Given James Forrestal's sympathy for integration, considerable cooperation could be expected between members of his department and the Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services, better known as the Fahy Committee. In the wake of the committee's establishment, Forrestal proposed that the service secretaries assign an assistant secretary to coordinate his department's dealings with the group and a ranking black officer from each service be assigned to advise the assistant secretaries.1 His own office promised to supply the committee with vital documentation, and his manpower experts offered to testify. The service secretaries agreed to follow suit.
Willing to cooperate, Forrestal still wanted to chart his own course. Both he and his successor, Louis A. Johnson, made it quite clear that as a senior cabinet officer the Secretary of Defense was accountable in all matters to the President alone. The Fahy Committee might report on the department's racial practices and suggest changes, but the development of policy was his prerogative. Both men dealt directly with the committee from time to time, but their directives to the services on the formulation of race policy were developed independently of the White House group.2 Underscoring this independent attitude, Marx Leva reminded the service secretaries that the members of the Personnel Policy Board were to work with the representatives of their respective staffs on racial matters. Gluey were not expected "to assist Fahy."3
At the same time Secretary of Defense Forrestal was aware that the interests of a committee enjoying White House support could not be ignored. His attempt to develop a new racial policy was probably in part an effort to forestall committee criticism and in part a wish to draw up a policy that would satisfy the committee without really doing much to change things. After all, such a departmental attitude toward committees, both congressional and presidential, was fairly normal. Faced with the conflicting racial policies of the Air Force and Army, Forrestal agreed to let the services present their separate programs to the Fahy Committee, but he wanted to develop a race policy applicable to all the services.4 Some of his subordinates debated the wisdom of this decision, arguing that the President had assigned that task to the Fahy Committee, but they were overruled. Forrestal ordered the newly created Personnel Policy Board to under take, simultaneously with the committee, a study of the department's racial policy. The board was to concentrate on "breaking down the problem," as Forrestal put it, into its component parts and trying to arrive quietly at areas of agreement on a uniform policy that could be held in readiness until the Fahy Committee made its report.5
The Personnel Policy Board, established by Forrestal to help regulate the military and civilian policies of his large department, was the logical place to prepare a departmental racial policy.6 But could a group basically interservice in nature be expected to develop a forceful, independent racial policy for all the services along the lines Forrestal appeared to be following? It seemed unlikely, for at their first meeting the board members agreed that any policy developed must be "satisfactory to the three services."7
Undeterred by members' calling for more investigation and debate before the board prepared a common policy, Chairman Thomas R. Reid and his chief of staff, Army Brig. Gen. Charles T. Lanham, acted.8 On 28 February they drafted a directive for the Secretary of Defense that would abolish all racial quotas and establish uniform standards of induction for service which in times of emergency would include provisions for the apportionment of enlistees both qualitatively and quantitatively. Moreover, all black enlistees would be given the opportunity to serve as individuals in integrated units. The services would be completely integrated by 1 July 1950. To ease the change, Reid and Lanham would in the interim regulate the number of Negroes in integrated units, allowing not less than four men and not more than 10 percent in a company-size unit. Enlisted men could choose to serve under officers of their own race.9
Favorably received in the secretary's office, the proposed directive came too late for speedy enactment. On 3 March Forrestal resigned, and although Leva hoped the directive could be issued before Forrestal's actual departure, "in view of his long-standing interest in this field," Forrestal was obviously reluctant to commit his successor to so drastic a course. 10 With a final bow to his belief in service autonomy, Forrestal asked Reid and Lanham to submit their proposal to the service secretaries for review.11 The secretaries approved the idea of a unified policy in principle, but each had very definite and individual views on what that policy should contain and how it should be carried out. Denied firm direction from the ailing Forrestal, Reid and Lanham could do little against service opposition. Their proposal was quietly tabled while the board continued its search for an acceptable unified policy.
Perhaps it was just as well, for the Reid-Lanham draft had serious defects. It failed to address the problems of qualitative imbalance in the peacetime services, probably in deference to Forrestal's recent rejection of the Army's call for a fair distribution of high-scoring enlistees. While the proposal encouraged special training for Negroes, it also limited their assignment to a strict 10 percent quota in any unit. The result would have been an administrative nightmare, with trained men in excess of the 10 percent quota assigned to other, nonspecialty duties. As one manpower expert later admitted, "you ran the real chance of having black engineers and the like pushing wheelbarrows. " 12
The service objections to a carefully spelled out policy were in themselves quite convincing to Lanham and Reid. Reid agreed with Eugene Zuckert, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, that "probably the most logical and soundest approach" was for each service to prepare a policy statement and explain how it was being carried out. The board could then prepare a general policy based on these statements, and, with the approval of the Secretary of Defense, send it to the Fahy Committee in time for its report to the President. 13 But if Zuckert's scheme was logical and sound, it also managed to reduce the secretary's status to final endorsement officer. Such a role never appealed to James Forrestal, and would be even less acceptable to the politically energetic Louis Johnson, who succeeded Forrestal as Secretary of Defense on 28 March 1949
Reid appreciated this distinction, and while he was willing to abandon
the idea of a policy directive spelling out matters of personnel administration,
he was determined that there be a general policy statement on the subject
and that it originate not with the services but with the Secretary of Defense,
who would then review individual service plans for implementing his directive.
14 Reid set the board's staff to this task,
but it took several draftings, each stronger and more specific than the
last, before a directive acceptable to Reid and Lanham was devised.15
Approved by the full board on 5 April 1949 and signed by Secretary Johnson
the next day, the directive reiterated the President's executive order,
adding that all persons would be considered on the basis of individual
merit and ability and must qualify according to the prescribed standards for enlistment, promotion, assignment, and school attendance. All persons would be accorded equal opportunity for appointment, advancement, professional improvement, and retention, and although some segregated units would bear rained, "qualified" Negroes would be assigned without regard to race.. The secretary ordered the services to reexamine their policies and submit detailed plans for carrying out this directive. 16
Although responsible for preparing the secretary's directive, Reid and Lanham had second thoughts about it. They were concerned lest the serviced treat it as an endorsement of their current policies. Reid pointedly explained to their representatives on the Personnel Policy Board that the service statements. due by 1 May should not merely reiterate present practices, but should represent . a "sincere effort" by the departments to move toward greater racial equality.17 Service responses, he warned, would be scrutinized to determine "their adequacy in the light of the intent of the Secretary's policy." Reid later admitted to Secretary Johnson that the directive was so broadly formed that it "permits almost any practice under it." 18 Lanham, and others agreed that since its contents were bound to reach the press anyway, the policy should be publicized in a way that played down generalizations and emphasized the responsibilities it imposed for new directions. Johnson agreed, and the announcement of his directive, emphasizing the importance of new service programs and setting a deadline for their submission. was widely circulated. 19
The directive reflected Louis Johnson's personality, ambition, and administrative strategy. If many of his associates questioned his personal commitment to the principle of integration, or indeed even his private feeling about President Truman's order, all recognized his political ambition and penchant for vigorous and direct action.20 The secretary would recognize the political implications of the executive order just as he would want to exercise personal control over integration, an issue fraught with political uncertainties that an independent presidential committee would only multiply. A dramatic public; statement might well serve Johnson's needs. By creating at least the illusion of forward motion in the field of race relations, a directive issued by the Secretary of Defense might neutralize the Fahy Committee as an independent force, protecting the services from outside interference while enhancing Johnson's position in the White House and with the press. A "blustering bully," one of Fahy's assistants later called Johnson, whose directive was designed, he charged, to put the Fahy Committee out of business. 21
If such was his motive, the secretary was taking a chance. Announcing his directive to the press transformed what could have been an innocuous, private reaffirmation of the department's pledge of equal treatment and opportunity into a public exercise in military policymaking. The Secretary of Defense in effect committed himself to a public review of the services' racial practices. In this sense the responses he elicited from the Army and Navy were a disappointment. Both services contented themselves with an outline of their current policies and ignored the secretary's request for future plans. The Army offered statistics to prove that its present program guaranteed equal opportunity, while the Navy concluded that its practices and procedures revealed "no inconsistencies" with the policy prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.22 Summing up his reaction to these responses for the Personnel Policy Board, Reid said that the Army had a poor policy satisfactorily administered, while the Navy had an acceptable policy poorly administered. Neither service complied "with the spirit or letter of the request. 23
Not all the board members agreed. In the wake of the Army and Navy replies, some saw the possible need for separate service policies rather than a common policy; considering the many advances enumerated in the replies, one member even suggested that Johnson might achieve more by getting the services to prosecute their current policies vigorously. Although Chairman Reid promised that these suggestions would all be taken into consideration, he still hoped to use the Air Force response to pry further concessions out of the Army and Navy.24
The Air Force plan had been in existence for some time, its implementation delayed because Symington had agreed with Royall in January that a joint Army-Air Force plan might be developed and because he and Zuckert needed the time to sell the new plan to some of their senior military assistants.25 But greater familiarity with the plan quickly convinced Royall that the Army and Air Force positions could never be reconciled, and the Air Force plan was ink dependently presented to the Fahy Committee and later, with some revision that further liberalized its provisions, to Johnson as the Air Force reply to his directive.26 The Personnel Policy Board approved the Air Force's proposal for the integration of a large group of its black personnel, and after discussing it with Fahy and the other services, Reid recommended to the Secretary of Defense 'I that he approve it also.27
To achieve maximum benefit from the Air Force plan, Reid and associates had to link it publicly with the inadequate replies from the other services. Disregarding the views of some board members, he suggested that Johnson reject the Army and Navy answers and, without indicating the form he thought their answers should take, order them to prepare new proposals.28 Johnson would also have to ignore a warning from Secretary of the Army Royall, who had recently reminded him that Forrestal had assured Congress during the selective service hearings that the administration would not issue a preemptory order completely abolishing segregation. "I have no reason to believe that the President had changed his mind," Royall continued, "but I think you should be advised of these circumstances because if any action were later taken by you or other authority to abolish segregation in the Army I am confident that these Southern senators would remember this incident."29
Despite Royall's not so subtle warning, Reid's scheme worked. The Secretary of Defense explicitly and publicly approved the Air Force program and rejected those of the Army and Navy. Johnson told the Army, for example, that he was pleased with the progress made in the past few years, but he saw "that much ret mains to be done and that the rate of progress toward the objectives of the Executive Order must be accelerated."30 He gave the recalcitrants until 25 May to submit "specific additional actions which you propose to take."
If there was ever any question of what their programs should contain, the services had only to turn to the Fahy Committee for plenty of advice. The considerable attention paid by senior officials of the Department of Defense to racial matters in the spring of 1949 could be attributed in part to the commonly held belief that the Fahy Committee planned an integration crusade, using the power of the White House to transform the services' racial policies in a profound and dramatic way. Indeed, some members of the committee itself demanded that the chairman "lay down the law to the services."31 But this approach, Charles Fahy decided, ignored both the personalities of the participants and the realities of the situation.
FAHY COMMITTEE WITH PRESIDENT TRUMAN AND ARMED SERVICES SECRETARIES. Seated with the President are Secretary Forrestal and Committeeman A. J. Donahue. Standing from the left: Chairman of the Personnel Policy Board Thomas R. Reid; Chief of Staff of the Personnel Policy Board Brig. Gen. Charles T. Lanham; Committeemen John H. Sengstacke and William M. Stevenson; Secretary Royall; Secretary Symington; Committeemen Lester Granger and Dwight R. Palmer; Secretary Sullivan; and Charles Fahy. [Photograph not included.]
The armed forces had just won a great world war, and the opinions of the military commanders, Fahy reasoned, would carry much weight with the American public. In any conflict between the committee and the services, Fahy believed that public opinion would be likely to side with the military. He wanted the committee to issue no directive. Instead, as he reported to the President, the committee would seek the confidence and help of the armed services in working out changes in manpower practices to achieve Truman's objectives.32 It was important to Fahy that the committee not make the mistake of telling the services what should be done and then have to drop the matter with no assurances that anything would be done. He was determined, rather, to obtain not only a change in policy, but also a "program in being" during the life of the committee. To achieve this change the group would have to convince the Army and the other services of the need for and justice of integration. To do less, to settle for the issuance of an integration directive alone, would leave the services the option of later disregarding the reforms on the grounds of national security or for other reasons. Fahy explained to the President that all this would take time.33 "Take all the time you need," Truman told his committee.34 This the committee proceeded to do, gathering thousands of pages of testimony, while its staff under the direction of Executive Secretary Edwin W. Kenworthy toured military Installations, analyzed the existing programs and operations of the three services, and perused the reams of pertinent historical documents.
That the committee expected the Secretary of Defense to take the lead in racial affairs, refraining from dictating policy itself, did not mean that Fahy and his associates lacked a definite point of view. From the first, Fahy understood Truman's executive order to mean unequivocally that the services would have to abandon segregation, an interpretation reinforced in a later discussion he had with the President.35 The purpose of the committee, in Fahy's view, was not to impose integration on the services, but to convince them of the merits of the President's order and to agree with them on a plan to make it effective.
The trouble, the committee quickly learned, lay in trying to convince the Army of the practical necessity for integration. On one hand the Army readily admitted that there were some advantages in spreading black soldiers through the white ranks. "It might remove any false charges that equal opportunities are not provided," General Bradley testified. "It would simplify administration and the use of manpower, and it would distribute our losses in battle more nearly in proportion to the percentage of the two races."36 But then the Army had so carefully and often repeated the disadvantages of integration that Bradley and others could very easily offer a logical and well-rehearsed apology for continuing the Army's current policy. Army officials repeatedly testified, for example, that their situation fundamentally differed from those of the other two services. The Army had a much higher proportion of Negroes in its ranks, 10 to 11 percent during the period of the committee's life, and in addition was required by law to accept by the thousands recruits, many of them black, whose aptitude or education would automatically disqualify them for the Air Force or Navy. Armed with these inequities, the Army remained imperious to the claims of the Navy and Air Force, defending its time-honored charge that segregation was necessary to preserve the efficiency of its combat forces. In Zuckert's opinion, the Army was trying to maintain the status quo at any cost.37
The Army offered other reasons. Its leaders testified that the unlimited
induction of Negroes into an integrated Army would seriously affect enlistments
and the morale of troops. Morale in particular affected battle efficiency.
Again General Bradley testified.
I consider that a unit has high morale when the men have confidence in themselves, confidence In their fellow members of their unit, and confidence in their leaders. If we to to force integration on the Army before the country is ready to accept these customs we may have difficulty attaining high morale along the lines I have mentioned.38
Underlying all these discussions of morale and efficiency lurked a deep-seated suspicion of the combat reliability and effectiveness of black troops and the fear that many white soldiers would refuse to serve with blacks. Many Army leaders were convinced that the performance of black troops in the past two wars did not qualify Negroes for a role in the Army's current mission, the execution of field operations in relatively small groups. These reservations were expressed frequently in Army testimony. Bradley, in defense of segregation, for example, cited the performance of the 92d Division. When asked whether a 15 percent black Army would reduce efficiency, he said, "from our experience in the past I think the time might come when it wouldn't, but the average educational standards of these men would not be up to the average of the white soldier. In modern combat a man is thrown very much on his own initiative."39 This attitude was closely related to the Army's estimates of white morale: white soldiers, the argument ran, especially many among those southerners who comprised an unusually high proportion of the Army's strength, would not accept Integration. Many white men would refuse to take orders from black superiors, and the mutual dependence of individual soldiers and small units in combat would break down when the races were mingled
Although these beliefs were highly debatable, they were tenaciously held by many senior officials and were often couched in terms that were extremely difficult to refute. For instance, Royall summed up the argument on morale: "I am reluctant—and I am sure all sincere citizens will be reluctant—to force a pace faster than is consistent with the efficiency and morale of the Army—or to follow a course Inconsistent with the ability of the Army, in the event of war, to take the battlefield with reasonable assurance of success."40
But in time the Fahy Committee found a way, first suggested by its executive
secretary, to turn the efficiency argument around. Certainly a most resourceful
and imaginative man, Kenworthy had no doubt about the immorality of segregation,
but he also understood, as he later told the Secretary of the Army that
whatever might be morally undeniable in the abstract, military efficiency
had to govern in matters of military policy. His study of the record and
his investigation of existing service conditions convinced him that segregation
actually impeded military efficiency. Convinced from the start that appeals
to morality would be a waste of time, Kenworthy pressed the committee members
to tackle the services on their own ground—efficiency.41
After seeing the Army so effectively dismiss in the name of military efficiency
and national security the moral arguments against segregation as being
valid but irrelevant, Kenworthy asked Chairman Fahy:
I wonder if the one chance of getting something done isn't to meet the military on their' own ground—the question of military efficiency. They have defended their Negro man] power policies on the grounds of efficiency. Have they used Negro manpower efficiently? . . . Can it be that the whole policy of segregation, especially in large units like the 92nd and 93rd Division. ADVERSELY AFFECTS MORALE AND EFFICIENCY?42
The committee did not have to convince the Navy or the Air Force of did practical necessity for integration. With four years of experience in integrating its ships and stations, the Navy did not bother arguing the merits of integration with the committee, but instead focused its attention on black percentages and the perennial problem of the largely black Steward's Branch. Specifically, naval officials testified that integration increased the Navy's combat efficiency. Speaking for the Air Force, Symington told the committee that "in our position we believe that non-segregation will improve our efficiency in at least some in. stances" and consequently "it's simply been a case [of] how we are going to do it, not whether we are going to do it.'' Convinced of the simple justice of integration, Symington also told the committee: "You've got to clear up that basic problem in your heart before you can really get to this subject. Both Zuckert and Edwards feel right on the basic problem."43
Even while the Air Force and the Navy were assuring Fahy of their belief in the efficiency of integration, they hastened to protect themselves against a change of heart. General Edwards gave the committee a caveat on integration: "if it comes to a matter of lessening the efficiency of the Air Force so it can't go to war and do a good job, there isn't any question that the policy of non. segregation will have to go by the boards. In a case like that, I'd be one of the first to recommend it."44 Secretary of the Navy Sullivan also supported this view and cautioned the committee against making too much of the differences in the services' approach to racial reforms. Each service, he suggested, should be allowed to work out a program that would stand the test of war. "If war comes and we go back [to segregation], then we have taken a very long step in the wrong direction." He wanted the committee to look to the "substance of the advance rather than to the apparent progress."45
Kenworthy predicted that attacking the Army's theory of military efficiency would require considerable research by the committee into Army policy as well as the past performance of black units. Ironically enough, he got the necessary evidence from the Army itself, in the person of Roy K. Davenport.46 Davenport's education at Fisk and Columbia universities had prepared him for the scholar's life, but Pearl Harbor changed all that, and Davenport eventually landed behind a desk in the office that managed the Army's manpower affairs. One of the first black professionals to break through the armed forces racial barrier, Davenport was not a "Negro specialist" and did not wish to be one. Nor could he, an experienced government bureaucrat, be blamed if he saw in the Fahy Committee yet one more well-meaning attempt by an outside group to reform the Army. Only when Kenworthy convinced him that this committee was serious about achieving change did Davenport proceed to explain in great detail how segregation limited the availability of military occupational specialties, schooling, and Alignments for Negroes.
E. W. KENWORTHY [Photograph not included.]
Kenworthy decided that the time ,had come for Fahy to meet Davenport, particularly since the chairman was inclined to be impressed with, and optimistic over, the Army's response to Johnson's directive of 6 April 1949. Fahy, Kenworthy knew, was unfamiliar -with military language and the fine art practiced by military staffs of stating a purpose In technical jargon that would permit various interpretations. There was no fanfare, no dramatic scene. Kenworthy simply invited Fahy and Davenport, along with the black officers assigned by the services to assist the committee, to meet informally at his home one evening in April.47
Never one to waste time, Fahy summarized the committee's activities thus far, outlined its dealings with Army witnesses, and then handed out copies of the Army's response to Secretary Johnson's directive. Fahy was inclined to recommend approval, a course agreed to by the black officers present, but he nevertheless turned courteously to the personnel expert from the Department of the Army and asked him for his opinion of the official Army position. Davenport did not hesitate. "The directive [the Army's response to Secretary Johnson's 6 April directive] isn't worth the paper it's written on," he answered. It called for sweeping changes in the administration of the Army's training programs, he explained, but would produce no change because personnel specialists at the training centers would quickly discover that their existing procedures, which excluded so many qualified black soldiers, would fit quite comfortably under the document's idealistic but vague language. The Army's response, Davenport declared, had been very carefully drawn up to retain segregation rather than to end it.
Chairman Fahy seemed annoyed by this declaration. After all, he had listened intently to the Army's claims and promises and was inclined to accept the Army's proposal as a slow, perhaps, but certain way to bring about racial integration. He was, however, a tough-minded man and was greatly impressed by the analysis of the situation presented by the Army employee. When Davenport asked him to reexamine the directive with eyes open to the possibility of deceit, Fahy walked to a corner of the room and reread the Army's statement in the light of Davenport's charges. Witnesses would later remember the flush of anger that came to his face as he read. His committee was going to have to hear more from Davenport.
CHARLES FAHY( a later portrait). [Photograph not included.]
If efficiency was to be the keynote of the committee's investigation, Davenport explained. it would be a simple thing to prove that the Army was acting inefficiently. In a morning of complex. testimony replete with statistical analysis of the Army's manpower management. he and Maj. James D. Fowler, a black West Point graduate and personnel officer, provided the committee with the needed breakthrough. Step by step they led Fahy and his associates through the complex workings of the Army's career guidance program, showing them how segregation caused the inefficient use of manpower on several counts.48 The Army, for example, as part of a continuing effort to find men who could be trained for specialties in which it had a shortage of men, published a monthly list, the so-called "40 Report," of its authorized and actual strength in each of its 490 military occupational specialties. Each of these specialties was further broken down by race. The committee learned that no authorization existed at all for Negroes in 198 of these specialties, despite the fact that in many of them the Army was under its authorized strength. Furthermore, for many of the specialties in which there were no authorizations for Negroes no great skill was needed. In short, it was the policy of segregated service that allowed the Army, which had thousands of jobs unfilled for lack of trained specialists, to continue to deny training and assignment to thousands of Negroes whose aptitude test scores showed them at least minimally suited for those jobs. How could the Army claim that it was operating efficiently when a shortage existed and potentially capable persons were being ignored?
One question led to another. If there were no authorizations for black soldiers in 198 specialties, what were the chances for qualified Negroes to attend schools that trained men for these specialties? It turned out that of the 106 school courses available after a man finished basic training, only twenty-one were open to Negroes. That is, 81 percent of the courses offered by the Army we're closed to Negroes. The Army denied that discrimination was involved.
ROY DAVENPORT [Photograph not included.]
Since the existing black units could not use full range of the Army's military occupational specialties, went the official line of reasoning, it would be wasteful and inefficient to train men for nonexistent jobs in those units. It followed that the Organization and Training Division must exclude many Negroes from being classified in specialties for which they were qualified and from Army schools that would train others for such unneeded specialties.
This reasoning was in the interest of segregation, not efficiency, and Davenport and others were able to prove to the committee's satisfaction that the Army's segregation policy could be defended neither in terms of manpower efficiency nor common fairness. With Davenport and Fowler's testimony, Charles Fahy later explained, he began to "see light for a solution."49 He began to see how he would probably be able to gain the committee's double objective: the announcement of an integration policy for the Army and the establishment of a practical program that would immediately begin moving the Army from segregation to integration.
In fact, military efficiency was a potent weapon which, if skillfully handled, might well force the Army into important concessions leading to integration. Taking its cue from Davenport and Fowler, the committee would contend that, as the increasing complexity of war had created a demand for skilled manpower, the country could ill-afford to use any of its soldiers below their full capacity or fail to train them adequately. With a logic understandable to President and public alike, the committee could later state that since maximum military efficiency demanded that all servicemen be given an equal opportunity to discover and exploit their talents, an indivisible link existed between military efficiency and equal opportunity.50 Thus equal opportunity in the name of military efficiency became one of the committee's basic premises; until the end of its existence the committee hammered away at this premise.
While the committee's logic was unassailable when applied to the plight of a relatively small number of talented and qualified black soldiers, a different solution would have to prevail when the far larger number of Negroes ineligible for Army schooling either by talent, inclination, or previous education was considered. Here the Army's plea for continued segregation in the name of military efficiency carried some weight. How could it, the Army asked, endanger the morale and efficiency of its fighting forces by it, with its low enlistment standards, abandon its racial quota and risk enlarging the already burdensome concentration of "professional black privates?" The committee admitted the justice of the Army's claim that the higher enlistment score required by the Navy and Air Force resulted in the Army's getting more than its share of men in the low-test categories IV and V. And while Kenworthy believed that immediate integration was less likely to cause serious trouble than the Army's announced plan of mixing the races in progressively smaller units' he too accepted the argument that it would be dangerous to reassign the Armies group of professional black privates to white units. Fahy saw the virtue of the Army's position here; his committee never demanded the immediate, total integration of the Army.
One solution to the problem, reducing the number of soldiers with low aptitude by forcing the other services to share equally in the burden of training and assimilating the less gifted and often black enlistee and draftee, had recently been rejected by the Navy and Air Force, a rejection endorsed by Secretary of Defense Forrestal. Even in the event that the Army could raise its enlistment standards and the other services be induced to lower theirs, much time would elapse before the concentration of undereducated Negroes could be broken up. Davenport was aware of all this when he limited his own recommendations to the committee to matters concerning the integration of black specialists, the opening of all Army schools to Negroes, and the establishment of some system to monitor the Army's implementation of these reforms.51
Having gained some experience, the committee was now able to turn the Army's efficiency argument against the racial quota. It decided that the quota had helped defeat the Gillem Board's aim of using Negroes on a broad professional scale. It pointed out that, when forced by manpower needs and the selective service law to set a lower enlistment standard, the Army had allowed its black quota to be filled to a great extent by professional privates and denied to qualified black men, who could be used on a broad professional scale, the chance to enlist.52 It was in the name of military efficiency, therefore, that the committee adopted a corollary to its demand for equal opportunity in specialist training and assignment: the racial quota must be abandoned in favor of a quota based on aptitude.
Fahy was not sure, he later admitted, how best to proceed at this point with the efficiency issue, but his committee obviously had to come up with some kind of program if only to preserve its administrative independence in the wake' of Secretary Johnson's directive. As Kenworthy pointed out, short of demanding the elimination of all segregated units, there was little the committee could do that went beyond Johnson's statement.53 Fahy, at least, was not prepared to settle for that. His solution, harmonizing with his belief in the efficacy of long-range practical change and his estimate of the committee's strength vis-à-vis the services'' strength, was to prepare a "list of suggestions to guide the Army and Navy in its [sic] determinations."54 The suggestions, often referred to by the committee as its "Initial Recommendations," would in the fullness of time, Thought, effect substantial reforms in the way the Negro was employed by Services.
The committee's recommendations, sent to the Personnel Policy Board in May 1949, are easily summarized.55 Questioning why the Navy's policy, "so progressive on its face," had attracted so few Negroes into the general service, the committee suggested that Negroes remembered the Navy's old habit of restricting them to servant duties. It wanted the Navy to aim a vigorous recruitment program at the black community in order to counteract this lingering
suspicion At the same time the committee wanted the Navy to make a greater effort among black high school students to attract qualified Negroes into the Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. To reinforce these campaigns "a to remove one more vestige of racial inequality in naval service, the committee also suggested that the Navy give to chief stewards all the perquisites of chief petty officers. The lack of this rating, in particular, had continued to cast doubt once Navy's professed policy, the committee charged. "There is no reason, except custom, why the chief steward should not be a chief petty officer, and that custom seems hardly worth the suspicion it evokes." Finally, the committee muted the Navy to adopt the same entry standards as the Army. It rejected the Navy's claim that men who scored below ninety were unusable in the general Service and called for an analysis by outside experts to determine what jobs in the Navy could be performed by men who scored between seventy and ninety. At the same time the committee reiterated that it did not intend the Navy or boy of the services to lower the qualifications for their highly skilled positions.
The committee also suggested to the Air Force that it establish a common enlistment standard along with the other services. Commenting that the Air Force had apparently been able to use efficiently thousands of men with test scores below ninety in the past, the committee doubted that the contemporary differential in Air Force and Army standards was justified. With a bow to Secretary Symington's new and limited integration policy, the committee deferred further recommendations.
It showed no such reluctance when it came to the Army. It wanted the Army to abolish racial considerations in the designation of military occupational specialties, attendance at its schools, and use of its school graduates in their military specialties. In line with the establishment of a parity of enlistment standards among the services, the committee wanted the Army to abandon its racial quotas. The committee did not insist on an immediate end to segregation in the Army, believing that no matter how desirable, such a drastic change could not be accomplished, as Davenport had warned, without very serious administrative confusion. Besides, there were other pragmatic reasons for adopting the gradualist approach. For the committee to demand immediate and complete integration would risk an outcry from Capitol Hill that might endanger the whole. reform program. Gradual change, on the other hand, would allow time for qualified Negroes to attend school courses, and the concept that Negroes had a right to equal educational opportunities was one that was very hard for the segregationists to attack, given the American belief in education and the right of every child to its benefits.56 If the Army could be persuaded to adopt three recommendations, the committee reasoned, the Army itself would gradually abolish segregation. The committee's formula for equality of treatment and opportunity in the Army, therefore, was simple and straightforward, but each of its parts had to be accepted to achieve the whole.
As it was, the committee's program for gradual change proved to be a rather large dose for senior service officials. An Army representative on the Personnel Policy Board staff characterized the committee's work as "presumptuous'' "subjective," and "argumentative." He also charged the committee with failing to interpret the executive order and thus leaving unclear whether the President wanted across-the-board integration, and if so how soon.57 The Personnel Policy Board ignored these larger questions when it considered the subject on 26 May, focusing its opposition instead on two of the committee's recommendations. It wanted Secretary Johnson to make "a strong representation" to Fahy against the suggestion that there be a parity of scores for enlistment in the services. The board also unanimously opposed the committee's suggestion that the Army send all qualified Negroes to specialty schools within eighteen months of enlistment, arguing that such a policy would be administratively impossible to i enforce and would discriminate against white servicemen.58
Chairman Reid temporized somewhat in his recommendations to Secretary Johnson. He admitted that the whole question of parity of entrance standards was highly controversial. He recognized the justice in establishing universal standards for enlistment through selective service, but at the same time he believed it unfair to ask any service to accept volunteers of lesser quality than it could obtain through good enlistment and recruitment methods. He wanted Johnson to concentrate his attack on the parity question.59
Before Johnson could act on his personnel group's recommendations, the Army and Navy formally submitted their second replies to his directive on the executive order. Surprisingly, the services provided a measure of support for the Fahy Committee. For its part, the Navy was under particular pressure to develop an acceptable program. It, after all, had been the first to announce a general integration policy for which it had, over the years, garnered considerable praise.
But now it was losing this psychological advantage under steady and persistent criticism from civil rights leaders, the President's committee, and, finally, the Secretary of Defense himself. Proud of its racial policy and accustomed to the rapport it had always enjoyed with Forrestal, the Navy was suddenly confronted with a new Secretary of Defense who bluntly noted its "lack of any response" to his 6 April directive, thus putting the Navy in the same league as the Army.
Secretary Johnson's rejection of the Navy's response made a reexamination of its race program imperative, but it was still reluctant to follow the Fahy Committee's proposals completely. Although the personnel bureau had already planned special recruitment programs, as well as a survey of all jobs in the Navy end the mental requirements for each, the idea of making chief petty officers out of chief stewards caused "great anger and resentment in the upper reaches of BuPers," Capt. Fred Stickney of the bureau admitted to a representative of He committee. Stickney was confident that the bureau's opposition to this change could be surmounted, but he was not so sure that the Navy would surrender on the issue of equality of enlistment standards. The committee's arguments to the contrary, the Navy remained convinced that standardizing entrance requirements for all the services would mean "lowering the calibre of men taken into the Navy."60
But even here the Navy proved unexpectedly conciliatory. Replying to the Secretary of Defense a second time on 23 May, Acting Secretary Dan Kimball committed the Navy to a program that incorporated to a great extent the recommendations of the Fahy Committee, including raising the status of chief stewards and integrating recruit training in the Marine Corps. While he did not agree with the committee's proposal for equality of enlistment standards, Kimball broke the solid opposition to the committee's recommendation on this subject by promising to study the issue to determine where men who scored less than forty-five (the equivalent of General Classification Test score ninety) could be used without detriment to the Navy.61
The question of parity of enlistment standards aside, the Navy's program generally followed the suggestions of the Faby Committee, and Chairman Reid urged Johnson to accept it.62 The secretary's acceptance was announced on 7 June and was widely reported in the press.63
To some extent the Army had an advantage over the Navy in its dealings with Johnson and Fahy. It never had an integration policy to defend, had in fact consistently opposed the imposition of one, and was not, therefore, under the same psychological pressures to react positively to the secretary's latest rebuff. Determined to defend its current interpretation of the Gillem Board policy, the Army resisted the Personnel Policy Board's use of the Air Force plan, Secretary Johnson's directive, and the initial recommendations of the Fahy Committee to pry out of it a new commitment to integrate. In lieu of such a commitment Acting Secretary of the Army Gordon Gray64 offered Secretary Johnson another spirited defense of Circular 124 on 26 May, promising that the Army's next step would be to integrate black companies in the white battalions of the combat arms. This step could not be taken, he added, until the reactions to placing black battalions in white regiments and black companies in composite battalions had been observed in detail over a period of time. Gray remained unmoved by the committee's appeal for the wider use and broader training of the talented black soldiers in the name of combat efficiency and continued to defend the status quo. He cited with feeling the case of the average black soldier who because of his "social environment" had most often missed the opportunity to develop leadership abilities and who against the direct competition with the better educated white soldier would find it difficult to "rise above the level of service tasks." Segregation, Gray claimed, was giving black soldiers the chance to develop leadership "unhindered and unfettered by overshadowing competition they are not yet equipped to meet." He would be remiss in his duties, he warned Johnson, if he failed to report the concern of many senior officers who believed that the Army had already gone too far in inserting black units into white units and that "we are weakening to a dangerous degree the combat efficiency of our Army."65
The Army's response found the Fahy Committee and the office of the Secretary of Defense once again in agreement. The committee rejected Gray's statement, and Kenworthy drew up a point-by-point rebuttal. He contended that unless the Army took intermediate steps, its first objective, a specific quota of black units segregated at the battalion level, would always block the realization of integration, its ultimate objective.66 The secretary's Personnel Policy Board struck an even harder blow. Chairman Reid called Gray's statement a rehash of Army accomplishments "with no indication of significant change or step forward." It ignored the committee's recommendations. In particular, and in contrast to the Navy, which had agreed to restudy the enlistment parity question, the Army had rejected the committee's request that it reconsider its quota system. Reid's blunt advice to Johnson: reject the Army's reply and demand a new one by a definite and early date.67
Members of the Fahy Committee met with Johnson and Reid on 1 June. Despite the antagonism that was growing between the Secretary of Defense and the White House group, the meeting produced several notable agreements. For his part, Johnson, accepting the recommendations of Fahy and Reid, agreed to reject the Army's latest response and order the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff to confer informally witch the committee in an attempt to produce an acceptable program. At the same time, Johnson made no move to order a common enlistment standard; he told Fahy that the matter was extremely controversial and setting such standards would involve rescinding previous interdepartmental agreements. On the committee's behalf, Fahy agreed to reword the recommendation on schooling for all qualified Negroes within eighteen months of enlistment and to discuss further the parity issue. 68
PRESS NOTICE. Rejection of the Army's second proposal as seen by the Afro-American, June 14, 1949. [Photograph not included.]
General Lanham endorsed the committee's belief that there was a need for practical, intermediate steps when he drafted a response to the Army for Secretary Johnson to sign. "It is my conviction," he wanted Johnson to say, "that the Department of the Army must meet this issue [the equal opportunity imposed by Executive Order 9981] squarely and that its action, no matter how modest or small at its inception, must be progressive in spirit and carry with it the unmistakable promise of an ultimate solution in consonance with the Chief Executive's position and our national policy."69
But the Army received no such specific instruction. Although Johnson rejected the Army's second reply and demanded another based on a careful consideration of the Fahy Committee's recommendations,70 he deleted Lanham's demand for immediate steps toward providing equal opportunity. Johnson's rejection of Lanham's proposal—a tacit rejection of the committee's basic premise as well—did not necessarily indicate a shift in Johnson's position, but it did establish a basis for future rivalry between the secretary and the committee. Until now Johnson and the committee, through the medium of the Personnel Policy Board, had worked in an informal partnership whose fruitfulness was readily apparent in the development of acceptable Navy and Air Force programs and in Johnson's rejection of the Army's inadequate responses. But this cooperation was to be short-lived; it would disappear altogether as the Paid Committee began to press the Army, while the Secretary of Defense, in reaction, began to draw closer to the Army's position.71
The committee approached its negotiations with the Army with considerable optimism. Kenworthy was convinced that the committee's moderate and con. crete recommendations had reassured Reid and the Personnel Policy Board and would strengthen its hand in dealing with the recalcitrant Army,72 and Fahy outlining for the President the progress the committee had made with the services, said that he looked forward to his coming meetings with Gray and Bradley. 73
To remove any unnecessary obstacle to what Fahy hoped would be fruitful sessions, the committee revised its initial recommendations to the Army. First, as Fahy had promised Johnson, it modified its position on guaranteeing qualified black soldiers already assigned to units the opportunity to attend Army schools within eighteen months. Calling the imbroglio over this issue a mere misunderstanding—the committee did not intend that preferential treatment be given Negroes nor that the Army train more people than it needed—Fahy explained to Johnson that the committee only wanted to make sure that qualified Negroes would have the same chance as qualified white men. It would be happy, Fahy said, to work with the Army on rewording the recommendation.74 The committee also added the suggestion that so long as-racial units existed, the Army might permit enlisted men in the four lowest grades, at their request, to remain in a unit predominantly composed of men of their own race. This provision, however, was not to extend to officers and noncommissioned officers in the top three grades, who received their promotions on a worldwide competitive basis. Finally, the committee offered a substitute for the numerical quota it wanted abolished. So that the Army would not get too many low-scoring recruits, either black or white, the committee proposed a separate quota for each category in the classification test scores. Only so many voluntary enlistments would be accepted in categories I through III, their numbers based on the normal spread of scores that existed in both the wartime and peacetime Army. If the Army netted more high scorers than average in any period, it would Induct fewer men from the next category. It would also deny reenlistment to any man scoring less than eighty (category IV). 75
After meeting first with Gray and then the Chief of Staff, Fahy called the sessions "frank and cordial" and saw some prospect of accord, although their positions were still far apart.76 Just how far apart had already become apparent 5 July when Gray presented Fahy with an outline for yet another program for using black soldiers. This new program was based in part on the comments of ;the field commanders, and the Director of Personnel and Administration :warned that "beyond the steps listed in this plan, there is very little major compromise area left short of complete integration."77 While the Army plan differed from the committee's recommendations in many ways, in essence the disagreement was limited to two fundamental points. Determined to retain segregated units, the Army opposed the reassignment of school-trained Negroes to vacancies in white units; and in order to prevent an influx of Negroes in the low achievement categories, the Army was determined to retain the numerical quota.78
The committee argued that if the Army was to train men according to their ability, hence efficiently, and in accord with the principle of equality, it must consider assigning them without regard to race. It could not see how removal of the numerical quota would result in a flood of Negroes joining the Army, but it could see how retaining the quota would prevent the enlistment of blacks for long periods of time. These two provisions—that school-trained Negroes be freely assigned and that the quota be abolished—were really the heart of the committee's plan and hope for the gradual integration of the Army. The provisions would not require the abolition of racial units "at this time," Fahy explained to President Truman, but they would gradually extend the integration already practiced in overhead installations and Army schools. The committee could not demand any less, he confessed, in light of the President's order.79
The committee and the Army had reached a stalemate. As a staff member of the Personnel Policy Board put it, their latest proposal and counterproposals were simply extensions of what had long been put forth by both parties. He advised Chairman Reid to remain neutral until both sides presented their "total proposal."80 But the press was not remaining neutral. The New York Times, for example, accused the Army of stalling and equivocating, engaging in a "private insurrection," and trying "to preserve a pattern of bigotry which caricatures the democratic cause in every corner of the world." There was no room for compromise, the Times added, and President Truman could not retreat without abdicating as Commander in Chief.81 Secretary Gray countered with a statement that the Army was still under injunction from the Secretary of Defense to submit a new race program, and he was contemplating certain new proposals on the military occupational specialty issue.82
The Army staff did prepare another reply for the Secretary of Defense, and on 16 September Gray met with Fahy and others to discuss it. General Wade H. Haislip, the Vice Chief of Staff, claimed privately to Gray that the new reply was almost identical with the plan presented to the committee on 5 July and that He new concessions on occupational specialties would only require the conversion of some units from white to black.83 Haislip, however, had not reckoned with the concession that Gray was prepared to make to Fahy. Gray accepted in principle the committee's argument that the assignment of black graduates of specialist schools should not be limited to black units or overhead positions but could be used to fill vacancies in any unit. At the same time, he remained adamant on the quota. When the committee spoke hopefully of the advantages of an Army open to all, the Army contemplated fearfully the racial imbalance that might result. The future was to prove the committee right about the advantages, but as of September 1949 Gray and his subordinates had no intention of giving up the quota.84 Gray did agree, however, to continue studying the quota issue with the committee, and Fahy optimistically reported to President Truman: "It is the Committee's expectation that it will be able within a few weeks to make a formal report to you on a complete list of changes in Army policy and practices.85
Fahy made his prediction before Secretary of Defense Johnson took a course of action that, in effect, rendered the committee's position untenable. On 30 September Johnson received from Gray a new program for the employment of black troops. Without reference to the Fahy Committee, Johnson approved the proposal and announced it to the press. Gray's program opened all military occupational specialties to all qualified men, abolished racial quotas for the Army's schools, and abolished racially separate promotion systems and standards. But it also specifically called for retention of the racial quota on enlistments and conspicuously failed to provide for the assignment of black specialists beyond those jobs already provided by the old Gillem Board policy.86 Secretary Gray had asked for Fahy's personal approval before forwarding the plan discussed by the two men at such length, but Fahy refused; he wanted the plan submitted to his full committee. When Johnson received the plan he did not consult the committee at all, although he briefly referred it to the acting chairman of the Personnel Policy Board, who interposed no objection.87
It is not difficult to understand Johnson's reasons for ignoring the President's committee. He had been forced to endure public criticism over the projected negotiations between the Army and the committee. Among liberal meets on Capitol Hill, his position—that his directive and the service replies de legislation to prohibit segregation in the services unnecessary—was obviously being compromised by the lack of an acceptable Army response.88 In word, the argument over civil rights in the armed forces had become a political liability for Louis Johnson, and he wanted it out of the way. Glossing over the Army's truculence, Johnson blamed the committee and its recommendations his problem, and when his frontal assault on the committee failed—Kenworthy reported that the secretary tried to have the committee disbanded—he had to devise another approach.89 The Army's new proposal, a more reasonable sounding document than its predecessor, provided him with a convenient Opportunity. Why not quickly approve the program, thereby presenting the committee with a fait accompli and leaving the President with little excuse for prolonging the civil rights negotiations?
Unfortunately for Johnson the gambit failed. While Fahy admitted that the Army's newest proposal was an improvement, for several reasons he could not accept it. The assignment of black specialists to white units was a key part of the committee's program, and despite Gray's private assurances that specialists would be integrated, Faby was not prepared to accept the Army's "equivocal" language on this subject. There was also the issue of the quota, still very much alive between the committee and the Army. The committee was bound, furthermore, to resent being ignored in the approval process. Fahy and his associates had been charged by the President with advising the services on equality of treatment and opportunity, and they were determined to be heard.90 Fahy informed the White House that the committee would review the Army's proposal in an extraordinary meeting. He asked that the President meanwhile refrain from comment.91
The committee's stand received support from the black press and numerous national civil rights organizations, all of which excoriated the Army's position.92 David K. Niles, the White House adviser on racial matters, warned President Truman about the rising controversy and predicted that the committee would again reject the Army's proposal. He advised the President to tell the press that Johnson's news release was merely a "progress report," that it was not final, and that the committee was continuing its investigation.93 The President did just that, adding: "Eventually we will reach, I hope, what we contemplated in the beginning. You can't do it all at once. The progress report was a good report, and it isn't finished yet."94 And lest his purpose remain unclear, the President declared that his aim was the racial integration of the Army.
The President's statement signaled a victory for the committee; its extent became apparent only when the Army tried to issue a new circular, revising its Gillem Board policy along the lines of the outline plan approved by Johnson on 30 September. During the weeks of protracted negotiations that followed, the committee clearly remained in control, its power derived basically from its will. ingress to have the differences between the committee and the Army publicized and the reluctance of the White House to have it so. The attitudes toward publicity were already noticeable when, on 11 October, Fahy suggested to Truman some possible solutions to the impasse between the committee and the Army. The Secretary of Defense could issue a supplementary statement on the Army's assignment policy, the committee could release its recommendations to the press, or the Army and the committee could resume discussions.95
President Truman ordered his military aide to read the committee's 11 October suggestion and "then take [it] up with Johnson."96 As a result the Secretary of Defense retired from the controversy. Reminding Gray through intermediaries that he had approved the Army's plan in outline form, Johnson declared that it was "inappropriate" for him to approve the plan's publication as an Army circular as the Army had requested.97 About the same time, Niles informed the Army that any revision of Circular 124 would have to be submitted to the White House before publication, and he candidly admitted that presidential approval would depend on the views of the Fahy Committee.98 Meanwhile, his assistant, Philleo Nash, predicting that the committee would win both the assignment and quota arguments, persuaded Fahy to postpone any public statement until after the Army's revised circular had been reviewed by the committee.99
Chairman Fahy was fully aware of the leverage these actions gave his committee, although he and his associates now had few illusions about the speedy end to the contest. "I know from the best authority within P&A," Kenworthy warned the committee, that the obstructionists in Army Personnel hoped to see the committee submit final recommendations—"what its recommendations are they don't much care"—and then disband. Until the committee disbanded, its opponents would try to block any real change in Army policy.100 Kenworthy offered in evidence the current controversy over the Army's instructions to its field commander These instructions, a copy of the outline plan approved by dietary Johnson, had been sent to the commanders by The Adjutant General on 1 October as "additional policies" pending a revision of Circular 124.101 Included in the message, of course, was Gray's order to open all military occupational specialties to Negroes; but when some commanders, on the basis of their interpretation of the message, began integrating black specialists in white units, officials in the Personnel and Administration and the Organization and Training Divisions dispatched a second message on 27 October specifically forbidding such action "except on Department of Army orders."102 Negroes would continue to be authorized for assignment to black units, the message explained, and to "Negro spaces in T/D [overhead] units." In effect, the Army staff was reordering commanders to interpret the secretary's plan in its narrowest sense, blocking any possibility of broadening the range of black assignments.
Kenworthy was able to turn this incident to the committee's advantage. He made a practice of never locking his Pentagon office door nor his desk drawer. He knew that Negroes, both civilian and military, worked in the message centers, and he suspected that if any hanky-panky was afoot they would discover it and he would be anonymously apprised of it. A few days after the dispatch of the second message, Kenworthy opened his desk drawer to find a copy. For the first and only time, he later explained, he broke his self-imposed rule of relying on negotiations between the military and the committee and its staff in camera. He laid both messages before a longtime friend of his, the editor of the Washington Post's editorial page.103 Thus delivered to the press, the second message brought on another round of accusations, corrections, and headlines to the effect that "The Brass Gives Gray the Run-Around. " Kenworthy was able to denounce the incident as a "step backward" that even violated the Gillem Board policy by allocating "Negro spaces" in overhead units. The Army staff's second message nullified the committee's recommendations since they depended ultimately on the unlimited assignment of black specialists. The message demonstrated very well, Kenworthy told the committee, that careful supervision of the Army's racial policy would be necessary.104 Some newspapers were less charitable. The Pittsburgh Courier charged that the colonel blamed for die release of the second message had been made the "goat" in a case that involved far more senior officials, and the Washington Post claimed that the message "vitiates" even the limited improvements outlined in the Army's plan as approved by Secretary Johnson. The paper called on Secretary Gray to assert himself in the case. 105
A furious secretary, learning of the second message from the press stories did enter the case. Branding the document a violation of his announced policy he had it rescinded and, publicizing a promise made earlier to the committee announced that qualified black specialists would be assigned to some White units.106 At the same time Gray was not prepared to admit that the incident demonstrated how open his plan was to evasion, just as he refused to admit that his rescinding of the errant message represented a change in policy. He would continue, in effect, the plan approved by the Secretary of Defense on 30 September, he told Fahy.107
The Army staff's draft revision of the Gillem Board circular, sent to the committee on 25 November, reflected Gray's 30 September plan.108 In short, when it emerged from its journey through the various Army staff agencies, the proposed revision still contained none of the committee's key recommendations . It continued the severe restrictions on the assignment of Negroes who had specialty training; it specifically retained the numerical quota; and, with several specific exceptions, it carefully presented the segregation of Army life.109 Actually, the proposed revision amounted to little more than a repetition of the Gillem Board policy with minor modifications designed to make it easier to carry out. Fahy quickly warned the Deputy Director of Personnel and Administration that there was no chance of its winning the committee's approval. 110
The quota and assignments issues remained the center of controversy between the Army and the committee. Although Fahy was prepared to postpone a decision on the quota while negotiations continued, he was unwilling to budge on the assignments issue. As the committee had repeatedly emphasized, the question of open, integrated assignment of trained Negroes was at the heart of its program. Without it the opening of Army schools and military occupational specialties would be meaningless and the intent of Executive Order 9981 frustrated.
At first glance it would seem that the revision of Circular 124 supported the assignment of Negroes to white units, as indeed Secretary Gray had recently promised. But this was not really the case, as Kenworthy explained to the committee. The Army had always made a distinction between specialists, men especially recruited for critically needed jobs, and specialties, those military occupations for which soldiers were routinely trained in Army schools. The draft revision did not refer to this second and far larger category and was intended to provide only for the placement of the rare black specialist in white units. The document as worded even limited the use of Negroes in overhead units. Only those with skills considered appropriate by the personnel office—that is, those who possessed a specialty either inappropriate in a black unit or in excess of its needs—would be considered for racially mixed overhead units. 111
Fahy was determined to have the Army's plan modified, and furthermore he had learned during the past few weeks how to get it done. On 9 December Kenworthy telephoned Philleo Nash at the White House to inform him of the considerable sentiment in the committee for publicizing the whole affair and read to him the draft of a press statement prepared by Fahy. As Fahy expected, the White House wanted to avoid publicity; the President, through Nash, assured the committee that the issues of assignment and quota were still under discussion. Nash suggested that instead of a public statement the committee prepare a document for the Army and the White House explaining what principles and procedures were demanded by the presidential order. In his opinion, Nash assured Kenworthy, the White House would order the Army to meet the committee's recommendations.112
White House pressure undoubtedly played a major role in the resolution of the assignment issue. When on 14 December 1949 the committee presented the Army and the President with its comments on the Army's proposed revision of Circular 124, it took the first step toward what was to be a rapid agreement on black assignments. At the same time it would be a mistake to discount the effectiveness of reasonable men of good will discussing their very real differences in an effort to reach a consensus. There is considerable evidence that when Fahy met on 27 December with Secretary Gray and General J. Lawton Collins, the Chief of Staff, he was able to convince them that the committee's position on the assignment of black graduates of specialist schools was right and inevitable. 113
While neither Gray nor Collins could even remotely be described as social reformers, both were pragmatic leaders, prepared to accept changes in Army tradition.114 Collins, unlike his immediate predecessors, was not so much concerned with finding the Army in the vanguard of American social practices as he was in determining that its racial practices guaranteed a more efficient organization. While he wanted to retain the numerical quota, lest the advantages of an Army career attract so large a number of Negroes that a serious racial imbalance would result, he was willing to accept a substantive revision of the Gillem Board policy.
Gray was perhaps more cautious than Collins. Confessing later that he had never considered the question of equal opportunity until Fahy brought it to his attention, Gray began with a limited view of the executive order—the Army must eliminate racial discrimination, not promote racial integration. In their meeting on 27 December Fahy was able to convince Gray that the former was impossible without the latter. According to Kenworthy, Gray demonstrated an "open and unbiased" view of the problem throughout all discussions. 115
SECRETARY OF THE ARMY GRAY [Photograph not included.]
The trouble was, as Roy Davenport later noted, Gordon Gray was a lawyer, not a personnel expert, and he failed to grasp the full implications of the Army staff's recommendations.116 Davenport was speaking from firsthand knowledge because Gray, after belatedly learning of his experience and influence with the committee, sent for him. Politely but explicitly Davenport told Gray that the staff officers who were advising him and which he was signing his name had deceived him. Gray was at first annoyed and incredulous; after Davenport finally convinced him, he was angry. Kenworthy, years later, wrote that the Gray-Davenport discussion was decisive in changing Gray's mind on the assignment issue and was of great help to the Fahy Committee.117
Fahy reduced the whole problem to the case of one qualified black soldier denied a job because of color and pictured the loss to the Army and the country, eloquently pleading with Gray and Collins at the 27 December meeting to try the committee's way. "I can't say you won't have problems," Fahy concluded, "but try it." Gray resisted at first because "this would mean the complete end of segregation," but unable to deny the logic of Fahy's arguments he agreed to try.118 There were compromises on both sides. When Collins pointed out some of the administrative difficulties that could come from the "mandatory" language recommended by the committee, Fahy said that the policy should be administered "with latitude." To that end he promised to suggest some changes in wording that would produce "a policy with some play in the joints." The conferees also agreed that the quota issue should be downplayed while the parties continued their discussions on that subject. 119
Agreement followed rapidly on the heels of the meeting of the principals. Roy Davenport presented the committee members with the final draft of the Army proposal and urged that it be accepted as "the furthest and most Hopeful they could get "120 Lester Arranger, Davenport later reported, was tithe first to say he would accept, with Fahy and the rest following suit, 121 and on 16 January 1950 the Army issued Special Regulation 600-629-1, Utilization of Negro Manpower in the Army with the committee's blessing.
GENERAL COLLINS [Photograph not included.]
Fahy reported to Truman that the new Army policy was consistent with the executive order. Its paragraphs on assignments spelled out the principle long advocated by the committee: "Negro manpower possessing appropriate skills and qualifications will be utilized in accordance with such skills and qualifications, and will be assigned to any . . . unit without regard to race or color." Adding substance to this declaration, the Army also announced that a list of critical specialties in which vacancies existed would be published periodically and ordered major commanders to assign Negroes who possessed those specialties to fill the vacancies without regard to race. The first such list was published at the same time as the new regulation. The Army had taken a significant step, Fahy told the President, toward the realization of equal treatment and opportunity for all soldiers. 122
Secretary of Defense Johnson was also optimistic, but he warned Gordon Gray that many complex problems remained and asked the Army for periodic reports. His request only emphasized the fact that the Army's new regulation lacked the machinery for monitoring compliance with its provisions for integration. As the history of the Gillem Board era demonstrated, any attempt to change the Army's traditions demanded not only exact definition of the intermediate steps but also establishment of a responsible authority to enforce compliance.
In the wake of the Army's new assignment regulation, the committee turned its full attention to the last of its major recommendations, the abolition of the numerical quota. Despite months of discussion, the disagreement between the Army and the committee over the quota showed no signs of resolution. Simply put, the Fahy Committee wanted the Army to abolish the Gillem Board's racial quota and to substitute a quota based on General Classification Test scores of enlistees. The committee found the racial quota unacceptable in terms of the executive order and wasteful of manpower since it tended to encourage the reenlistment of low-scoring Negroes and thereby prevented the enlistment of superior men. None of the Negroes graduating from high school in June 1949, for example, no matter how high their academic rating, could enlist because the black quota had been filled for months. Quotas based on test scores, on the other hand, would limit enlistment to only the higher scoring blacks and whites.
Specifically, the committee wanted no enlistment to be decided by race. The Army would open all enlistments to anyone who scored ninety or above, limiting the number of blacks and whites scoring between eighty and eighty nine to 13.4 percent of the total Army strength, a percentage based on World War II strengths. With rare exception it would close enlistment to anyone who scored less than eighty. Applying this formula to the current Army, 611,400 men on 31 March 1949, and assessing the number of men from seventeen to thirty-four years old in the national population, the committee projected a total of 65,565 Negroes in the Army, almost exactly 10 percent of the Army's strength. In a related statistical report prepared by Davenport, the committee offered figures demonstrating that the higher black reenlistment rates would not increase the number of black soldiers. 123
The Army's reply was based on the premise that "the Negro strength of the Army must be restricted and that the population ratio is the most equitable method [of] limitation." In fact, the only method of controlling black strength was a numerical quota of original enlistments. The personnel staff argued that enlistment specifically unrestricted by race, as the high rate of unrestricted black reenlistment had demonstrated, would inevitably produce a "very high percentage of Negroes in the Army." A, quota based on the classification test scores could not limit sufficiently the number of black enlistments if, as the committee insisted, it required that identical enlistment standards be maintained for both blacks and whites. Looking at the census figure another way, the Army had its own statistics to prove its point. Basing its figures on the number of Negroes who became eighteen each month (11,000), the personnel staff estimated that black enlistments would total from 15 to 20 percent of the Army's monthly strength if an entrance quota was imposed with the cut-off score set at ninety or from 19 to 31 percent if the enlistment standards were lowered to eighty. It also pointed to the experience of the Air Force where with no quotas in the third quarter of 1949 black enlistments accounted for 16.4 percent of the total; even when a GCT quota of 100 was imposed in October and November, 10 percent 61 Air Force enlistees were black.124
The committee quickly pointed out that the Army had neglected to subtract the monthly figure of 11,000 blacks those physically and mentally disqualifed (those who scored below eighty) and those in school. Using the Army's own figures and taking into account these deductions, the committee predicted that Negroes would account for 10.6 percent of the men accepted in the 8,000 monthly intake, probably at the GCT eighty level, or 5 percent of the 6,000 men estimated acceptable at the GCT ninety level. 125
On 14 December 1949 the Army, offering to compromise on the quota, Ted from its statistical battle with the committee. It would accept the unlimited enlistment of Negroes scoring 100 or better, limiting the number of those accepted below 100 so that the total black strength would remain at 10 percent of the Army's population.' Attractive to the committee because it would provide for the enlistment of qualified men at the expense of the less able, the proposal was nevertheless rejected because it still insisted upon a racial quota. Again there was a difference between the committee and the Army, but shin the advantage lay with the committee, for the White House was anxious for the quota problem to be solved. 127
Niles warned the President that the racial imbalance which had for so long frustrated equal treatment and opportunity for Negroes in the Army would continue despite the Army's new assignment policy unless the Army was able to raise the quality of its black enlistees. Niles considered the committee's proposal doubly attractive because, while it abolished the quota, it would also raise the level of black recruits. The proposal was sensible and fair, Niles added, and he believed it would reduce the number of black soldiers as it raised their quality. It had been used successfully by the Navy and Air Force, and, as it had in those services, would provide for the gradual dissolution of the all-black units rather than a precipitous change.128 The Army staff did not agree, and as late as 28 February 1950 the Director of Personnel and Administration was recommending Hat the Army retain the racial quota at least for all Negroes scoring below 110 on the classification test. 129
Secretary Gray, aware that the Army's arguments would not move the committee, was sure that the President did not want to see a spectacular and precipitous rise in the Army's black strength. He decided on a personal appeal to the Commander in Chief.130 The Army would drop the racial quota, he told Truman on 1 March, with one proviso: "If, as a result of a fair trial of this new system, there ensues a disproportionate balance of racial strengths in the Army it is my understanding that I have your authority to return to a system which will, in effect, control enlistments by race."131 The President agreed.
At the President's request, Gray outlined a program for open recruitment fixing April as the date when all vacancies would be open to all qualified individuals. Gray wanted to handle the changes in routine fashion. With the committee's concurrence, he planned no public announcement. From his vacation quarters in Key West, Truman added a final encouraging word: "I am sure that everything will work out as it should."132 The order opening recruiting to all races went out on 27 March 1950.133
Despite the President's optimism, the Fahy Committee was beginning to have doubts about just how everything would work out. Specifically, some members were wondering how they could be sure the Army would comply with the newly approved policies. Such concern was reasonable, despite the Army's solemn commitments, when one considers the committee's lengthening experience with the Defense Department's bureaucracy and its familiarity with the liabilities of the Gillem Board policy. The committee decided, therefore, to include in its final report to the President a request for the retention of a watchdog group to review service practices. In this its views clashed directly with those of Secretary Johnson, who wanted the President to abolish the committee and make him solely responsible for the equal treatment and opportunity program.134
Niles, anxious to settle the issue, tried to reconcile the differences 135 and successfully persuaded the committee to omit a reference in its final report to a successor group to review the services' progress. Such a move, he told Kenworthy, would imply that, unless policed, the services would not carry out their programs. Public discussion about how long the committee was to remain in effect would also tend to tie the President's hands. Niles suggested instead that the committee members discuss the matter with the President when they met with him to submit their final report and perhaps suggest that a watchdog group be appointed or their committee be retained on a standby basis for a later review of service actions.136 Before the committee met with the President on 22 May, Notes. recommended to Truman that he make no commitment on a watchdog group.137 Privately, Niles agreed with Clark Clifford that the committee should be retained for an indefinite period, but on an advisory rather than an operating . basis so that, in Clifford's words, "it will be in a position to see that there is not a gap between policy and an administration of policy in the Defense Establishment. " 138
The President proceeded along these lines. Several months after the committee presented its final report, Freedom to Serve,139 in a public ceremony, Truman relieved the group of its assignment. Commenting that the services could have the opportunity to work out in detail the new policies and procedures initiated by the committee, he told Fahy on 6 July 1950 that he would leave his order in effect,. noting that "at some later date, it may prove desirable to examine the effectuation of your Committee's recommendations, which can be done under Executive Order 9981. " 140
Thus ended a most active period in the history of armed forces integration, a period of executive orders, presidential conferences, and national hearings, of administrative infighting broadcast to the public in national headlines. The Fahy Committee was the focus of this bureaucratic and journalistic excitement.
Charged with examining the policies of the services in light of the President's order, the committee could have glanced briefly at current racial practices and automatically ratified Secretary Johnson's general policy statement. Indeed, this was precisely what Walter White and other civil rights leaders expected. But the committee was made of sterner stuff. With dedication and with considerable political acumen, it correctly assessed the position of black servicemen and subjected the racial policies of the services to a rigorous and detailed examination, the first to be made by an agency outside the Department of Defense. As a result of this scrutiny, the committee clearly and finally demonstrated that segregation was an inefficient way to use military manpower; once and for all it demolished the arguments that the services habitually used against any demand for serious change. Most important is the fact that the committee kept alive the spirit of reform the Truman order had created. The committee's definition of equal treatment and opportunity became the standard by which future action on racial issues in the armed forces would be measured.
Throughout its long existence, the Fahy Committee was chiefly concerned with the position of the Negro in the Army. After protracted argument it won from the Army an agreement to abolish the racial quota and to open all specialties in all Army units and all Army schools and courses to qualified Negroes. Finally, it won the Army's promise to cease restricting black servicemen to black units and overhead installations alone and to assign them instead on the basis of individual ability and the Army's need
As for the other services, the committee secured from the Navy a pledge to give petty officer status to chief stewards and stewards of the first, second, and third class, and its influence was discernible in the Navy's decision to allow stewards to transfer to the general service. The committee also made, and the Navy accepted, several practical suggestions that might lead to an increase in the number of black officers and enlisted men. The committee approved the Air Force integration program and publicized the success of this major reform as it was carried out during 1949; for the benefit of the reluctant Army, the commit" tee could point to the demonstrated ability of black servicemen and the widespread acceptance of integration among the rank and file of the Air Force In regard to the Marine Corps, however, the committee was forced to acknowledge that the corps had not yet "fully carried out Navy policy. "141
The Fahy Committee won from the services a commitment to equal treatment and opportunity and a practical program to achieve that end. Yet even with this victory and the strong support of many senior military officials, the possibility that determined foes of integration might erect roadblocks or that simple bureaucratic inertia would delay progress could not be discounted. There was, for example, nothing in the postwar practices of the Marine Corps, even the temporary integration of its few black recruits during basic training, that hinted at any long-range intention of adopting the Navy's integration program. And the fate of one of the committee's major recommendations, that all the services adopt equal enlistment standards, had yet to be decided. The acceptance of this recommendation hinged on the results of a Defense Department study to determine the jobs in each service that could be filled by men in the lowest mental classification category acceptable to all three services. Although the Navy and the Air Force had agreed to reexamine the matter, they had consistently opposed the application of enlistment parity in the past, and the Secretary of Defense's Personnel Policy Board had indorsed their position. Secretary Forrestal, himself, had rejected the concept, and there was nothing in the record to suggest that his successor would do otherwise. Yet the parity of enlistment standards was a vital part of the committee's argument for the abolition of the Army's racial quota. If enlistment standards were not equalized, especially in a period when the Army was turning to Selective Service for much of its manpower, the number of men in the Army's categories IV and V was bound to increase, and that increase would provide strong justification for reviving the racial quota. The Army staff was aware, if the public was not, that a resurrected quota was possible, for the President had given the Secretary of the Army authority to take such action if there was "a disproportionate balance of racial strengths."142
The Army's concern with disproportionate balance was always linked to a concern with the influx of men, mostly black, who scored poorly on the classification tests. The problem, the Army repeatedly claimed, was not the quantity of black troops but their quality. Yet at the time the Army agreed to the committee's demand to drop the quota, some 40 percent of all black soldiers scored below eighty. These men could rarely profit from the Army's agreement to integrate all specialist training and assignments. The committee, aware of the problem, had strongly urged the Army to refuse reenlistment, with few exceptions, to anyone scoring below eighty. On 11 May 1950 Fahy reminded Secretary of the Army Frank Pace, Jr., that despite the Army's promise to eliminate its low scorers it continued to reenlist men scoring less than seventy. 143 But by July even the test score for first-time enlistment into the Army had declined to seventy because men were needed for the Korean War. The law required that whenever Selective Service began drafting men the Army would automatically lower its enlistment standards to seventy. Thus, despite the committee's recommendations, the concentration of low-scoring Negroes in the lower grades continued to Increase, creating an even greater pool of men incapable of assignment to the schools and specialties open without regard to race.
"NO LONGER A DREAM. " The Pittsburgh Courier's reaction to the services' agreements with the Fahy Committee, May 20, 1950. [Photograph not included.]
Even the Army's promise to enlarge gradually the number of specialties open to Negroes was not carried out expeditiously. By July 1950, the last month of the Fahy Committee's life, the Army had added only seven more specialties with openings for Negroes to the list of forty published seven months before at the time of its agreement with the committee. In a pessimistic mood, Kenworthy confessed to Judge Fahyl44 that "so long as additions are not progressively made to the critical list of MOS in which Negroes can serve, and so long as segregated units continue to be the rule, all MOS and schools can not be said to be open to Negroes because Negro units do not have calls for many of the advanced MOS." Kenworthy was also disturbed because the Army had disbanded the staff agency created to monitor the new policies and make future recommendations and had transferred both its two members to other duties. In the light of progress registered in the half year since the Army had adopted the committees proposal, Kenworthy concluded that "the Army intends to do as little as possible towards implementing the policy which it adopted and published. " 145
Roy Davenport later suggested that such pessimism was ill-founded. Other factors were at work within the Army in 1950, particularly after the outbreak of war in Korea.146 Davenport alluded principally to the integration of basic training centers and the assignment of greater numbers of black inductees to combat specialties—developments that were pushing the Army ahead of the integration timetable envisioned by committee members and making concern over black eligibility for an increased number of occupation categories less important.
The Fahy Committee has been given full credit for proving that segregation could not be defended on grounds of military efficiency, thereby laying the foundation for the integration of the Army. But perhaps in the long run the group's idealism proved to be equally important. The committee never lost sight of the moral implications of the services' racial policies. Concern for the rightness and wrongness of things is readily apparent in all its deliberations, and in the end the committee would invoke the words of Saint Paul to the Philippians to remind men who perhaps should have needed no such reminder thee they should heed "whatsoever things are true . . . whatsoever things are just." What was right and just, the committee concluded, would "strengthen the nation. 147
The same ethics stood forth in the conclusion of the committee's final report, raising that practical summary of events to the status of an eloquent state paper. The committee reminded the President and its fellow citizens that the status of the individual, "his equal worth in the sight of God, his equal protection under the law, his equal rights and obligations of citizenship and his equal opportunity to make just and constructive use of his endowment—these are the very foundation of the American system of values. " 148
To its lasting honor the Fahy Committee succeeded in spelling out for the nation's military leaders how these principles, these "high standards of democracy" as President Truman called them in his order, must be applied in the services.
1Memo, SecDef for SA et al., 21 Oct 48, copy in Fahy Committee file, CMH [hereafter cites as FC file]. The Center of Military History has retained an extensive collection of significant primary materials pertaining to the Fahy Committee and its dealings with the Department of Defense. While most of the original documents are in the Charles Fahy Papers and the Papers of the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services at the Harry S. Truman Library or in the National Archives, this study will cite the CMH collection when possible.
2Ltrs, James Forrestal to Fahy, 26 Mar 49, and Louis Johnson to Fahy, 18 Apr 49; both in FC file. See also Ltr, Thomas R. Reid to R.M. Dalfiume, 12 Feb 65, copy in CMH.
3Ltr, Thomas R. Reid to R. M. Dalfiume, 12 Feb 65, copy in CMH. The Cmte of Four Secretaries Mtg, 26 Oct 48, Office of OSD Historian. The Committee of the Four Secretaries was an informal body composed of the Secretary of Defense or his representative and the secretaries of the three armed services.
4Min, War Council Mtg, 12 Jan 49, Office of OSD Historian; Memo, Secy of War Council for SA er al. 13 Jan 49, sub: Significant Action of the Special Meeting of the War Council on 12 January 1949, OSD 29i.2. The War Council, established by Section 210 of the National Security Act of 1947, consisted of the Secretary of Defense as chairman with power of decision, the service secretaries, and the military chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
5Memo, Thomas R. Reid, Chmn, PPB, for Worthington Thompson, OSD, IS Feb 49, sub: Meeting of Committee of Four, 10 A.M. Tuesday—15 February, FC file.
6Forrestal signed an interim directive appointing members of the board on 22 February 1949. composed of a civilian chairman and an under secretary or assistant secretary from each service, the board was to have a staff of personnel experts under a director, an officer of flag rank, appointed by the chairman; see NME Press Releases, 28 Dec 48, and 1 Apr 49.
7Min PPB Mtg, 26 Feb 49, FC file.
8Memo, Col J. F. Cassidy, PPB, for Dir, PPB Staff, 25 Feb 49, sub: Policies of the Three Departments With Reference to Negro Personnel, FC file.
9PPB, Draft (Reid and Lanham), Proposed Directive for the Armed Forces for the Period July 1950, 28 Feb 49, FC file.
10Note, Leva thru Ohly to Buck Lanham, attached to Draft of Proposed Directive cited in n. 9.
11Memo, Chmn, PPB, for John Ohly, Assistant to SecDef, 15 Mar 49; Revised Min. PPB Mtg, 18 Mar 49; both In FC file.
12Interv, author with Roy K. Davenport, 7 Oct 71, CMH.
13Memo for Files. Clarence H. Osthagen, Assistant to SecAF, 31 Mar 49, sub: Conference With Thomas Reid FC file
14Memo, Thomas Reid for Asst SecNav, 1 Apr 49, sub: Statement on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity, FC file.
15PPB, Draft Memo, SecDef for Svc Secys (prepared by Col J. F. Cassidy for Reid), 31 Mar 49; PPB, Proposed Policy for the National Military Establishment, 4 Apt 49; both in FC file.
16Memo, SecDef for SA et al., 6 Apt 49, sub: Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services; Min. PPB Mtg, S Apr 49; both in FC file.
17Min, PPB Mtg, 8 Apr 49, FC file. l
18Memo, Reid for SecDef, 14 Apr 49, sub: The President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity In the Armed Services, FC file.
19Min, PPB Mtg, 5 May 49; NME Press Release 3-49A, 20 Apt 49; both in FC file.
20This conclusion is based on Interviews, author with Charles Fahy, 8 Feb 68, James C. Evans, 6 Apr 69, and Brig Gen Charles T. Lanham, 10 Jan 71. It is also based on letters to author from John Ohly, 9 Jan 71, and Thomas Reid, 15 Jan 71. All in CMH.
21Memo, Kenworthy for Chief of Military History, 13 Oct 76, CMH.
22Memo, Actg SecNav for Chmn, PPB, 2 May 49, sub: Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Navy ant Marine Corps; Memo, SA for SecDef, 21 Apt 49, sub: Equality of Treatment ant Opportunity in the Armed Services; both in FC file.
23Min, PPB Mtg, 5 May 49, FC file.
24Ibid.; see also Ltr, Thomas Reid to Richard Dalfiume, 1 Apr 65, Incl to Ltr, Reid to author, 15 Jan 71. All in CMH.
25Min. War Council Mtg, 11 Jan 49, FC file; see also Interv, author with W. Stuart Symington, 1974, CMH.
26Memo, SecAF for Chmn, PPB, OSD, 30 Apr 49; Memo, Asst SecAF for SecAF, 20 Apt 49, sub: Department of Air Force Implementation of Department of Defense Policy on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services; both in SecAF files.
27Min, PPB Mtg, 5 May 49; Memo, Reid for SecDef, 10 May 49, sub: Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Forces, FC file.
29Memo, SA for SecDef, 22 Apr 49, OSA 291.2.
30Memo, SecDef for SA, 13 May 49, sub: Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Forces; idem for SecAF and SecNav, 11 May 49, same sub; DOD Press Release 3S-49A, 11 May 42. All in FC file.
31Interv, author with Fahy.
32Ibid.; see also Fahy Cmte, "A Progress Report for the President," 7 Jun 49, FC file.
33Memo, Fahy for Brig Gen James L. Collins, Jr. 16 Aug 76, CMH.
34Interv author with Fahy
35Interv, Blumenson with Fahy, 7 Apr 66; Interv, author with davenport, 31 Oct 71; both in CMH.
36Testimony of General Omar N. Bradley, Fahy Cmte Hearings, 28 Mar 49, afternoon session, p. 71.
37Memo, Asst SecAF for Symington, 11 Apr 49, sub: Statement of the Secretary of the Army Before the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services—March 28, 1949, SecAF files.
38Testimony of Bradley, Fahy Cmte Hearings, 28 Mar 49, afternoon session, pp. 71-72.
39Ibid., p. 83.
40Testimony of the Secretary of the Army, Fahy Cmte Hearings, 28 Mar 49, morning session, p. 28.
41Ltr, Kenworthy to SA, 20 Jul 50, FC file; see also Memo, Kenworthy for Chief of Military History, 13 Oct 76, CMH.
42Ltr, Kenworthy to Fahy, 10 Mar 49, FC file.
43Testimony of the Secretary of the Air Force, Fahy Cmte Hearings, 28 Mar 49, afternoon session, p. 27.
44Fahy Cmte Hearings, 28 Mar 49, afternoon session, pp. 28-29.
45Ibid., p. 29.
46Intervs, Blumenson with Fahy, and author with Fahy.
47This incident is described in detail in Interviews, author with Fahy; Davenport, 17 Oct 71, and E. W. Kenworthy (by telephone), 1 Dec 71. See also Interv, Nichols with Davenport, in Nichols Collection. All in CMH.
48Fahy Cmte Hearings, 28 Apr 49, morning session.
49Interv, Nichols with Fahy, in Nichols Collection, CMH.
50Fahy Cmte, "Second Interim Report to the President," 27 Jul 49, FC file.
51Interv, author with Davenport, 31 Oct 71.
52Fahy Cmte, "Initial Recommendations by the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services," attached to Fahy Cmte, "A Progress Report for the President, 7 Jun 49, FC file.
53Ltr, Kenworthy to Fahy, 5 May 49, Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
54Fahy Cmte, "A Progress Report for the President," 7 Jun 49, FC file.
55Min, War Council Mtg, 24 May 49; Fahy Cmte, "Initial Recommendations by the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services," attached to Fahy Cmte, "A Progress Report for the President, 7 Jun 49, FC file. Excerpts from the "Initial Recommendations" were sent to the services via the Personnel Policy Board, which explains the document in the SecNav's files with the penciled notation "Excerpt from Fahy Recommendation 5/19. " See also Ltr, Kenworthy to Fahy, 16 May 49, Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
56Memo, Kenworthy for Chief of Military History, 13 Oct 76, CMH.
57Col J. F. Cassidy, Comments on Initial Recommendations of Fahy committee (ca. 26 May 49), FC file.
58Min, PPB Mtg 26 May 49, FC file.
59Memo, Reid for Under SecDef, 23 May 49, sub: Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Arm Services; idem for SecDef, 1 Jun 49, sub: Fahy committee Initial Recommendations—Discussion With Members of the Fahy committee; both in PPB files. see also Memo, Ohly for Reid, 26 May 49, sub: Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed services, FC file.
60Ltr, Kenworthy to Fahy, 24 May 49, FC file.
61Memo, Actg SecNav for SecDef, 23 May 49, sub: Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Forces, FC file.
62Draft Memo, Reid for SecNav, 3 Jun 49, and Memo, Reid for SecDef, 1 Jun 49, both in PPB files Memo, Kenworthy for Fahy, 30 May 49, sub: Replies of Army and Navy to Mr. Johnson's May 11 Memo, FC file.
63NME, Off of Pub Info, Release 78-49A, 7 Jun 49. See Washington Post, June 7, 1949, and New York Times, June 8, 1949.
64Following the resignation of Secretary Royall, President Truman nominated Gordon Gray as Secretary of the Army. His appointment was confirmed by the Senate on 13 June 1949. A lawyer, Gray had been a newspaper publisher in North Carolina before his appointment as assistant secretary in 1947.
65Memo, Actg SA for SecDef, 26 May 49, sub: Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services, see also P&A Summary Sheet, 19 May 49, same sub, FC file.
66Memo, Kenworthy for Fahy, 30 May 49, sub: Replies of Army and Navy to Mr. Johnson's May 11 Memo,
67Memo, Reid for SecDef, 1 Jun 49, sub: Army and Navy Replies to Your Memorandum of 6 April on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Army Services; Min. PPB Mtg, 2 Jun 49; both in FC file.
68Min, PPB Mtg, 2 Jun 49; Ltr, Fahy to Johnson, 25 Jul 49, FC file.
69Draft Memo, Lanham for SecDef, 2 Jun 49, FC file.
70Memo, SecDef for SA, 7 Jun 49, sub: Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services; NME, Off of Pub Info, Press Release 78-49A, 7 Jun 49. The secretary gave the Army a new deadline of 20 June, but by mutual agreement of all concerned this date was postponed several times and finally left to the Secretary of the Army to submit his program "at his discretion," although at the earliest possible date. See Memo, T. Reid for Maj Gen Levin Allen, 6 Jul 49, sub: Army Reply to the Secretary of Defense on Equality of Treatment; Min. PPB Mtg, 18 Aug 49. All in FC file.
71Interv, author with Kenworthy.
72Ltr, Kenwothy to Fahy, 20 May 49, Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
73Fahy Cmte, "A Progress Report for the President," 7 Jun 49, FC file.
74Ltr, Fahy to Johnson, 15 Jun 49, FC file.
75Idem to SA, 25 Jul 49, FC file.
76Idem to SecDef, 25 Jul 49, FC file.
77P&A Summary Sheet to DC/S (Adm), 24 Jun 49, sub: Utilization of Negro Manpower, CSUSA 291.2 Negroes. For comments of Army commanders, see the following Memos: Wade H. Haislip (DC/S Adm) for Army Cmdrs, 8 Jun 49, sub: Draft Recommendations of Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity; Lt Gen M. S. Eddy for CofS, 10 Jun 49, same sub; Lt Gen W. B. Smith for CofS, 10 Jun 49, same sub; Lt Gen S. J. Chamberlain, 5th Army Cmdr, for CofS, 13 Jun 49, same sub; Lt Gen John R. Hodge for CofS, 14 Jun 49, same sub; Gen Jacob Devers, 13 Jun 49, same sub; Gen Thomas T. Handy, 4th Army Cmdr or CofS, 10 Jun 49, sub: Comments on Fahy Committee Draft Recommendations. All in CSUSA 291.2
78An Outline Plan for Utilization of Negro Manpower Submitted by the Army to the President's Committee, 5 Jul 49, Incl to Ltr, Fahy to SecDef, 25 Jul 49, FC file. See also Ltr, Kenworthy to Fahy, 23 Jun 49 Fahy Papers, Truman Library; Fahy Cmte, "Meeting to Discuss the Proposals Made by the Army as Preliminary to the Third Response," 11 Jul 49, FC file.
79Ltrs, Fahy to SecDef and SA, 25 Jul 49; idem to President, 27 Ju149. All in FC file.
80Memo, Cal J. F. Cassidy for Reid, 23 Aug 49, sub: Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Department of the Army, FC file.
81New York Times, July 16 and 18, 1949.
82Interv, NBC's "Meet the Press" with Gordon Gray, 18 Ju149; Ltr, SecDef to Charles Fahy, 3 Aug 49, FC
83Memo, VCofS for Gray, 29 Aug 49, sub: Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services. CSUSA 291.2 Negroes.
84Interv, Nichols with Gordon Gray, 1953, in Nichols Collection, CMH; Memo, Kenworthy for Cmte. 19 Sep 49, sub: Meeting With Gray, 16 Sep 49, Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
85Ltrs, Fahy to President, 21 Sep and 26 Sep 49, both in FC file.
86Memo, SA for SecDef, 30 Sep 49, sub: Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services' CSGPA 291.2; DOD, Off of Pub Info, Press Release 256-49, 30 Sep 49, FC file.
87Memo, Kenworthy for Cmte, 27 Sep 49, sub: Army's Reply to Secretary Johnson, Fahy Papers Truman Library; Note, handwritten and signed McCrea, attached to memo, SA for SecDef, 30 Sep 49; Memo Thompson for Leva, 3 Oct 49, sub: Army Policy of Equality of Treatment and Opportunity, CD 30-1-4; both in SecDef files.
88Ltr, SecDef to Congressman Vinson, 7 Ju149; Memo, Lanham for Reid, 29 Mar 49, both in PPB files
89Ltr, Kenworthy to Nichols, 28 Jul 53, in Nichols Collection, CMH.
90Memo, Kenworthy to Cmte, 27 Sep 49, sub: Army's Reply to Secretary Johnson, and Ltr, Kenworthy to Joseph Evans, 30 Sep 49, both in Fahy Papers, Truman Library; Memo, Worthington Thompson for Leva, 3 Oct 49, sub: Army Policy of Equality of Treatment and Opportunity, SecDef files; Ltr, Kenworthy to Nichols 28 Jul 53, in Nichols Collection, CMH.
91Memo for Rcd, probably written by Philleo Nash, 3 Oct 49, Nash Collection Truman Library
92See Los Angeles Star Review, October 6, 1949; Afro-American, October 8, 1949; Washington Post, October 6, 1949; Pittsburgh Courier, October 8, 1949; Norfolk Journal and Guide, October 15, 1949; New York Amsterdam News, October l5, 1949.
93Ltr, Niles to President, 5 Oct 49, Nash Collection, Truman Library.
94News Conference, 6 Oct 49, as quoted in Public Papers of the President: Harry S. Truman, 1949, p. 501.
95Memo, Fahy for President, 11 Oct 49, FC file.
96Penciled Note, signed HST, on Memo, Niles for President, Secretary's File (PSF), Truman Library.
97Memo, Maj Gen Levin C. Allen, Exec Secy, SecDef, for SA, 14 Oct 49; Memo, Vice Adm John McCrea, Dir of Staff, PPB, for Allen, 25 Oct 49; both in CD 30-1-4, SecDef files.
98Memo for Red, Karl Bendetsen, Spec Consultant to SA, 28 Nov 49, SA files; Ltr, Kenworthy to Fahy, 22 Nov 49, and Memo, Kenworthy for Fahy Cmte, 29 Oct 49, sub: Background to Proposed Letter to Gray; both in Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
99Ltr, Fahy to Cmte, 17 Nov 49, Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
100Memo, Kenworthy for Cmte, 29 Truman Library., 29 Oct 49. sub: Background to Proposed Letter to Gray, Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
101Msg, TAG to Chief, AFF, et al., WCL 45 S86, 011900Z Oct 49, copy in AG 220.3.
102Memo, D/PA for TAG, 25 Oct 49, sub: Assignment of Negro Enlisted Personnel, with attached Memo for Rcd, Col John H. Riepe, Chief, Manpower Control Gp, D/PA; Memo, Deputy Dir, PA, for Gen Brooks (Dir of PA), 3 Nov 49, same sub; Msg. TAG to Chief, AFF, et al., WCL 20682, 27 Oct 49. All in CSGPA 291.2 (25 Oct 49).
103Memo, Kenworthy for Chief of Military History, 13 Oct 76, CMH.
104Idem for Cmte, 29 Oct 49, sub: Instructions to Commanding Generals on New Army Policy, Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
105 Lem Graves, Jr. (Washington correspondent of the Pittsburgh Courier). "A Colonel Takes the Rap," October 29, 1949, Washington Post, November 3, 1949.
106DOD, Off of Pub Info, Release 400-49, 3 Nov 49, FC file.
107Ltr, SA to, Fahy. 17 Nov 49. FC file.
108Ltr, Bendetsen to Fahy, 25 Nov 49; Memo for Red, Kenworthy, 28 Nov 49; both in Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
109Army Draft No. 1 of Revised Circular l24, 16 Nov 49, FC file.
110Ltr, Fahy to Maj Gen C. E. Byers, 30 Nov 49, FC file.
111Memo, Kenworthy for President's Cmte, 18 Nov 49, sub: Successor Policy to WD Cir 124, idem for Fahy, 28 Nov 49, sub: Revised WD Cir 124; both in Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
112Memo for Red, Kenworthy, 9 Dcc 49, sub: Telephone Conversation With Nash, Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
113Interv, Nichols with Fahy. J. Lawton Collins became Chief of Staff of the Army on 1 August 1949, succeeding Omar Bradley who stepped up to the chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
114Intervs, Nichols with Gray and Fahy, and author with Collins.
115Ltr, Kenworthy to Gray, 20 Jul 50, FC file; Intervs, Nichols with Gray, Davenport, and Fahy.
116Interv, author with Davenport, 31 Oct 71.
117Memo, Kenworthy for Chief of Military History, 13 Oct 76, CMH.
118Memo for Rcd, Karl R. Bendetsen, Spec Asst to SA, 27 Dec 49, sub: Conference With Judge Charles Fahy, SA files. Intervs, Nichols with Gray and Fahy, author with Fahy, and Blumenson with Fahy.
119Memo for Rcd, Bendetsen, 27 Dec 49, SA files; Ltr, Fahy to Cmte, 27 Dec 49, Fahy papers, Truman Library.
120Interv, Nichols with Davenport.
121Ltr, Kenworthy to Nichols, 29 Jul S3, in Nichols Collection, CMH; Interv, Nichols with Davenport.
122Memo, Fahy for President, 16 Jan 50, FC file; SR 600-629-1, 16 Jan 50; DOD, Off of Pub Info, Release 64, 50, 16 Jan 50. The special regulation was circulated worldwide on the day of the issue; see Memo, DIP&A to TAG, 16 Jan 50, WDGPA 291.2.
123D/PA Summary Sheet for SA, 28 Feb 50, sub: Fahy Committee Proposal re: Numerical Enlistment Quota, CSGPA 291.2 (2 Nov 49); Roy Davenport, "Figures on Reenlistment Rate and Explanation," Document FC XL, FC file; Memo, Fahy for SA, 9 Feb 50, sub: Recapitulation of the Proposal of the President'S Committee for the Abolition of the Racial Quota, FC file; Memo, Kenworthy for Dwight Palmer (Cmte member), 8 Feb 50, Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
124Memo, Actg DtPA for Karl R. Bendetsen, Spec Asst to SA, 13 Dec 49, sub: Ten Percent Racial Quota; D/PA Summary Sheet, with Incl, for SA, 28 Feb 50, sub: Fahy Committee Proposals re: Numerical Enlistment Quota; both in CSGPA 291.2 (2 Nov 49). The quotations are from the former document.
125Memo, Kenworthy for Karl Bendetsen, 19 Oct 49, sub: Manpower Policy, Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
126Memo for Red, Kenworthy, 14 Dec 49, sub: Conference With Maj Lieblich and Col Smith, 14 Dec 49, FC file.
127Memo, Fahy for President's Cmte, 1 Feb 50, Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
128Ltr, Niles to President, 7 Feb 50, Secretary's File (PSF), Truman Library.
129D/PA Summary Sheet for SA, 28 Feb 50, sub: Fahy Committee Proposal re: Numerical Enlistment Quota, CSGPA 291.2 (2 Nov 49).
130Interv, Nichols with Gray.
131Ltr, SA to President, 1 Mar 50, Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
132Memo, President for SA, 27 Mar 50, FC file; Memo, SA for President, 24 Mar 50, sub: Discontinuance of Racial Enlistment Quotas, copy in CSGPA 291.2.
133Msg, TAG to Chief, AFF, et al., Fort Monroe, Va., WCL 44600, 27 Mar 50, copy in FC file
134Memo, Clark Clifford for President (ca. Mar 50), Nash Collection, Truman Library.
135Interv, author with Kenworthy.
136Memo, Kenworthy for Fahy, 28 Apr 50, Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
137Ltr, Niles to President, 22 May 50, Nash Collection, Truman Library.
138Memo, Clifford for President, Nash Collection, Truman Library.
139Freedom to Serve: Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services, A Report by the Presidents Committee (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1950).
140Ltr, President to Fahy, 6 Jul 50, Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
141Freedom to Serve, p. 27.
142Ltr, SA to President, 1 Mar 50, Fahy Papers, Truman Library.
143Memo, Fahy for SA, 11 May 50, Fahy Papers, Truman Library. Frank Pace, an Arkansas lawyer and former Assistant Director of the Bureau of the Budget, succeeded Gordon Gray as Secretary of the Army on 12 April 1950.
144President Truman appointed Charles Fahy to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on 15 October 1949. Fahy did not assume his judicial duties, however, until 15 December after concluding his responsibilities as a member of the American delegation to the United Nations General Assembly.
145Memo, Kenworthy for Fahy, 25 Jul 50, Fahy Papers, Truman Library. In the memorandum the number of additional specialties Is erroneously given as six; see DCSPER Summary Sheet, 23 Apr So, sub: List of Critical Specialties Referred to in SR 600-629-1, G-1 291.2 (25 Oct 49).
146Ltr, Davenport to OSD Historian, 31 Aug 76, copy in CMH. For a discussion of these war-related factors see Chapters 14 and 17.
147Freedom to Serve, pp 66-67.
148Ibid., p. 67.