The Air Force was a new service in 1947, but it was also heir to a long tradition of segregation. Most of its senior officers, trained in the Army, firmly supported the Army's policy of racially separate units and racial quotas. A despite continuing objections to what many saw as the Gillem Board's far tom progressive proposals, the Air Force adopted the Army's postwar racial policy as its own. Yet after less than two years as an independent service the Air Force in late 1948 stood on the threshold of integration.
This sudden change in attitude was not so much the result of humanitarian. promptings by service officials, although some of them forcibly demanded equal treatment and opportunity. Nor was it a response to civil rights activists, although Negroes in and outside the Air Force continued to exert pressure for change. Rather, integration was forced upon the service when the inefficiency of its racial practices could no longer be ignored. The inefficiency of segregated troops was less noticeable in the Army where a vast number of Negroes could serve In a variety of expandable black units, and in the smaller Navy, where only a few Negroes had specialist ratings and most black sailors were in the separate Steward's Branch. But the inefficiency of separatism was plainly evident in the Air Force.
Like the Army, the Air Force had its share of service units to absorb the marginal black airman, but postwar budget restrictions had made the enlargement of service units difficult to justify. At the same time, the Gillem Board policy as well as outside pressures had made it necessary to include a black air unit In the service s limited number of postwar air wings. However socially desirable two air forces might seem to most officials, and however easy it had been to defend them as a wartime necessity, it quickly became apparent that segregation was, organizationally at least, a waste of the Air Force's few black pilots and specialists and its relatively large supply of unskilled black recruits. Thus, the inclination to integrate was mostly pragmatic; notably absent were the idealistic overtones sounded by the Navy's Special Programs Unit during the war. Considering the magnitude of the Air Force problem, it was probably just as well that efficiency rather than idealism became the keynote of change. On a percentage bests the Air Force had almost as many Negroes as the Army and, no doubt, a comparable level of prejudice among its commanders and men. At the same time, the Air Force was a new service, its organization still fluid and its policies subject to rapid modification. In such circumstances a straightforward appeal to efficiency had a chance to succeed where an idealistic call for justice and fair play might well have floundered.
Many officials in the Army Air Forces had defended segregated units during the war as an efficient method of avoiding dangerous social conflicts and utilizing low-scoring recruits.1 General Arnold himself repeatedly warned against bringing black officers and white enlisted men together. Unless strict unit segregation was imposed, such contacts would be inevitable, given the Air Forces' highly mobile training and operations structure.2 But if segregation restricted contacts between the races it also imposed a severe administrative burden on the wartime Air Forces. It especially affected the black flying units because it ordained that not only pilots but the ground support specialists—mechanics, supply clerks, armorers--had to be black. Throughout most of the war the Air Forces, competing with the rest of the Army for skilled and high-scoring Negroes, was unable to fill the needs of its black air units. At a rime when the Air Forces enjoyed a surplus of white air and ground crews, the black fighter units suffered from a shortage of replacements for their combat veterans, a situation as inefficient as it was damaging to morale.3
The shortage was compounded in the penultimate year of the war when the all-black 477th Bombardment Group was organized. (Black airmen and civil rights spokesmen complained that restricting Negroes to fighter units excluded them from many important and prestigious types of air service.) In the end the new bombardment group only served to limit black participation in the air war. Already short of black pilots, the Army Air Forces now had to find black navigators and bombardiers as well, thereby intensifying the competition for qualified black cadets. The stipulation that pilots and bombardiers for the new unit be trained at segregated Tuskegee was another obvious cause for the repeated delays in the operational date of the 477th, and its crews were finally assembled only weeks before the end of the war. Competition for black bomber crews also led to a ludicrous situation in which men highly qualified for pilot training according to their stanine scores (achievements on the battery of qualifying tests taken by all applicants for flight service) were sent instead to navigator-bomber training, for which they were only barely qualified.4
Unable to obtain enough Negroes qualified for flight training, the Army Air Forces asked the Ground and Service Forces to screen their personnel for suitable candidates but a screening early in 1945 produced only about one-sixth of the men needed. Finally, the Air Forces recommended that the Army staff lower the General Classification Test score for pilot training from 110 to 100, a recommendation the Service and Ground Forces opposed because such a move would eventually mean the mass transfer of high-scoring Negroes to the Air Forces thus depriving the Service and Ground Forces of their proportionate share. Although the Secretary of War approved the Air Forces proposal, the change came too late to affect the shortage of black pilots and specialists before the end of the war.
DAMAGE INSPECTION. A squadron operations officer of the 332d Fighter Group points out a cannon bole to ground crew, Italy, 1945. [Photograph not included.]
While short of skilled Negroes, the Army Air Forces was being inundate with thousands of undereducated and unskilled Negroes from Selective Service It tried to absorb these recruits, as it absorbed some of its white draftees, by creating a great number of service and base security battalions. A handy solution to the wartime quota problem, the large segregated units eventually caused considerable racial tension. Some of the tension might have been avoided had black officers commanded black squadrons, a logical course since the Air Force had a large surplus of nonrated black officers stationed at Tuskegee.5 Most were without permanent assignment or were assigned such duties as custodial responsibility for bachelor officer quarters, occupations unrelated to their specialties.6
Few of these idle black officers commanded black service units because the units were scattered worldwide while the nonrated officers were almost always assigned to the airfield at Tuskegee. Approximately one-third of the Air Forces' 1,559 black officers were stationed at Tuskegee in June 1945. Most others were assigned to the fighter group in the Mediterranean theater or the new bombardment group in flight training at Goodwin Field, Kentucky. Only twenty-five black officers were serving at other stations in the United States. The Second. Third, and Fourth Air Forces and I Troop Carrier Command, for example, had a combined total of seventeen black officers as against 22,938 black enlisted men.7 Col. Noel F. Parrish, the wartime commander at Tuskegee, explained that the principal reason for this restriction was the prevailing fear of social conflict. If assigned to other bases, black officers might try to use the officers' clubs and other base facilities. Thus, despite the surplus of black officers only too evident at Tuskegee, their requests for transfer to other bases for assignment in their rating were usually denied on the grounds that the overall shortage of black officers made their replacement impossible.8
Fearing trouble between black and white officers and assuming that black airmen preferred white officers, the Air Forces assigned white officers to command black squadrons. Actually, such assignments courted morale problems-and worse because they were extremely unpopular with both officers and men. Moreover, the Air Forces eventually had to admit there was a tendency to assign white officers "of mediocre caliber" to black squadrons.9 Yet few assignments demanded greater leadership ability, for these officers were burdened not only with the usual problems of a unit commander but also with the complexities of race relations. If they disparaged their troops, they failed as commanders; if they fought for their men, they were dismissed by their superiors as "pro-Negro." Consequently, they were generally a harassed and bewildered lot, bitter over their assignments and bad for troop morale. 10
The social problems predicted for integration
proved inevitable under segregation. Commanders found it prohibitively
expensive to provide separate but equal facilities, and without them discrimination
became more obvious. The walk-in protest at the Freeman Field Officers
Club was but one of the natural consequences of segregation rules. And
such demonstrations were only the more spectacular problems. Just as time-consuming
and perhaps more of a burden were the many administrative difficulties.
The Air Transport Command admitted in 1946 that it was too expensive to
maintain, as the command was obligated to do, separate and equal housing
and messing, including separate orderly and dayrooms for black airmen.
At the same time it complained of the disproportionately high percentage
of black troops violating military and civil low Although Negroes accounted
for 20 percent of the command's troops, they committed more than 50 percent
of its law infractions. The only connection the command was able to make
between the separate, unequal facilities and the high misconduct rate was
to point out that, while it had done its best to provide for Negroes, they
"had not earned a very enviable record by themselves. " 11
COLONEL PARRISH (1946 photograph). [Photograph not included.]
The Air staff was not oblivious to these facts and made some adjustments in policy as the war progressed. Notary, it rejected separate training of nonrated black officers and provided for integrated training of black navigators and bombardiers. In the last days of the war General Arnold ordered his commanders to "take affirmative action to insure that equity in training and assignment opportunity is provided all personnel. " 13 And when it came to postwar planning, the Air staff demonstrated it had learned much from wartime experience:
The degree to which negroes can be successfully employed in the Post-War Military Establishment largely depends on the success of the Army in maintaining at a minimum the feeling of discrimination and unfair treatment which basically are the causes for irritation and disorders.... in the event of a future emergency the arms will employ a large number of negroes and their contribution in such an emergency will largely depend on the training, treatment and intelligent use of negroes during the intervening years. 14
But while admitting that discrimination was at the heart of its racial problem, the Air staff failed to see the connection between discrimination and segregation. Instead it adopted the recommendations of its senior commanders. The consensus was that black combat (flying) units had performed "more or less creditably," but required more training than white units, and that the ground echelon and combat support units had performed below average. Rather than abolish these below average units, however, commanders wanted them preserved and wanted postwar policy to strengthen segregation. The final recommendation of the Army Air Forces to the Gillem Board was that blacks be trained according to the same standards as whites but that they be employed in separate units and segregated for recreation, messing, and social activities "on the post as well as off,'' in keeping with prevailing customs in the surrounding civilian community.15
The Army Air Forces' postwar use of black troops was fairly consonant with the major provisions of the Gillem Board Report. To reduce black combat units in proportion to the reduction of its white units, it converted the 477th Bombardment Group (M) into the 477th Composite Group. This group, under the command of the Army's senior black pilot, Col. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., included a fighter, a bombardment, and a service squadron. To provide segregated duty for its black specialists, the Army Air Forces organized regular black squadrons, mostly ammunition, motor transport, and engineer throughout its commands. To absorb the large number of unskilled Negroes, it organized one black squadron (Squadron F) in each of the ninety-seven base units in its worldwide base system to perform laboring and housekeeping chores. Finally, it promised "to the fullest possible extent" to assign Negroes with specialized skills and qualifications to overhead and special units.16
In the summer of 1947, the Army Air Forces integrated aviation training at Randolph Field, Texas, and quietly closed Tuskegee airfield, thus ending the last segregated officer training in the armed forces. The latter move was unrelated to the Gillem Board Report or to the demands of civil rights advocates. The Tuskegee operation had simply become impractical. In the severe postwar retrenchment of the armed forces, Tuskegee's cadet enrollment had dropped sharply; only nine men had graduated in the October 1945 class.17 to the general satisfaction of the black community, the black cadets at Randolph Field shared both quarters and classes with white students. 18 Nine black cadets were in training at the end of 1947.19
Another postwar reduction was not so advantageous for Negroes. By February 1946 the 477th Composite Group had been reduced to sixteen B-25 bombers, twelve P-47 fighter-bombers, and only 746 men—a 40 percent drop in four months.20 Although the Tactical Air Command rated the unit's postwar training and performance satisfactory, and its transfer to the more hospitable surroundings and finer facilities of Lockbourne Field, Ohio, raised morale. the 477th, like other understaffed and underequipped organizations, faced inevitable conversion to specialized service. In July 1947 the 477th was inactivated and replaced by the 332d Fighter Group composed of the 99th, 100th and 301st Fighter Squadrons. Black bomber pilots were converted to fighter pilots, and the bomber crews were removed from flying status.
OFFICERS, SOFTBALL TEAM representing the 477th Composite Group, Goodwin Field, Kentucky. [Photograph not included.]
These changes flew in the face of the Gillem Board Report, for however slightly that document may have changed the Army's segregation policy, it did demand at least a modest response to the call for equal opportunity in training, assignment, and advancement. The board clearly looked to the command of black units by qualified black officers and the training of black airmen to serve as a cadre for any necessary expansion of black units in wartime. Certainly the conversion of black bomber pilots to fighters did not meet these modest demands. In its defense the Army Air Forces in effect pleaded that there were too many Negroes for its present force, now severely reduced in size and lacking planes and other equipment, and too many of the black troops lacked education for the variety of assignments recommended by the board.
The Army Air Forces seemed to have a point, for in the immediate postwar period its percentage of black airmen had risen dramatically. It was drafting men to replace departing veterans, and in 1946 it was taking anyone who qualified, including many Negroes. In seven months the air arm lost over half its black strength, going from a wartime high of 80,606 on 31 August 1945 to 38,911 on 31 March 1946, but in the same period the black percentage almost doubled, climbing from 4.2 to 7.92.21 The War Department predicted that all combat arms would have a black strength of 15 percent by 1 July 1946.22
This prophecy never materialized in the Air Forces. Changes in enlistment standards, curtailment of overseas assignments for Negroes, and, finally, suspension of all black enlistments in the Regular Army except in certain military specialist occupations turned the percentage of Negroes downward. By the fall of 1947, when the Air Force became a separate service, 23 the proportion of black airmen had leveled off at nearly 7 percent. Nor did the proportion of Negroes ever exceed the Gillem Board's 10 percent quota during the next decade.
The Air Force seemed on safer ground when it pleaded that it lacked the black airmen with skills to carry out the variety of assignments called for by the Gillem Board. The Air Force was finding it impossible to organize effective black units in appreciable numbers; even some units already in existence were as much as two-thirds below authorized strength in certain ground specialist slots.24 Yet here too the statistics do not reveal the whole truth. Despite a general shortage of Negroes in the high test score categories, the Air Force did have black enlisted men qualified for general assignment as specialists or at least eligible for specialist Braining, who were instead assigned to labor squadrons.25 In its effort to reduce the number of Negroes, the service had also relieved from active duty other black specialists trained in much needed skills. Finally, the Air Force still had a surplus of black specialists in some categories at Lockbourne Field who were not assigned to the below-strength units.
Again it was not too many black enlisted men or too few black officers or specialists but the policy of strict segregation that kept the Air Force from using black troops efficiently. Insistence on segregation, not the number of Negroes, caused maldistribution among the commands. In 1947, for example, the Tactical Air Command contained some 5,000 black airmen, close to 28 percent of the command's strength. This situation camp about because the command counted among its units the one black air group and many of the black service units whose members in an integrated service would have been distributed throughout all the commands according to needs and abilities. The Air Force segregation policy restricted all but forty-five of the black officers in the continental United States to one base,26 just as it was the Air Force's attempt to avoid integration that kept black officers from command. In November 1947, 1,581 black enlisted men and only two black officers were stationed at MacDill Field; at San Antonio there were 3,450 black airmen and again two black officers. These figures provide some clue to the cause of the riot involving black airmen at MacDill Field on 27 October 1946.27
Segregation also prevented the use of Negroes on a broader professional scale. In April 1948, 84.2 percent of Negroes in the Air Force were working in an occupational specialty as against 92.7 percent of whites, but the number of Negroes in radar, aviation specialist, wire communications, and other highly specialized skills required to support a tactical air unit was small and far below the percentage of whites. The Air Force argued that since Negroes were assigned to black units and since there was only one black tactical unit, there was little need for Negroes with these special skills.
CHECKING AMMUNITION. An armorer in the 332d Fighter Group inspects the P-51 Mustang, Italy, 1945. [Photograph not included.]
The fact that rated black officers and specialists were restricted to one black fighter group particularly concerned civil rights advocates. Without bomber transport, ferrying, or weather observation assignments, black officers qualifier for larger aircraft had no chance to diversify their careers. It was essentially the same story for black airmen. Without more varied and large black combat units the Air Force had no need to assign many black airmen to specialist training In December 1947, for example, only 80 of approximately 26,000 black airmen were attending specialist schools.28 When asked about the absence of Negroes in large aircraft. especially bombers, Air Force spokesmen cited the conversion of the 477th Composite Group, which contained the only black bomber unit, to a specialized fighter group as merely part of a general reorganization to meet the needs of a 55-wing organization. 29 That the one black bomber unit happened to be organized out of existence was pure accident.
The Gillem Board had sought to expand the training and placement of skilled Negroes by going outside the regular black units and giving them overhead assignments. After the war some base commanders made such assignments unofficially, taking advantage of the abilities of airmen in the overmanned, all-black Squadron F's and assigning them to skilled curies. In one instance the base commander's secretary was a member of his black unit; in another, black mechanics from Squadron F worked on the flight line with white mechanics. But whatever their work, these men remained members of Squadron F, and often the whole black squadron, rather than individual airmen, found itself functioning as an overhead unit, contrary to the intent of the Gillem Board. Even the few Negroes formally trained in a specialty and placed in an integrated overhead unit did not approximate the Gillem Board's intention of training a cadre that would be readily expandable in an emergency.
The alternative to expanded overhead assignments was continuation of segregated service units and Squadron F's, but, as some manpower experts pointed out, many special purpose units suitable for unskilled airmen were disappearing from the postwar Air Force. Experience gained through the assignment of large numbers of marginal men to such units in peacetime would be of questionable value during large-scale mobilization.30 As Colonel Parrish, the wartime commander of training at Tuskegee, warned, a peacetime policy incapable of wartime application was not only unrealistic, but dangerous.31
The Air staff tried to carry out the Gillem Board's suggestion that Negroes be stationed "where attitudes are most favorable for them insofar as military factors permit," but even here the service lagged behind civilian practice. When Marcus H. Ray arrived at Wright Field, Ohio, for a two-day inspection tour in July 1946, he found almost 3,000 black civilians working peacefully and effectively alongside 18,000 white civilians, all assigned to their jobs without regard to race. "I would rate this installation," Ray reported, "as the best example of efficient utilization of manpower I have seen." He went on co explain: "The integration has been accomplished without publicity and simply by assigning workers according to their capabilities and without regard to race, creed, or color." But Ray also noted that there were no black military men on the base.32 Assistant Secretary of War Petersen was impressed. "In view of the fact that the racial climate seems exceptionally favorable at Wright Field," he wrote General Carl Spaatz, "consideration should be given to the employment of carefully selected Negro military personnel with specialist ratings for work in that installation " 33
The Air Force complied. In the fall of 1946 it was forming black units for assignment to Air Materiel Command Stations, and it planned to move a black unit to Wright Field in the near future.34 In assigning an all-black unit to Wright, however, the Air Force was introducing segregation where none had existed before, and here as in other areas its actions belied the expressed intent of the Gillem Board policy.
The problems associated with efficient use of black airmen intensified when the Air Force became an independent service in 1947. The number of Negroes fluctuated during the transition from Army Air Forces to Air Force, and as late as April 1948 the Army still retained a number of specialized black units whose members had the right to transfer to the Air Force. Estimates were that some 5,400 Rack airmen would eventually enter the Air Force from this source. Air Force officials believed that when these men were added to the 26,507 Negroes already in the new service, including 118 rated and 127 nonrated male officers and 4 female officers, the total would exceed the 10 percent quota suggested by the Gilled Board. Accordingly, soon after it became an independent service, the Air Force set the number of black enlistments at 300 per month until the necessary adjustments to the transfer program could be made. 35
In addition to the chronic problems associated with black enlistments and quotas, four very specific problems demonstrated clearly to Air Force officials the urgent need for a change in race policy. The first of these was the distribution of black airmen which threatened the operational efficiency of the Tactical Air Command. A second, related to the first, revolved around the personnel shortages In black tactical units that necessitated an immediate reorganization of those units, a reorganization both controversial and managerially inefficient. The third and fourth problems were related; the demands of black leaders for a broader use of black servicemen suddenly intensified, dovetailing with the personal inclinations of the Secretary of the Air Force, who was making the strict segregation of black officers and specialists increasingly untenable. These four factors coalesced during 1948 and led to a reassessment of policy and, finally, to a volte-face.
Limiting black enlistment to 300 per month did little to ease the situation in the Tactical Air Command. There, the percentage of black personnel, although down from its postwar high of 28 percent to 15.4 percent by the end of 1947, remained several points above the Gillem Board's 10 percent quota throughout 1948. March 1948 the command's Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Col. John E. Barr, found that the large number of Negroes gave the command a surplus of "marginal individuals," men who could not be trained economically for the various skills needed. He argued that this theoretical surplus of Negroes was "potentially parasitic" and threatened the command's mission. 36
SQUADRON F, 318TH AAF BATTALlON, in review, Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, 1947. [Photograph not included.]
At the same time, the commando personnel director found that Negroes were being inefficiently used. With one squadron designated for their black airmen, most commanders deemed surplus any Negroes in excess of the needs of that squadron and made little attempt to use them effectively. Even when some of these men were given a chance at skilled jobs in the Tactical Air Command their assignments proved short-lived. Because of a shortage of white airmen at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, in early 1948, for example, Negroes from the base's Squadron F were assigned to fill all the slots in Squadron C, the base fire department. The Negroes performed so creditably that when enough white airmen to man Squadron C became available the commander suggested that the black fire fighters be transferred to Lockbourne rather than returned to their menial assignments.37 The advantage of leaving the all-black Squadron C at Shaw was apparently overlooked by everyone.
Even this limited chance at occupational preferment was exceptional for black airmen in the Tactical Air Command. The command's personnel staff admitted that many highly skilled black technicians were performing menial tasks and that measures taken to raise the performance levels of other black airmen through training were inadequate. The staff also concluded that actions designed by the command to raise morale among black airmen left much to be desired. It mentioned specifically the excessively high turnover of officers assigned to black Units, officers who for the most part proved mediocre as leaders. Most devastating of all, the study admitted that promotions and other rewards for duties performed by black airmen were not commensurate with those received by whites.38
Colonel Barr offered a solution that echoed the plea of Air Force commanders everywhere: revise Circular 124 to allow his organization to reduce the percentage of Negroes. Among a number of "compromise solutions" he record mended raising enlistment standards to reduce the number of submarginal airmen; designating Squadron E, the transportation squadron of the combat wings, a black unit; assigning all skilled black technicians to Lockbourne or declaring them surplus to the command; and selecting only outstanding officers to command black units.
One of these recommendations was under fire in Colonel Barr's own command. All-black transportation squadrons had already been discussed in the Ninth Air Force and had brought an immediate objection from Maj. Gen William D. Old, its commander. Old explained that few black airmen in his command were qualified for "higher echelon maintenance activities," that is, major motor and transmission overhaul, and he had no black officers qualified to command such troops. On-the-job training would be impossible during total conversion of the squadrons from white to black; formal schooling for whole squadrons would have to be organized. Besides, Old continued, making transportation squadrons all black would only aggravate the command's race problems, for it would result in a further deviation from the "desired ratio of one to ten. " Old wanted to reduce the number of black airmen in the Ninth Air Force by 1,633 men. The loss would not materially affect the efficiency of his command, he concluded. It would leave the Ninth Air Force with a ratio of one black officer to ten white and one black airman to eight white, and still permit the manning of black tactical units at full strength.39 In the end none of these recommendations was followed. They needed the approval of Air Force headquarters, and as Lt. Gen. Elwood R. Quesada, commander of the Tactical Air Command, explained to General Old, the headquarters was in the midst of a lengthy review of Circular 124. In the meantime the command would have to carry on without guidance from higher headquarters. 40 Carry on it did, but the problems associated with the distribution of black airmen, problems the command constantly shared with Air Force headquarters, lingered throughout 1948. 41
The Air Force's segregation policy had meanwhile created a critical situation in the black tactical units. The old 332d, now the 332d Fighter Wing, shared with the rest of the command the burden of too many low-scoring men—35 percent of Lockbourne's airmen were in the two lowest groups, IV and V—but here the problem was acute since the presence of so many persons with little ability limited the number of skilled black airmen that the Tactical Air Command could transfer to the wing from other parts of the command. Under direction of the command, the Ninth Air Force was taking advantage of a regulation that restricted the reenlistment of low-scoring airmen, but the high percentage of unskilled Negroes persisted at Lockbourne. Negroes in the upper test brackets were not reenlisting while the low scorers unquestionably were.42
At the same time there was a shortage of rated black officers. The 332d Fighter Wing was authorized 244 officers, but only 200 were assigned in February 1948. There was no easy solution to the shortage, a product of many years of neglect. Segregation imposed the necessity of devising a broad and long-range recruitment and training program for black officers, but not until April 1948 did the Tactical Air Command call for a steady flow of Negroes through officer candidate and flight training schools.43 It hoped to have another thirty-one black pilot graduates by March 1949 and planned to recall thirty-two others from inactive status.44 Even these steps could not possibly alleviate the serious shortage caused by the perennial failure to replace the wing's annual pilot attrition.
The chronic shortage of black field grade officers in the 332d was the immediate cause of the change in Air Force policy. By February 1948 the 332d had only thirteen of its forty-eight authorized field grade officers on duty. The three tactical units of the wing were commanded by captains instead of the authorized lieutenant colonels. If Colonel Davis were reassigned, and his attendance at the Air War College was expected momentarily, his successor as wing commander would be a major with five years' service. 45 The Tactical Air Commander was trying to have all field grade Negroes assigned to the 332d, but even that expedient would not provide enough officers.46 Finally, General Quesada decided to recommend that "practically all" the key field grade positions in the 332d Wing be filled by whites.47
Subsequent discussions at Air Force headquarters gave the Air Force Chief of Staff, General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, three choices: leave Lockbourne manned exclusively by black officers; assign a white wing commander with a racially mixed staff; or permit Colonel Davis to remain in command with a racially mixed staff. Believing that General Vandenberg would approve the last course, the Tactical Air Command proceeded to search for appropriate white officers to fill the key positions under Davis.48
The deputy commander of the Ninth Air Force,
Brig. Gen. Jarred V. Crabb predicted that placing whites in key positions
in the 332d would cause trouble, but leaving Davis in command of a mixed
staff "would be loaded with dynamite."49
The commander of the Ninth Air Force called the proposal to integrate the
332d's staff contrary to Air Force policy, which prescribed segregated
units of not less than company strength. General Old was forthright:
[Integration] would be playing in the direction in which the negro press would like to force us. They are definitely attempting to force the Army and Air Force to solve the racial problem. As you know, they have been strongly advocating mixed companies of white and colored. For obvious reasons this is most undesirable and to do so would definitely limit the geographical locations in which such units could be employed. If the Air Forces go ahead and see a precedent, most undesirable repercussions may occur Regardless of how the problem is solved, we would certainly come under strong criticism of the negro press. That must be expected.
In view of the combat efficiency demonstrated by colored organizations during the last war, my first recommendation In the Interest of national defense and saving the taxpayer's money Is to lee the organization die on the vine. We make a big subject of giving the taxpayers the maximum amount of protection for each dollar spent, then turn around and support an organization that would contribute little or nothing in an emergency. It is my own opinion that it is an unnecessary drain on our national resources, but for political reasons I presume the organization muse be retained. Therefore, my next recommended solution is to transfer all of the colored personnel from the Wing Headquarters staff to the Tactical and Service Organizations within the Wing structure and replace it with a completely white staff.50
It is difficult to estimate the extent to which these views were shared by other senior commanders, but they were widespread and revealed the tenacious hold of segregation.51
The Ninth Air Force's deputy commander offered another solution: use "whatever colored officers we have" to run Lockbourne. He urged that Colonel Davis's absence at the Air War College be considered a temporary arrangement. Meanwhile, the general added, "we can carry Lockbourne along for that period of time by close supervision from this headquarters." 52 As Davis later put it, cost effectiveness, not prejudice, was the key factor in the Air Force's wish to get rid of the 332d. The Air Force, he concluded, "wasn't getting its money's worth from negro pilots in a black air force. "53
The Tactical Air Command's use of black troops is always singled out because of the numbers involved, but the problem was common to nearly all commands. Most Negroes in the Strategic Air Command, for example, were assigned to aviation engineer units where, as construction workers, they built roads, runways, and housing for the command's far-flung bases. These duties were transient, however, and like migrant workers at home, black construction crews were shifted from base to base as the need arose; they had little chance for promotion, let alone the opportunity to develop other skills.54
The distribution of Negroes in all commands, and particularly the shortage of black specialists and officers in the 332d Fighter Wing, strongly influenced the Air Force to reexamine its racial policy, but pressures came from outside the department as well as from the black community which began to press its demands on the new service.55 The prestigious Pittsburgh Courier opened the campaign in March 1948 by directing a series of questions on Air Force policy to the Chief of Staff. General Carl Spaatz responded with a smooth summary of the Gillem Board Report, leaning heavily on the document's progressive aims. "It is the feeling of this Headquarters," the Chief of Staff wrote, "that the ultimate Air Force objective must be to eliminate segregation among its personnel by the unrestricted use of Negro personnel in free competition for any duty within the Air Force for which they may qualify."56 Unimpressed with this familiar rhetoric, the Courier headlined fits account of the exchange, "Air Force to Keep Segregated Policy."
COLONEL DAVIS [Photograph not included.]
Assistant Secretary Eugene M. Zuckert followed General Spaatz's line when he met with black leaders at the National Defense Conference on Negro Affairs in April 1948, but his audience also showed little interest in future intentions. Putting it bluntly, they wanted to know why segregation was necessary in the Air Force. Zuckert could only assure them that segregation was a "practical military expediency," not an "endorsement of belief in racial distribution."57 But the black leaders pressed the matter further. Why was it expedient in a system dedicated to consideration of the individual, asked the president of Howard University, to segregate a Negro of superior mentality? At Yale or Harvard, Dr. Mordecai Johnson continued, he would be kept on the team, but if he entered the Air Force he would be "brigaded with all the people from Mississippi and Alabama who had had education that costs $100 a year. "58
Answering for the Air Force, Lt. Gen. Idwal H. Edwards, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, admitted segregation was unnecessary, promised eventual integration, but stated firmly that for the present segregation remained Air Force policy. As evidence of progress, Edwards pointed to the peaceful integration of black officers in training at Randolph Field. For one conferee this' "progress" led to another conclusion: resistance to integration had to emanate ; from the policymakers, not from the fighting men. All Edwards could manage in the way of a reply was that Air Force policy was considered "the best way to make this thing work under present conditions."59 Later Edwards, who was not insensitive to the arguments of the black leaders, told Secretary of the Air Force ] W. Stuart Symington that perhaps some recommendation "looking toward the integration of whites and negroes in the same units may be forthcoming" from the Air Board's study of racial policy which was to commence the first week in May. 60
If the logic of the black leaders impressed General Edwards, the demands themselves had little effect on policy. It remained for James C. Evans, now the adviser to Secretary of Defense Forrestal, to translate these questions and demands Into recommendations for specific action. Taking advantage of a long acquaintance with the Secretary of the Air Force, Evans discussed the department's race problem with him in May 1948. Symington was sympathetic. "Put it on paper," he told Evans.61
Couching his recommendations in terms of the Gillem Board policy, Evans faithfully summarized for the secretary the demands of black leaders. Specifically, he asked that Colonel Davis, the commander of Lockbourne Air Force Base, be sent for advanced military schooling without delay. Diversification of career was long overdue for Davis, the ranking black officer in the Air Force, as it was for others who were considered indispensable because of the small number of qualified black leaders. For Davis, most of all, the situation was unfair since he had always been in command of practically all rated black officers. Nor was it good for his subordinates. The Air Force should not hesitate to assign a white replacement for Davis. In effect, Evans was telling Symington that the black community would understand the necessity for such a move.
Besides, under the program Evans was recommending, the all-black wing would soon cease to exist. He wanted the Air Force to ''deemphasize" Lockbourne as the black air base and scatter the black units concentrated there. He wanted to see Negroes dispersed throughout the Air Force, either individually or in small units contemplated by the Gillem Board, but he wanted men assigned on the basis of technical specialty and proficiency rather than race. It was unrealistic, he declared, to assume all black officers could be most effectively utilized as pilots and all enlisted men as Squadron F laborers. Limiting training and job opportunity because of race reduced fighting potential in a way that never could be justified. The Air Force should open to its Negroes a wide variety of training, experience. and opportunity to acquire versatility and proficiency. 62
If followed, this program would fundamentally alter Air Force racial practices. General Edwards recommended that the reply to Evans should state that certain policy changes would be forthcoming, although they would have to await the outcome of a departmental reevaluation currently under way. The suggestions had been solicited by Symington, and Edwards was anxious ious for Evans to understand the delay was nor a device to defer action.63
GENERAL EDWARDS [Photograph not included.]
Edwards was in a position to make such assurances. He was an influential member of the Air staff with considerable experience in the field of race relations. As a member of the Army staff during World War II he had worked closely with the old McCloy committee on black troops and had strongly advocated wartime experiments with the integration of small-scale units.64 His background, along with his observations as chief personnel officer in the new Air Force, had taught him to avoid abstract appeals to justice and to make suggestions in terms of military efficiency . Concern with efficiency led him, soon after the Air Force became a separate service, to order Lt. Col. Jack F. Marr, a member of his staff, to study the Air Force's racial policy and practices. Testifying to Edwards's pragmatic approach, Marr later said of his own introduction to the subject: "There was no sociology involved. It was merely a routine staff action along with a bunch of other staff actions that were taking place."65 A similar concern for efficiency, this time triggered by criticism at the National Defense Conference on Negro Affairs in April 1948 and Evans's discussions with Secretary Symington the following month, led Edwards, after talking it over with Assistant Secretary Zuckert, to raise the subject of the employment of Negroes in the Air Board in May.66 In the wake of the Air Board discussion the Chief of Staff appointed a group under Maj. Gen. Richard E. Nugent, then Director of Civilian Personnel. to reexamine the service's race policy. 67 Nugent was another Air Force official who viewed the employment of Negroes as a problem in military efficiency.68 These three, Edwards, Nugent, and Marr, were the chief figures in the development of the Air Force integration plan, which grew out of the Nugent group's study. Edwards and Nugent supervised its many refinements in the staff while Marr, whom Zuckert later described as the indispensable man, wrote the plan and remained intimately connected with it until the Air Force carried it out.69 Antedating the Truman order to integrate the services, the provisions of this plan eventually became the program under which the Air Force was integrated. 70
COLONEL MARR [Photograph not included.]
As it evolved during the months of deliberation,71 the Air Force study of black manpower weighed Air Force practices against the Gillem Board Report and found them "considerably divergent" from the policy as outlined. It isolated several reasons for this divergence. Black airmen on the whole, as measured by classification tests, were unsuitable and inadequate for operating all-black air units organized and trained for modern combat. To achieve a balance of skills and training in black units was a "never ending problem for which there appears to be no solution under either the current Air Force policies or the policies recommended by the Gillem Board." In short, practices with respect to Negroes were "wasteful, deleterious to military effectiveness and lacking in wartime application."
Edwards and his staff saw several advantages in complete integration. Wherever qualified black airmen had been permitted to compete with whites on their individual qualifications and abilities, the Negroes "achieved a certain amount of acceptance and recognition." Students in some schools lived and learned side by side as a matter of practical necessity. "This degree of integration and acceptance on a competitive basis has been eminently successful and has to a remarkable degree solved the 'Negro problem' for the training schools involved." At some bases qualified black airmen were administratively assigned to black units but actually performed duties in white units. Some commanders had requested that these men be permanently transferred and assigned to the white units because the men deserved higher grades but could not receive them in black units and because it was poor management to have individuals performing duties for one military organization and living under the administrative jurisdiction of another.
In the end consideration of full integration was dropped in favor of a program based on the Navy's postwar integration of its general service. Edwards and his personnel staff dismissed the Navy's problems with stewards and its difficulty in enlisting skilled Negroes as temporary embarrassments with little practical consequence. This problem apparently allowed an economic and efficient use of Negroes and also "relieved the Navy of the necessity for repeated efforts to justify an untenable position." They saw several practical advantages in a similar policy for the Air Force. It would allow the elimination of the 10 percent quota. The inactivation of some black units—"and the pronounced relief of the problems involved in maintaining those units under present conditions"—could be accomplished without injustice to Negroes and with benefit to the Air Force. Nor would the integration of qualified Negroes in technical and combat units appreciably alter current practices; according to contemporary estimates such skilled men would never total more that 1 percent of the service's manpower.
The logic of social justice might have led to total integration, but it would nor have solved the Air Force's pressing problem of too many unskilled blacks. It was consideration of military efficiency, therefore, that led these personnel experts to propose a system of limited integration along the lines of the Navy's postwar policy. Such a system, they concluded, would release the Air Force from its quota obligation—and hence its continuing surplus of unskilled men—and free it to assign its relatively small group of skilled black recruits where they were needed and might advance.
Although limited, the proposed reform was substantial enough to arouse opposition. General Edwards reported overwhelming opposition to any form of integration among Air Force officers, and never during the spring of 1948 did the Chief of Staff seriously consider even partial integration. 72 But if integration, even in a small dose, was unpalatable, widespread inefficiency was in tolerable. And a new service. still in the process of developing policy, might embrace the new and the practical. especially if pressure were exerted from above. Assistant Secretary Zuckert intimated as much when he finally replied to James Evans, "You have my personal assurance that our present position is not in the interest of maintaining the status quo but it is in anticipation of a more progressive and more satisfactory action in the relatively near future.''73
1For a comprehensive and authoritative account of the Negro in the Army Air Forces during World War II, see Osur's Blacks in the Army Air Forces During World War II.
2See Memo, CS/AC for G-3, 31 May 40, sub: Employment of Negro Personnel in the Air Corps Units. G-3/6541-Gen 527.
3For the effect on unit morale, see Charles E. Francis, The Tuskegee Airmen: The Story of the Negro in the U.S. Air Force (Boston: Bruce Humphries, 1955), p. 164; see also USAF Oral History Program. Interview with Lt Gen B. O. Davis, Jr., Jan 7 3.
4Lee, Employment of Negro Troops, pp. 462-64; see also Interv, author with Lt Gen Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., 12 Jun 70, CMH files.
5A nonrated officer is one nor having or requiring a currently effective aeronautical rating, that is. an officer who is not a pilot, navigator. or bombardier.
6Interv, author with Davis; see also Osur's Blacks in the Army Air Forces During World War II, ch. V.
7"Summary of AAF Post-War Surveys," prepared by Noel Parrish, copy in NAACP Collection, Library of Congress.
8Noel F. Parrish, "The Segregation of the Negro in the Army Air Forces," thesis submitted to the USAF Air Command and Staff School, Maxwell ALB, Ala., 1947, pp. 50-55.
9Ltr, Hq AAF, to CG. Tactical Training Cmd, 21 Aug 42, sub: Professional Qualities of Officers Assigned to Negro Unite, 220.765-3, AFSHRC.
10Parrish, "Segregation of the Negro in the Army Air Forces," pp. 50-55. The many difficulties involved in the assignment of white officers to black units are discussed in Osur's Blacks in the Army Air Forces During World War II, ch V.
11AAF Transport Cmd. "History of the Command, 1 July 1946-31 December 1946," pp. 120-26.
12Parrish, "Segregation of the Negro in the Army Air Forces.''
13AAF Ltr 35-268, 11 Aug 45.
14Rpt, ACS/AS-1 to WDSS, 17 Sep 45, sub: Participation of Negro Troops in the Post-War Military Establishment, WDSS 291.2.
15Ibid. For an analysis of these recommendations, see Gropman's The Air Force Integrates, Ch. 11.
16WD Bureau of Public Relations. Memo for the Press. 20 Sep 45: Office of Public Relations, Goodman Field, Ky. ''Col. Davis Issues Report on Goodman Field.'' 10 Oct 45: Memo, Chief, Programs and Manpower Section, Troop Basis Branch, Organization Division, D/T&R, for Dir of Military Personnel, 23 Apr 48, no sub; all in Negro Affairs, SecAF files. See also ''History of Goodman Field, Ky,… 1 Mar- 15 Oct 45," AFSHRC.
17''History of the 2143d AAF Base Unit, Pilot School, Basic, Advanced, and Tuskegee Army Air Field, 1 Sep 1945- 31 Oct 1945," AFSHRC.
18For an example of black reaction see Ebony Magazine V (September 1949).
19Memo, James C. Evans, Adviser to the SecDef, for Capt Robert W Berry, 10 Feb 48. SecDef 291.2 files
20''History of the 477th Composite Group,'' 15 Sep 45- 15 Feb 46, Feb-Mar 46, and 1 Mar-15 Jul 46, AFSHRC.
21All figures from STM-30, 1 Sep 45 and 1 Apr 46.
22Memo, TAG for CG's et al, 4 Feb 46, sub: Utilization of Negro Personnel. AG 291.2 (31 Jan 46).
23Under the terms of the National Security Act of 1947 the U.S. Air Force was created as a separate service in a Department of the Air Force on 18 September 1947. The new service included the old Army Air Forces; the Air Corps, U.S. Army; and General Headquarters Air Force. The strictures of WD Circular 124. like those of many other departmental circulars, were adopted by the new service. For convenience' sake the terms Air Force and service will be employed in the remaining sections of this chapter even where the terms Army Air Forces and component would be more appropriate.
24"Tactical Air Command (TAC) History, 1 Jan-30 Dec 48," pp. 94-96, AFSHRC; see also Lawrence J. Paszek, "Negroes and the Air Force, 1939-1949, " Military Affairs (Spring 1967), p. 8.
25Memo, DCofS/ Personnel, TAC, for CG, TAC, 18 Mar 48. AFSHRC.
26Memo, DCofS/P&A, USAF, for Asst SecAF, 5 Dec 47, sub: Air Force Negro Troops in the Zone of Interior, Negro Affairs, SecAF files.
27"History of MacDill Army Airfield, Oct 46,'' pp. 10-11, AFSHRC. For a detailed analysis of the MacDill riot and its aftermath, see Gropman. The Air Force Integrates, ch. 1; see also ch 5, above.
28Memo, unsigned (probably DCofS/P&A), for Asst SecAF Zuckert, 22 Apr 48, SecAF files.
29See Air Force Testimony Before the National Defense Conference on Negro Affairs (afternoon session), pp. 29-32, CMH files.
30Memo, DCofS / P&A, TAC, for CG, TAC, 18 Mar 48, sub: Utilization of Negro Manpower, AFSHRC.
31Parrish, "Segregation of the Negro in the Army Air Forces," pp. 72-, 3.
32Memo, Ray for ASW, 25 Jul 46, ASW 291.2.
33Memo, Petersen for CG, AAF, 29 Jul 46, ASW 291.2.
34Memo, Brig Gen Reuben C. Hood. Jr., Office of CG. AAF, for ASW, 13 Sep 46, ASW 291.2.
35Memo, unsigned, for Asst SecAF Zuckert. 22 Apr 48, SecAF files. The figures cited in this memorandum were slightly at variance with the official strength figures as compiled later in the United States Air Force Statistical Digest 1(1948). The Digest put the Air Force's strength (excluding Army personnel still under Air Force control) on 31 March 1948 at 345.827, including 25.404 Negroes (8.9 percent of the total). The 10 percent plus estimate mentioned in the memorandum, however, was right on the mark when statistics for enlisted strength alone are considered.
36Memo, DCofS/P&A, TAC, for CG, TAC, 18 Mar 48, sub: Utilization of Negro Manpower, AFSHRC.
37Memo, Adj, 20th Fighter wing, for CG. Ninth AF, undated, sub Transfer of Structural Firefighters; 2d , Hq 332d Fighter Wing, Lockbourne, to CG, Ninth AF, 26 Apr 48, Hist of Ninth AF, AFSHRC.
38Memo, DCofS /P&A, TAC, for CG, TAC, 18 Mar 48, sub: Utilization of Negro Manpower, AFSHRC.
39Memo, Maj Gen Old for CG. TAC, 26 Jan 48, sub: Utilizarion of Negro Manpower, 9AF 200.3, Hist of Ninth AF, AFSHRC.
40Ltr, Lt Gen Quesada to Maj Gen Old, Ninth AF, 9 Apr 48, Hist of Ninth AF, AFSHRC.
41Ltrs, CG, TAC, to CS/USAF, 1 Sep 48, sub: Reception of Submarginal Enlisted Personnel, VCS/USAF to CG, TAC, 11 Sep 48, sub: Elimination of Undesirable or Substandard Airmen; CG TAC to CS/USAF 24 Sep 48, same sub. All in AFSHRC.
42Ltr, DCofS/P&A, TAC, to CG. Ninth AF, 19 May 48, sub: Submarginal Enlisted Personnel, Record of Dir of Per Staff, TAC, Mtg, 28 Oct 48; both in AFSHRC.
43Ltr, CG, TAC to CG, Ninth AF, 9 Apr 48, TAC 314 (9 Apr 48), AFSHRC.
44Hq TAC, Record and Routing Sheet, 16 Apr 48, sub: Supervisory Visit 332d Ftr Gp. Lockbourne AFB.
45Ltr, CG, Ninth AF, to CG, TAC, 10 Feb 48, sub: Assignment of Negro Personnel, Hist of Ninth AF, AFSHRC.
46Hq TAC, Record and Routing Sheet, 16 Apr 48, sub: Supervisory Visit 332d Ftr Gp. Lockbourne AFB,
47Ltrs, CG, TAC, to CG, Ninth AF, 9 Apr 48, and DCG, TAC, to CG. Ninth AF, 7 May 48, TAC 210.3, both in Hist of Ninth AF, AFSHRC.
48Memo, A-1, Ninth AF, for C/S, Ninth AF, 18 May 48, sub: Manning of 332d Fighter Wing, Hist of Ninth AF; Record of the TAC Staff Conf, 18 May 48: both in AFSHRC.
49Ltr, Brig Gen J. V. Crabb to Maj Gen Robert M. Lee, Hq TAC, 19 May 48, Hist of Ninth AF, AFSHRC.
50Ltr, CG, Ninth AF, to Maj Gen R. M. Lee, TAC, 18 May 48, Hist of Ninth AF, AFSHRC.
51For discussion of these views and their influence on officers, see USAF Oral History Program. Interviews with Brig Gen Noel Parrish, 30 Mar 73, Col Jack, Marr, 1 Oct 73. and Eugene Zuckert, Apr 73.
52Ltr, Brig Gen J. V. Crabb to Maj Gen Robert M. Lee, Hq TAC, 19 May 48, Hist of Ninth AF, AFSHRC.
53Interv, author with Davis.
54See history of various aviation air units in ''History of the Strategic Air Command. 1948," vols Vl and VIII, AFSHRC.
55For dispassion of the strength of this outside pressure, see USAF Oral History Program. Interviews with Davis and Brig Gen Lucius Theus, Jan 73.
56Ltr, Lemuel Graves to Gen Carl Spaatz. 26 Mar 48; Ltr, Spaatz to Graves. 19 Apr 48. A copy of the correspondence was also sent to the SecAF. See Col Jack F. Marr. "A Report on the First Year of Implementation of Current Policies Regarding Allegro Personnel," n.d., PPB 291.2.
57Department of National Defense, "National Defense Conference on Negro Affairs," 26 Apr 48 (morning session) p. 62. The conference, convened by Secretary of Defense Forrestal, provided an opportunity for a group of black leaders to question major defense officials on the department's racial policies. See ch. 13.
58Department of National Defense, "National Defense Conference on Negro Affairs,'' 28 Apr 48, (morning session), p. 67.
59Ibid., p. 69.
60Memo, Edwards for SecAF. 29 Apr 48, sub: Conference with Group of Prominent Negroes, Negro Affairs 1948, SecAF files.
61Interv, author with Evans, 7 Apr.70; Note, Evans to Col Marr, 5 Jun 50. SD 291.2.
62Memo, Evans for SecAF, 7 Jun 48, sub: Negro Air Units. D54- 1-12, SecDef files.
63DCofS/P Summary Sheet for CofS. 15 Jul 48, sub: Negro Air Units, Negro Affairs 1948, SecAF files.
64During World War II, Edwards served as the Army's Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3. For a discussion of his oppositionist at that time to the concentration of large groups of men in categories IV and V, see Edwin W. Kenworthy, "The Case Against Army Segregation,'' The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 275 (May 1951):29. See also Lee's Employment of Negro Troops. p. 159). Edward's part in the integration program is based on USAF Oral Historv Program, Interviews with Zuckert, General William F. McKee Davis, Senator Stuart Symington. and Marr. See also Interv, author with Lt Gen Idwal H. Edwards. Nov 73 CMH files.
65Ltr, Marr to author, 19 Jun 70, CMH files.
66A group created to review policy and make recommendations to the Chief of Staff when called upon. the Air Board consisted at this time of the Assistant Chiefs of the Air Staff, the Air Inspector, the Air Comptroller. the Director of Information, the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Research and Development. and other officials when appropriate.
67Memo, Maj Leon Bell for Zuckert, 27 Oct 48, SecAF files. Nugent later succeeded Edwards as the chief Air Force personnel officer.
68This attitude is strongly displayed in the USAF Oral History Program, Interviews with Lt Gen Richard E. Nugent, 8 Jun 73 and Marr, 1 Oct 73
69USAF Oral Hist Interv with Zuckert.
70Colonel Marr recalled a different chronology for the Air Force integration plan. According to Marr, his proposals were forwarded by Edwards to Symington who in rum discussed them at a meeting of the Secretary of Defense's Personnel Policy Board sometime before June 1948. The board rejected the plan at the behest of Secretary of the Army Royall, but later in the year outside pressure caused it to be reconsidered. Nothing is available in the files to corroborate Marr's recollections, nor do the other participants remember that Rovall was ever involved in the Air Force's internal affairs. The records do nor show when the Air Force study of race policy, which originated in the Air Board in May 1948, evolved into the plan for integration that Marr wrote and the Chief of Staff signed in December 1948, but it seems unlikely that the plan would have been ready before June. See Ltrs, Marr to author, 19 Jun 70. and 28 Jul 70. CMH files; see also USAF Oral Hist Interv with Marr.
71The Air Force integration
plan underwent considerable revision and modification before its submission
to the Secretary of Defense in January 1949. The quotations in the next
paragraphs are taken from the version approved by the Chief of Staff on
29 December 1948.
72Memo, Edwards for SecAF, 29 Apr 48, sub: Conference with Group of Prominent Negroes, Negro Affairs 1948, SecAF files.
Zuckert to Evans, 22 Jul 48, sub: Negro Air Units. See SecAF files.