8. The European Command Directive
The European Command began on 1 April 1952 a phased program of racial integration for the Army elements under its jurisdiction. On that day the command released a letter of instructions to all major subordinate headquarters, including Seventh Army, the Communications Zone (COMZ), Berlin Command, the military posts, and the 32d AAA Brigade in England. The following policies were to govern the integration program:
a. Priority. Combat units were designated as the first to be integrated; service-type units and T/D organizations would follow as the program progressed. Complete integration of the combat units was scheduled to take from 6 months to 1 year, service units from 1 to 2 years.1
b. Maintenance of Operational Efficiency.The operational efficiency of the units in the command would have to be maintained during the phasing of the program. For this reason personnel transfers required under this program would be made without impairing unit efficiency. This consideration governed the planning and administrative details of implementing integration.
c. Procedures.Integration would be accomplished in two ways: first, by redesignating units and removing racial identifying symbols, at the same time transferring personnel from these units and replacing them with white personnel; secondly, by assigning replacements to units according to their MOS requirements, regardless of race or color. The
1. EUCOM ltr, 1 Apr 52, sub: Racial Integration of EUCOM Army Units. AG 300.2 GPA-AGO.
redesignation of Negro units and the transfer of white personnel into these units would be
accomplished only upon instruction of the European Command. Large-scale transfers of Negro soldiers to white units would require
similar approvals but the various subordinate commands could authorize individual transfers of Negroes to white units where better
use of manpower might result. The assignment of loss replacements from the replacement stream was to begin immediately so that the
subordinate commands could expect to receive Negro personnel for assignment into white service-type units and T/D organizations.
d. Negro Strength Ratio. Negroes in integrated combat units would initially constitute about 10 percent of unit strength. This figure was based on the experience in Korea, where integrated combat squads had been formed with at least 1 Negro per 10 men, although more might have been and had occasionally been absorbed without loss of combat efficiency. 3 This percentage could be exceeded in Europe to a reasonable degree in service and T/D units during the early phases of the program. Personnel would be integrated into existing organizations on an individual basis. No separate detachments, squads, platoons or companies would consist solely of Negro personnel.4
e. Public Information Aspects. The integration program was to proceed without advance-publicity. Newspaper or press requests for information concerning the program were to be handled by command headquarters. Since publication of an orientation lecture on the integration program by the TI&E Division would have extensively publicized the program, this feature of the original integration plan was not incorporated in the 1 April directive.5
9. Participation of Staff Divisions
The day after the release of the integration directive, General Handy directed all staff divisions of the command to participate in the program. Vacancies at headquarters were to be filled by assigning available, qualified Negro replacements of commissioned and enlisted rank. The Negro-white percentage within each staff division was to be equivalent to the command-wide ratios, provided that qualified replacements were available.6
3. See ORO Study, pp. 19-22.
4. EUCOM ltr, 1 Apr 52, cited above.
5. (1) Ibid. (2) IRS, EUCOM PID to EUCOM P&A Div, 4 Apr 52, sub: Questions by the Press on Racial Integration in Army Units, Incl 2. In USAREUR PID Integration file.
6. Stf Memo, 2 Apr 52. In USAREUR SGS 291.2 (1952).
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10. Seventh Army Procedure
The European Command authorized Seventh Army on 2 April 1952 to proceed with its integration plan of combat units. The time schedule contained in the Seventh Army plan, which was closely related to the European Command directive, was phased to permit completion of integration in 1 year if necessary, instead of the 6 months originally anticipated. By 9 April 1952 racial integration was initiated within elements of Seventh Army in both combat and service units. No Negro units would become surplus as a result of the program. The necessary changes would be effected by the transfer of personnel between white and Negro units and by the removal of racial identifying symbols where indicated.7
a. The Packet Plan. Inasmuch as the integration program was designed to eliminate the all-Negro unit as such without actually inactivating it, the chief method used was to transfer white personnel from similar all-white organizations into the Negro unit in compensation for the transfer of an equal number of Negro personnel. Though primary emphasis was placed on the integration of all-Negro units, the necessary and simultaneous corollary was the integration of white units as well. Within this framework, there emerged several methods by which integration was generally accomplished. Of these, the so-called packet plan was the most frequently used (Chart 1). Briefly, the plan worked as follows: Negro units scheduled for integration were directed to select 12 percent-the over-all Negro percentage of Seventh Army on 1 April 1952-of their authorized strength in each grade for retention. The unit commander was permitted to choose the MOS's he wanted to retain within this figure. He then notified the Seventh Army G1 Section of his selection by grade and MOS. The G1 Section compared the list of retained personnel with the T/O&E of the unit to determine what white manpower would have to be provided to bring the integrated unit up to 80 percent of authorized strength. The other 20 percent was later provided from the replacement stream in two or more monthly increments. "Short-timers" or nontransferables were excluded from these calculations. In this group were personnel with less than six months in the command as well as persons hospitalized, on leave, AWOL, awaiting court-martial trial, in confinement, in school, etc. Next, the Seventh Army G1 Section-later the AG Section-grouped the transferees, both Negro and white, into "packets" so as to provide each receiving unit with a fair cross section of available personnel with respect to grade, MOS, AGCT score, rotation date, physical profile, and disciplinary record. Selection of white troops was made without reference to the wishes of the unit, its commander, or the
7. (1) EUCOM ltr, 2 Apr 52, sub: Racial Integration of EUCOM Army Units. AG 300.2 GPA-AGO. (2) 1st Ind, Hq Seventh Army to CINCEUR, 9 Apr 52, same sub. AG 300.2 ASEGA-E.
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Click on Chart to View Full-Resolution Image
individual involved. However, only those with at least six more months of service in the command were
transferable. An alternate list of men was provided to replace nontransferable personnel. After all the packets were prepared, each
respective unit was notified of the date and time of the actual transfers. The time schedule that was followed permitted the
transfer of sufficient Negro personnel out of the reconstituted unit so as to make room for the bulk of the incoming white
b. The Internal Transfer Method. He the term suggests, the internal transfer method was the integration within a battalion, regiment, or division-size organization composed of Negro and white units without the necessity of transferring men into or out of the unit. Integration within the 2d Armored Division at the beginning of the program was largely carried out by the internal transfer method. The packet system was also employed at a later date when replacements within the division were not available. An armored engineer construction battalion within the division had one colored bridge construction company which was integrated into the battalion with little difficulty except for the problem of finding positions for some of the higher grade specialists. In any case no men were shipped either into or out of the battalion. Two other all-Negro tank and artillery battalions were almost completely integrated within the division. More accurately, the system was a combination of the packet and internal transfer meting. Each of the battalions was permitted to retain 12 percent of its men and was required to keep all nontransferables. Transferees were divided into packets on an impartial basis so that each unit would get its share of the good and the bad. The packets were then submitted to the Seventh Army AG Section, which selected the units in the division to which the packets of men would be transferred. Some of the men were to be transferred out of the division. After matching up as many MOS spaces as possible with personnel from within the division, the remaining vacancies had to be filled by requisitioning replacements from Seventh Army.9
11. The Procedure for Seventh Army Artillery Units
On 4 April 1952 Seventh Army Artillery headquarters received authority to racially integrate its units. On that date the Seventh Army artillery was composed of 60 field artillery units of which 7 were Negro, and 23 antiaircraft units of which 3 were Negro battalions. The over-all Seventh Army ratio of 12 percent of T/O&E strength wee established as the proportion of Negroes to be assigned to each unit upon the completion of integration. The units divided their personnel
8. (1) Interv, Capt R. A. Gugeler and Mr. R. Sher, USAREUR Hist Div, with WOJG Irving Sherman,
Asst AG, Seventh Army, 25 Nov 53. (2) Seventh Army Comd Rept, 1952, pp. 39-40.
9. Interv, Capt R. A. Gugeler, USAREUR Hist Div with Lt Col Voulton Miller, Seventh Army AG Div (formerly 2d Armd Div AG), 20 Nov 53.
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into groups according to factors involving grade, MOS, disciplinary record, etc. These groups were
subdivided and then reassembled as packets, each with a representative cross section. Packets of white personnel were exchanged for
like packets of Negro soldiers until all the artillery units contained some 12 percent of colored personnel. In order to maintain
the operational readiness of the Seventh Army artillery the integration program was completed in two phases: from 10 April to 10
June 1952 and from 13 to 15 October of the same year.10
12. Inclusion of Technical Services
a. Request for Plans. On 21 May 1952 the technical service chiefs were instructed to submit plans for implementing racial integration in the units under their respective commands. To be included in such plans were the following data: the order or sequence of the integration of each unit; a time schedule showing the target dates for beginning integration by initiating personnel transfers, and the tentative completion dates; the unit or units to be used to absorb Negro personnel transferred from former all-Negro units; the sources of replacements for Negroes transferred from colored units; the number of personnel, by unit, to be reported for reassignment out of the command. Negro technical service units in COMZ were to be included in the calculations. For example, the Engineer Division would coordinate with COMZ headquarters to include the 597th Engineer Construction Battalion and fire fighting platoons in COMZ in the plans for integrating the EUCOM Negro engineer construction battalions. Plans for the Ordnance and Engineer Divisions were to be submitted by 15 June, with integration to begin by 1 August 1952. The Quartermaster and Signal Divisions were to turn in their plans by 1 August and begin personnel transfers by 1 October, while the Transportation Division had 1 August as due date for planning and 1 November as starting date for integration. 11
b. Governing Policies. The policies governing the integration of Negro technical service units specified that at least 60 percent of the personnel of each unit would be transferred to white units. Then a single increment of white personnel would be furnished as replacements to bring the unit to at least 90 percent of authorized strength. The remaining Negro personnel to be transferred would be replaced by white soldiers until the proportion of Negro to white personnel met 18 percent of the unit's strength. This percentage could be exceeded to a reasonable degree during the initial phase of the program in order to retain in their duty station all individuals who were due for redeployment within a few months. Ultimately, the Negro percentage in service units would be about the same as the command average. The various technical services were
10. Seventh Army Arty Comd Rept, 1952. In USAREUR Hist Div file.
11. EUCOM ltr, to Chiefs, EUCOM Engr, Ord, Sig, QM, and Trans Divs, 21 May 52, sub: Racial Integration of EUCOM Army Units. AD 300.2 GPA-AGO.
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authorized to communicate with each other or with commanders of posts in which service units were
stationed in order to effect the personnel transfers required under the integration program. Such transfers, if mutually agreed
upon, were authorized without further reference to European Command headquarters. The command encouraged local transfers
particularly where the result meant improved use of personnel and economy in transportation by eliminating or curtailing the
movement of dependents.12 The various plans of the technical services, submitted during the summer of 1952, were approved
by EUCOM/USAREUR headquarters within the limits described. The late summer and fall generally saw the beginning of integration in
Negro service units in the command.l3
13. Transfers from Replacement Depot
Ordinarily, to complete the last phase of the integration of a particular unit and bring that unit up or down to the prescribed racial ratios, requisitions for the needed personnel would be made upon the replacement depot. The Negro personnel required to integrate the all-white units in the United Kingdom and in the Berlin Command were largely requisitioned from the 307th Replacement Depot at Zweibruecken. On 21 April 1952, 270 Negro infantrymen and 171 Negro artillerymen from Seventh Army units were processed through the 307th Replacement Depot for transfer to the 6th Infantry Regiment in Berlin and the 32d Antiaircraft Artillery Brigade in England, respectively. The grade spread in each group was across the board, that is, with about two-thirds of each group in grades below E-4. The MOS qualifications were those needed to fill current vacancies in the receiving units. The men sent to Berlin were bachelors; those transferred to England had no dependents in the command, en route thereto, or subject to early port call. All men had at least six more months of service in the command. Upon receipt of these men, the 6th Infantry Regiment had approximately 80 percent of its ultimate Negro strength; the 32d AAA Brigade about 70 percent.14
13. (1) Ltr., EUCOM Actg Chief Engr to CINCEUR, 14 Jun 52, sub: Racial Integration of EUCOM Army Units. (2) Ltr, USAREUR COMZ to CINCUSAREUR, 14 Aug 52, sub: Racial Integration of USAREUR Army Units. AG 300.2 PA. (3) Ltr, USAREUR COMZ to CINCUSAREUR, 3 Sep 52, same sub, Incl 1, sub: Plan for Integration of Transportation Corps Units. AG 300.2 PA. All three in USAREUR G1 Mil Pers Br file on Integration. Items 34, 52a, and 68, respectively. (4) Paper for Gen Hull Briefing, May 52, sub: Racial Integration of EUCOM Army Units. In USAREUR SGS 337 (1952), Vol. I, Item 9.
14. Memo, Dir EUCOM P&A Div to CINCEUR, 10 Apr 52, sub: Scheduled Racial Integration in England and Berlin. In USAREUR SGS 291.2 (1953), Item 7.
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14. Integration and the Mandatory Education ProgramWith the purpose
of raising the academic level and thereby the efficiency of its personnel, USAREUR had made mandatory the instruction of white
personnel with less than fifth grade education and Negro personnel with less than eighth grade education. Since such instruction was
carried on at unit level schools, the system in effect was a segregated one. With the advent of integration, however, and the
elimination of all-Negro units as such, an adjustment in the operation of the education program became necessary. Integration had
scarcely been under way, therefore, when proposals for the modification of the Negro educational program were submitted.l5
According to these suggestions the special education program requiring eighth grade completion would be continued for units
that were all-Negro prior to integration. As the integration of Negro units progressed, the special education program would be
gradually phased out and eventually discontinued. Secondly, upon the integration of Negro troops into white units, the educational
requirements would be reduced from eighth to fifth grade completion so as to conform to the requirements for white personnel. And
finally the current program of fifth grade completion for white troops would be continued. Admittedly these proposals would have the
effect of depressing the educational level of Negro soldiers as integration moved along, but common educational programming for both
white and colored personnel was such an important step that the disadvantage mentioned was outweighed in final consideration.
Concurrence for the revision of educational policy was obtained within the week with the one stipulation that the terms "white" or
"Negro" be avoided by stating that mandatory education up to fifth grade was the same for "all personnel."l6
15. A Question of Proportion
a. Overages and Shortages. The original plan for integration in Europe called for maintaining a 10 percent ratio of Negroes to white personnel in combat units. Eventually, the planners had hoped there would be an even distribution of personnel so that Negro strength in the combat and service units would approximate the Command average (see Appendix A). The progress of the integration program led to the frustration rather than the fulfillment of this hope. Paradoxically, the command suffered simultaneously from overage and shortage. Whereas the actual strength of Negro personnel in the command in April 1952 exceeded authorized strength by about 3,000, a shortage of qualified Negroes existed in certain MOS's required to complete integration of formerly all-white units. There simply were not enough specialized
15. IRS, Dir EUCOM OPOT Div to EUCOM COFS, 18 Apr 52, sub: Mandatory Educational Training. In
USAREUR SGS 352 (1952), Vol. I, Item 1B-la atchd.
16. C/N 2, EUCOM DCOFS Opns Dir EUCOM OPOT Div, 23 Apr 52, same sub, to IRS cited above.
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Negro personnel to fill the slots vacated by white soldiers in the process of integration. Serious
overages of colored soldiers assigned to transportation, signal, and engineering units had been expected, because most former
all-Negro units were concentrated in these technical services. In May 1952 the overstrength in colored personnel in such specialties
as construction engineer, wire communications and maintenance, and motor transportation was estimated at 100 percent. A smaller
surplus existed in the antiaircraft artillery, artillery, and ordnance fields. Some of these personnel were assigned to combat or
different service-type units, leading to the loss of time and money expended on previous training. Moreover, numbers of
inexperienced and unqualified personnel were thus unloaded onto newly integrated units. The resulting temporary loss of efficiency
in such formerly white units was to become the focal point of criticism of the integration program.17
b. Replacements. A general command-wide shortage of enlisted personnel had been anticipated for late 1952 and the spring of 1953. Complicating this picture was the continued arrival in Europe of more Negro replacements than had been requisitioned. Since there was already an overage of Negroes in the command, and since the shortage of enlisted men was expected to be largely among white personnel, the effect would be to increase the over-all Negro percentage in the command and, more seriously, to create abnormally high percentages of Negroes in individual integrated units. From the viewpoint of operational efficiency this situation was deemed undesirable.l8 The percentage of Negro enlisted personnel in the command on 31 March 1952 was 14.0 percent of total enlisted strength. This figure reached a high in November 1952 of 15.5 percent; in April 1953 it reached 16.1 percent; a 16.3 percent high in 1953 was reached in May and June 1953 after which there was a slow decline to 13.7 percent attained in June 1954.19 More significant percentages developed in integrated units. For instance, several corps artillery units had been integrated at 10 percent strength in the summer of 1952 and by August the proportion of Negroes had grown from 15 to 26 percent through the loss of white personnel and the assignment of additional Negroes from the replacement stream. The Department of the army had already promised USAREUR relief by restricting allocations
17. (I) Interv, Capt R. A. Gugeler and Mr. R. Sher, USAREUR Hist Div, with WOJG I. Sherman,
Seventh Army Asst AG, 25 Nov 53. (2) Ltr, Brig Gen John B. Murphy, Dir EUCOM P&A Div, to Col Alexander G. Stone, DA G1 Proc & Distr
Div, 7 May 52, no sub. In USAREUR G1 Reading File No. 21, May 52. (3) Paper for Briefing of Gen John E. Hull, VCOFSA, May 52, sub:
Training of Negroes in all MOS's. In USAREUR SGS 337 (1952), Vol. I, Item 9.
18. Ltr, CINCEUR to COFSA, 30 Jun 52, no sub. In USAREUR SGS 320.2 (1952), Vol. I, Item 29A atchd.
19. EUCOM/USAREUR Mthly Stat Repts, 31 Mar 52 to 30 Jun 54.
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of Negroes to 10 percent until the world-wide average (11.8 percent) of Negroes in the Army had been reached. Since this would afford only temporary relief, Headquarters, USAREUR, in August 1952 proposed that the Department of the Army suspend the allocation of Negro replacements to Europe. This proposal was made, even at the risk of a later over-all understrength, as an effort to reduce the 4,000-man Negro overstrength. Not only had Negro gains exceeded losses-a typical month was August 1952 during which losses numbered 663 Negroes and gains 1,333-but monthly allocations of Caucasians to Europe had generally been short-shippod while, of course, Negro allocations had been filled.20 The problem of the allocation of replacements was illustrated by the following figures:21
*Puerto Ricans were classified as Caucasians, but many were actually Negroes.
c. Assignment of Nonintegrated Negro Units. Another factor which tended to maintain the high Negro percentage in the European Theater and, hence, hampered the progress of the integration program was the assignment of nonintegrated colored units without advance notice. Department of the Army policy had deliberately refrained from making any special indication of race in the communications pertaining to unit assignments inasmuch as such information was already available in the General Reserve Troop Basis. The considerable overage of Negro personnel in some technical service units required the command to be extremely cautious in accepting units with large percentages of Negroes. The arrival of an integrated unit with a high percentage of colored troops had nearly the same adverse affect on the over-all program as that of an all-Negro unit. In September 1952 USAREUR requested the Department of the Army to send no more all-Negro units of any type and to announce the racial percentages of those units scheduled for transfer to USAREUR which were not all white. Little could be done about the disproportionately large Negro strengths in the Army. Nevertheless, USAREUR was promised that no all-Negro units would be sent without prior agreement.
20. Ltr, Brig Gen John B. Murphy, Dir EUCOM P&A Div, to Col J. D. Moss, Off of ACOFSA G1, 13 Aug
52. In USAREUR G1 Reading File No. 27A, Aug 52.
21. Ltr, Dir USAREUR P&A Div to Off of ACOFSA G1, 8 Sep 52. In USAREUR G1 Reading File No. 29, Sep 52.
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Moreover, the Army promised to give advance notice of the percentages of units assigned to Europe.
22 Experiencing the same percentage problem as USAREUR in implementing integration, the USAREUR Communications Zone
requested the assignment of Caucasian replacements to reduce Negro enlisted strength from 25 to the authorized 18 percent. However,
this was impossible for the same reason that USAREUR's requests for reduced Negro allocations could not be honored by the Department
of the Army. Caught between two fires, USAREUR could not assist COMZ except for informing it in advance of the number of enlisted
replacements scheduled for transfer each month and their approximate racial composition.23
d. Negro Reenlistment. The high rates of reenlistment and extensions of colored personnel in the command also tended to maintain the high percentage level of Negro personnel in USAREUR units. The experience of one unit (169th Infantry Regiment, 43d Division) indicated that since November 1952, at least, the percentage increase of Negro enlisted men had not been caused by the arrival of an excessive number of colored replacements, but rather by a greater proportion of Negro reenlistments and extensions. Since Negro enlisted replacements were mostly long-term enlistees in the Regular Army and Caucasian replacements were mostly draftees, it followed that gradual decreases in total assigned strength to the command would increase the percentage of Negro personnel.24
16. Percentage Adjustments
a. Army Limitations. The average proportion of Negro personnel in combat units in USAREUR was originally set at 10 to 12 percent, and that in service units at 18 percent. These percentages were exceeded in many instances because of the shortage of whites and overstrengths of Negroes. Despite several requests of USAREUR personnel officials to reduce or shut off the Negro replacement stream, the Department of the Army found itself unable to influence any of the factors that formed
22. (1) Ltr, Dep ACOFSA G3 to USAREUR COFS, no sub, 12 Sep 52. (2) Ltr, USAREUR COFS to Dep ACOFSA
G3, no sub, 29 Sep 52. (3) Ltr, Dep ACOFSA G3 to USAREUR COFS, no sub, 9 Oct 52. All in USAREUR SGS 291.2 (1952), Item 39A and
23. (1) Ltr, USAREUR COMZ to CINCUSAREUR, 8 Oct 52, sub: Racial Integration of USAREUR Army units. AG 300 PA. (2) 1st Ind, CINCUSAREUR to CG USAREUR COMZ, 22 Oct 52, same sub. Both in USAREUR G1 Mil Pers Br Integration file, Item 85.
24. (1) Ltr, Dir EUCOM P&1 Div to Off of ACOFSA G1, 13 Aug 52, no sub. In USAREUR G1 Reading File #27A, Aug 52. (2) Memo, USAREUR ACOFS G1 to USAREUR COFS, 2 Feb 53, sub: Enlisted Personnel Strengths of USAREUR Infantry Units, Tab B, 29 Jan 53, sub: Status of Integration. In USAREUR SGS 320.2 (1953), Vol. I, Item 9A atchd.
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the basis of its computations and led to the continued shipment of Negroes to the command in Europe.
The number of Negroes inducted by selective service and the high reenlistment rate of this type of personnel had produced the same
Negro overstrength problem in the United States they had in USAREUR. Among other things one training division complained of having
received 19 percent Negroes in its replacement stream. With the United States at maximum percentage level and with the Far East
Command deemed an inappropriate area to rates Negro percentages, the only way to decrease Negro transfers to Europe was to decrease
the over-all allocation since there were not enough white personnel to substitute for surplus Negroes. An alternative to cutting
Negro allocations to Europe would be the direct redeployment of surplus Negro personnel before the completion of their foreign
service tours.25 The Department of the Army was opposed to this suggestion. The surplus, therefore, had to be reduced
through normal attrition because the methods of reclassification and reassignment had been unable to efficiently reconcile the
overage and shortage difficulty.26
In September 1952 General Collins reaffirmed the Army policy of maintaining a 10 percent ratio of Negroes to Caucasians in integrated infantry units. In an attempt to meet both this requirement and that of proceeding with integration in the service units as originally directed in the face of existing Negro surpluses and white skilled MOS shortages, USAREUR determined what distribution of Negro strength ought to be made. In November 1952, CINCUSAREUR informed the U.S. Army Chief of Staff that it had been found advisable to adopt the following racial ceilings as distribution goals.27
The 12 percent figure for the infantry units exceeded the 10 percent determined by Washington because of the large numbers of Negro combat trained personnel already in the command or expected as replacements. If
25. Ltr, Col J. D. Moss, Off of ACOFSA G1, to Brig Gen J. B. Murphy, Dir USAREUR P&A Div, 27 Aug
52, no sub. In USAREUR G1 Reading File No. 29, Sep 52.
26. IRS, USAREUR P&A Div MPB to USAREUR CONS, 25 Nov 52, sub: Racial Integration of Enlisted Personnel in USAREUR Units. In USAREUR SGS 291.2 (1952), Vol. I, Item 40A.
27. Ltr, Gen Manton B. Eddy, CINCUSAREUR, to Gen J. Lawton Collins, COFSA, 26 Nov 52, sub: Racial Integration of Enlisted Personnel in USAREUR Units. In USAREUR SGS 291.2 (1952), Vol. I, Item 40A atchd.
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and when the Negro percentage in USAREUR declined to the Army-wide average, the ceiling percentages
would be adjusted to meet the new and anticipated strength.
b. Reenlistment Restrictions. In the meantime, partly to increase attritional losses but mostly to assure the success of the integration program, USAREUR planned to withhold the privilege of reenlistment from individuals, without regard to race or color, whose conduct had been prejudicial to the integration program in a disciplinary sense, or those who had discredited the U.S. Army in the eyes of the European public through their personal or official misconduct.28 This action was intended for men with histories of chronic misconduct of a minor nature but those offenses were not quite serious enough to be dealt with by established disciplinary methods. Ordinarily, upon completing their tour and after returning to the United States, such individuals could reenlist and volunteer for another tour in USAREUR. The Department of the Army would have to prevent the return of these undesirables to Europe. In February 1953 USAREUR began to bar reenlistment of these so-called substandard personnel, of which a large proportion was Negro.29
c. New Percentages Authorized. Concerning percentage distribution, in January 1953 the Department of the Army authorized an increase in the proportion of Negro personnel in infantry regiments in USAREUR to not more than 12 percent. Since Negroes transferred to Europe would still continue to vary in number and skill, the proportion of Negroes in other than infantry units would have to be based on actual Negro strength figures rather than on fixed percentages.30 Several days later, USAREUR instructed its subordinate commands that the maximum initial Negro percentage of a unit being integrated was not to exceed 25 percent of authorized strength. Maximum percentage goals of 12 percent for armor and infantry, 15 percent for combat engineers and artillery, and 17.5 percent for all other units would have to be observed. Integration might exceed these figures only to avoid the transfer of personnel scheduled for early rotation. Integration could not be undertaken unless attritional losses for 60 days reduced Negro percentages to the figures cited.31
29. (1) Ibid. (2) USAREUR Wkly Dir 8, 20 Feb 53, Sec. XV.
30. Ltr, ACOFSA G1 to CINCUSAREUR, 16 Jan 53, sub: Racial Integration of Enlisted Personnel in USAREUR Units. In USAREUR SGS 291.2 (1953), Vol. I.
31. USAREUR ltrs, to CG Seventh Army, CG USAREUR COMZ, USCOB, CO 32d AAA Brig, and Comdrs all other elements, 19-22 Jan 53, sub: Racial Integration of USAREUR Units. In USAREUR AG Rods 291.2 (1953), Vol I.
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d. Relaxation of Restrictions. When, despite these efforts to keep the racial proportions within check, the Negro percentages still continued to climb and threatened to halt the integration program, CINCUSAREUR requested further departmental assistance. By May 1953 the overall average of Negroes in USAREUR had reached 16 percent and the enforcement of the 12 percent ceiling for infantry units resulted in extremely high percentages for the technical service units. The transportation units, for instance, averaged 48.8 percent Negro. The replacement stream continued to contain a heavy percentage of infantry-trained Negro personnel. If this situation continued, USAREUR would be forced into the untenable position of having to reclassify combat MOS replacements into noncombat assignments purely on the basis of race. To avoid this, therefore, combat MOS replacements would continue to be sent to Seventh Army units with less regard for racial proportions but still endeavoring to follow in principle the original Army purpose as to percentages in combat units. For the time being all Negro percentage restrictions applying to USAREUR units would have to be lifted. Since the over-all ratio of Negroes had exceeded and would continue to exceed original estimates, the optimum use of such personnel would have to be left to the command. Temporarily, at least, it was deemed more desirable to increase the Negro percentage in the combat arms than resort to wasting badly needed infantry-trained replacements. Army Chief of Staff approval for this procedure followed shortly in June. The Department of the Army had regarded the 10 to 12 percent figure for all combat units as the most acceptable, but recognized the undesirability of limiting the Negro proportion of personnel trained in any MOS.32 Within a month Seventh Army had instructions from USAREUR headquarters to disregard until further notice the percentage restrictions on the assignment of Negro enlisted personnel. The 12, 15, and 17.5 percent figures were thenceforth to be considered as guides only. Personnel assignments would continue to be made primarily on the basis of command requirements and individual skills. However, even though the percentages indicated might have to be exceeded, they were to be adhered to as much as possible.33 For the rest of the year and partly into 1954 the percentage picture remained the same. In summing up command policy with regard to integration, CINCUSAREUR wrote, "I cannot permit the assignment of large numbers of unqualified personnel, regardless of race, to prejudice the operational readiness of our units in an effort to attain 100 percent racial integration, however desirable that goal may be."34
32. (1) Ltr, Lt Gen Charles L. Bolte, CINCUSAREUR, to Gen J. Lawton Collins, COFSA, 25 May 1953,
no sub. (2) Ltr, Gen J. E. Hull, VCOFSA, to Lt Gen C. L. Bolte, CINCUSAREUR, 18 Jun 53, no sub. Both in USAREUR SGS 291.2 (1953),
33. Ltr, Hq USAREUR to CG Seventh Army, 8 Jul 53, subs Racial Integration of USAREUR Units. In USAREUR AD Rods 291.2 (1953), Vol. I.
34. Ltr, Lt Gen Charles L. Bolte, CINCUSAREUR, to Gen Matthew B. Ridgway, SACEUR, 10 Apr 53, no sub. In USAREUR SGS 291.2 (1953), Vol. I.
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17. The Case of the 547th Engineer Combat Battalion
The following step-by-step account of the integration of the 547th Engineer Combat Battalion illustrates the mechanics of the packet plan as well as the complexities of the percentage problem.35
Step 1: On 6 October 1953 Seventh Army decided to integrate the 547th. The proposed date of integration was 9 November 1953, the day on which the transfer of Race II (Negro) personnel from the unit was to occur; on 10 November Race I (white) personnel were to be transferred to the 547th. The unit was to retain 122 Race II soldiers while 366 Race I's were to be transferred to the 547th from fourteen other previously integrated engineer combat battalions. The total of 488 represented the 80 percent of the battalion's authorized strength. Race I personnel were to be chosen from machine records unit personnel rosters by Seventh Army headquarters. For the key personnel selected from different engineer combat battalions an alternate listing would be made when available. Remaining Race I personnel were to be furnished through normal replacement channels after the integration date. Attached to the disposition form was a chart showing the units and number of personnel to be received into the integrated unit.
Step 2: Seventh Army notified USAREUR headquarters in October of impending integration. Such notice was generally given about one month before the integration date.
Step 3: In the middle of October the Seventh Army AG sent a letter to the commanding officer of the 547th apprising him of the impending integration of his unit. He was directed to select for retention key personnel according to grade and MOS and representing 19 percent of the T/O&E strength in Headquarters and Service Companies and Companies A, B, and C. He was also to determine the nontransferables.
Step 4: After making his selection, the battalion commander transmitted to the Seventh Army AG his unit personnel rosters, including the Army serial numbers, ranks, and MOS's of the men retained in the unit.
Step 5: The Seventh Army AG Section then searched among 14 other integrated combat engineer battalions to find sufficient white personnel to fill the vacant spares of the 547th and to determine how many additional Negroes these battalions could absorb (Chart 2). Having chosen August 1953 as the basis for its computations' the AG Section discovered that only 5 of the battalions could absorb any of the
35. Information in this paragraph is based upon (1) Interv, Mr. R. Sher, USAREUR Hist Div, with WOJG I. Sherman, Asst AG, Seventh Army, 10 Dec 53, and (2) various materials in Hq Seventh Army AG file ASEAG-PC AG 220.3.
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Negroes at the authorized 17 percent ratio. Moreover, the total number these units could absorb
amounted to only 42, far short of the more than 300 men who had to be transferred from the 547th. If the Negro proportion was
allowed to rise to 19.5 percent, then 229 Negroes could be transferred, which was still unsatisfactory. Consequently, the AG Section
included in its calculations the 6-month attritional losses from August 1953 through January 1954. By including this attrition
factor, 219 colored personnel could be absorbed at 17 percent or 403 at 19.5 percent. The former was too small, the latter too
large. To arrive at the needed figure of more than 300 spaces, the AG Section had the choice of adjusting the percentage or the
attrition factor. It was therefore decided to fix the Negro proportion at 19.5 percent of total strength with an attrition factor of
5 months, i.e., through December 1953 instead of January 1954. Even this result produced an overage of Negroes in each of the
battalions so that Seventh Army temporarily restrained the replacement depot from assigning additional Negroes to these 14 units.
Step 6: On 22 October another Seventh Army letter to the 547th Engineer Combat Battalion designated 25 packets of Race II (Negro) men to be transferred from the 547th to 25 different units. The packets ranged in size from 1 individual to 53 men in a single packet. The number of packets involved in this case was admittedly large, but was due to the relatively late date at which this battalion was integrated. At that time no all-white engineer battalions were left in Germany to absorb large packets of Negro personnel. Earlier in the integration program an average of three white units was required to absorb the excess Race II personnel from a former all-Negro unit.
Step 7: On 23 October 1953 the Seventh Army AG sent a letter to each of the 14 engineer battalions designating 14 packets of white men to be transferred to the 547th Engineer Combat Battalion. Attached were lists of two groups of enlisted personnel comprising cross sections of each unit by grade and MOS, selected from unit personnel rosters. Each unit was ordered to transfer the men listed in Group I to the 547th Engineer Combat Battalion. In the event an enlisted man named in Group I was not transferable, the first named alternate in Group II with corresponding grade and MOS, would be substituted. Individuals in Group I could be retained only for cogent military reasons. The desires of a unit commander or the presence of dependents in the command did not fall under this category of cogency. The date of transfer was specified for each unit along with the number of Negroes to be transferred from the 547th to each respective unit.
Step 8: The actual transfers and exchanges of personnel took plane on 9 and 10 November 1953.
Step 9: To complete the racial integration of the battalion, Seventh Army had previously ordered-on 27 October-the 307th Replacement Depot to transfer 120 Race I (white) personnel. The depot also received a list of the required MOS codes and grades, which would bring the unit up to the specified 80 percent of T/O&E upon the completion of integration.
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Step 10: Reports of the action taken by all units involved in this case were submitted by 15 November. These reports showed the substitutions, and the reasons therefor, made from Group I to Group II alternates as well as the final listing of actual transferees.
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