SecNav) for CaptRobertN. McFarlane, 30Nov45, 54-1-13, Forrestal file, GenRecsNav.
41Forrestal's request for a progress report was circulated in CNO Dispatch 142105Z Dec 45 to CINCPAC&POA, quoted in Nelson, "Integration of the Negro, " p. 58.
42Memo, CINCPAC&POA for CNO, 5 Jan 46, sub: Negro Naval Personnel—Pacific Ocean Areas, P10/P11, OpNavArchives.
43Admiral Denfeld's statement to the black press representatives in this regard is referred to in Memo, Capt H. Wood, Jr., for Chief, NavPers, 2 Jan 46, P16-3 / MM, BuPersRecs.
44Ltr, Chief, NavPers, to CNO, 4 Jan 46, sub Assignment of Negro Personnel, P16-3MM, BuPersRecs.
45As reported in Ltr, Granger to author, 25 Jun 69, CMH files.
46Ltr, Congressman Stephen Pace of Georgia to Forrestal, 22 Jun 46; Ltr, Forrestal to Pace, 14 Aug 46, both in 54-1-13, Forrestal file, GenRecsNav.
47The latest pronouncement of that policy was ALNAV 423-45.
48See USMC Oral History Interviews, Lt Gen James L. Underhill, 25 Mar 68, and Lt Gen Ray A. Robinson, 8 Mar 68, both in Hist Div, HQMC.
49Memo, CO, 26th Marine Depot Co., Fifth Service Depot, Second FMF, Pacific, for CMC, 2 Nov 45, with Inds, sub: Information Concerning Peacetime Colored Marine Corps, Request for; Memos, CMC for CG, FMF (Pacific), et al., 11 Dec 45, sub: Voluntary Enlistments, Negro Marines, in Regular Marine Corps, Assignment of Quotas; idem for Cmdr, MCAB, Cherry Point, N.C., et al., 14 Dec 45. Unless otherwise noted, all documents cited in this section are located in Hist Div, HQMC.
50AAA Gp, 51st Defense Bn, FMF, Montford Pt., Gp Cmdr's Endorsement on Annual Record Practice, Year 1943, 20 Dec 43; AAA Gp, 51st Defense Bn, FMF, Montford Pt., Battery Cmdr's Narrative Report of Record Practice, 1943, 21 Dec 43; idem, Battery Cmdr's Narrative Rpt (signed R. H. Twisdale) (ca. 20 Dec 43).
51For the extensive charges and countercharges concerning the controversy between Colonel LeGette and his predecessor in the 51st, see files of Hist Div, HQMC.
52Memo, CO, 51st Defense Bn, FMF, for CMC, 20 Jul 44, sub: Combat Efficiency, Fifty-First Defense Battalion, Serial 1085.
53Shaw and Donnelly, Blacks in the Marine Corps, pp. 47-49; Interv, James Westfall with Col Curtis W. LeGette (USMC. Ret.), 8 Feb 72, copy in CMH.
54Memo, Dir, Div of Plans and Policies, for CMC, 8 Apr 46, sub: Negro Personnel in the Post-War Marine corps. This memo was not submitted for signature and was superseded by a memo of 13 May 46.
55Memos, Dir, Aviation, for CMC, 26 Apr 46, sub: Negro Personnel in the Post-War Marine Corps, and 31 May 46, sub: Enlistment of Negroes "For Duty in Aviation units Only."
56Div of Plans and Policies (signed G. C. Thomas), Consideration of Non-Concurrence, 2 May 46 attached to Memo, Dir, Aviation, for CMC, 26 Apr 46.
57Memo, Dir, Div of Plans and Policies, for CMC, 13 May 46, sub: Negro Personnel in the Post-War Marine Corps
58Idem for CMC, 25 Sep 46, sub: Post-War Negro Personnel Requirements. For examples of the proposals submitted by the various components, see Memo, F. D. Beans, G-3, for G-1, 6 Aug 46, sub Employment of Colored Personnel in the Fleet Marine Force (Ground) (less Service Ground) and in Training Activities; Memo, Lt Col Schmuck. G-3, for Cot Stiles, 10 Jun 46, sub: Utilization of Negro Personnel in Post-War Infantry Units of the Fleet Marine Force; Memo, QMC for CMC, 4 Sep 46, sub: Negro Personnel in the Post-War Marine Corps.