Chapter XIV
Manpower and Readjustments
"A war is a confusing thing," Maj. Gen. Lewis B. Hershey, director of Selective Service, reminded the Senate Military Affairs Committee in 1943 in answer to a query about the "confusion" caused by his agency's multitudinous changes in its directions to local draft boards.1 People who were dealing with manpower needs and allocations in 1943 agreed with him. With the major offensive of the war-the invasion of the European continent-still an uncertain number of months off, the conservation and use of manpower to provide maximum benefits for industry and agriculture as well as for the armed services were critical topics for discussion in Washington's wartime agencies throughout 1943. Negro manpower, as a generally underused part of the national total, appeared in these discussions, both in its relation to industrial and agricultural manpower and in its relation to the military services. Expedients had been proposed, tried, and discarded. New ones were on trial. But no answer to the complex problems of the equitable use of Negro manpower had been reached.
Military Manpower for 1943-45
Serious discussion of the growing manpower shortage had been under way since 1942. National service legislation to include women, the overaged, and the physically unfit had been proposed. The Army had passed through its first manpower crisis in the summer of 1942. Negro units were barely affected by it. In response to continuing pressures, a greater use of Negro manpower was planned for the 1943 increase in the strength of the Army. Though the general outlines for the absorption of a larger proportion of Negroes had been sketched and approved, the details were still to be worked out, accepted by the using services, and proved by experience.
The 1943 Troop Basis, approved in late 1942, was the first which, from the beginning, provided vacancies for a full 10.6 percent of Negroes in its augmentation of enlisted strength. The 337,750 Negroes provided in the 3,600,000-man Army planned for 1942 constituted 9.03 percent of the whole. In the 3,933,000-man augmentation needed to bring the Army up to the 7,533,000-man level authorized for 1943, 416,888, exactly 10.6 percent of the augmentation, were to be Negroes. Including Negroes already provided, a percentage of 10.02 for the entire Army would be reached by 31 December 1943. The attempt to employ Negroes in the Army in proportion to their strength in the population had succeeded, on paper at least. (Table 9)

Units and Centers Mobilized as of 31 Dec 42 1943 Augmentation Total by 31 Dec 43
White Negro White Negro White Negro
Total 4,532,117 467,883 2,246,233 286,767 6,778,350 754,650
Combat Units 1,820,254 86,294 842,911 64,873 2,663,165 151,167
Service Units a 578,262 148,370 263,300 90,991 841,562 239,361
AAF and services 1,190,363 109,637 810,000 90,000 2,000,363 199,637
Overhead b 363,820 65,880 64,155 9,145 427,975 75,025
RTC's 238,500 27,500 44,000 6,000 282,500 33,500
OCS's 72,200 800 0 0 72,200 800
Unassigned 268,718 29,402 221,867 25,758 490,585 55,160
a Includes AGF services but excludes AAF services.
b Includes men in hospitals 60 days or longer, men in replacement depots, men assigned to headquarters, station complements, and installation staffs, and men on detached lists.
Source: Tab C, Incl to AG 320.2 (11-24-42), filed in AG 320.2 (7-14-42) (1) sec. 1.
The 1943 Troop Basis was also the first based on a fairly firm knowledge of how the armed services would divide among themselves the total manpower available to them, for this troop basis was the first to operate under a system whereby nearly all men entering the armed services came through Selective Service-the result of a Presidential decision long advocated by the Army. On 5 December 1942 President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9279, requiring all the services to recruit through the draft. The same executive order transferred Selective Service to the War Manpower Commission. The Navy began inducting its men through the Selective Service System on 1 February 1943, thereby ending the long standing Army contention that the Navy, by avoiding the use of Selective Service, was not only taking the cream of white manpower through special appeals to volunteers but also was avoiding the acceptance of its share of Negro manpower, thereby leaving in the Selective Service pool of registered manpower a larger proportion of Negroes to be absorbed by the Army alone. The War Department could henceforth use the Navy's new policy to resist Selective Service's and, later, War Manpower's efforts to force the Army to accept larger numbers of Negroes. The War Department was also aware that in specific inter service frictions the issue of Negro manpower might be used advantageously. Late in 1942 and in 1943, for example, there was considerable discussion within the Army of the Navy's siphoning off some of the best of the nation's engineering and building trades manpower for its construction battalions (Seabees) . These units performed functions which, some portions of the Army felt, were not always properly those of the Navy. The War Department's Operations Division counseled:

The War Department should avoid discussion and implied criticism of Navy troop requirements. Such procedure would invite retaliatory action and would be detrimental to both services . . . . The Navy has not sought the assumption of Army responsibilities in the construction of airfields. Furthermore, the existence of construction battalions and other Navy shore units of like nature might compel absorption by the Navy Department of their quota of negro troops.2
Some months passed before the Navy began to take enough Negroes through Selective Service to affect the Army's accessions of Negro manpower. Beginning low, the Navy's share increased until in December 1943 the ratios of the two services stood: 1.02 Army to 1 Navy white selectee and 1.78 Army to 1 Navy Negro selectee. By the end of 1944 the Army-Navy ratio of Negroes being taken was 1 and 1, with the over-all ratio for the year being approximately 3.3 Army to 2 Navy selectees. This reapportionment of Negro inductees to both services, with the Navy eventually taking nearly as many Negroes as the Army, helped reduce, by the end of 1943 the number of Negroes who would otherwise have been earmarked for the Army by Selective Service. But joint induction alone was not responsible for the changes in the rates of induction and distribution affecting the use of Army Negro manpower in the last half of the war.3
Although the 1943 Troop Basis provided for a full 10.6 percent accession of Negro enlisted men, with a roughly proportionate distribution to the major commands, the provisions of this troop basis did not, for several reasons, materialize. During the discussions of the final form of the troop basis, a number of objections to various features of it as they affected the distribution of Negro troops were voiced by the commands and by the branches. These portended the changes and developments to come during the life of this troop basis.
Army Ground Forces was critical of the continued allotment of Negroes to additional divisions and of G-3's attempts to raise the proportions of Negroes in other types of ground units. Originally, the two infantry divisions deferred from 1942 and the completed 2d Cavalry Division remained in the 1843 Troop Basis, providing a total of five Negro divisions.4 Of the two additional infantry divisions one was scheduled for activation in March, the other in November 1943. Ground Forces succeeded in having one of the infantry divisions dropped, substituting for it non-divisional combat units.5 Although Ground Forces continued to recommend that the remaining division be dropped, with non-divisional combat units substituted for it, G-3 would not concur in this suggestion, commenting:
The 1943 Troop Basis provides full combat support for only 78 divisions. To organize additional non-divisional combat units with Negro personnel will further reduce support already inadequate, since Negro combat units admittedly are not of the same quality as similar white units. While granting the questionable worth of Negro divisions, it appears now that we can

better afford to accept an additional Negro division than to further weaken our combat support for the remaining white divisions. It is planned to withhold activation of this division until late in 1943, by which time it is possible that a more profitable manner to employ Negroes will have been evolved since this matter is being given continuing study.6
The additional division remained in the troop basis, scheduled for activation at Fort Huachuca in December 1943 .7
The services as well objected to the distribution of Negroes contemplated in the 1943 Troop Basis. The tentative distribution of Negroes among the services showed the same imbalance that had prevailed throughout 1942, with the Quartermaster allotment still higher than that of any other branch. The Quartermaster General requested a reduction in the number of Negroes sent to his branch, pleading a shortage of facilities, difficulty in obtaining adequate leadership, and limited sources of cadres. The Services of Supply agreed that the "efficiency of the Quartermaster service as a whole will suffer considerably and [it] will not be able to maintain its place in the team with the other services" unless the numbers of Negroes allotted it were reduced. Services of Supply recommended that Negroes allotted to the Quartermaster be reduced to 36,000, the corps' training capacity for the year. The 17,783 men remaining could be assigned elsewhere, preferably to Army Ground Forces, since the services in combat support with Ground Forces would have but a 9.3 percentage of Negroes. G-3, however, would not sanction this realignments 8
The racial allocations of the new troop basis were approved by the Acting Chief of Staff, General McNarney, on 23 January 1943. Then shortages and alterations in overseas requirements began to affect the shape of both the 1943 Troop Basis as a whole and its racial allocations.
Selective Service Shortages and Quotas
At various times before 1943 Selective Service had not delivered Negroes in the numbers requisitioned, but until the middle of 1943 the Army was usually more concerned about finding places for all of the Negroes at its disposal than about shortages. It had placed larger calls on Selective Service toward the end of 1942 to bring the numbers of Negroes up to the required ratio by the end of the calendar year. These calls, ranging up to 50,000 Negroes a month, found some states unprepared to fill them. At the beginning of 1943, inductions of Negro manpower had not yet reached a proportionate level.
Early in 1943 the War Manpower Commission, facing adverse public criticism if single, apparently physically fit Negro registrants continued to remain uncalled while white husbands and fathers were being removed from many local areas and while white workers in critical industries were being reclassified by their draft boards, informed the War and Navy Departments that a final decision to take Negroes in larger num-

bers must be made.9 The commission argued that the completion of Negro percentage quotas was desirable to reduce the rate of removal of skilled white workers from the wartime labor market. Replacements for these workers were not readily available from among civilian Negroes, Chairman Paul V. McNutt pointed out. Moreover, court action had been instituted to test the legality of quotas and separate calls in New York where a test case was in its first stages. The outcome of this case was by no means certain.10
Secretary Stimson assured the War Manpower Commission that the War Department's current plans called for a 10.4 percentage of Negroes by the end of 1943. Stimson reminded McNutt further that he did not consider "the present method of induction to be discriminatory in any way," so long as this percentage ratio was maintained. Making use of the limiting clause which had given Negroes some qualms in 1940, he further pointed out that the Selective Service Act provided that no man should be inducted "unless and until" he was acceptable to the land or naval forces for training and service and his physical and mental fitness for such training should have been determined. "While those colored registrants who are qualified physically, mentally, and morally under Army standards are acceptable," the Secretary wrote, "they are acceptable only at a rate at which they can be properly assimilated.11
While McNutt was certain that the acceptance of proportionate numbers of Negroes would result in higher morale among both Negro and white troops, as well as in the civilian population, he did not agree that the maintenance of racial quotas would "meet the problem of discrimination in the administration of the Selective Service and Training Act," nor did the section cited by Stimson "in any way qualify the plain mandate that registrants be inducted without discrimination on account of race or color." Therefore, McNutt informed the Secretary, as soon as current backlogs of un-inducted Negroes were absorbed, Selective Service would abandon the policy of calling men by racial quotas. The War Department should be prepared, after 3l December 1843, to accept Negroes and whites in the order in which their names appeared on their local selective service rolls.12
So far as Stimson could see, there was no practical method of operating inductions on this basis. The matter was not simply one of separate calls and quotas, the Secretary told McNutt. When the Army reached its maximum size, continuing inductions would be based on loss replacement rates. Since most Negroes would not be in combat zones, loss replacements for Negro units would be considerably lower than for white units. A more carefully controlled induction system, aimed at maintaining but not increasing Negro proportions in the Army, would then have to be

instituted, for otherwise the Army would be "forced to mix negro and white enlisted personnel in the same units." Stimson suggested that since he was certain that McNutt had no desire to "complicate an already difficult problem," War Manpower's proposal should be withdrawn.13
The War Manpower Commission did not follow Stimson's suggestion. Certain of the War Department's General Staff divisions felt that preparations should be made to counteract future War Manpower attempts to force the War Department to accept its point of view. But Selective Service, from April on, began to fall behind in its deliveries of Negro men. So long as requisitions based on population ratios remained unfilled, part of the Army's problem of what to do with Negro troops was solved and the answer to War Manpower Commission criticisms was clear. If outstanding requisitions should be filled "in a short period, [it] might prove temporarily embarrassing," G-3 observed in August, adding "however, considering the screening of Grade V personnel, such a situation appears unlikely to develop."14 "To build a record in anticipation of continued Negro shortages and contemplated WMB [War Manpower Board actions later on"15 was the purpose of increasing requisitions, making certain that troop basis units existed, and reporting shortages to McNutt as they occurred.
When the 1943 Troop Basis was revised on 1 July position vacancies were therefore retained for approximately 714,000 Negroes, or 10.4 percent of the male enlisted strength of 6,869,000 expected by 31 December. Monthly calls on Selective Service were established in numbers believed sufficient to meet the commitment made by Secretary Stimson to the War Manpower Commission. These calls provided for the placement of about 349,500 additional men, amounting to 19 percent of the total Selective Service calls for the year.16 But, by the end of September, Selective Service was short 28,700 Negroes in its deliveries. Through the same period, separations of Negro personnel from the Army were abnormally high, totaling 44000.17
Shortages in the delivery of selectees by Selective Service arose in a number of ways: through disparities between activations and authorizations for the increase of personnel in the Army; through heavier rejection rates at local boards and induction stations than expected (which, therefore, bad not been offset by sufficiently large overcalls) ; and through changes in over-all war plans and needs. To these reasons for shortages must be added a number of special circumstances which affected the delivery and use of Negro selectees to a greater extent than whites.
The initial overrepresentation of Negroes in Selective Service Glass I-A dwindled as more and more white men originally deferred were reclassified. Because of adjustments and changes in induction methods and standards, the percentages of Negroes rejected from among those examined at induction sta-

tions rose steadily during 1943 until, in September, 60.6 percent of all Negro registrants reporting to induction stations were rejected. The percentage of rejections declined slightly thereafter, but it did not again go below November's 56.1 percent. The average Negro rejection rate for the year was 53 percent, while for whites the average rate for the year was 33.2 percent.18
The liberalization of literacy and venereal standards in 1943 should have provided local boards with many ready men who had previously been rejected, or so the local boards thought. Negro men previously rejected for illiteracy were now returned to induction stations in large overcalls. But many of these men were now rejected again for other causes. Venereals recalled by the boards were rejected for other disorders, initially undetected or unrecorded. Many men previously rejected as illiterate were discovered to be unable to pass the new qualification tests.19
Selective Service, attempting to counter the effect of increasingly high rejection rates, advised its state directors in November 1942 to estimate the Negro gross call (net call plus overcall) at a higher rate than the white overcall percentage.20 In May 1943, Selective Service instructed its state directors that though the white gross call could be set at no more than 140 percent of the white net call, the Negro gross call could be as large as 200 percent of the Negro net call .21 The 200 percent gross call for Negroes still did not produce the required number of inductees. In July Selective Service removed all restrictions on the size of the Negro overcall, stating that the Negro gross call might be placed "at whatever percent is necessary to deliver the Negro net call." 22 The shortages in deliveries continued just the same.
State directors, urged to fill their Negro quotas, had their own explanations for their failure to meet calls: induction stations were not examining Negroes carefully before rejecting them. "We do have evidence," the state director for Georgia reported, "that registrants are lined up and asked if they have previously been to the induction station and, if so, to hold up their hands; those who hold up their hands are asked to stand aside and they are generally not given any re-examination of any consequence and are again rejected." Moreover, the Georgia director continued:
The rejection rate is exceedingly high and it is very difficult for Georgia to fill calls for Negroes-they simply do not want them. For a long while they rejected the Negroes for urethritis and when we kicked so much about that they switched to inadequate personality, we kicked about that and they switched to psychoneurosis. We have been kicking about psychoneurosis for a couple of months and now they are switching to other causes for rejections but the

rejection rate, meanwhile is steadily increasing. The men at the induction stations seem to have their orders and do not seem to have much discretion in the matter. The remedy, apparently, must come from top side.
In calling this letter to Assistant Secretary McCloy's attention, Truman Gibson noted that "This sentiment is shared by 44 state directors."23
Selective service directors were not alone in this sentiment. Congressmen and editors, North and South, addressed themselves to the problem during the discussions of drafting fathers and drafting women through national service legislation. Representative Charles E. McKenzie, of Louisiana, inserted in the Congressional Record his remarks on the subject:
Mr. Speaker, many times before have I protested the discriminatory manner in which the Selective Service Act has been interpreted and administered. It is not the fault of the local boards. Their hands are tied. The fault is here in Washington where a deliberate attempt is being made to keep Negroes, single Negroes, out of the service while white fathers are being drafted. Has it actually come to pass in America where the color of a man's skin is the basis for his being deferred, even if he is single and has no dependents. We people of the South are beginning to think so as evidenced by the following editorial from the Morehouse Enterprise of Bastrop, La . . . . I warn you, gentlemen of the House, that such discrimination is detrimental to the morale of the Nation.24
"We do not question the army's need for more men," The Christian Century observed during the following spring. "But it's surprising that in all the commotion about needed manpower nothing has been said about making fuller or better use of Negro citizens." Congress, this magazine felt, should investigate both the drafting and the use of Negro manpower before increasing the classes of men to be drafted .25
Shortages in the delivery of Negro inductees continued to the end of the year. In October, G-3 estimated that shortages in deliveries, coupled with the abnormally high attrition of 1943, would result in a total shortage of 88,000 men by the end of the year. These men were slated for use in planned units in the current troop basis which, in its October revision, contained only units which were necessary for overseas deployment by 30 June 1944, all other units having been deferred. "Due to the smallness of the reserve provided, it will be unwise to defer wholly the activation of units totaling 88,000 men if Negro fillers cannot be secured," G-9 advised. Instead, these units should be filled with any excess white personnel available. After considering G-1 and Operations Division comments on its proposal, G-3 recommended that no 

further change in calls on Selective Service be made for the rest of the year calls had already been sent to Selective Service anyway-with "whatever shortage [which] may develop being accepted as a cushion against expected excess deliveries in 1944." New units earmarked for Negroes that could not be filled with excess whites could be deferred to absorb Negroes delivered in 1944. When the Army's strength finally reached 10.4 percent Negro, action could then be taken to restrict Negro inductions so as to maintain that percentage .26
The mounting shortages in the delivery of Negro inductees further weakened the impetus toward proportionate distribution and removed War Manpower's major argument for halting the use of monthly Negro quotas.27 So long as Army requisitions for Negro inductions remained higher than Selective Service's deliveries, the War Manpower Commission could not reasonably blame the Army for its shortage of proportionate Negro strength. Actually, no defense against War Manpower action was needed. As a result of continuing discussions and dissatisfactions with national manpower policies, the Congress restored Selective Service to its independent status as of 5 December 1943, 28 thus removing the possibility that War Manpower might order the cessation of inductions by racial quotas at the end of 1943.
Though nearly II percent of the men sent to the Army by Selective Service during the war years were Negroes and though there was a steady increase in the number of Negroes in the Army, reaching a peak of 702,758 at the end of July 1945, their proportion never reached a 10.4 (or 10.6) percentage goal during the war. The rate of discharge and the fact that there were avenues of entry to the Army more freely available to whites than to Negroes kept the Negro percentage below its population based proportion. Only after the end of the war, when combat veterans were discharged first and when higher percentages of Negro enlisted men volunteered to remain in the Army did the percentage of enlisted strength approach the goal. The percentage of total strength still lagged behind. (Tables 10, 11, and 12) As predicted by G-3, the smaller calls of 1944 were generally filled or overfilled. But in the meantime the shortages of 1943, coupled with the difficulties of shipping overseas the Negro units then in being, had worked a profound change in the organization of Negro units. Shortages had developed not only in Negro but also in white deliveries. At the same time, requirements for new units, especially in the services, soared above those originally contemplated in the 1943 Troop Basis. As the armies overseas grew larger, the requirements for service units for their support increased. With Negro units of several types, combat and non-combat, in the country and uncalled for by overseas theaters, one answer to the growing need for service units was clear. Simultaneously the reorganization of nearly all non-divisional units, combat and non-combat, offered an opportunity to reexamine the possibilities of providing Negro units of a more useful and wanted character.

JULY 1940-AUGUST 1945
Year Inductions Enlistments ERC Calls Aggregate
Negro Total Negro Total Negro Total Negro Total
Total 887,724 8,096,22 30,383 1,437,024 4,858 497,671 922,965 10,030,927
(Percent) (10.96) (100.0) (2.11) (100.0) (0.97) (100.0) (9.20) (100.0)
1940 1,853 19,327 6,019 356,832 0 0 7,872 376,159
1941 93,399 928,998 10,367 411,832 0 120 103,766 1,340,950
1942 331,616 3,122,248 13,873 655,381 386 37,942 345,875 3,815,571
1943 291,106 2,376,312 62 4,603 3,083 278,575 294,251 2,659,490
1944 110,353 987,599 36 3,385 926 122,373 111,315 1,113,357
1945 59,397 661,748 26 4,991 463 58,661 59,886 725,400
Source: Adapted from Strength of the Army, 1 Jan 47, STM-30.
General Trends, 1943
Changes in the allocation of Negro manpower, and consequently in its ultimate employment, proceeded along two lines. The first was an attempt, supported by the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of War and the Advisory Committee on Negro Troop Policies, to devise ways and means of extending the employment of Negro troops to new types of unit and specialist fields. The second was an attempt, supported by the Chief of Staff and Army Ground Forces, to shift the emphasis from proportionate employment of Negroes in all types of units, especially combat types, to their larger proportionate use in the services, concentrating on needed labor functions.
The two lines of policy involving change were not necessarily in conflict, for, at the same time that a few Negroes went into new types of units, the bulk of Negro soldiers continued to go into the traditional types of service units. Combat, technical, and "special" units for which no immediate need could be foreseen furnished many of the men for new service units. The few new types of units activated, such as parachute, bombardment, and engineer construction units, broadened the base of Negro military experience and continued to move toward the goal that Negroes be employed in all types of units. The many new service units of established types satisfied the growing belief that the waste of Negro manpower could be avoided only by placing the bulk of Negroes in units which lead a reasonable chance of success in training and of employment overseas.
The continuing shortages of manpower in 1943 affected both courses of action. The two were bolstered by an oral expression of the Chief of Staff's wishes in the spring of 1943. One morning in late April, after a general survey of mobilization and training problems with representatives of G-1 and G-3 General Marshall discussed the utilization and training of Negroes.

Quarter or Month Total Negro Total Strength of the Army Percent of Negro to Total Negro Enlisted Personnel Total Enlisted Personnel Percent of Negro Enlisted to Total Enlisted
December 99,206 1,684,403 5.88 98,686 1,562,256 6.32
March 143,556 2,387,746 6.01 142,967 2,236,547 6.39
June 178,708 3,074,184 5.81 178,032 2,867,762 6.21
September 255,545 3,971,016 6.44 253,952 3,673,876 6.91
December 399,454 5,397,674 7.40 397,407 5,000,275 7.95
March 504,430 6,508,854 7.75 601,423 6,010,032 8.34
June 555,176 6,993,102 7.94 551,375 6,413,526 8.60
September 596,664 7,273,784 8.20 592,160 6,622,951 8.94
December 633,448 7,482,434 8.47 628,151 6,790,754 9.25
March 671,877 7,757,629 8.66 666,224 7,021,758 9.49
June 698,911 7,992,868 8.74 692,954 7,215,888 9.60
September 701,678 8,108,129 8.65 695,874 7,293,480 9.54
December 691,521 8,052,693 8.59 685,296 7,212,210 9.50
March 694,333 8,157,386 8.51 687,874 7,288,292 9.44
June 694,818 8,266,373 8.41 687,823 7,374,710 9.33
September 653,563 7,564,514 8.64 646,352 6,679,773 9.68
December 372,369 4,228,936 8.81 367,630 3,572,577 10.29
Source: Strength of the Army, 1 Jan 47, STM-30, p. 61.
The G-1 representative summarized the Chief of Staff's views:
a. The Chief of Staff wants the installation at Tuskegee expanded to take on the technical training of negroes for service units, particularly those kinds requiring the use of special types of heavy technical equipment.
b. Utilize more Negroes in Engineer General Service Regiments and such organizations.
c. Do not plan on the activation of more negro combat units than presently scheduled, possibility of not activating the December Division.
d. Quit catering to the negroes desire for
a proportionate shark of combat units. Put them where they will best serve the war effort.29
General Marshall's informal proposals, while not put into effect immediately, were reflected in actions of the staff divisions from mid-1943 onward.
Screening methods were still being thought of as one answer to the problem of providing Negro units for use, but screening also involved the question of

Quarter or Month Male Officers Enlisted Men Nurses Dieti- tians Phys- ical Thera- pist Warrant Officers Flight Officers WAAC and WAC Total
Officers Enlisted
December 462 96,686 45 0 0 13 0 0 0 99,206
March 534 142,967 45 0 0 10 0 0 0 143,556
June 594 178,032 76 0 0 6 0 0 0 178,708
September 1,525 253,952 44 0 0 24 0 0 0 255,545
December 1,921 397,246 81 0 0 26 0 19 161 399,454
March 2,687 498,956 165 0 0 90 0 65 2,467 504,430
June 3,358 548,319 158 4 1 166 9 105 3,056 555,176
September 3,859 589,253 195 8 1 336 0 105 2,907 596,664
December 4,475 625,449 198 9 1 507 4 103 2,702 633,448
March 4,690 663,164 219 10 2 603 14 115 3,060 671,877
June 4,949 689,565 213 8 2 636 32 117 3,389 698,911
September 4,728 692,229 247 9 2 613 84 121 3,645 701,678
December 5,027 681,376 256 9 6 656 151 120 3,920 691,521
March 5,073 684,097 336 7 9 685 234 115 3,787 694,333
June 5,411 684,091 464 9 11 682 301 117 3,732 694,818
September 5,718 642,719 466 8 10 592 312 105 3,633 653,563
December 3,799 366,016 318 8 7 306 225 80 1,610 372,369
Source: Strength of the Army, 1 Jan 46, STM-30, p. 60.
what to do with the men remaining. To use them in purely maintenance and labor work, as sometimes suggested, would involve the Army in charges of discrimination against Negroes. On the other hand, successful screening to forth units eminently suited for overseas combat use might, some feared, result in an interpretation that Negro units were generally "good" and that therefore more should be used in active theaters. One thing was certain, the Deputy Chief of Staff, General McNarney, told the members of the General Council: There
was no use having colored troops standing by and eating their heads off if they could never be used overseas. Either the men of lower qualifications who kept units from becoming efficient must be eliminated or some other use must be found for Negro troops. The War Department could not justify maintaining units which could not be shipped overseas.30

Flexible Organization and Negro Units
The first major organizational change dictated by considerations of manpower economy was the shift from a fixed to a functional organization of non-divisional units. This change was Army-wide, but it had special effects on Negro units. As a result of deliberations culminating in the last weeks of 1942 and the beginning of 1943, the fixed brigade and regiment and, in the services, the battalion as well, virtually disappeared from the Army during 1943. The new organization provided definite advantages for Negro units so far as their training and potential deployment were concerned.
Essentially, the change to a more flexible organization involved the substitution of smaller for larger units as the fixed organization. The new organization, the "group," or the flexible battalion, was a device for grouping interchangeable units under a headquarters which, for training or operational purposes, might have none or many units under its control at a given time. Instead of an antiaircraft artillery regiment organized with a given number of battalions as prescribed in a table of organization, a group headquarters might control seven battalions for a specific function and, later, three battalions for another function. This type of organization was approved for Army Ground Forces in December 1942 and for Army Service Forces in January 1943. The process of converting existing units to the new organization continued throughout the year.
The new organization of units made possible the institution of many of the reforms in the structure and use of Negro units which had been discussed for twenty years. It gave Army Ground Forces a method within an over-all Army policy to put into practice General McNair's conviction that "colored troops can be handled more satisfactorily, and assimilated in a combat force more readily, in battalion units than in regimental units. Colored battalions can be attached to white units and given better training than they would receive if by themselves." 31 It gave the proponents of the principle that Negro troops could furnish labor while small white units provided supervision and specialists a chance to try working combinations of white and Negro troops, who, though working together, were yet not in the same unit. Negro units which formerly would have trained and operated alone could now be combined with white units under the control of a single, lower echelon headquarters.
While it required several months to reorganize all units into flexible groups, the new organization had immediate practical benefits to certain units, especially to those of service types. The companies of the 27th (quartermaster Regiment, for example, had never been physically close to their regimental headquarters. By 1943 they were spread all over the world. These companies could now be placed under headquarters physically closer to the units supervised. Elements of battalions had operated in widely separated places. The four companies of the 388th Port Battalion, for example, were assigned to widely distant stations: Company A to the Middle East, Company B to the New Orleans Port of

Embarkation, and Companies C and D to the South Pacific. Re-designated as the 208th, 209th, 210th, and 211th Port Companies, Transportation Corps, they became in fact separate and independent.32 They could be attached or assigned to any port or other headquarters.
The new system also promised a possible solution to some of the knottier problems in the employment of larger Negro units. An overseas area which might not wish a regiment might be willing to accept a separate battalion. One of the oldest Negro field artillery regiments was rated satisfactory for combat duty in the summer of 1942, but there was no possibility of moving it overseas in the immediate future. Ground Forces was told that unless the regiment moved from its location, where the nearest firing range was 205 miles away and where only limited facilities for combined training existed, it would be unable to maintain a satisfactory training level, aside from the effects of boredom and other morale difficulties. But there was no other suitable station available for it within the country and none overseas.33 By November this unit, weakened by cadre losses, higher command problems, and dimming training objectives, reached the point where it fluctuated between high and low states of training and morale. Thereupon, Army Ground Forces recommended that it be redesignated a Quartermaster truck regiment for immediate use overseas. No theater desired a separate Negro field artillery regiment overseas at the time but Quartermaster truck units were urgently needed.34 Neither (G-1 nor G-3 would sanction the conversion of this trained regiment to service use. "The constant pressure on the War Department to activate additional colored units in the combat arms and the known plans for the continued activation of such units makes it undesirable, as a matter of War Department policy, to convert a combat regiment that has had almost two years active duty training into a service regiment," G-1 said. If there was no need for a regiment of its type, G-1 suggested, conversion to another type of artillery or into two or more separate battalions might be possible.35 Consequently, upon approval of the flexible group plan, the battalions of this regiment were among the first to be redesignated and the headquarters and headquarters battery were among the first to be disbanded.36
Though there was G-3 resistance to the move, the new flexible group system allowed as well the reduction of the numbers of Negro headquarters requiring high-ranking officers and exceptionally well-qualified enlisted men. Army Ground Forces, in January 1943, wished to disband the headquarters of two antiaircraft regiments, six field artillery regiments, and the one field artillery brigade. From this personnel, Army Ground Forces planned to activate an additional 155-mm. gun field artillery battalion, disbanding one similar white battalion to balance the troop basis. Later, acting on a request from the Tank

Destroyer Center, Army Ground Forces requested that Negro group headquarters be eliminated entirely. "The major purpose in organizing group headquarters is to obtain a high degree of flexibility," it stated. "In order to maintain this flexibility, it is believed that group headquarters companies should be organized with white personnel, to which could be attached all units, whether with white or Negro personnel." This could not be done, G-3 decided, for current policy required that some units of all types be organized with Negro enlisted men and that opportunities be maintained for Negro promotions up to and including the grade of colonel in each arm and service "wherein appropriate units exist." That the organization of all group headquarters with white personnel would make for a greater degree of flexibility G-3 did not doubt, but existing Negro headquarters could not be disbanded to organize white headquarters without subjecting the War Department "to a justifiable accusation of discrimination." G-3 granted permission to defer the activation of new group headquarters, since officers for them were not available. Eventually white headquarters were substituted for certain of the Negro headquarters remaining in the troop basis. The result was a material reduction in the number of Negro group headquarters.37
Shifting Manpower Allocations
For further personnel savings, with the object of getting greater use out of available manpower, surveys of manpower utilization and allocations were constant during 1943 and 1944. Revisions in tables of organization to reduce the requirements of individual types of units, changes in the troop basis, conversions of existing units to more urgently needed types, retraining programs for individuals in preparation for their use in new or related specialties, and, in certain of the technical services, the establishment of cellular units of small numbers of highly trained men who could be supplemented in the field by labor forces from units of general service types were all developments of the tight manpower situation. Though not a part of stated policy, renewed insistence that, wherever it might be done with profit, new units should be composed of Negro enlisted personnel, thus releasing white personnel for use in foreign areas or in types of units where successful Negro service was problematical, was a part of the general trend of the period.
In the late winter of 1942-43, the Transportation Corps, requiring larger numbers of port battalions, requested the addition of three port headquarters and headquarters companies and twelve battalions to the troop basis. The chief of the Transportation Corps requested that all of these units be white, but the Operations Division, which had just concluded unsuccessful attempts to have sanitary companies reorganized for greater overseas usefulness, reported to G-3 that Negro battalions could be used at the future destinations of these units. G-3 then suggested to the Services of

Supply that since this augmentation would have to be charged against the SOS reserve pool, other SOS units might be reduced to provide the personnel required for these new units. G-3 specifically suggested that Negro sanitary companies or quartermaster service battalions might be used for this purpose.38
The Transportation Corps still wished white units only. Services of Supply therefore requested three white headquarters and headquarters companies and ten white and two Negro port battalions. The Operations Division recommended approval of the request but not the racial proportions, whereupon G-3 reversed these proportions, with Transportation Corps' troop basis increased by ten Negro and two white port battalions.
Thereafter more and more port units were formed with Negro personnel. Similarly, most amphibian truck (Dukw) companies formed after mid-1943 were filled with Negro personnel. When twelve new Dukw companies were added to the troop basis in the late spring of 1943, Army Ground Forces and G-3 recommended that they be manned with personnel from Negro truck units. Despite the protest of the Operations Division, these and all Dukw companies activated after October 1943 used Negro enlisted personnel.39 Most men for these units did not come from trained truck units but from disbanded medical sanitary, military police, and artillery units.
Attempts to open new types of units to Negroes were not at all successful. The revised 1943 Troop Basis provided nine Negro quartermaster depot supply companies for Army Ground Forces. This command, pointing out the difficulty of getting competent noncommissioned officers, technicians, and cadres for specialized Negro units when no parent units of the type existed, requested that they be organized with white personnel scheduled to go into Army Service Forces service and salvage collecting units. These units, requiring fewer skills, could be converted to receive Negroes. G-3 reminded Ground Forces that provisions for Negro units must be made in "compliance with law," that new methods of screening personnel at induction centers would reduce the training problem involved in the scarcity of noncommissioned officer material, and that 26 percent of Service Forces as compared with 17.5 percent of Ground Forces personnel was already Negro. Nevertheless, after advice from G-4, G-3 directed that the nine companies be activated with white personnel.40 Similarly, when G-3 suggested informally that Army Service Forces use Negroes in the future for ordnance tire repair companies, the Ordnance Department, at a conference on the troop basis, refused to consider the possibility. These units remained white.41
When Army Ground Forces saved men from within its own strength by reducing table of organization require-

ments for many of its units,42 certain of these savings provided additional vacancies for Negroes while releasing whites for duties considered more exacting. Such a reorganization was that of the motorized divisions. When fully equipped, motorized divisions included not only about 3,000 vehicles-nearly three times as many as required by the new "streamlined" standard infantry divisions-but also the additional personnel required to operate these vehicles. A major portion of this personnel was in the divisional troop transport battalion, which had a headquarters and headquarters detachment and six companies. The four partially motorized divisions- all of the existing motorized divisions except the fully motorized 4th- were reorganized as standard infantry divisions in March 1943.43 Truck units which could be used interchangeably by several divisions, thereby saving both men and equipment, were activated. Four white battalion headquarters and headquarters detachments to control twenty-four Negro troop transport companies were authorized. With the reorganization of the 4th Motorized as a standard infantry division in June 1943 and the changing of the remaining five unactivated motorized divisions in the 1943 Troop Basis to standard infantry, five more white battalion headquarters and headquarters detachments and thirty more Negro troop transport companies for attachment were provided.44 In addition to an over-all saving of manpower, the net result was to release actual and allotted white personnel for use in other units with shortages and to absorb Negroes into units which, had they remained organic to motorized divisions, would have been white.
This method of saving manpower by the use of Negroes in positions that would release white soldiers for combat and for technical duties became more frequent as the reorganization of 1943 continued. To some extent this developing policy paralleled the philosophy of manpower use which brought women soldiers into the Army.
Women and Manpower
Aside from the aspirations of women to serve fully in the armed forces after the pattern set in the British and Canadian services, one of the major reasons urged for the formation of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in 1942 was the women could do many noncombatant jobs as well as and even better than men, thus releasing men for combat service.45 During the hearings on and public discussions of the proposed corps, the question of the use of Negro women came up frequently. Some Negro groups wished

the Congress to write into the new law a protective nondiscriminatory clause similar to that contained in the Selective Service Act.46 Such an amendment was proposed in the Senate by Senator Charles L. McNary of Oregon for Senator W. Warren Barbour of New Jersey and accepted. Similar amendments were proposed by Senators Edwin C. Johnson of Colorado and James H. Hughes of Delaware. The War Department opposed these amendments, stating in hearings that Negro units would be formed and that no amendments would be needed.47 The amendments were not included in the bill as passed.
When Secretary Stimson announced on 15 May that Mrs. Oveta Culp Hobby, of Texas, had been made 
director of the new corps, Negro groups which had opposed her appointment on the ground that her southern background would not guarantee fair treatment for Negro women proposed that Stimson appoint as her assistant Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune, Director of Negro Affairs in the National Youth Administration.48 But Mrs. Hobby, immediately after she was sworn in, announced that among the first 400 officer trainees forty would be Negro women and that at least two of the first companies would be Negro. Thereupon the National Negro Council, leader of the opposition to her appointment, withdrew its objections and stated that Negro women now felt confident that they would have an equal chance with white women in the new corps.49
Negro women were not thought of as replacements for Negro men. They were to be used wherever WAAC units were required. In the process of their use they would, like all women soldiers, release male manpower for other uses, but the manpower released did not have to be Negro. It soon developed that, whether or not protective clauses in the WAAC bill guaranteed a nondiscriminatory recruiting policy, the WAAC was not going to get a large number of Negro women. Several forces operated to restrict applications from Negro women, but one was certainly "an impression on their part that they will not be well received or treated on posts where they may be stationed." 50 Reports from Negro soldiers and from the press on conditions in training camps were of no help in recruiting women. To overcome their reluctance, the Military Personnel Division of SOS suggested an intensive recruiting campaign, conducted through the chief Negro colleges, and the establishment of a definite policy on the rights and privileges of Negro women in the service.51
Director Hobby had already done much to dispel the fear that Negro Waacs

were neither wanted nor needed. Her first public address after her installation was at Howard University before members of a college sorority on 6 July 1942. She spoke of the high qualifications of the applicants for the first officers' class, explained that the first two Negro WAAC companies, both commanded by Negro officers, would be stationed at Fort Huachuca in November, 52 and announced that she was certain that Negro women would serve faithfully and loyally in all parts of the WAAC.53
The assignment of Negro Waacs to posts and stations was conditioned by the same considerations that governed the location of male units: the presence of a military or civilian Negro population and the willingness of posts and stations to receive them. To clarify further the position of Negro Waacs within the corps, Military Personnel, Services of Supply, suggested that the policy of the director of the WAAC be specifically confirmed by instructing: (1) that there be no discrimination in the types of duties to which Negro women might be assigned; (2) that no lowering of standards to meet racial ratios be prescribed and that, therefore, intensive recruiting among Negro women be inaugurated; (1) that Negro units be provided on the basis of 10.6 percent of the over-all strength of the WAAC and that this percentage be maintained in each type of unit within the WAAC, thereby paralleling the policy for men in the Army; and (4) that an eminently qualified person, preferably a Negro WAAC recruiting officer, be sent out to colleges "in order to secure the proper class of applicants for colored units of the WAAC." 54 Each of these policies was adopted.
But, by the spring of 1943, when major manpower problems had begun to assail the Army, there were still only 2,52 Negro Waacs, representing but 5.7 percent of the whole. Though the numbers of Negro Waacs increased later, they never reached 6 percent of the corps. In the manpower discussions of 1943, Negro Waacs (Women's Army Corps or WAC from July 1943) therefore played but a small part. Those in the service were occupied in post headquarters, motor pools, hospitals, and at other duties which did release men for use elsewhere, but their numbers and the prospects of their increase were not great enough to influence the solution of problems brought about by manpower shortages. Nor were their services of a nature to affect greatly the employment of Negro enlisted men. Neither in post headquarters nor in motor pools; in message centers nor in post offices; in hospitals nor in file rooms were they able to release more than a few Negro enlisted men, for relatively few Negro soldiers were so employed. Nor could Waacs themselves perform the duties

which were now proposed for the bulk of Negro enlisted men to help meet current needs of the Army.55
Conversions and Inactivations
Chief among the current needs for more manpower were those of Army Service Forces. In 1943 the demand for additional construction, transportation, communications, and purely labor units in overseas theaters increased beyond original expectations. In an attempt to meet these growing requirements ASF, in the first six months of the year, activated units in excess of the provisions of the troop basis. These activations created a shortage of personnel for many service and ground forces units.56 Personnel due for induction in the last half of 1943 could be used to fill certain of these units and others yet to be activated. But for some of the units the overseas need was immediate.
Despite Army Service Forces complaints, the reserve pool of service units for emergency overseas calls remained small. On 1 July 1943 ASF units had personnel shortages totaling 70,000 men. Many units activated six months before had not yet been filled. ASF forecast that, at the scheduled induction rate, it would take two months to fill existing units if all new men inducted into the Army were used for this purpose alone. But more units were scheduled for activation in the next few months. A portion of the incoming men would have to be sent to replacement training centers to build a supply of loss replacements. Another portion, under the June 1943 regulations, would go to special training units where they would remain from one to three months. Unless a drastic revision of personnel methods and utilization was made, ASF contended, "Only further aggravation of the existing situation can result." 57
At the same time, Army Ground Forces was complaining of shortages in its units. In ,June the troop basis was cut by 500,000 men in an effort to adjust activations to available manpower. Activations of the twelve divisions scheduled for the remaining months of the year, including the last Negro division, were deferred until 1944.58 This deferment became permanent, for although it was expected that these and other divisions might be activated in 1944, actually no further divisions were activated. The War Department Manpower ("Gasser") Board estimated that 65,000 to 85,000 men could be transferred from overhead to units. But these excess men, a large number of whom were Negroes by virtue of the fifteen and over percentage of Negroes placed in overhead installations, could not be used to correct Ground Forces shortages since most of the AGF units with shortages were white and since transferring Negroes to this command would simply produce an additional excess of Negroes in existing units. Most Negro units of ground combat types were already filled and waiting while the Army tried to solve the problem of their deployment

overseas. Transfer of white men from Army Service Forces to Army Ground Forces was not recommended in view of the urgent need for existing service units overseas.59 But the transfer of white personnel from a less to a more urgently needed unit and of Negro personnel from an uncommitted Ground Forces to an immediately needed Service Forces unit was another matter.
The air base security battalions were a tempting source of personnel for the 12,000 Negro fillers needed for ASF units. In July, at ASF's request, the War Department directed Army Ground Forces to disband thirty of these battalions and their training headquarters.60 Army Ground Forces was permitted to withdraw cadres and retain training group personnel from these units for use in amphibian truck companies, troop transport companies, and truck companies.61 The Army Air and Ground Forces were also told to form no further Negro combat units except those already scheduled for activation. In August 1943, the Army Air Forces disbanded two white and thirteen Negro air base security battalions and distributed most of their enlisted personnel to units of the Air Service Command.62 In the same month, Army Service Forces requested the transfer of 14,500 more Negro enlisted men for use as fillers.63" Thirty-one battalions-13 antiaircraft, 10 field
artillery, and 8 tank destroyer-were stripped of 80 percent of their enlisted men to provide these fillers.64 These units were left with double cadres so that they might be refilled and retrained when new inductees became available. By the end of August Army Service Forces had received, primarily from within the Army, 60,000 men for new and unfilled units. Half of these were Negroes.65
The End of Proportional Representation
In the meantime, formal changes within the troop basis and in the allocations of manpower to the major commands continued. Unneeded and less useful units not yet activated in the troop basis were dropped or deferred. Thus, early in 1943, 8o Negro medical sanitary companies, t white and 2 Negro headquarters and headquarters detachments for ordnance ammunition battalions, and 3 Negro and 10 white quartermaster laundry companies were removed from the troop basis. Their

personnel was allotted elsewhere.66 By late summer the requirements for such defensive units as antiaircraft artillery were sharply reduced, making both Negro and white units of this branch eligible for inactivation and conversion.
For the October 1943 revision of the troop basis, covering actions to be taken up to the end of the year, G-.3 recommended that no further Negro combat units, other than those then active, be provided. Since overseas assignment of existing combat . units was proving so difficult, G-3 said, additional Negroes should be absorbed in service units. The troop basis would continue to provide for a full proportionate accession of Negroes "as evidence of good faith" even though selective service might be unable to fill the requisitions made upon it. Under the October revision additional units were scheduled for inactivation, their personnel to be used elsewhere. For the most part these were white units of artillery, armored, cavalry, medical, ordnance, and tank destroyer types, but among them were Negro chemical, medical, and quartermaster units.67
Under this plan 18 antiaircraft battalions, 5 barrage balloon battalions, 32 separate antiaircraft batteries, 6 tank battalions, 1 cavalry regiment, 2 regiments and 3 battalions of seacoast artillery, 17 field artillery battalions, and 42 tank destroyer battalions, all white, were inactivated. Ten white and 6 Negro chemical smoke generator companies, 11 Negro medical sanitary companies, 18 Negro troop transport companies, 4 white and 4 Negro veterinary companies, and 8 white and 7 Negro chemical decontamination companies were also inactivated. Officers usually went with their units to the new branches. When AGF attempted to substitute Negro for white officers in units scheduled for disbandment and conversion for service uses, ASF objected and tried to get the original officers back when possible. In March 1944 G-3 estimated that by the end of the year a total of 254 combat battalions would be converted to service units. Not all of these were physical conversions, for some of these units, although provided, had not been activated. Of the 254 battalions, 43 were Negro and 211 white. The disproportionately high number of Negro battalions was traceable, G-3 said, to the relatively less advanced state of training among Negro units.68
The 1944 Troop Basis finally abandoned the attempt to provide Negro units by set quotas. For 1944 all units, Negro and white, were to be provided only on the basis of demonstrated and current needs. "Operational demands forecast to 30 June 1945," G-3 reasoned, "require the mobilization of a considerable additional number of service units in which Negroes can profitably be employed (port, ammunition, truck, service and dump truck companies) . Generally speaking all augmentations of these types of units have been earmarked for Negro personnel." It was true that this practice had resulted in an actual decrease in the number of Negro combat units, G-3 continued, but enough had been retained to continue

representation of Negroes in all arms and services. "With the smaller number of Negro combat units now provided careful selection of personnel should permit development of these units to the point where they will have battle value," G-3 concluded.69
After three years of attempting to maintain a balance between Negro combat and service troops and among the Negro units of the branches, G-3 thus gave up the struggle. For the rest of the war, except for replacements, most Negroes in the Army went into the services. Conversions, inactivations, and disbandments were the rule, with actions to change the missions of white and Negro units taking place both in the theaters and in the zone of interior. Through the inactivation of surplus units; reduction in the zone of interior activities, such as interior guard and similar duties now made less essential by the progress of the war; and by closer control of theater allotments of personnel, the War Department hoped to reduce the military strain on national manpower resources.70 The more extensive use of Negro troops in the services, it was expected, would contribute markedly to these ends. The realignment of Negro personnel for wider use in purely service units would not, in any event, lessen opportunities for shipment overseas where manpower was needed most. But, as a matter of public policy, it made the movement of the remaining combat units overseas correlatively more pressing.


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