Chapter VIII
The Quest For Leadership Continues
After Pearl Harbor the provision of Negro officers to fill needed leadership positions in Negro units received more serious consideration within the War Department. Throughout most of 1941 the guiding principle in this effort was the requirement that Negroes be represented in commissioned ranks in accordance with the policy statement of October 1940. The officers so provided were to be given training for a year. They would then return to inactive duty or reserve status. The declaration of war altered these conditions completely. Negro units, steadily increasing in number as a result of the operation of the Selective Service Act, now had to be viewed as a part of a fighting force in preparation for use in an actual war. Mounting shortages of white officers in all units increased the real need for Negroes to fill officer vacancies in Negro units.
Plans After Pearl Harbor
In early 1942 the War Department, acting in part upon judge Hastie's recommendations,1 began to take steps to increase the numbers of Negro officers available for duty with troops. A complete revision of the policy of assignment necessarily resulted. For, if Negro officers were to be used in increasing numbers in existing and planned units, places and methods for their use had to be found. The policy of assigning Negro officers to a limited number of units in a few branches and in units staffed exclusively with Negroes had to be modified.
In late January G-3 called a conference of representatives of the arms and services to discuss their Negro officer requirements. Most arms and services had barely considered the matter, for, under persuasive pressures emanating from the General Staff, they were only beginning to visualize the use that they might make of their proportionate quotas of Negro enlisted men. What use each branch would make of Negro officers had to be determined before the War Department could embark on a program to increase the number of Negro officer candidates. For, under Mobilization Regulations, the number of Negro officer candidates was governed by the officer requirements of the units to which Negro officers were to be assigned.2 The War Department's plan therefore contemplated the prior desig-

nation of units in which Negro officers could be placed.
Most branches, under the impetus of designating units for the use of Negro officers, shifted their focus from officer requirements to a consideration of the number of Negro officers which they thought they could absorb, duplicating, to some extent, the procedure which they were following in the provision of Negro units. The Quartermaster Corps reported that it had enough truck companies to absorb all Negro lieutenants made available by its school.3 The Corps of Engineers said that it could take its share of Negro officers in aviation battalions, separate battalions, replacement training center battalions, and divisional combat battalions, provided that the officers were all in the grade of lieutenant.4 The infantry could use enough to fill the two infantry regiments and enough in company grades to fill the infantry companies of the not yet activated 93d Division. Divisional officers would be promoted to higher grades and positions as they became "capable through training." The 92d Division would be filled in the same manner. All together,1,098 Negro officers, constituting 4.19 percent of all infantry officers on duty with troops and 2.58 percent of all infantry officers, could be used by the infantry in 1942.5
The Field Artillery, similarly, could use Negro officers to complete the staffs of the 184th Field Artillery, the newly activated 795th Tank Destroyer Battalion, and the gun batteries of the two divisions planned for 1942.6 The coast artillery was prepared to fill the batteries of two 155-mm gun regiments with Negro officers, which, with the 369th Infantry, would make a total of 201 officers for 1942.7 The Medical Department brought out its existing plan, adding that the 93d Division at Fort Huachuca would have a complete Negro medical service and that for the post's hospital "The Surgeon General is willing in the interests of nondiscrimination to promote colored doctors, dentists, etc. to grades comparable in a like hospital set up for white patients providing of course that colored Medical officers are qualified to perform the duties . . . ." Therefore, no grades for Negro officers were specified by The Surgeon General, but he did point out that in regiments with white commanders the regimental surgeon should be white so that the white officers could have a physician of their own race. Medical administrative officers could be assigned to sanitary companies and as mess and supply officers or detachment commanders at hospitals with Negro services. The Surgeon General believed that his plan would provide vacancies, including higher grades for "all competent colored officers that will be available to the Army." 8 The Air Forces had already planned to use Negro flying and administrative officers at Tuskegee and in the service units necessary for the operation of that base.
Other arms and services had less well

formulated plans. Some were willing to activate units specifically for the purpose of absorbing Negro officers. The Ordnance Department reported that it had but one Negro officer, a second lieutenant recently graduated from Aberdeen and, at the time, assigned to Raritan Arsenal. He would be held at the arsenal until other Negro officers were available, whereupon all would be assigned to companies. If enough officers were available, they would be assigned in full complements to ordnance companies, a group at a time; otherwise they would be assigned to companies in pairs as available. Initially, three ammunition companies would be activated for the purpose of absorbing Negro officers. Additional assignments to ten other companies would be made as soon as locations were found where other units with Negro officers were available to provide messing and housing facilities for the few officers carried by each ordnance company.9 What the Ordnance Department proposed as a means of assigning Negro officers to units-simultaneously by groups or blocks, by providing units for them when none existed, and by locations considered expedient-contained the basic elements of later War Department practices.
The Signal Corps was of the opinion that "relatively few, if any" Negroes could meet its standards for assignment to tactical Signal Corps units. It recommended that all tactical units be officered exclusively by white officers and "that any colored officer who must be absorbed" be assigned to Corps Area and War Department overhead, in depots, repair shops, or administrative offices.10 The Cavalry indicated that it would have no large use for Negro officers, since they could be used only at the cavalry replacement training center and in the reconnaissance troops of the Negro divisions in ranks not above lieutenant.11 The Regular cavalry regiments, like the Regular infantry regiments, already had all white officers under policies then current.
The Provost Marshal General decided that in his four types of military police units, uses for Negro officers would be rare. Since there were to be no Negro armies or corps, Negro tactical military police units would be limited to divisions; those divisions which were colored "throughout" could have Negro military police and Negro officers. The Provost Marshal would "not object" to Negro officers in the zone of the interior units set up in the Second and Ninth Corps Areas. Since no colored prisoner of war escort units had been organized, the question of officers for them had not arisen, but if such units were organized the Provost Marshal would recommend against Negro officers since there were but two officers to a unit. Officers in these units normally messed with post administrative officers at prisoner of war camps and there were no Negro administrative officers in these camps. In corps area service command units, Negro officers could be employed in military police detachments, but the decision should be left with detachment commanders, depending upon local conditions. 12

The Negro Officer Troop Basis
G-3, from the information that it had gathered, proceeded to determine a procurement basis and to construct a troop basis for the assignment of Negro officers for 1942. This document provided for the assignment and grades of Negro officers in units of the arms and services, in training units at replacement training centers, and in station hospitals. All assignments were to be in the grades of first and second lieutenant, except that possibilities for promotion up to the rank of colonel were provided in the Coast Artillery, Field Artillery, and Infantry, and in the Medical Department, and that chaplains, to be Negro in all Negro units, could be promoted to whatever rank tables of organization authorized. Units in the Negro Officer Troop Basis would retain white officers until Negro officers became available.13
To assure an increase in the number of Negro officer candidates, commanders were directed to sub-allot proportionate quotas to Negro units and installations within their commands and to make every effort to secure qualified Negro candidates.14 There was some expectation that in the process of expansion the number of Negro officer candidates would grow to become proportionate to the strength of Negroes in the Army.15
After the beginning of the Volunteer Officer Candidate (VOC) program, under which potential officers not yet called by Selective Service could volunteer for officer training and remain free to return to their homes if not successful, the War Department discovered that few Negro applicants were being accepted and inducted. It reminded corps area commanders of the "acute shortage of Negro officers, especially in such technical branches as Field Artillery, Antiaircraft Artillery, Engineers, Chemical Warfare Service, Signal Corps, and Ordnance Department" and urged that they exploit the VOC program as a source of suitable Negro officer material for the branches in which the shortages would be most acute. Examining boards and draft boards were instructed to examine carefully the educational and vocational backgrounds of all Negro applicants so that none with qualifications for officer training should be overlooked in the VOC program.16 The Air Forces, which had on file several applications from Negro civilians who appeared to be highly qualified officer material but who could not be used by the Air Forces, was requested to forward their names to the Officers Procurement Section of the Reserve Division for possible use by other branches.17
The complex and detailed Negro Officer Troop Basis, listing the permitted grades in every unit to which Negro officers might be assigned, did not remain fixed, not even during 1942. Changes were provided for in the original plan. G-3, in consultation with G-1, G-4, and the chief of the branch concerned, was authorized to substitute "like units" for those shown at any time prior to the actual assignment of Negro

officers.18 After the reorganization of the War Department in March 1942, the authority to make changes was decentralized to the major commands, in consultation with each other where appropriate.19 New units were added to the list to absorb excess graduates of some schools and to replace other units which had moved overseas, were alerted, or in which, for any other reason, a major change of officers was not considered feasible or desirable. Quartermaster truck companies, aviation, numbered 821 to 845 inclusive, were added, for example, because all graduates of the 15 July 1942 class of the Quartermaster OCS were allotted to the Army Air Forces and to units previously authorized to be filled; these Air units were needed to absorb the Negro members of that class.20 Similarly, the Ordnance Department required additional units for its troop basis to take care of additional OCS graduates.21 By July 1942, the Antiaircraft Artillery Command had filled all of its units authorized Negro officers except the 369th Coast Artillery (AA) . The 369th had already gone overseas understrength, but it had fifty candidates in training. These officers were to be used to fill the 369th and then to fill additional units to be added to the approved list.22 The Corps of Engineers suggested adding 31 units, all general service regiments, separate battalions, or aviation engineers. Not all could be added, for some had been deleted or altered in the full troop basis, but 18 new units, exclusive of air types, were authorized Negro officers .23 As a temporary expedient to absorb excess officers in field artillery, infantry, and cavalry, Army Ground Forces proposed that air base security battalions be authorized Negro officers in all grades and positions except commander and executive.24 When the 795th, the one tank destroyer battalion with Negro officers, was filled, including overstrength, AGF nominated four other tank destroyer battalions to receive Negro lieutenants.25 Sometimes the Negro Officer Troop Basis had to be altered because of an omission or other error, as when the 245th Quartermaster Battalion (Service) , a Puerto Rican unit that already had all-Negro officers, was added to the list in April.26
The list of units to which Negro officers could be assigned grew and fluctuated as more and more units and a more liberal supply of officers became available. Priorities among authorized units

for the assignment of Negro officers were worked out in some branches and commands. For example, Army Ground Forces established the following unit priorities for the assignment of Negro officers:
1. 93d Infantry Division
2. 92d Infantry Division
3. 758th Tank Battalion
4. 24th Infantry
5. 366th Infantry
6. 367th Infantry
7- 372d Infantry
Field Artillery
1. 184th Field Artillery
2. 795th Tank Destroyer Battalion
3. 93d Infantry Division
4. 92d Infantry Division
5. Field Artillery Replacement Training Center
1. 93d Reconnaissance Troop
2. 92d Reconnaissance Troop
3. 795th Tank Destroyer Battalion
4. Cavalry Replacement Training Center
Coast Artillery
1. 369th CA (AA)
2. 99th and tooth CA (AA) , elements at Camp Davis, N.C.
3. Tng Bns at Fort Eustis, Va.
4. 99th and tooth CA (AA) , elements which have left Camp Davis, N.C.
Within the 93d Division, the Chief of Infantry had already requested the following priorities: 369th, 368th, and 25th Infantry, with the 369th at the top because it was the one new regiment in the division, therefore permitting the least displacement of officers already assigned.27
Nevertheless, the 1942 Negro Officer Troop Basis was not considered satisfactory. It was too restrictive, and because of its relative inflexibility it was subject to too frequent amendment. In year's end conferences the policy of 1942 was revised. The new policy continued to authorize the assignment of Negro officers to previously designated units, but it attempted to clarify the methods and conditions for their assignment. Under the 1942 policy, methods of introducing new Negro officers into units already activated with white officers were not clearly defined, nor were sources of requisitions for them or jurisdiction over assignments always clear. Additional categories of units, covering practically all types, were agreed upon by the conferees, but the determination of specific units within those types was to be left to the command having jurisdiction over the units. The designating authority would then report the units selected to the War Department. Overhead activities to which Negro officers could be assigned, while limited to those that had considerable numbers of Negro troops, were to be specifically listed. Assignments of Negro officers were to be made "in block" and not by individuals. Thus all attached officers, such as chaplains and medical officers, were to be assigned in groups in all authorized grades. When all Negro lieutenants were authorized a unit, they were to be assigned in company or battalion groups depending on the size of the unit. Opportunities for the promotion of Negroes to higher grades than those initially authorized were to be provided by the accumulation of qualified officers of the arm or service concerned. When sufficient officers to staff a battalion or smaller unit became available they would be promoted in a block and assigned to a new unit in the grades which the unit required. These

officers could be held in pools while awaiting reassignment.28
This policy, instead of simplifying the operation of the Negro officer assignment policy over the existing rules as had been hoped, not only complicated the paper work involved but also made it more difficult to provide good leadership for Negro units. Neither of these considerations was paramount in the formulation of the new policy of assignment in groups by grades. The major aim was to provide Negro officers to units while inviting the least possible friction from combining Negro and white officers in the same units. The published policy included again a prohibition against the assignment of Negro senior officers, except chaplains and medical officers, to units having white officers in a junior grade.29 The new policy intensified the assignment problem by making it more difficult to place Negro officers in units. It guaranteed, by its promotion provisions, low morale for officers once they were assigned. For now individual assignments, reassignments, and promotions were predicated upon the availability of enough other officers qualified to fill a given unit in the grades required and not on the merit of the officers involved.
The Negro Officer Candidate Supply
Soon after the number of Negro students in officer candidate schools was increased in 1942, it became apparent that Negroes would not be able to fill all officer vacancies in Negro units in any event. The OCS requirement of a 110 score on the Army General Classification Test removed automatically the great bulk of Negroes from consideration as potential officer candidates. Formal educational requirements removed others. In some quarters it was expected that so few Negroes would qualify as officer candidates that the Army would have no real problem in employing the small numbers of Negroes who would finally graduate and be commissioned.
Of the Army's 3,500,000 men in August 1 942, 244,000 or 7 percent were officers, of whom 41,400 or 1.2 percent were OCS graduates. Of the 228,715 Negroes then in the Army, only 817, or 0.35 percent, were officers, of whom 655 or 0.28 percent were graduates of OCS. "The foregoing figures," a Ground Forces staff officer asserted, "confirm our conclusion reached previously, i.e., the colored race cannot produce enough military leadership to officer the colored units. A good estimate would be that enough can be produced to meet 10% of the total requirements for colored units." 30
While the conclusion that Negroes would be unable, in the time available, to supply officers for all Negro units was correct, figures alone could not fully reveal the facts in the case. Negro officer candidates, chosen on the basis of unit

quotas, were rather more unevenly distributed as to quality than appeared on the surface. Numbers and quotas and not potential leadership ability became the criterion for the acceptance of Negro candidates. Some units, because of assignment by numerical availability practiced in many reception centers, were more than able to fill their candidate quotas with men who not only had the required paper qualifications but who also possessed outstanding leadership abilities. Other units were unable to fill quotas with either type of man. Still others, struggling along with few men of the caliber required for their noncommissioned officer ranks, were reluctant to encourage their best men to apply for OCS. In certain cases, the best men themselves, knowing that a sergeancy carried with it little of the assignment and adjustment difficulties and risks of a second lieutenancy-which many soldiers considered the permanent rank of Negro officers-were reluctant to give up the known certainties and privileges of their noncommissioned rating for the uncertainties of the officers' rank.
Many Negroes felt that antipathy for Negro officers held by Southern civilians, by white enlisted men, and by white officers, was greater than antipathy for Negro soldiers in general. Stories, many of them apocryphal but others with a basis in fact, were legion, especially in connection with difficulties encountered with military courtesy, with obtaining transportation facilities while traveling on government transportation orders, with obtaining assignments to units once on post, and with housing, messing, and even laundry facilities for Negro officers. Many of these stories were in bad taste and, like most jokes, exaggerated for effect, but they are indicative of the Negro enlisted man's and officer's-reaction to the status of the Negro officer. These reactions served to undermine attitudes basic to good discipline.
Despite the fact that the ACCT requirement alone was sufficient to cut the potential number of Negro officer candidates far below the proportion that the number of Negro enlisted men could have been expected to produce mathematically, by the end of 1942 the number of available Negro officers was beginning to exceed the number of available assignments. For, as the over-all supply of officers began to increase, a concurrent reluctance to assign Negro officers to units-bolstered by reports of difficulties in units already so staffed-grew as well.
Assignment Difficulties
Aside from the limited number of units authorized them, other barriers to the assignment of Negro officers developed. Of major importance were those arising out of the social matrix imposed by American racial attitudes. The Fourth Service Command, for example, reported that it had positions for Negro over-age officers, but that suitable housing, messing, and recreational facilities were not available generally, for, in fact, "only makeshift arrangements have been made to accommodate colored chaplains in colored enlisted areas." 31 The Northwest Service Command indicated

that it had potential vacancies for Negro officers in units along the Alcan Highway, but observed that it had no separate facilities and that no towns with Negro populations existed along the highway to provide social outlets. Each of the Negro battalions had a Negro chaplain, but the command wanted no additional officers.32 The 733d Military Police Battalion, in which all white officers were to be replaced by Negroes, found itself moved from the northern part of the Ninth Service Command to the Southern Land Frontier Sector. The sector felt that the Negro officers could hardly be used as provost marshals in Phoenix or Tucson, or in Nogales, Calexico, and other border towns where action in cooperation with commanders and provost marshals of exempted stations, civil authorities, and a potentially anti-Negro civilian population was necessary. "I am closely in touch with the sentiment of the people in this Sector," Brig. Gen. Thoburn K. Brown wrote to Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt, "and while they are beginning to be tolerant in their attitude toward colored troops, it is only because they have the greatest confidence in the officers commanding these colored troops. This confidence, I am sure, would not extend to colored officers." 33
No additional Negro officers were sent to this unit. The sixteen Negro officers already assigned were gradually transferred to military police detachments and to other units.34 Decisions that Negro officers would not be welcome were not in all cases the product of local commanders' impressions. Representations often came from communities themselves. The entire Mississippi Congressional delegation, for example, sent a joint petition to the War Department requesting that no Negro officers be stationed in Mississippi at all, and Georgia congressmen objected to stationing regiments with Negro officers at Camp Stewart.35
Low Proficiency and other Limitations
A second barrier to the full and free employment of Negro officers was a continuing disbelief in their abilities. This disbelief was typified and re-enforced by the progressive troubles of certain of the older, all-Negro staffed units, coupled with the firm conviction that Negro troops preferred service under white officers, or at least served better under them.36 The attitude itself was responsible, in the long run, for so limiting opportunities to develop leadership

potentialities that it tended to become a self-proving proposition.
No matter what other obstacles confronted the older tactical units in their development, the most evident thing about them was that they were all-or nearly all-Negro-staffed. When successive inspection reports showed rapid fluctuations in the status of the units now a commendation for one training task done well and a few months later a condemnation for the same or other tasks done poorly-the Negro officers were considered incapable of controlling their units to the point of maintaining them at a high level of efficiency in all departments at once. So many adverse reports on one unit came into Washington that staff officers in G-3 and in AGF considered that it would always be "a source of trouble" so long as it continued intact in the same location and with the same officers. "Washout" the headquarters and "Shanghai the Colonel and the Chaplain to some remote part away from their political stamping grounds," Army Ground Forces Plans recommended.37 Of the commander of this unit, Lt. Gen. Ben Lear, commanding the Second Army, remarked later that "he has demonstrated his loyalty, a willingness to cooperate and interest and that he possesses professional training and ability to the extent reasonably to be expected from a nonprofessional negro officer of his grade and experience." To this, Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, commanding Army Ground Forces, commented: "In my view . . . report[s] on the regiment indicate rather clearly that the regimental commander is incapable of building a satisfactory regiment. The fact that he is loyal and willing does not make him competent." 38 But AGF demurred when General Lear, arguing that no Negro replacements were available, sought to remove the Negro commander and executive of another unit through reclassification proceedings in order to replace them with white officers. The War Department had established the unit as all-Negro and desired that opportunities for promotion of Negroes be kept open. "The problem of finding places to assign Negro officers of grades higher than lieutenant is becoming increasingly difficult," AGF said. "It is expected that additional units will have to be designated to have all Negro officers at an early date." To clinch the point, AGF offered as a replacement for the reclassified commander or his executive a Negro officer of field grade recommended for promotion by the Commanding General, Third Army.39 No more was heard of this particular reclassification proceeding.
Continued dissatisfaction with the progress of Negro units later led General Lear, placing the blame squarely on Negro officers, to request that no further Negro units be staffed with Negro officers in the grade of major or higher. "Reluctantly I have come to the conclusion," he said, "that Negro units'] unsatisfactory progress is largely due to deficiencies in leadership as demonstrated by many negro officers....
Their progress has been in direct proportion to the percentage of white offi-

cers assigned to the units. Those with all white officers have made reasonable progress; those with all negro officers are definitely substandard." The request was approved "in principle" by AGF and by the War Department.40
A request that came from the Antiaircraft Command reinforced General Lear's recommendation. The 538th Antiaircraft Artillery (AW) Battalion, formerly the 2d Battalion of the tooth Coast Artillery (AA), had come under the jurisdiction of the Antiaircraft Command in a low state of morale, training, and general efficiency. For six months previously it had had Negro lieutenants, who were transferred out to fill other units. Though authorized Negro officers, it had been assigned white officers temporarily since no Negro officers were available to the Antiaircraft Command at the time. Now the unit had improved considerably under its white officers and the command did not wish to return to Negro officers.41 Ground G-1 again remarked that it was becoming increasingly difficult to assign Negro officers.42
Developing doubts of their technical as apart from their administrative and leadership proficiency played their part in the reluctance to accept Negro officers in certain units. Sometimes intermediate headquarters through which assignments had to go interposed objections to the placement of Negro officers even though they had received the required training. The chief of the Chemical Warfare Service was prepared to assign Negro officers to two smoke generating companies at Fort Brady, Michigan, but the Central Defense Command objected on the ground that only officers with excellent meteorological backgrounds and a high degree of technical training could be used in these units. The Chemical Warfare Service then asked SOS if the Central Defense Command could object, since the units were on the War Department's approved list. G-1, when queried, replied that the Central Defense Command would have to accept the officers, give them a trial, and, if it then found them unsatisfactory, use the normal procedures for removal prescribed in Army Regulations.43 The fear that requisitions, arriving when no Negro officers were available from pools, would be filled by substandard officers transferred from overstrength units also operated to reduce assignment possibilities.44
Technically trained Negro officers, once initial vacancies were filled, were difficult to place. After the disbandment of the junior of the two signal aircraft warning companies activated at Tuskegee in 1942, over two dozen Negro second lieutenants of the Signal Corps were left without assignments. Despite attempts to place them in other commands, suitable position vacancies were never found for all of them.45 "There are only six units to which these officers could be assigned," AGF informed AAF, "and all of them are now 200 % over-

strength." 46 While a few were later assigned to signal construction battalions and to miscellaneous Air Forces units, the others were employed about the Tuskegee station in various base capacities, ranging from assistants in base communications through assistants in special services to officers in charge of specific barracks of the base unit. A few remained in these and similar jobs until the end of the war, unable to obtain suitable assignments, unable to put their training into practice, and hoping that a vacancy would occur in one of the units which could use them.
Where overhead and staff positions were involved, new applications for specialists were added. To the initial request by judge Hastie that consideration be given to the use of Negro officers in judge Advocate General's Department functions, the stumbling block was their use in Negro divisions, which seemed to the judge Advocate General to be a natural place for the use of officers who were lawyers. But the Ground Forces had an informal policy that "as long as the Division Commander is a white officer the heads of general and special staff sections of his headquarters should be white officers." AGF, while considering the advisability of using Negroes as assistant division judge advocates on a special allotment basis, advised that Negro officers for the judge advocates on a special allotment be employed elsewhere than in divisions.47 After numerous protests on the lack of Negro officers in the Judge Advocate General's Department, G-1, late in the war, directed the judge Advocate General to arrange to use Negro lawyers as officers. The Judge Advocate General's Office determined that six officers would be the most that it could place. The Military Personnel Division, Army Service Forces, then directed the judge Advocate General to procure four officers for assignment to the Third, Fourth, Eighth, and Ninth Service Commands, since they had the largest numbers of Negro troops. But the service commands contended that these assignments would be "impracticable." Two officers were thereupon assigned to posts, one at Camp Claiborne and one at Fort Huachuca. The Army Air Forces was already using one Negro officer as post judge advocate at Tuskegee. The other two field assignments were never made, though a third officer was used when one of the first two was assigned overseas.48
Mechanics of Assignment
The policy of block assignments made the assignment of Negro officers no easier. It had been designed to facilitate assignment and to minimize friction between white and Negro officers which was expected to arise if Negro junior officers were sent individually to units which still had white officers in the same or lower grades. As practiced, it produced more serious leadership crises than the inadequate assignment system that it supplemented. The simultaneous removal of all white lieutenants from a unit and the substitution of Ne-

gro officers, most of whom were getting their first experience in command and some of whom might have been waiting for weeks in a pool while the group was being built to a large enough size for block assignment, not only suddenly destroyed on a unit-wide basis the leadership relations between officers and men, but often interrupted training, setting the unit back by several weeks in extreme cases; destroyed whatever esprit had been built up among the officers and men of the unit; and forced each element of the organization to alter its entire mode of operation.49 The resulting letdown in operating efficiency, discipline, and morale was often attributed to deficiencies in the new Negro officers when the method of substituting new and in these cases quite different-officers for the old, familiar troop leaders, schooled in their knowledge of the men of the unit, and the peculiarities of life for the unit under its particular headquarters and on its particular post, was as often at fault.
To lessen the effect of mass transfers of white officers out and Negro officers into a unit, commanders of armies, corps, and other field units having assignment jurisdiction over units were authorized, in 1943, to direct attachment rather than relief of white officers for a period of from three to six months. The retained white officers were to train the new Negro personnel and help make the transition from one group of officers to the other a smoother and more gradual process.50 In units, the greatest care and watchfulness had to be maintained lest the Negro officers become mere assistants to the older white officers, learning little and dissipating what sense of responsibility and initiative as well as military knowledge and self-respect they had brought with them upon assignment to the units. The units, in the meantime, had an excess of officers engaged in duplicate duties. The division of control often affected these units adversely from top to bottom.
As the numbers of Negro officers available began to exceed the numbers of vacancies allotted, and as the numbers of service units authorized Negro officers increased, the 25 percent overage of officers authorized the all-Negro units was extended to include all units with any Negro officers. In Quartermaster truck companies, authorized three lieutenants, the 25 percent overstrength was construed as permitting an additional officer.51 In some units, the overages went far above 25 percent. Even with this provision, sizable numbers of Negro officers collected in pools. The policy of assigning Negro officers in groups rather than as individual replacements accounted for the presence of the larger number of unassigned Negro officers in organized pools, for assignment directly from schools to units had to be delayed until enough officers were gathered together to fill an entire unit's allotted grades. Pools were expected to hold officers and at the same time enable them

to continue their technical training. Special, separate pools for Negro officers were provided at Fort Huachuca and sometimes at the service schools. 52 At other times, Negro officers were simply retained at the schools, awaiting assignment. To await disposition, they were occasionally dispatched to a post, such as Tuskegee, where housing existed and where considerable numbers of other Negro officers were assigned. The pools, gathering and retaining large numbers of newly commissioned, inexperienced officers for whom no assignments existed, became a source not only of low officer morale but also of many of the leadership difficulties experienced later by and with Negro junior officers. Often there were more officers gathered at a given post or center than could be absorbed by available housing or by available training assignments. "This is a situation which tends to breed discontent and to induce a state of mind where minor incidents are exaggerated, and a tendency toward carping criticism developed among officers who are not sufficiently busy to occupy their minds," one training center commander observed of his Negro pool officers.53
As a result of the scarcity of authorized position vacancies, plus the tendency to assign and retain white junior officers in Negro units, certain Negro organizations suffered from an excess of officers while others, at the same time, had a shortage. As early as August 1942, when many other Negro units were reporting officer shortages, the 93d Division was being swamped by the daily arrival of new lieutenants. Housing and messing facilities available to the division at Fort Huachuca could accommodate 636 officers of all grades, but the 93d had 644 lieutenants alone. "Many lieutenants are sleeping two and three in a room in some organizations . . . . The problem of training the increasing number of new arrivals is difficult," the division reported in a request that no more lieutenants be assigned.54 A year later, when many Negro air base security battalions were disbanded, their 330 white and 238 Negro officers had to be given new assignments. The white officers were divided among RTC units and Second Army field units. The Negro officers, with the exception of 27 men, were divided equally between the 92d and 93d Divisions, with the result that the 93d Division again had a large officer surplus.55
Occasionally, schools had no requisitions at all for Negro graduates and authority to assign them had to await War Department decisions.56 Negro overage and limited service officers, for whom few assignment vacancies in overhead and staff duties existed, contributed numbers of officers to pools.57 Some of these men were disposed of by assignments to USO liaison, ROTC, and

special service duties, for which not all so assigned were fitted either by temperament or training. "Made jobs," such as assistant directors of schools, town "liaison" officers, advisers to various staffs or headquarters, roving inspectors, and "special" officers of various types, were sometimes devised for over-age and limited service officers of higher ranks.
The difficulty of assigning them to T/O jobs was obvious to many Negro officers, for often on the same posts where certain Negro units had enough officers to fill nearly every vacancy twice over, there were other units which had either too few officers or which had white officers only. Nearly every supernumerary Negro officer knew or thought he knew of a unit or a job where he could have been used to greater advantage than in the "extra" position in which he found himself. The policy of unloading excess officers into particular units while retaining white officers or allowing T/O vacancies to remain in other units was a major contributing factor in the low morale of Negro junior officers.
Negro Officers' Leadership Dilemma
Restrictions on their activities, even when Negro officers were assigned to positions where their services were needed, were central factors operating to reduce their efficiency and usefulness. The grade, assignment, and promotion policy had been instituted as a means of providing greater opportunities for Negroes to serve as commissioned officers. But the policy by which Negro officers could serve in designated units and grades only, and by which no Negro officer was supposed to outrank or command any white officer in the same units limited these same opportunities. Negro officers considered the entire policy "discriminatory and unjust," General Davis reported. The policy confirmed "a different status for colored officers, [who feel] that, since they are called upon to make the same preparation and sacrifices, the promotion and assignment policy should be the same for all officers.58 It gave an overt sanction to theories that no Negro, no matter how competent, could perform assigned duties better than any white man, no matter how incompetent. It confirmed in the minds of enlisted men the belief that their Negro commissioned leaders were not full-fledged officers in the first place, thus further confounding leadership problems. It created invidious and ineradicable distinctions between officers in the same units.
At the outset grade restrictions, coupled with the large numbers of overstrength and non-TAO vacancy officers in the same units, effectively blocked promotions. Later, authority to transfer eligible Negro officers to other units where they could fill higher grades was granted. This policy, interpreted as barring promotion unless officers transferred from their units, was "a body blow to their morale and efficiency, as well as to organizational esprit," a commanding general of the 93d Division observed. "It also caused a loss of confidence in leadership which was not confined to leadership in the 93d Division. They felt that the War Department had broken faith with them." 59 It gave sanction for the feeling among Negro

officers that development of ingenuity and assumption of responsibility in their units were useless.
The policy, coupled with the social pressures and sanctions of which it was born, was responsible for additional practices which damaged officer morale and the development of good leadership. At Camp Shelby, in 1944, 11 Negro officers were assigned to overhead duties as personnel consultants, 9 with a special training unit, 1 as an assistant special service officer, and 1 as commander of the post's Negro casual detachment. The last two, by approved classification standards, were misassigned from the beginning. The nine had no direct contact with the white enlisted cadre which operated the units. All suggestions and recommendations which they made had to be passed on to the white cadre by a white officer "who is chief personnel consultant despite the fact that in one battalion he is unqualified for the work and in all battalions [he] is junior to the other officers who are his assistants." 60 The Negro officers, when they should have been at their primary duties, had two additional duties to perform: athletic supervision and orientation presentations. No other officers and no cadre men assisted in those duties. The further training and efficiency of these officers were limited by post restrictions. They were not allowed to attend the post-operated school on courts-martial; their quarters, mess, and recreational facilities compared unfavorably with those of white officers of similar rank; their contact with other officers and consequently the possibility of their learning by example from other officers was sharply curtailed by the oral appointment of one of their number an officer junior to all but two of the group-as "spokesman." The spokesman was responsible for making all contacts with the headquarters to which these officers were assigned. One battalion commander, when questioned about the propriety of ignoring seniority in these cases, replied that "this was Mississippi and he was not concerned over the seniority of Negro officers." 61 It would hardly be expected that these officers could develop into able leaders.
Mixed Staffs and Their Problems
A major barrier to the development of leadership in Negro units lay in the use of white and Negro officers in the same units under conditions which emphasized differences in officers' origins rather than similarities in their goals and responsibilities. These conditions were reinforced and made official by shifting policies which, having prescribed a differential for the assignment and promotion of Negro officers, proceeded to expand the boundaries of the limitations imposed by providing for the eventual though not guaranteed replacement and transfer of white officers. Therefore neither white nor Negro officers were secure with respect to continued duty, responsibility, or advancement within a given unit. Nor were they secure in their relations with each other. In these units, the leadership of men became secondary to the preservation of personal interests and status.

Mixed staffs had certain advantages. They provided a leaven of experience and some instruction, if by no other means than by example, for newly commissioned officers. They increased the possibility of filling staffs in many units that otherwise would have limped along with officer shortages. Through their commanders, they facilitated co-operation between white and Negro units of similar types which might not have existed otherwise. In those instances where the commanders and higher staff members looked upon the leadership of the unit as a profitable military and not a revolutionary social venture, they afforded the possibility of sufficient contact between white and Negro officers to enable both the unit and the officers to gain benefits from the greater experience, training, and confident stability of the one group as well as from the greater knowledge and understanding of racial problems and practices of the other. The two officer groups in these cases worked together to the mutual benefit of each other and of the unit.
But mixed staffs could have equally marked disadvantages. There were times when the functioning of many mixed staffs appeared to be about to break down completely. While many commanders, through the force of their own personalities and their own high standards of leadership, were able to weld excellent working teams from units with mixed officers, there were others who found themselves caught up in a maelstrom of personal animosities born of and fostered by racial taboos and tensions. At times the split in staff relations, resulting from long standing social customs reinforced by the physical separation of housing, messing, and
club facilities and from policies that assigned all white officers to headquarters staff and unit command positions and all Negroes to platoon leader positions, was almost inevitable. At other times, it was clearly preventable. But in either event, the difficulties of these units, rather than the successes of other, and generally smaller, units came to the attention of higher headquarters and caused grave doubts about the wisdom of mixed staffs.
The feeling of white officers that service with Negro troops involved additional and onerous duties was accentuated in many units with mixed staffs. Psychological tensions often appeared on both sides. Neither Negro nor white officers, as a group, either by training or by prior civilian experiences, had learned to work normally and naturally together. The conscientious white officer found the necessity of being constantly on his guard, constantly aware of the new and restricted world of racial discriminations and sensitivities which he had unwittingly, and often unwillingly, entered, an additional burden which he often came to consider hardly worth the bearing. Extra duties, in addition to more intensive and longer training schedules, sometimes fell to the lot of white officers assigned to units with mixed staffs simply because of the presence of Negro officers. At some posts, white officers only could be assigned to such duties as officer of the day, town patrol officer, officer of the guard, post exchange inventory, finance certification officer, or to other routine, rotating duties. Some headquarters, requesting labor or other special details from Negro units, stipulated that the men be in charge of a

white officer. The services of white officers on these hardly to be sought for but nevertheless necessary tasks came more frequently, therefore, if they were assigned to a unit whose Negro officers were exempted from duties in which they might encounter "delicate situations." 62 Negro officers, by the same token, felt that they were being ignored or overlooked in the full performance of the duties of an officer. Often they were certain that preferred duties were being denied them. At times they attributed to racial prejudice the distribution of unpleasant duties and extra details within the unit.
One commander, after pointing out that certain duties could not very well be allotted Negro officers, protested that "It has been my policy in the sixteen months I have had this regiment that there shall be no discrimination based on race, color or creed. All officers of the regiment use the same messes, sleeping accommodations, and bath houses . . . . I believe [the] one cause for friction is the mixing of junior white and colored officers." But sensitive duties involving the civilian population and other units were not given to his Negro officers.63 Other units solved this portion of their problem by requiring both white and Negro officers to perform the same "unpleasant duties without reference to color," applying the same standards to both, and by removing "those who failed to measure up to army standards, regardless of color." 64 When the responsibilities and duties of officers were allotted and shared by Negroes and whites as officers rather than as two varieties of officers, little difficulty arose from this source of friction and better leadership developed.
Housing and messing problems plagued many units without regard to the unit commanders' desire in the matter. In general, the initial Army pattern was to house and mess Negro and white officers separately, though in later years of the war in many units and installations this tended to modify itself to housing and messing by rank, by senior choice, or by priority of arrival. Requests, such as Fort Bragg's for $14,221.70 in April 1942, to provide an additional barracks for Negro officers to "afford equal and separate accommodations for white and colored officers" were not unusual.65 Providing separate facilities if officers were to be segregated militated against the assignment of Negro officers to units so located that separate housing was not available. Complaints that Negro officers arrived without forewarning at certain posts were often based on the necessity for providing separate facilities in advance.66 In some instances, one or two Negro officers occupied an entire standard barracks in spacious solitude. In others, the

two or three Negro officers who happened to be assigned permanently to a post's overhead, to a station complement, to a band, or to a quartermaster service or a medical sanitary company, were given a small house, usually removed from the main housing areas of the post, to use as quarters. In still other cases, Negro officers were housed and messed with Negro enlisted men.67 Chaplains, often the lone Negro officers in a unit or on a post, had especial difficulties with billeting and messing.68 Payment of membership fees in clubs and messes was at times required by posts which did not expect Negro officers to use these facilities, but practices in various localities varied from the free use of all facilities through the use of designated or agreed upon tables and areas to the use of enlisted men's messes and quarters or none at all. To an early inquiry from judge Hastie on the Army's position on the use of facilities by Negro officers, G-1 replied:
The Army has always regarded the officers' quarters and the officers' mess as the home and the private dining room of the officers who reside and eat there. They are an entity within a military reservation which has always enjoyed a minimum of regulation and the largest possible measure of self-government. The War Department considers this to be a fundamentally correct conception. Both from the standpoint of practice of long standing and from the standpoint of propriety, the War Department should be most reluctant to impose hard and fast rules for every human relationship involved in the operation of officers' messes and officers' quarters. For a variety of reasons, problems arising in the officers' home cannot be solved by fiat.69
One result was that, in many units, especially the larger ones, little contact, "even for discussion of, and conversation pertaining to, professional subjects" existed among white and Negro officers .70 In other cases, where rigid lines of demarcation between officers were maintained, the Negro officers became allied with their enlisted men against the white officers, a situation leaving white senior officers with lessened control over their units. At other times white officers were supported by Negro enlisted men against the Negro officers, especially in those cases where Negro officers, assigned in blocks, attempted to assert control in organizations whose higher ranking noncommissioned officers had formerly had carte blanche in the operation and regulation of the "domestic" life of the unit. In neither case could a high state of discipline or of effective training be achieved.71 As for leadership: under such circumstances, it could hardly exist at all.
The separation of officers by race in the use of facilities remained a stumbling block in the development of officer esprit and unified leadership, but the War Department continued its reluctance to invade what it considered to be the sphere of local and unit com-

manders' responsibility. At Fort Huachuca, where colored and white officers of the 93d Division were reported in 1942 to "eat in the same mess, live in the same barracks, serve in the same companies and apparently are striving to the end of making an efficient fighting division," the construction of separate clubs for white and Negro officers was an initial source of friction. General Davis reported to The Inspector General that while the garrison at Huachuca may have been large enough to require two clubs, commanders "could have met the problem without these clubs having been designated as clubs for either white or colored officers." 72 General Davis recommended, with Maj. Gen. Virgil L. Peterson concurring and General Marshall approving, that in large camps where the garrison was predominantly Negro the War Department provide no facilities for the exclusive use of white or Negro personnel "but that the disposition and use of these facilities be left to the decision of the local commanders who are most familiar with the racial problems involved." 73
While this policy decision removed War Department sanction from the practice of designating facilities by race in the few instances where large camps had predominantly Negro troops, it brought no change in general practices. It merely made it all the more essential that commanders of Negro units be men of more than ordinary wisdom. Some units were able to solve the problems of housing, messing, and club facilities to the complete satisfaction of their staffs; others were in constant turmoil over one or another phase of these purely social matters which, though nonmilitary in a strict sense, affected profoundly the military training and performance of units. They symbolized the lack of trust, faith, and belief in the equality of men which existed within many of these units. There were units which developed their own small messes into clubs for the use of the officers of the unit only. There were others in which unskilled leadership practices in the purely social areas ruined, to a large extent, the efficiency of units long before they reached a port of embarkation. At least one large combat unit spent nearly two years in a wrangle over the status of Negro and white officers culminating in the arrest of over one hundred and the trial of three Negro officers. Thereby, almost without reference to other factors, the unit remained uncommitted to combat at the close of the war. 74
Despite an obvious desire on the part of higher headquarters not to interfere in these problems, their effect upon units and upon unit leadership rather than questions of efficiency in training or leadership ability in the abstract, were at the core of the difficulties of many Negro units. The result in some areas was that some commanders recommended that the Army return to its

policy of using all white or all Negro officers only in a given unit.75 
That this was no solution was clear to those who had a larger view of the provision of leadership for Negro troops. In the first place, there were units with mixed officer staffs which were not subjected to internal rancor. Most of the tank, tank destroyer, engineer, and smaller service units had little trouble of this sort. In the second place there were units with all white and all Negro staffs whose problems of leadership were as great as or greater than those with mixed staffs. Moreover, with the bulk of Negro officers newly commissioned and with the general shortage of officers, the use of mixed staffs was the only logical policy to follow. The success of one or another practice in the provision of officers depended primarily upon the officers concerned and, most of all, upon the commanders under whom they served. Those commanders who themselves were willing to make an attempt to erase the causes of internal discord within the units with mixed staffs and who sincerely believed that those causes could be eliminated achieved greater success with mixed staffs. Not enough commanders of this sort were available to guarantee the smooth functioning of most units. Under the circumstances, it was easy to conclude that the mixed staff was an undesirable emergency measure which should have been avoided at all costs.
Men of the Spirit
There was one Negro member of mixed staffs who had traditionally been welcomed as an officer leader of Negro troops. This was the chaplain. To many commanders, the presence of chaplains, required by Mobilization Regulations to be Negro in Negro units, promised an assuaging answer to the more difficult problems of leadership facing them. When officers and men became entangled in the many problems of a racial nature which could affect command in Negro units, the first person to whom the problem was likely to be given was the chaplain. As guardians of the spiritual and moral life of the soldier, with a firm and solid tradition of leadership in Negro community life, chaplains were expected to possess special techniques for developing positive relationships between men and command, and for providing the needed links of understanding upon which sound leadership could be built. They were expected to provide aid in combating the internal stresses often present. Often they did, in the realm of religion and the spirit. But the problems of leadership in Negro units were not always answerable in these terms.
From the earliest period of mobilization, Negro chaplains "of the right sort" had been in demand. "A good chaplain who commands the respect and confidence of the men is invaluable," one commander with experience with Negro troops reported.76 Said another, in a unit which had no chaplain, "The services of such an officer have long been

needed and can accomplish immeasurable good, if an intelligent, sympathetic and energetic one can be secured." 77 An inspector supported his recommendation that there was an "urgent need" for a Negro chaplain at a special troop headquarters with the statement that "The morale of the enlisted men in the 40th Signal Construction Battalion and the 562d Quartermaster Service Battalion, the units with colored personnel at this station, is very low." 78
The expectation of many commanders was that Negro chaplains, as . many were, would be a helpful link between the command and the troops, interpreting each to the other and smoothing the rougher stretches in the path of leadership. Often the chaplain was the only Negro officer in the unit or in the area. At times he was the only person available with previous experience in interracial matters. Often he was, like the average chaplain of the peacetime Army, not only a spiritual adviser but also a guardian of all morale, with recreation, athletic, and orientation duties to perform.79 Until late 1941 the chaplain of a Negro regiment was specifically charged with the instruction of soldiers in "the common English branches of education." 80 Usually he was expected to, and often he was directed to, explain to Negro troops the more difficult problems which arose One officer, during the course of an investigation, commented: "I don't know whether the men took this matter up with the Chaplain or not but if they did I feel rather disappointed because I feel that the Chaplain could have straightened the matter out." 81
To enlisted men, the chaplain's relation to leadership was a plain one. Where the chaplain was held in esteem -and this esteem could arise from many approaches to the problems facing him -his influence for good was felt widely. Otherwise, the chaplain had a small congregation, few consultants, and little influence. No instance of serious friction or disorder in a unit whose chaplain had both the ear of command and of enlisted men has been found. Alert and confident chaplains could, and did, prevent physical disturbances at times. Twice on the weekend of 12 July 1942, Chaplain Lorenzo Q. Brown, by promising the full support of the commanding officer, dispersed a potential mob of over five hundred soldiers bent on "rescuing" men of their battalion from the hands of civilian police who had, according to rumor, killed some of them.82 But, in many units, chaplains were a disappointment to their commanders and, in some cases, to their enlisted men.

Sometimes, chaplains became as enmeshed in unit quandaries as other Negro officers and men. As one chaplain, neither a Negro nor working with Negro troops and therefore meeting the dilemma faced by many Negro chaplains in a less extreme form, expressed it: "The army measured a chaplain's success in terms of the degree to which he expedited army discipline; but the men judged him on his ability to unbend that discipline." 83 The Negro chaplain often found that, in the process of laying the groundwork for better discipline and morale, he had already alienated either his men or his superiors, with the result that he could effectively influence neither.
Despite vigorous efforts pursued throughout the duration of the war, the Army never obtained a large enough number of Negro chaplains to be able to determine what their fullest effect might have been had enough been readily available. In addition to the three Negro chaplains in the Regular Army in 1940, there were seventeen in the Reserve Corps, of whom three were on active duty with the Civilian Conservation Corps. 84 The normal distribution of chaplains was one to every 1,200 officers and enlisted men (1944 standard), with chaplains divided between units and bases or higher headquarters. Chaplains were authorized, denominationally, from among the major church bodies in proportion to their representation in the census of religious bodies.85 Negro denominations were given their population-based quotas along with all other denominations that represented considerable portions of the nation's church membership. Negro ministers of predominantly white denominations were represented proportionately to their numbers and availability within their denominations. Many of the Negro units of battalion size were just under the strength of 900 required for a unit chaplain and were therefore authorized none. Some services attempted to acquire special authorizations for chaplains for such units.86 But the Office of the Chief of Chaplains was making valiant attempts to supply the ministers needed under current authorizations. Few chaplains from among those available could be spared to provide for special requests.
In December 1940 teachers of religion and directors of religious life in 25 Negro colleges and in 8 Negro and 11 primarily white theological seminaries were requested to submit the names of promising Negro candidates for the Army chaplaincy.87 Thereafter, speakers at assemblies of clergymen continued to emphasize the need for chaplains and to urge qualified Negro ministers to apply for Army commissions. In the main, however, even when the constant upward readjustment of the quotas for chaplains as the size of the Army grew is taken into account, the supply of available Negro chaplains always fell considerably short of the goal. There were corresponding shortages of white chap-

lains in many denominations, but among Negro chaplains the shortage was general in all denominations.
For 1943, the existing Negro units were expected to require 455 chaplains. Of these, 445 were allotted to the Negro denominations and to the Methodist Church. It was hoped that Negro ministers of other denominations would supplement these quotas. With the 1943 estimate before them, the Negro churches had the following goals in mid January: 88
Denomination 1943 Quota On Duty Shortage
National Baptist (U.S.A. 159; America, 18) 177 48 129
African Methodist Episcopal 93 32 61
Methodist (Central Jurisdiction)  69 25 44
African Methodist Episcopal Zion 55 6 49
Colored Methodist Episcopal 51 5 46
445 116 329
The shortage of chaplains was seriously felt in some units. None of the divisions could obtain, initially, their full quotas of chaplains. Training units at replacement centers were sometimes entirely without them. Units often lost their chaplains to higher priority units preparing for shipment overseas. The shortage was such that, sometimes, white chaplains were assigned to Negro units as a temporary expedient, though a few were assigned because the Office of the Chief of Chaplains had not been informed that the unit was Negro.89 On posts with units too small to be authorized Negro chaplains and on posts where the bulk population of Negroes was too small to require the services of a station chaplain, Negro troops were usually ministered to by white chaplains. At times, white chaplains disappointedly reported that they had had little success in attracting Negro troops to chapel services. One chaplain, believing that the fault lay with the available choice of music in the shortage Army-Navy Hymnal, suggested that Negro troops be supplied with a special hymnal of spirituals.90 Sometimes Negro civilian pastors from nearby towns offered their services, but the practice of using these volunteers was not favored by most commanders.
One result of the shortage of chaplains was the acceptance of a number of individuals who had less than superior qualifications. Of the chaplains sent to the Chaplain School, few failed to graduate. But those who did fail were sent to the field anyway; they were already commissioned and chaplains were scarce. Many of those failing in the school were Negroes; many, but not all, of the disappointing performances in the field came from men who had failed their courses at the school for chaplains.91 A number were marginal

ministers from the beginning. Some of these helped to undermine the reputation of Negro chaplains, and, by extension, of Negro officers and leadership as a whole both among commanders and among enlisted men. In one army camp in the space of three months one of the two Negro chaplains misused funds entrusted to his keeping by enlisted men while on maneuvers; the other became notorious among the troops after persuading the wife of an enlisted man to remain behind after the departure of her husband's unit. Bad check charges and marital difficulties plagued some. Another resigned for the good of the service as a chronic alcoholic. Cases such as these were not common, nor were they confined to Negro chaplains. But they occurred frequently enough among Negro chaplains to lessen the influence of all Negro chaplains in some areas and to make the jobs of sounder chaplains more difficult both with soldiers and with their commanders.
Negro chaplains divided sharply over the issue of the precedence of their responsibilities to their men as soldiers and Negroes and to their calling as ministers and as officers. Their general influence upon enlisted men, barring unusual circumstances, was unquestioned. As the only available Negro officers in many commands, demands upon them by their men and by the Negroes of neighboring units and communities were often beyond those normally made upon men of their calling. As chaplains they were the recipients of grievances and complaints without limit. Many of these were rooted in the beliefs and fears of soldiers as Negroes. Chaplains skilled in human and interracial relations were able to deal judiciously with problems of this sort that came to their attention; many were able to alter and influence patterns of racially based behavior for the better. Others were unable to steer a clear path between the importunings of their men and the official duties which they had undertaken. Some withdrew from active concern in the problems of men and commands. Still other chaplains, seeing a sufficiency of injustices about them, undertook the unflinching defense of all men in all cases, the guilty with the innocent. One such case, rather widely circulated among War Department staff agencies as part of an interview with a provost marshal returning from overseas, was that of a chaplain in Australia who "worked hard to defend `a pore colored boy' who had killed two white officers in cold blood." 92 While many had a stabilizing effect on units, others did not. In many commands, chaplains therefore became suspect as bearers of discord, contributing to, rather than alleviating, leadership problems.93
Even when these chaplains were morally right, their lack of tact in the difficult area in which they had to operate created additional morale strains within the units whose men they had hoped to help. By late 1943, a number of chaplains, sometimes to the accompaniment of considerable publicity in

the Negro press, had resigned by request, been reclassified, or tried by courts martial and dismissed from the service. A few of these sought-and those who sought it received-a sympathetic reception among the Negro public, for they were viewed as the vigorous champions of the downtrodden carrying forward the great traditions of their churches. But they left in their wake commanders and supervising chaplains who viewed their successors with suspicion as potential sources of disruptions; they left behind them enlisted men whose faith in the Army and their officer leaders was further weakened.
Publicity resulting from the release of certain of these chaplains, added to general press comments on racial relations within the Army, further hampered the recruiting program of the Chief of Chaplains. After a conference with representatives of the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., the largest Negro church body and the church with the fourth largest chaplains' quota and with the smallest portion of its quota filled, the Chief of Chaplains decided that, until the urgent need for Negro chaplains was met, consideration would be given to applicants with two or more years of college or seminary work and three years of pastoral experience in lieu of the ordinarily required bachelor's degree, provided that other requirements were met.94 This was the only case where different standards were prescribed for Negro commissioned personnel.
One answer to this proposal was quickly forthcoming. At their convention in Kansas City in September 1943, the National Baptists, contrary to the expectations of the conferees, were presented with a resolution that the convention would "refrain from further endorsement of members of our Denomination to serve as Chaplains in the United States Army" so long as bias in the treatment of chaplains resulting in "the public humiliation of outstanding members of the Baptist Clergy [through] tacit agreement of the Chief of Chaplains, the Chaplain's office, and the War Department" continued 95 While all chaplains were volunteers, no chaplain could be accepted by the Army without denominational endorsement.
The developing attitude among Negro clergymen represented by this resolution was reinforced the next year when the Fraternal Council of Negro Churches in America issued a manifesto which placed revisions in the armed forces' racial policy at the top of its list of desired reforms.96 The inability of a number of Negro ministers to meet even the lowered standards, plus many clergymen's disbelief that they could give full service in the armed forces, permitted the shortage of chaplains to grow larger. In mid-July 1943, just before standards were lowered, the total number of Negro chaplains on duty was 246.97 Their number hovered around

this figure for the rest of the war. On 31 August 1944 there were slightly fewer, 238, while on 31 July 1945 the total number of Negro chaplains on duty was 259.98 Quotas, in the meantime, rose as total Army strength rose. At the end of the war, the Negro denominations were still far below their quotas. As of l9 October 1945, when the Chaplain's Corps was at approximately its conclusion of hostilities strength, the Negro denominations had the following quotas and chaplains on duty: 99
Church Quota Chaplains on Duty
National Baptist (U.S.A. and America) 612 79
African Methodist Episcopal 77 69
African Methodist Episcopal Zion 62 18
Colored Methodist Episcopal 39 8
790 174
Even if they had all been able to affect positively the problems of leadership and morale, Negro chaplains remained to the end of the war too few in number to exert to the fullest the influence expected of them.
"Weeding Out": Rotation and Reclassification
Gradually, a general malaise, destructive to morale and therefore to leadership potentialities, settled upon a great many officers serving with Negro troops. Many white officers felt that they were "figuratively sitting on kegs of powder." Though they would try to carry out the desires of the War Department they felt that they were "sunk" in their assignments. Many Negro officers became convinced that they were the victims of discriminatory practices which prevented the fullest development of their capabilities. 100 That few white officers would choose to serve with Negro troops became a generally accepted belief. That few Negro officers were capable and efficient was as widely believed.101
To help dispel the belief that service with Negro troops was a blind alley, The Inspector General recommended in 1943 that rotation of white officers on duty with Negro troops be considered. 102 Rotation was not to be mandatory, for though it was obvious that the majority preferred service with white troops, some officers had stated that they preferred duty with Negro troops. The commanding general of the 93d Division agreed that such a plan would be helpful in his division.103 "While assignments in War cannot be based on individual preferences," Headquarters,

Army Ground Forces, wrote to its field commanders, "it is believed reasonable that, so far as practicable, service with colored troops should be rotated." 104
The procedure worked out by the Ground Forces was that commanders of Negro divisions and separate units would report to the appropriate higher commander not to exceed 5 percent of the total number of white officers, distributed approximately by grades, who had had eighteen months of continuous service with colored troops, did not desire further service with them, and had an efficiency rating of very satisfactory or better. Higher commanders would then reassign these officers to white units, provided that replacements for them were available. General officers and regimental commanders were to be rotated by Headquarters, Army Ground Forces. The rotation policy was to be published to higher commanders only.105
The belief that rotation of officers was a solution to the problem of dissatisfaction among white officers assigned to Negro units persisted throughout the war. That rotation ran directly counter to the provision that successful commanders be kept with Negro units; that it would contribute further to the rapid turnover of officers in Negro units about which so many inspectors had complained; and that, without a backlog of excellent leaders to draw on for replacements, rotation was impractical as a device for guaranteeing effective leadership did not dim its chimerical appeal. Though it did not work in practice, as evidenced by the number of negative reports submitted by commanders, it was nevertheless accepted by officers in high and low ranks as the next best thing to no service with Negro troops at all.106
No similar hope of relief was available to those Negro officers who felt that they had served long enough against odds in specific units. Requests for transfer sometimes came from Negro officers in batches, but since there were few opportunities for transfer, most of these could not be honored. Requests for transfer were often a prelude to reclassification for both Negro and white officers, especially in the larger units, for they called attention to the dissatisfaction and to the resulting unsatisfactory work of officers. Even when units sought to alleviate pressures on officers in an attempt to help their adjustment and improve their leadership abilities reclassification sometimes proved the only possible answer.
One white junior officer, after progressively demonstrating his inability to adjust to service with Negro troops, was removed from duty with troops and given special headquarters duties, but there he spent most of his time looking up regulations and circulars and writing letters trying to arrange a transfer. Eventually he informed his regimental commander that he would have to get away from serving with Negro troops even if he brought court-martial charges against himself. He was finally sent before a reclassification board. There he appeared with affidavits from other officers which declared that most of them

felt the same way that he did. But who would operate the unit if every officer were transferred? the board wanted to know. This particular officer, the board decided had gone so far in placing his personal dislikes above the demands of duty that he was recommended for discharge from the service.107
Successive transfers in some instances caused a discontinuity in command which had its effects upon unit training and discipline. One company of divisional special troops had seven commanders and nearly as many first sergeants in two years, while the division itself had five divisional staff officers in the same technical service during the same period. When the latest company commander requested relief because "an attempt was made on my life by a shot being fired thru my tent and into my bunk, thru my mosquito bar a bare few inches from my pillow" with the result that he could "never again have any faith in the company as a Company Commander should have because of a constant fear of some unknown person possibly waiting to try again," the request was disapproved. "If every time an officer gets in a tough spot and asks to transfer," the division's chief of staff observed, "we won't get far. I can understand how he feels, I can understand that there may be for a time a degree of lack of interest and lack of confidence on his part. However, if he is any good, and I know he is, and will apply himself to his task, he will make good."
Three successive special staff officers occupying the same position were reclassified in the same division. The first was recommended for relief "as being unsuited for duty with a colored unit." His successor was reclassified a year later upon his determination that he could no longer handle a situation which showed no sign of improving:
When I first came to this Division I was not prejudiced against the colored race and had high hopes of accomplishing a great deal. I have worked hard and faithfully and felt that I had succeeded to some extent. However, in the past few months, incidents have occurred which indicate that the feeling was an illusion. Not only have I been unable to eradicate race prejudice as a basis for the many difficulties encountered but I have found it most difficult to work with this command. I have twice been called disloyal by the Chief of Staff and once by the Commanding General because I have had the courage to express my views concerning morale in this Division.
The recent episode with the --Company, in which a definite planned attempt to discredit the Battalion Commander and to cause him to be relieved, has destroyed all hope I ever had to accomplish anything here. I was told that we, the whites, are all plotting to discredit the negroes, that they do not trust any white officer. They feel that their Battalion should have all Negro officers as another white officer would merely be a repetition of the previous ones. I so lost control of myself that I told several negro officers in the --- Company that, where I had not been prejudiced before, I was now definitely prejudiced.
I find that I am definitely turning into a Psychoneurotic. I have been unable to sleep, complain of various aches and pains which have no organic basis. This morning while in conference with the Commanding General . . ., concerning the --- Battalion situation, I broke down with hysterical weeping for over an hour. This is an indication of my mental state, which does

not differ from that of a number of other officers on the staff. I know that I am not psychiatric material and a change of environment will clear these symptoms up. I feel that I have a lot of excellent service left in my system but if I am forced to remain with this Division I shall end up a liability to the government. I believe someone else, with a fresh point of view, could handle the job with greater efficiency.
This officer, according to his commanding general, had performed in an excellent manner; therefore, the division recommended his transfer to any except another Negro unit. But, lacking a proper vacancy for him, higher headquarters recommended reclassification. By this time, his successor was already being reclassified because he did not have "the knack or ability to handle negroes."
Sometimes, desired transfers and reclassifications were not achieved. Two regimental commanders in one division in training were listed for relief or transfer, although one had been previously recommended for promotion to general officer rank. One was recommended for transfer because of age and the other because of lack of "the mental and physical energy" needed to command effectively. At the same time, special troop commanders and special staff officers were recommended for removal from the division. But the approach of maneuvers caused a reconsideration since "any change if made at this late time would probably be more detrimental than helpful." One of the two regimental commanders remained with the division until the end of the war.
In a separate battalion, reclassification of several officers was recommended. The commander was "totally out of sympathy with Negro troops and grossly ignorant of what was required of a Battalion Commander." The executive officer was considered "a type who is unfit to command, one whose idea of efficiency is to have an inspection of polished shoes at midnight and for identification tags at 3 o'clock in the morning and to give mass company punishment by requiring soldiers to march from midnight to 8 A.M." A lieutenant was judged unfit to command troops because of his use of improper language and because of a "generally abusive attitude," though, it was added, he appeared to have had considerable provocation. A fourth officer had kicked and stoned a soldier who had been "most disobedient and discourteous to him, which actions however, could not excuse the officer's action." 108 But in this case, by the time recommendations had reached headquarters and then been reopened by direction of the assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff, the unit was overseas. With the determination that it would be "impracticable" to return the officers to the states, reprimands only were sent them.109
Reclassification procedures for Negro officers in the divisions usually began with assignment to divisional officers' schools. Upon reports of progress in the schools depended the disposition made of the officer student. These schools, originally designed to improve leadership and technical qualifications, soon came to be looked upon as a means of weeding out unwanted officers, especially since usually only Negro officers

were assigned to them. Some were frank in stating their opinions of the schools. Said one officer: "On being assigned to the Division Officers School I was called in by the Regimental Commander, who made it clear that I was being sent to school not because of inefficiency, but because of my attitude toward the policies of the Regiment as to Negro officers." Said another: "Completely ignoring my several ratings of `excellent' and no ratings of unsatisfactory, I was ordered to the Division school to prove my efficiency, causing me greater humiliation." 
The reclassification of Negro officers was usually supported by statements of their lack of ability, aggressiveness, or interest, supplemented by statements of their race consciousness and sensitivity. A number of officers disputed these charges, declaring that they were being reclassified, subjected to psychiatric examination, or punished for showing When men already slated for re-classification replied with charges of discrimination, their accusations usually reinforced the original charges of lack of co-operation and development of prejudices against superior white officers. But, at times, officers who had previously been considered exemplary leaders surprised commanders by submitting requests for relief or resignation phrased in similar terms. One, from an officer whose commander disapproved the request "in view of the excellent record of this officer in his organization, and the spirit and thoroughness by which his duties are performed," began:
By my own admission, I can no longer willingly and cooperatively discharge the duties of an officer as I have done faithfully and cheerfully during more than two years of service in a commissioned status. A proper regard for the opinions of all concerned demands that with clarity and forthrightness I set forth the causes which do now propel this course of action.
a. I am unable to adjust myself to the handicap of being a Negro Officer in the United States Army. Realizing that minorities are always at odds for consideration commensurate with the privileges enjoyed by the greater number, I have tried earnestly to find this expected lack of  equality, and nothing more, in the relationships and situations around me here. Prolonged observation reveals that inconsistencies over and above a reasonable
amount are rampant. Sins of omission, sins  of commission, humiliations, insults-injustices, all, are mounted one upon another until one's zest is chilled and spirit broken..
b. In my opinion there is mutual distrust between the two groups of officers. As a result of this, it is my belief, nowhere is there wholehearted cooperation or unity of purpose. Prejudice has bred a counter prejudice so that now neither faction can nor will see without distortion. In garrison the situation is grave; in the field where one's life and success of mission are dependent upon that cooperation and unity, disastrous.
c. Being exposed to this atmosphere for so long a time, I have not remained unchanged; to deny this would be dishonest. For so long have I endured the frustration and mental torture of being ostracized from, discriminated against, discredited, that my resentment has become an insurmountable barrier against my sense of duty. Whereas I was once fired with ambition and zeal to do a necessary job willingly, I now find myself with the willingness no longer. Enthusiasm has given way to apathy; ambition, to a sense of futility . . . . Feeling as I do, a sense of fairness to myself, to those who command me, and most important, to those who must serve under me directs that I can but offer my resignation.

When this officer learned that his request had aroused indignation at battalion and regimental headquarters and that reclassification proceedings would be instituted instead, he tried to withdraw his resignation. The regimental commander, though admitting that he had previously thought him an excellent officer, proceeded to certify him a "failure" because of "1. Prejudice against white officers" and "2. Inability to adjust himself willingly and conscientiously cooperate with those in authority." Supporting statements, including those of the regimental and battalion commanders, indicated that though he was a willing officer performing in an excellent manner, it had been noticed that he had developed "a shiftiness" in his eyes and a tendency to "wincing" which indicated insolence, untrustworthiness, deceit, and distrust. Only the company commander continued to hold that this was an excellent officer, though he added that since the officer had admitted that he could no longer discharge his duties well, his services to the company would be unsatisfactory.
Most cases of reclassification were clear-cut. The officers concerned had deteriorated week by week and most knew that reclassification was being considered. Headquarters often reported that they were engaged in weeding out unsatisfactory officers. With white officers, recommendations might be made for retention in the service for duty anywhere except with Negro troops, but with Negro officers the recommendation was usually for separation from the service. Even then, while papers were forwarded and returned, officers awaiting reclassification remained in their units where others, to their own discomfiture and concern, soon learned of the scheduled event. White officers, in many instances, could be placed on detached or special duty in headquarters during this waiting period, with the result that Negro officers in some units felt that they alone bore the brunt of reclassifications.
The attempt to improve leadership by transferring and reclassifying unsatisfactory officers therefore became enmeshed in the same racial problem that ensnared officer leaders in other areas, particularly in promotions and assignments. The commander of a regiment with 150 officers, one hundred of them Negroes and fifty white, explained:
. . . The officer being reclassified, either white or colored, thinks he is getting a raw deal. This sentiment is largely shared by his friends and acquaintances. When four cases are pending at one time, as there are at present in this regiment, the reaction in morale amongst officers of the unit is particularly noticeable. Once the officers being reclassified depart the atmosphere will gradually clear and officer morale will get back on even keel .
. . . Where white and colored officers are mixed, particularly in companies, two psychological complexes are present, both equally false. Almost every white officer, no matter how mediocre he is in ability, feels that he is superior to the colored officer. In this connection it must be borne in mind that officers of company grade are young, and have not attained the tolerance and fair judgment towards other races which may be found in older and more experienced officers. The colored officer, no matter how capable, is quick to interpret any criticism, correction or punishment given by white officers as racial discrimination. The same is true when the colored officer does not obtain a promotion or assignment he desired. These two complexes create an abnormal situation peculiar not only to this regiment but to the

division as a whole. Almost without exception every assignment or promotion in company grades and sometimes field grades is believed by one or the other group to have an ulterior motive connected therewith.
The company commander, in particular, has a most difficult task to live in harmony with and maintain unity and efficiency amongst his officers, particularly if he has the courage to weed out the unfit. In some instances, rather than rate a junior officer "unsatisfactory" on his 66-i, commanders have given a "satisfactory" purely to avoid the charge of discrimination that invariably accompanies such an action. When questioned, the company commander admits that the officer has not been performing satisfactorily but he has hopes that the officer will improve. The undersigned has ordered reclassification proceedings to be initiated in many cases and has informed the officer in question that his reclassification was being directed, -all this to avoid criticism and charges of discrimination being directed at the battalion or company commander concerned.
Little was, or perhaps could, be done about these developing strains on leadership until matters had gone too far for correction by any other means. On the surface, intra-unit relations often appeared to be smooth, but the "undercurrent of racial antipathies, mistrusts and preconceived prejudices" in some units made an unhealthy situation from the beginning.110 Administrative and troop leadership talents of both Negro and white officers were often expended in the defense of real and imagined personal prerogatives which had little to do with leadership and nothing to do with a concerted military effort. Despite the efforts of higher commanders, the
development of leadership for troops who could use the very best available often bogged down in areas where it had no business pausing for the briefest halt.
Unending Quest
Leadership for Negro troops was thus lost in a welter by the physical necessity of assigning all white, all Negro, or both white and Negro officers to Negro units and by the policies governing these assignments. That all officers for Negro units would have to come into frequent contact with other officers, Negro and white, from nearby units under the same command or headquarters and that all officers assigned to Negro units would have to adjust to service with Negro enlisted men was axiomatic. But that all officers assigned to Negro units, as a first step in the development of their leadership potentialities when on duty with Negro troops, had to be able to accept with equanimity any and all of the problems and petty frictions which might arise out of these necessities was barely understood. When it was, obtaining the required paragons of interracial dexterity was difficult.
Leadership of the type normally associated with well-functioning units, though it did exist, was rarer among Negro units than elsewhere in the Army. With the rapid turnover of officers, the temperamental clashes between officers and troops, the friction between Negro and white officers, the frequent regular and special inspections from higher and adjacent headquarters, the constant striving for results apparently not to be forthcoming, and the lack of firm, positive leadership on the points at issue, this could hardly have been otherwise.

Leadership principles in many units were forgotten while officers pondered their own fates. Many white officers were filled with a feeling of defeat and discouragement over their own inglorious assignments to troops in whom they had no confidence and about whom their white associates, when they did not completely ignore their existence, were frankly sceptical. Many Negro officers were filled with resentment toward the social matrix in which they were caught and which confined them to subordinate positions where they felt that they were neither fully officers nor enlisted men but uniformed symbols, doomed to receive at best a grudging acceptance as officers from their superiors and only a token recognition as leaders from their subordinates. Neither group, as a whole, concentrated upon its major problem: the leadership of men.
The provision of leadership in Negro units became, therefore, as difficult a problem as any that the War Department faced in the employment of Negro troops. Men who had in sufficient measure General McNarney's prescribed "common sense" simply could not be found in quantities large enough to supply Negro units with the leaders whom they so desperately needed.


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