Chapter IX
Units: Men And Training
Housing, camp sites, units, and officers were all prior necessities to the main task in the mobilization of Negro manpower: the induction and training of soldiers for employment in war. Private soldiers and noncommissioned officers were the final key to that employment. Upon their capabilities, qualifications, and adaptability depended, in the last analysis, the performance of the units, the effectiveness of the leadership of their commissioned and noncommissioned officers, and the effectiveness of the training facilities provided by the Army.
Army planners had counted on advances between wars in the civilian training and experience of Negroes to make feasible the provision of a greater number of types of Negro units than those activated in the first months of mobilization. But differences in Selective Service rejection rates, in Army test scores, and in the training progress of Negroes as a whole when compared with whites as a whole soon revealed a general lag between Negro registrants of draft age and the rest of the country. To construct and employ, on the same master plan, separate but parallel units in all arms and services with one of the two parallel groups of units recruited entirely from a relatively unprepared portion of the population barely susceptible to the selection and classification procedures applied to the rest of the Army was a difficult task at best. This task was made more difficult not only by the selection and employment policies of the Army, but also by widespread variations and deficiencies within the Negro population. These variations and deficiencies began to show up early. They created problems in the employment of Negro manpower both early and late.
Standards and Inductions
In World War II, Negroes were accepted for military service at a consistently and continuously lower rate than whites. As of 30 September 1941, when the number of Negroes classified in the immediately available class (I-A) by Selective Service was 13.1 percent of the total in that class, and therefore higher than the approximately 10.7 percent proportion of Negroes among those registered, the number of Negroes in Class IV-F (rejected by Selective Service) showed an even greater disproportion. Of men rejected as a result of physical examination, 12 percent were Negroes; of men rejected for obvious physical or mental disabilities without physical examination, 15.8 percent were Negroes; and of men rejected because of any other reason without physical examination, including failure to meet

minimum educational requirements, 35.6 percent were Negroes.1 Of the registrants classified between 15 May and 15 September 1941, 1.1 percent of the whites, or 60,00l were deferred for educational deficiency, while 12.3 percent of the Negroes, or 83,466 were so deferred.2 By the end of 1943, of all white men examined at induction stations, 30.3 percent had been rejected, but of all Negro men examined 46 percent had been rejected. During 1943, over half of the Negroes examined at induction stations (432,086 out of 814,604) were rejected as compared with 33-2 percent of the whites examined.3 The number of Negroes classified for limited service only was also excessive in comparison with the number of whites so classified.4 The higher proportion of Negroes available in IA in the earlier months of mobilization reflected the smaller numbers of men deferred in essential categories rather than a higher percentage of physically and mentally fit men.
Of the Negroes rejected, the largest numbers fell into two classes: venereal disease cases and the educationally deficient.5 Of the two, educational deficiency was by far the more important manpower problem, since facilities for relatively rapid treatment of venereal diseases were known. Once cured, the venereals ceased to be a problem, except in cases of reinfection after induction where duty time was lost. Moreover, after March 1943, when facilities for rapid cures became generally available, most venereals became eligible for induction. But the cure for educational deficiency, while also known, was a long, slow, corrective process whose end result could not be predicted. The best that could be expected in a short period of time was to raise men to a "functionally literate" level. This, of course, was "education" in a highly limited sense.
The Army itself was not directly concerned with rejected Negroes. Since they were not subject to Army training, they became part of the problem of over-all use of national manpower as surveyed and controlled by the War Manpower Commission. But the state of affairs symbolized by the high rejection rates of Negroes was, nevertheless, of the greatest significance to the military use of Negro manpower. It meant that, in manpower calculations, the number of Negroes in the age group eligible for service who could meet initial Army standards fell short of expectations. Therefore the ability of the Negro population to share fully in the defense of the nation was limited from the beginning by disadvantages to which Negroes were subject in their civilian lives.6 It meant, further, that of those Negroes inducted into the Army, a large proportion would be men who barely crossed the line of acceptability by Army standards. For the same circumstances which caused so large a number of rejections left a large group of men who barely met the minimum in-

duction requirements. This heavy weighting of Negro personnel toward the lower end of the acceptable scale became apparent in the first year of mobilization. As induction standards changed, the problem posed by the qualifications of Negro inductees was intensified. Each change in standards meant subsequent administrative changes for the reception and absorption of Negro soldiers.
During the first few months of mobilization, no definite mental or educational standards for induction were prescribed. Mobilization Regulations merely required that no registrant who had previously been discharged from the Regular Army, Navy, or Marine Corps because of inaptness or who could not "understand simple orders given in the English language" would be inducted .7
In the spring of 1941 the Personnel Division urged that standards be raised to reduce the numbers who could not readily absorb instruction so that more of the nation's men of higher abilities could receive the benefits of a year's training. G-1 was aware that the largest reduction of low grade men resulting from any upward revision of standards would come in the Fourth and Eighth-the Southern-Corps Areas and that a new standard would serve to reduce the numbers of Negroes eligible for the Army. Such a reduction was not considered too serious, since as yet neither housing nor units in sufficient numbers were available for Negroes. Nevertheless, a "hostile public reaction" might come from the South. G-1 therefore suggested that any test applied be a simple one which local boards could give. Accordingly, beginning 15 May 1941, the ability to read, write, and compute "as commonly prescribed in the fourth grade in grammar school" became the standard for induction. Those men who had not completed the fourth grade were eligible for induction only upon passing the Minimum Literacy Test prescribed by the War Department.8 This standard remained in effect until 1 August 1942, when the Army began to accept illiterates in numbers not to exceed 10 percent of all white and 10 percent of all Negro registrants accepted in any one day.9
Classification Tests
Once inducted, the selectee received additional tests and classification interviews at reception centers. The chief test on which classification was based was the Army General Classification Test (AGCT). This test, given generally from March 1941 on, had been devised to help the Army sort soldiers according to their ability to learn. It was designed to separate the fast learners from the slow.10

The AGC test contained three kinds of tasks: first, "verbal items of increasing difficulty, sampling the person's grasp of the meaning of words and their differences; second, items involving solution of arithmetical problems and mathematical computations; third, items requiring ability to visualize and think about relationships of things in space." 11 It attempted to measure the effects of at least four elements influencing the rate of learning: (1) native capacity, (2) schooling and educational opportunities, (3) socioeconomic status, and (4) cultural background. 12 That it measured native intelligence alone or completely, Dr. Walter V. Bingham, Chief Psychologist of the Classification and Replacement Branch of The Adjutant General's Office, denied:
It does not measure merely inherent mental capacity. Performance in such a test reflects very definitely the educational opportunities the individual has had and the way in which these opportunities have been grasped and utilized. Educational opportunities do not mean schools merely. Learning goes on about the home, on the playground, at work, when one reads a newspaper, listens to a radio, or sees a movie. There is nothing in the title of the Army test that says anything about native intelligence. It is a classification test. Its purpose is to classify soldiers into categories according to how ready they are to pick up soldiering how likely they are to learn easily the facts, skills, and techniques necessary for carrying out Army duties.13
In three of the elements whose effects were measured, Negroes as a whole entered the Army with grave deficiencies. School facilities for Negro inductees had been measured and found to be inadequate by general standards.14 The effect of playgrounds, newspapers, radios, and motion pictures as a part of their learning process could only be estimated, but it was known that in many communities with large Negro populations one or more of these influences upon learning was missing from the backgrounds of most Negro inductees. The socioeconomic status of Negroes the country over was generally lower than that of the rest of the population, and the general cultural background of Negroes was lower still. Native capacity, unexercised and untried, had also faced many impediments to development in civilian life.
The Army was not primarily interested in native capacity or in cultural background but in the working ability that the inductee had attained and in the promise of future development in a short time which that level of ability indicated. On the AGCT, the most rapid learners-those making scores of 130 or above-were ranked at the top in Grade I and the slowest learners-those making scores of 69 or below-were placed in Grade V. With 100 as the average, the AGCT was designed to obtain scores that would reflect a normal distribution curve, as follows: Grade I, 7 percent; Grade II, 24 percent; Grade 111, 38 percent; Grade IV, 24 percent; and Grade V, 7 percent.
These grades had broad and general usefulness to classification and assignment. Grades I, II, and III were ex-

pected to produce leadership for the Army, with officer candidates coming wholly from Grades I and II-from men with scores of 110 and over. Grades I, II, and III were also expected to furnish the Army's enlisted specialists and technicians. The lower grades could be expected to produce only semiskilled soldiers and laborers.
Seldom did a given unit's distribution work out in the expected ratios. But the average unit and the Army as a whole were not too far from the predicted figures. On the other hand Negro inductees, out of whom units of all types were to be constructed, fell almost wholly in the two lowest classes. From the beginning, therefore, the tests had special significance in the organization and training of Negro units.
While Negroes generally ranked lower on the AGCT than whites, Negroes and whites of comparable backgrounds made comparable scores. High scorers among Negroes learned as rapidly as high scorers among whites, provided that motivation, surroundings, and instruction were of the same quality. That there were fewer Negroes with average backgrounds measured in terms of educational and vocational experiences was not the fault of the tests. That there would be fewer high scorers among Negroes per hundred than among whites was expected. How great a disparity existed was fully demonstrated after the first months of testing. (Table 5)
In addition to the General Classification Test the Army also gave newly inducted men a Mechanical Aptitude Test. While both Negroes and whites, in general, scored lower on the Mechanical Aptitude Test than on the AGCT, here the racial disparities between the highest and lowest classes were, as would be expected from an examination of the vocational opportunities and experiences of Negroes, even more marked. (Table 6)
Scores and Units
While the percentages of illiterate and low-scoring Negroes were much higher on both tests than among whites, their numbers were no greater. The problem created centered therefore not around the numbers of low-scoring men to be absorbed by the Army (for the total percentage in each grade, as shown in the totals columns of Tables 5 and 6, was not markedly affected by the inclusion of Negroes) but around the high percentages to be absorbed in specific, separate units. Because of the biracial organization of the Army, this problem became immeasurably greater among Negro than among white units. The 351951 (8.5 percent) white AGCT Grade V men inducted between March 1941 and December 1942 could be distributed among the total of 4,129,259 white men received, while the 216,664 (49.2 percent) Negro men received in the same period-135,000 men fewer could be distributed only among the total of 440,162 Negro men received. Low-scoring white men could be distributed as fillers to existing white units and installations containing men who had already had varying amounts of training. The further progress of these units and installations was not seriously hampered by the addition of relatively small numbers of slow learners. The cushion of trained Negro men already in units in early 1941 was small. The few Negro units were therefore much less able to absorb slow learners. The mechanical

AGCT Grade White Negro Total
No. Percent No.  Percent No. Percent
Total 4,129,259 100.0 440,162 100.0 4,569,421 100.0
I 273,626 6.6 1,580 0.4 275,206 6.0
II 1,154,700 28.0 14,891 3.4 1,169,591 25.6
III 1,327,164 32.1 54,302 12.3 1,381,466 30.2
IV 1,021,818 24.8 152,725 34.7 1,174,543 25.7
V 351,951 8.5 216,664 49.2 568,615 12.5
Percentage -- 90.4 -- 9.6 -- 100.0
    Source: Tab A, Memo, G-3 for CofS, 10 Apr 43, AG 201.6 (19 Mar 43) (1).
aptitude problem was an even greater one within units. For example, the mechanical aptitude distribution of 2,136 Negro soldiers arriving at Camp Gordon Johnston for training in the fall of 1943 as amphibian truck drivers was:
MAT Grade Percentage
I 0.4
II 1.5
III 10.2
IV 31.1
V 56.8
The skills of these men were comparably underdeveloped: 15
Job Required Available Shortage
Mechanic, auto 156 39 117
Repairman, auto body 72 4 68
Welder, combination 36 9 27
Amphibian truck driver 1,188 365 823
Although illiterate and unskilled men were an Army-wide problem, the average white unit could expect to receive, in the normal course of events, a few illiterate and low-scoring men, while the average Negro unit could be equally certain of receiving up to half of its men in the unskilled, illiterate, and Grade V classifications.
With or without classification tests as verifying evidence of the poorer civilian backgrounds of Negro inductees, the training of units formed primarily from men from the lower economic and cultural strata of American life would have presented difficulties. But the tests and test scores had a negative as well as a positive aspect in the classification and training of Negro enlisted men. Since the bulk of Negroes fell in the two lowest classes, their scores served as a psychological barrier to effective training. Officers and training headquarters, expecting a normal spread of classification and aptitude grades, tended to assume that any other distribution was fatal to success in training. To officers and

Grade White Negro Total
No. Percent No.  Percent No. Percent
Total 1,800,413 100.0 180,863 100.0 1,981,276 100.0
I 72,224 4.0 223 0.1 72,447 3.7
II 343,178 19.1 2,682 1.5 345,860 17.5
III 623,968 34.6 14,579 8.1 638,547 32.2
IV 494,305 27.5 44,836 24.8 339,141 27.2
V 266,738 14.8 118,543 65.5 385,281 19.4
   Source: Tab A, Memo, G3 for CofS, 10 APR 48, AG 201.6 (19 Mar 43) (1).
training supervisors, the low cross-sectional scores of Negro units became portents of inevitable training failure about which little could be done. Furthermore, although the psychologists who developed the tests insisted that their results should not be equated with a measurement of absolute intelligence, the nonpsychologists who made up the bulk of the Army users of the tests early and consistently referred to AGCT scores as indexes of intelligence. If the tests measured the ease with which a civilian could learn to be a soldier, why wasn't it a test of intelligence? If white soldiers consistently rated higher than Negro soldiers in their AGCT scores why was not the conclusion that Negro soldiers were of inferior intelligence justified? Granted that a background of poor educational and cultural opportunities produced low scores, was this not evidence that poor background stunted mental growth and thereby produced poor intelligence? The tests themselves, with their results coldly recorded in finite figures, therefore became a hazard to effective training.
The Army's psychologists, while warning against the use of AGCT scores as "intelligence" indexes, neglected to add a warning against comparing scores of men from two different groups whose backgrounds and prior experiences were not parallel. For tests to show comparable aptitudes, both groups should have had relatively the same familiarity with the language and concepts used; formal schooling should have been comparable, not only in grades available and completed but also in the content and quality of the courses; motivation and rapport with testers should have been about the same.16 In most of these respects, Negro and white troops taking the same AGC test differed. Even if the tests had been designed to take into consideration the cultural and economic backgrounds of the two groups of soldiers, methods of administering the tests would probably have prevented obtaining truly comparable scores. And if the administrative circumstances could have been kept identical, the two groups

tested still could not be compared absolutely on the basis of the original tests, for they had been standardized with the mid-point of the scale at "the central tendency of the distribution of scores made by the adult white male population of military age." 17
Unfavorable AGCT distributions prevalent among Negro troops were used in some arms and services to justify restrictive practices in the employment of Negro manpower.18 They provided a ready explanation in resisting public pressures for the wider use of Negro troops.19 Preoccupation with AGCT scores reached such a point in some units and training centers that attempts at effective classification and training were virtually abandoned.
Unit after unit complained formally of the poor "intelligence" distribution of the men it was receiving. Many of the complaints, in the light of expected distributions, seemed justified, especially when combined with the numbers of illiterates received in some units.20 Several of the larger Negro units, formed before the initial restrictions on the induction of illiterates were made in May 1941, judged themselves to be severely handicapped in terms of the new standards. The 367th Infantry, the new Negro Regular Army regiment activated in March 1941, requested permission to discharge 815 illiterates whom it would not have received under the new standards. The Third Army, in forwarding this request to the War Department, observed that its 46th Field Artillery Brigade and 93d Engineer Battalion were no better off, and recommended that the illiterates from these Negro units be transferred to service organizations. The War Department approved the transfers "when and if new Colored units of a labor type" became available.21
But, since Negro units of all types were being made available at a rate barely able to absorb incoming selectees, units which began with an overload of substandard men were generally unable

Units Grade I Grade II Grade III Grade IV Grade V Total
No. Per- cent No.  Per- cent No. Per- cent No.  Per- cent No. Per- cent
2 .023 117 2.6 495 13.8 1,053 25.6 3,615 57.8 5,282
Hq Btry 46th FA Brigade 0 0 10 8.0 36 29 37 30 42 33 125
350th FA Band 0 0 0 0.0 5 20 11 44 9 36 25
350th FA 0 0 32 2.3 125 9 296 22 933 68 1,368
351st FA 0 0 32 2.0 148 10 278 20 1.034 69 1,492
353d FA 2 .14 26 2.0 118 8 56 18 996 71 1,398
846th TD Bn 0 0 17 2.0 63 7 175 20 601 70 856
Source: Incl 1, Ltr, HQ IV Army Corps, OTIG, Cp Beauregard, La., to CG IV Army Corps, 15 Jun 42, AGF 333.1/13 (IV Army Corps). [Tables corrected.]
to exchange them with other units. The 46th Field Artillery Brigade, cited by the Third Army, still had an unfavorable distribution of Army General Classification Test scores at the end of April a year later. (Table 7) The Inspector General now recommended that a portion of the Grade V men in this unit be replaced by men in higher grades. The IV Army Corps thought that at least a thousand of the unit's 3,651 Grade V men should be transferred from the brigade. But the brigade was authorized to transfer 250 men only. They were to go to two new ordnance ammunition companies. The ordnance companies were to supply the brigade with replacements from among the best men whom they received as fillers.22
Problems of score and skills distributions plagued Negro units continuously. The Armored Force, having received excessive numbers of low-scoring Negro fillers, asked in 1942 that reception centers be required to send physically qualified Negroes with scores not lower than Grade IV to Negro tank battalions.23 The 1st Airbase Security Training Group reported in 1943 that in a four-month period it had received 4,600 "unculled" fillers for ten battalions. Of these, 91 percent were in Grades IV and V with over 50 percent in Grade V. The g percent remaining were not enough to provide the necessary noncommissioned officers and specialists for ten battalions.24 One antiaircraft battalion protested in 1942 that the unsatisfactory state of its records disclosed by an

inspection was caused by the lack of adequate clerks. Of the ten battery clerks and assistants, three were in AGCT Grade III, six in Grade IV, and one in Grade V. They were incompetent and showed little interest in improving their efficiency. "These clerks are fully aware of the improbability of disration [reduction in rank], owing to a dearth of suitable intelligent replacements," an inspector reported. The situation in this unit was soon to be aggravated by the loss of a battalion cadre and of men entering officer candidate schools.25
Complaints about the receipt of excessive numbers of low-scoring and unskilled men were usually answered with a reference to the generally poor AGCT and experiential distribution among Negro selectees. Preferential standards, the War Department explained, could not be established while most other Negro units had equally unfavorable distributions. In some instances, as in the case of the antiaircraft battalion mentioned above, the total percentages of Negroes in Grades I, II, and III in the units and training centers of the requesting branch were higher than similar percentages for the Army as a whole. In these cases commands were told to search their service units for men qualified for more technical jobs.26
Screening Proposals
Various types of screening programs to provide men having higher scores for selected units were suggested from time to time but these presented practical difficulties which generally prevented their use.27 In the first place, all units required a measure of higher-scoring men to provide a necessary minimum of capable noncommissioned officers. The suggestion had been made that such service units as port battalions might solve this problem by using white noncommissioned officers and Negro laborers, thus releasing qualified Negro administrative and leadership personnel to tactical units. The morale problem created by any proposal which denied the possibility of advancement within their own units to Negro enlisted men was considered well-nigh insurmountable.28 Nevertheless, this proposal for the use of white noncommissioned officers, especially as it related to service units, continued to crop up from time to time .29
Nowhere was the poor distribution of high-scoring men felt so keenly as in the Negro divisions. The distribution in each division was always heaviest in the lowest AGCT grades. Despite several attempts to correct the divisional situation, no workable means of doing so was discovered. Despite the fact that large numbers of inapt men had been cleared from the 93d Division during its training period, regiments of the division arrived

overseas with AGCT distributions which normally would have been considered prohibitive of effectiveness.30
Before its formal activation, the 92d Division attempted to obtain a more favorable distribution of skills and ability than would be expected from a random shipment of fillers. The division argued that its units at Fort McClellan, Alabama, could expect to receive a large percentage of their fillers from the Fourth Service Command. These fillers would not meet the requirements of a division. It requested a special schedule instead, with reception centers supplying men according to requirement rates for each type of unit. The War Department approved a special schedule, based not on the likelihood of obtaining high-scoring men but on the basis of past proportions of Negroes furnished by each service command.31 While the headquarters and special troops units received a disproportionately high percentage of men from the Second and Fifth Service Commands over three-fourths of all the men received by the division came from these
Northern areas-the division's regimental combat teams were left to absorb an equally disproportionate number of men from the Southern Fourth and Eighth Service Commands. If the purpose had been to provide the division with a true cross-section of the nation's Negro manpower, such a schedule would have been adequate; if it was to guarantee a higher percentage of high-scoring and skilled men such a schedule could not have been successful. For, as with Negro troops as a whole, the fillers for the 92d came in largest numbers from the areas that had previously furnished not only the largest percentages of men but also the largest proportions of low-scoring men.
In the spring of 1943, G-3 proposed that all of the 7,00o Grade V men then in the 92d Division in excess of 10 percent be screened out and replaced by higher-scoring men. The Grade V soldiers could be used in new quartermaster service battalions and similar units, under noncommissioned officers especially selected for the purpose. Men from replacement training centers could provide enlisted leadership for the division's new personnel. On further study it developed that, in order to obtain 7,000 replacements with higher scores, it would be necessary to induct and screen 12,500 men, of whom 5,500, based on 100.00 past induction experiences, would be - Grade V's. These low-scoring men added to the original 7,000 taken from 10.60 the division would comprise 12,500 men 42.85 43.80 -almost enough for another division to be placed in other units. There were not enough un-activated units in the troop basis to absorb this many Grade V men at once, nor was there a source from which their "selected" non-

commissioned officers, who would have to be obtained over and above the 12,500 figure, could be obtained. Moreover, the replacement center men whom the Ground Forces had originally hoped to use as selected noncommissioned officers for the 92d Division were, during the period of discussion, already dispersed to other units. To embark on another projected induction and training plan to obtain sufficient high scorers to provide noncoms for 12,500 Grade V's, increased by the number of additional low scorers it would be necessary to induct in order to obtain the required high-scoring noncoms for the original 12,500, looked like mounting a permanent treadmill. Moreover, Army Service Forces protested the proposal because of the effect which it would have on future service units. Army Ground Forces therefore recommended that the plan be dropped.32
Screening proposals for units of less than divisional size might fail for reasons other than that of the sheer numbers involved. The time needed to arrive at a decision and the then current location of the unit might affect plans adversely. The 76th Coast Artillery (AA), one of the pair of antiaircraft regiments activated in August 1940 and therefore one of the oldest of the new Negro units in the Army, had, in March 1941, the following AGCT distribution among its new selectees: AGCT Grade I, none; II, 2; III, 28; IV, 124; V, 385; illiterate, 351 ; unclassified, 7; total, 897. According to basic classification theory, this group of selectees should have been able to produce only thirty noncommissioned officers at best. Of these, only two would have been eligible for OCS consideration. This unit, like others, complained of the poor material sent it but, receiving no other, proceeded to do the best that it could. In May 1942, when the regiment had completed the major part of its training and was tactically disposed in the Eastern Defense Command, a representative of the Second Corps Area Engineer answered the unit's call to check its malfunctioning searchlights. He reported:
The condition of their lights is directly traceable to a lack of preventive maintenance and maladjustment of the equipment through ignorance and inaptitude of the operating personnel. The non-commissioned officers, as well as the men of lower grades are, in general, lacking in the qualifications necessary for the successful operation of a Searchlight Battery. They do not have sufficient capacity for understanding and mechanical instinct is lacking. Inspection of equipment indicated that even the simplest adjustments and operations were not being correctly performed, even though the men had been told repeatedly how to do them. The non-commissioned officers cannot be trusted to do any of the second echelon work without continuous officer supervision, which is impossible with the myriad of other duties officers must perform in the course of a normal day.
Men of the caliber of those in this regiment, the Engineer concluded, should not have been assigned to operate such "delicate and expensive" equipment.33 This single paragraph contains the basic elements of most complaints about the quality of Negro enlisted men and its effect on units.

The report on the 76th Coast Artillery received serious attention from several agencies but none thought that much could be done about the unit so long as it continued with its existing low-scoring personnel. Like the analysis, suggested methods for improvement contained the basic elements of most correctives advanced to meet such complaints. The antiaircraft command concluded that the unit's main problem was that "colored soldiers lack the mechanical interest and capacity for understanding searchlight operation and maintenance," since few had had mechanical or technical experience in civilian life. It predicted that other Negro antiaircraft regiments awaiting activation would be no better off, and suggested that it was a mistake to man such units with Negro personnel in the first place. 34 Army Ground Forces thought that similar conditions prevailed in other Negro units of this type, but envisioning no hope of stopping the activation of additional Negro antiaircraft regiments, proposed extending their training time.35 Judge Hastie felt that these were dangerous generalizations and assumptions based on incomplete data; such generalizations were often cited and acted upon long after surrounding circumstances were forgotten. He suggested that evaluations of the 369th Antiaircraft, which had a higher caliber of enlisted men and noncommissioned officers, and of the 99th and 100th Regiments, might produce different conclusions about the suitability of Negroes for antiaircraft employment. Judge Hastie agreed that the men of the unit under study were not of the best quality, but the blame lay, he felt, with faulty classification and assignment procedures. He had seen the regiment's first contingent of men shortly after they arrived. They "were mostly young men from the rural south, many of them illiterates at loose ends in the community, who had volunteered or had been called for induction at the top of the Selective Service list." Reception centers, Hastie continued, had made no effort to select men particularly fitted for antiaircraft work. As a result, the 76th's men were below the average of Negro soldiers, including those in service organizations. Hastie recommended mass transfers of higher-scoring men from service organizations to combat units where they would be of more value. The large induction centers near industrial and urban areas should be authorized to send to the 76th Coast Artillery 50 or 100 men with high AGCT scores.36
These remedies-elimination of unit types, extending training periods, transferring substandard men, and preferential selection for combat units-were to be suggested frequently in 1942 and 1943. At times these suggestions had overtones of the post-World War I suggestions that Negro troops be divided into a few elite combat and a mass of service units. In most cases, as in this case, nothing happened. By the time discussion of the 76th Coast Artillery was concluded, the summer was half over. The unit had left the Eastern Defense Command and was already over-

seas. 37 G-3 hoped that in the future units under the defense commands could be given refresher training that would obviate difficulties such as those affecting the 76th Coast Artillery. Significantly, this was the only indication by a commenting agency or echelon that a part of the remedy might be found outside the area of the unit's AGCT distribution. Later, after the urgency of coastal defense had passed, the problem of retraining or converting other units, white and Negro, assigned to defense commands, became an important one.
Only in the Air Forces were screening techniques for Negro technical and combat units both possible and effective. The Air Forces, having stated at the outset that it doubted the possibility of finding enough Negroes to fill the required skilled positions in air combat and technical units, proceeded on the assumption that initial screening was even more vital to its Negro than to its white units. It was better able to follow through on its screening processes than either the ground or the service forces. It had fewer combat and technical units in proportion to the numbers of Negroes in the command. Highly qualified men could be transferred or diverted from its large proportion of service units, most of which, like the aviation squadrons, required few specialists. The greater attractiveness of the Air Corps as a branch of service and the opportunities to volunteer for service with this branch caused a larger number of more highly qualified Negroes to attempt to get into the Air Forces either through the aviation cadet boards or through volunteering for specific units. As a result of the limited flying training program for Negroes, the Air Forces had a reserve supply of highly qualified aviation cadets rejected in single-engine flying training who, until 1943 when some became available for transfer to the Field Artillery for liaison pilot training, were ineligible for any other type of flying training and who, therefore, could be assigned to the combat or technical units activated at Tuskegee as needed enlisted men. Tuskegee itself was a miniature replacement depot, able to transfer men to units where they could be more readily utilized. Moreover, the Air Forces had virtually complete control over the internal distribution of selectees to its units.
Plans for the original Negro air units called for men with particular skills and ratings. The original 97 Negro selectees for the Air Corps, for example, were drawn from a much larger number of men already in units. They fitted required specification serial numbers.38 The 276 recruits for the first Air Corps unit-the men who, with the 97 selectees, were later to be assigned to the 99th Fighter Squadron-were drawn from volunteer 3-year enlistment applicants coming from all over the country. Besides meeting general Air Corps enlistment standards, they had to pass the examination for the Air Corps Technical School prior to being enlisted. At the time, approximately 50 percent of all white Air Corps enlistees failed to qualify for further training in technical schools. The examination requirement not only assured the new Negro unit a higher quality of enlisted cadre from the

sending and receiving code at Tuskegee. The instructor was formerly in the 39th Coast Artillery Antiaircraft Brigade.
beginning, but it also enabled the Air Corps to avoid enlisting 550 or more Negro 3-year volunteers to obtain 2'76 qualified men.39
For other technical units the Air Forces followed similar initial screening methods. For its 689th Signal Reporting Company, Aircraft Warning, Frontier, scheduled for task force use by 1 September 1942, the Air Forces had only one officer and three enlisted men on 15 May 1942. The Signal Corps, at the time, was producing neither Negro officers at its OCS nor enlisted men at its RTC's. The Air Forces therefore arranged with The Adjutant General's Office that out of the first week's quota of Negro selectees received in June 1942, 96 men, all high school graduates or better and all in the top three AGCT grades, would be earmarked for the

689th. It was willing to take five Negro officers with "some" radio or communications experience wherever it could find them .40 From this group it proceeded to build a unit which was highly regarded throughout its career.
As a result, Air Forces Negro technical and combat units were generally, in AGCT scores and technically qualified men, closer to normal than other Negro units.41 Where proficient specialists were not available for these units, men of higher potentialities learned the duties of forecaster, armorer, or mechanic about as rapidly as white men of equivalent scores, among whom there were also many with little experience in the newer fields in which there was a huge national shortage of trained men. The Air Forces also used reverse screening at times, with training centers requesting low-scoring men, white or Negro, in exchange for potential specialistS.42
Contributing to the failure of plans to guarantee higher-scoring men to specific Negro units was the disbelief of certain staff and command agencies in the importance of AGCT scores. They insisted that, with good leadership, effective units could be formed despite disproportionately low AGCT scores. They felt that, with few exceptions, men with low scores would make good Soldiers if not good leaders. This reasoning applied to both white and Negro units. Before the 92d Division's request for a more normal distribution than prevailing reception center assignment methods could insure, the 5th Armored Division had asked that corrections be made in the score distributions of its fillers. The Services of Supply refused to consider the request, declaring that it believed that 67 percent of Grade V men were capable of becoming acceptable soldiers, 29 percent could be used to advantage in limited service, and only percent were of no use to the Army and therefore should be discharged. A score of 70, the dividing line between AGCT Grades IV and V, SOS said, was the equivalent of a seventh or eighth grade education. Since the median educational level for men in the 1 goo census was 8.3 school years, larger percentages in the two lower classes than previously predicted could be expected. Moreover, SOS continued, AGCT scores were variable, not fixed, and therefore might be raised through study and training, as Aberdeen Proving Ground had done with fifteen Grade V men, fourteen of whom had moved into Grade IV after receiving special training in reading.43 A Ground Forces staff officer commented on a similar request from the 81st Infantry Division:
G-1 sees no cause for alarm as an analysis shows that approximately 96% of the men who made Grade V on the AGC Test have had some schooling and of these over 30% have completed grade school or better. Most men classified in Grade V can be made into first class soldiers. The principal difference being that we cannot expect

to draw on this class for any proportion of leadership.44
Nor were all units and commanders in the field convinced that AGCT scores alone were deterrents to adequate training. The Infantry Replacement Training Center at Fort McClellan, for example, objected to a suggested mandatory increase in training periods for units with more than 45 percent of their personnel in Grades IV and V, warning that the measure would produce "apparent or real race discrimination," since all white troops could be so distributed that no white training unit would have an excessive number of lowscoring men. "In respect to colored troops," the center reported, "the percentage of the present five battalions is 84% of grades 4 and 5. It is not believed, however, that the achievement of the colored troops as a group in the mechanical elements of training subjects such as weapons firing, marches, etc., is much below that of white battalions. As a matter of fact, the colored are equal in many elements and superior in some." 45
That the AGCT score was "not a reliable index of the worth of a man" became accepted doctrine in many quarters. "There are many other qualities which must be taken into consideration such as perseverance, honesty, physical stamina and loyalty and loyalty is not the least of these," one commander of Negro troops told a training conference.46 A commander of a Negro antiaircraft artillery regiment, describing an educational program for his troops, said ". . . I have come to the fixed opinion that the AGCT is not worth a damn with colored troops. I have a 1st Sergeant in Group V that I will stack up against any Noncom in any army as a leader of men. And I know and am convinced that despite the ratings, I have one of the best groups of soldiers in the Army right here in this Regiment." 47
Nevertheless, reports from the bulk of units and inspectors continued to emphasize the importance of AGCT scores. The number and insistence of such reports became so great that to ignore them was impossible. Low AGCT scores meant low intelligence and poor performance to most parts of the Army which had to deal directly with the training of units, largely Negro, with below average scores. Unfavorable AGCT score distributions were not confined to fillers for Negro units. Two divisions with low-score problems have been mentioned above. Non-divisional white units had similar problems.48

Despite a tendency to misinterpret and overemphasize their importance, AGCT scores, or, rather, the poor academic, vocational, and cultural backgrounds which they charted, were of singular significance to the careers of Negro enlisted men and their units. They were the one measure of potentialities upon which new units were built in most arms and services. They, coupled with occupational histories, were the visible evidence of the fitness of masses of otherwise anonymous men for assignment to different types of units and training centers. They were a basic criterion for the selection of men for leadership positions, officer or enlisted, regardless of other qualities which might be desired. Many Negro soldiers, on the basis of their scores alone, were restricted in their ability to take fullest advantage of the Army's huge and complex training program. Many units, as a result of low scores, found it impossible to obtain the necessary specialist training for sufficient numbers of their men, for many specialists' programs prescribed minimum AGCT scores before an application could be accepted. But the continuing, all-embracing problem raised by the low AGCT grades prevalent in Negro units was their relationship to training units for effective use within the standard time periods allotted by training programs.
Despite the widespread discussion of the problem among commanders and staff agencies, it was impossible to say what the direct relationship was between AGCT score distributions and unit training progress. It was logical to conclude that training difficulties in units made up of large numbers of illiterate or near-literate men unable to make full use of the masses of training literature and printed training aids supplied by the Army would be greater than in units whose men came from environments where all educational processes-those of the home and the community as well as the school-combined to contribute to their general intellectual growth. To raise the level of Negro men entering the Army, preferably to the point where it would parallel, class by class, the AGCT groupings of white enlisted men, was one solution proposed in the spring of 1943. It would have been possible to take the existing AGCT percentages of white enlisted men and so control Negro inductions that percentages in each AGCT grade would be approximately the same as those of white soldiers. Though this method, arrived at through limiting selectees to men with an eighth grade education (twice the fourth grade limitations for continentals), was later used with success for the induction of Puerto Rican troops ,49 it had several disadvantages for use among continental Negro troops. In the first place, Army nondiscriminatory policies required that all rules and regulations be applied to Negroes and whites alike. Such a procedure would have been immediately open to the charge of being discriminatory, since screening standards would be based on the scores of white troops with the implication that only units built in the AGCT image of existing white troops could be used by the Army. In the second place it would have reduced the intake of Negro inductees to too low a point to satisfy either the terms of the

Selective Service Act or the public pressures for the fuller use of Negroes. A third reason was that too drastic curbs on the induction of low-scoring manpower might work disadvantageously to the Army should larger numbers of Negroes or whites be needed as unskilled labor at any future date. Therefore, the problem of raising the qualifications of Negro inductees had to be discussed and applied within a framework of general requirements for all manpower and at the same time be so constructed that it would affect primarily the large numbers of substandard Negro men eligible for military service. Plans and proposals necessarily had to approach the problem through efforts to raise the standards of border-line cases while insuring that the over-all numbers and the racial proportions of men received by the Army would not be affected.
Special Training Plans
Army and Mobilization Regulations had provided that commanders should establish special training schools or units for men of poor educational backgrounds when their numbers made such units advisable. The number of such local, unit-conducted schools for illiterates and low-literates increased rapidly in 1942 and in early 1943. Since they were not centrally controlled or reporting units, their exact numbers and enrollment cannot be determined, but, in May 1943, just before centrally controlled special training units went into effect, 384 units and stations, Negro and white, were receiving directly The Adjutant General's "Our War" and "The Newsmap Supplement," publications intended for use in literacy classes. Many more units were receiving these materials through local distribution agencies.50
The operation of unit and post controlled special training units provided an extra burden for commands which already had their hands filled with their normal training duties. Many commanders were interpreting regulations to mean that the establishment of these units was mandatory.51 Some means of giving illiterates elementary courses in reading and writing before formally assigning them to units had to be devised, for illiterates were a handicap to the receiving units. Though illiterates might be well received and quite useful, units had neither the time, the instructors, nor the teaching aids to make them quickly available for regular training. 52
The Services of Supply proposed by mid-1942 that centrally controlled "development" units, patterned after World War I development battalions, be established. Illiterates coming into the Army, SOS argued, were increasing and, because of the rule to take effect on 1 August 1942,53 they would continue to increase in numbers. Portable Civilian Conservation Corps buildings, and CCC instructors who were experienced in training illiterates, could be used to house and train these men.54 While AAF and G-1 concurred in the proposal,

AGF and G-3 did not. The additional administrative and overhead load added by these units and the relatively small numbers of men to be trained militated against ready acceptance of the proposal.
By the spring of 1943 G-3 was ready to propose its own plan. The new plan went considerably farther and was intended to do more than simply prepare illiterates and low-literates for regular training. It was designed to raise the general quality of Army enlisted men in three ways: (1) to screen all personnel at induction stations so as to eliminate all but the upper to percent of Grade V's,55 (2) to discharge from the Army all men who had demonstrated their inability to absorb military training, and (3) to establish combination labor-development battalions to rehabilitate the remaining backward men.56 The current percentage of Grade V's in Negro units was so high "as to present an almost insurmountable obstacle in the attempt to organize effective Negro units," G-3 said. With the Army then scheduled to reach a maximum strength of 8,208,000 officers and enlisted men and women, the necessary 783,000 Negroes, "the majority of which must be assigned to tactical units," should be as high a quality as possible. With shipping a bottleneck, G-3 continued, the War Department could send Negro units overseas only if they were not inferior to white units. Otherwise, in 1944, "Negro units will be piled up in the United States to an unwarranted degree and the Negro race will be denied its fair share of battle honors as well as battle losses." To mobilize and train units which could not be used overseas was "a flagrant waste of manpower and time," G-3 argued. "The Army is open to severe and just criticism for this wasted Negro manpower which, if left in civil life, would contribute materially to an important phase of the war effort," 57 G-3 continued. Most Negroes in the lowest AGCT classes were from the rural South, where they could best contribute to the war effort, G-3 felt, by remaining on the farms. Men in the higher classifications were from the North, where few were deferred for essential activities. The proposed solution could be instituted "without serious repercussion. The gain in the effectiveness of white units would not be so pronounced as in Negro units, but, "to avoid discrimination," the plan must be applied to both white and Negro personnel.
The plan itself was expected to work in this manner:
1. After 1 May 1943, the Army would reject all selectees in Grade V in excess of 10 percent. A special "intelligence" test, combined with an interview at induction stations, would be designed to screen out men lacking the capacity to be soldiers while retaining men who lacked sufficient education to pass the general classification test. The men screened out would comprise approximately the lower three-fifths of those currently classified in AGCT Grade V. As a result, approximately 1 percent of the whites and 20 percent of the Negroes then being accepted would be rejected. Since the Army had to accept 10.6 percent Negroes, Selective Service would have to increase its calls to insure the

Army's receipt of its required quota of Negroes.
2. Within the Army, streamlined machinery would be established to permit the speedy discharge, without stigma, of men found "as n result of actual lack of performance" and not as the result of test performances to be incapable of becoming effective soldiers.
3. Other men in the Army, classified in Grade V, would be transferred to units whose function was chiefly labor and which could use men with lower qualifications to best advantage.
4. Backward men, not inapt enough to warrant discharge, were to be transferred to rehabilitation or development battalions to be located at the larger posts in the continental United States. "These battalions would be combination labor and training battalions operating on a schedule in which days of labor on the post where stationed and days of training or instruction would be alternated." As soon as a man was sufficiently trained to be advanced to a unit, he would be transferred out of these battalions.58
Objections to the proposal-many of which were accepted by G-3 before the final plan was presented for approval- were several. G-3 hoped that the combination labor-training provision for the battalions would soften basic objections to the plan's implied recognition of the Army's need to embark on a large-scale educational program. Army Ground Forces objected to the establishment of development battalions in any form; Army Air Forces wanted safeguards against potential malingering that it thought the plan involved; G-2 though also believing that the danger of malingering was a great one, was noncommittal. The Services of Supply had had grave doubts about the plan as originally proposed because of its provision for the rejection and discharge of large numbers of men, the larger percentage of whom would be Negroes. The plan "has been studied with the viewpoint that the Army only must be considered and that any sociological problems arising as a result thereof must be disregarded," SOS observed. "However, it is considered pertinent to point out that the plea of the southern states particularly those in the Southeast is `when is the Army going to take more colored.' Any increased rejection of colored and increased return of colored now in the Army to civilian life will bring repercussions both economic and political," SOS feared.59
Neither the Services of Supply nor Truman Gibson, Acting Civilian Aide to the Secretary of War, agreed that an arbitrary line between men who could and who could not be used by the Army was possible as a result of existing tests. Gibson proposed that the original statement that units with an excess of Grade V men above 8 percent could not function be re-examined. "Most Negro units have more than 8% Grade V men," he pointed out. "Certainly some of these have performed in competent and creditable manners .... I know of no study in the War Department conducted in a large number of individual units for the purpose of ascertaining even an approximate percentage of Grade V men the different organizations

could effectively absorb." Standard AGC tests are not claimed to be measurements of intelligence, he continued. The ABC nonverbal test, when given, produced higher grades for many men in Grade V. In the ABC, "more than 30% of the Negroes retested who have been placed in Grade V initially, in the AGCT, enter a higher classification, in some places going even to Grade I," Gibson contended. Test scores were by no means the only factors involved in the training of Negro units; the manner of making assignments was just as important, he concluded. 60
SOS also reminded G-3 that its arbitrary statement of the Army's ability to use men rated as inferior according to a series of tests was subject to question. What was the essential difference between a Grade IV and a Grade V man anyway? SOS wanted to know. All might be utilized if training schedules for slow learners were made more realistic and if development battalions, as suggested earlier by SOS, were put into use. The command hoped that limitations would be placed on their use: (1) intelligence rather than literacy should be stressed; (2) only the lower part of Group V rather than an arbitrary 90 to 94 percent should be screened out; (3) each major component should continue to be required to accept Negroes in proportion to its size; (4) no transfers should be made from one command to another on the basis of test scores; (5) no mass discharges or transfers to development battalions of men who had had basic training should be made; (6) mobilization training of units should be geared to their capacity to learn-in many cases, for Negro units, at least 50 percent slower than for white units; and (7) , Negro units should be sent overseas in definite proportions "in order that colored troops may receive their percentage of casualties." 61
General Davis, as a member of the Advisory Committee on Negro Troop Policies, approved the plan, but warned that the Grade V limitations might prove too stringent. "In this connection," he observed, "I would state that during my tour of duty in the United Kingdom, I observed a number of colored units composed of a large number of Grade V men. These units were highly commended for the services being rendered. The port battalions were commended by the British officials from whom they had received instruction." 62 Goldthwaite H. Dorr, Special Assistant to the Secretary of War, thought that, instead of being discharged, inapt and low-scoring men should be put on inactive duty in the same manner as men in the 38- to 45-year age group recently released by the Army.63
The revised draft, taking into consideration many of the proposals of other divisions, was presented to the Advisory Committee by General Edwards on 2 April. The committee unanimously approved it and recommended immediate adoption.64 Subject to the inclusion of Dorr's suggestion, Secretary Stimson approved the G-3 plan for Grade V personnel.

The Plan in Operation
The chief feature of the special training plan in operation was not the elimination of large numbers of Grade V men, as proposed in the original plan, but the institution of a new induction screening process and the establishment of new special training units for the more effective use of that portion of Grade V registrants which ranked highest in potentialities. At induction stations, a preliminary interview established whether or not graduates of standard English-speaking schools were mentally qualified. Transcripts, certificates, and other proofs of schooling were accepted at this stage. Large numbers of men were thereby excused from further phases of the new induction process and were declared eligible for induction. Mental qualification tests for induction were given to all men who could not present documentary proof of schooling. These tests were designed to screen out registrants who would make AGCT scores above the lower three-fifths of Grade V. For illiterates and non-English-speaking men, a nonlanguage group test for the same purpose was available. For men failing the Mental Qualification Test, individual tests were given. All men failing the individual test were then interviewed again to prevent error and malingering.65
The new plan went into effect at induction stations in June 1943. At intervals, The Adjutant General reported that the plan was working satisfactorily, and that the lower three-fifths of Grade V men already inducted were being eliminated while the 10.6 percentage of Negroes was being retained, the difference being made up by the induction of larger numbers of illiterates who gave promise of higher potential abilities. Of the 40,446 men-35,872 (88.7 percent) white and 4,574 Negroes (I1.3 percent)-processed between I and 5 June at induction centers and between 13 and 19 June at reception centers, 963 (2.4 percent) Grade V's (420 of them white and 543 colored) and 1,159 (2.g percent) illiterates (484 white and 675 colored) were inducted. Of the total number of men inducted, 1.3 percent of the whites and 14.8 percent of the Negroes were illiterate. Though the mental qualification for illiterates had been raised, the percentage of illiterates inducted had risen from 1.7 to 2.9 percent. At the same time, the percentage of Grade V men inducted was being reduced, for many inducted illiterates made higher scores on their nonverbal tests. Between January and April 1943, 7.2 percent of all men inducted were 111 Grade V. With the elimination of the lower three-fifths of Grade V's, 2.8 percent would now be desired. During the period 13-19 June 1943, 2.4 percent of the men inducted were in Grade V, constituting a reduction of 3 percent for white and 24.3 percent for Negroes. Of the total number of men processed between 13 and 19 June, 11.3, slightly more than the required 10.6 percent, were Negroes.66
In many areas there was, nevertheless, objection to the new procedure. It rejected too many men, especially Negroes,

from a given group called. The Qualification Test, which had been purposely kept simple, was a primary target. From the Fort Jackson, South Carolina, induction station came objections which embodied those of many other observers. At the station, 4,916 white men and 4756 Negroes were examined in June 1943. Of these, 4,427 whites or 90.05 percent and 2,360 Negroes or 49.62 percent were accepted. The disproportionate results, Fort Jackson argued, indicated that the tests had been standardized for whites and that they, were not applicable to Negroes:
The Qualification Test No. 1 consists of seventeen questions, and the first type of questions are comparatively simple. For example: "write the smallest of the following numbers in the blank space; 142 175 180 191 125," which, of course, is 125. This item is of elementary level and it does have general application, and we find that the white and negro respond with almost equal success on this item. The next four questions deal with analysis. As for example: an arrow pointing between north and west, and the four points of the compass are given, the question is asked; "in which direction is the arrow pointing"? It is found that the negro misses this type of question in greater numbers than the white, because this demands a detection of the correct bearing of the direction and in interpreting this the relationships have a scheme. The negro, in the majority of cases interviewed, is seeing this for the first time, while the white has had many experiences in this type of thinking. It is felt that if the negro was given this question in the field he would have little trouble in answering it correctly. Hence, it is not felt that because the negro misses this question, that he does not have the intelligence to be able to answer the same question if given to him under regular conditions to which he is used to . . . . Item twelve, it is required to know the number of pounds in a ton. Since the adult negro has been out of school for sometime, and it is doubtful [whether] there are many negroes who have bought coal by the ton, it is felt that he has completely forgotten, or what is likely, never knew how many pounds in a ton. In items thirteen and fourteen, a disadvantage lies in the set-up of the objective answer required, which the negro is unaccustomed to, since it has not been introduced on any wide scale into their school training. In most cases of our southern negroes, the new type of testing has not been introduced into the schools in anywhere near the same proportion as it has into the white schools. Hence this type of question is entirely foreign to them. Also, it is felt that the average negro under the conditions which he is subjected to in his testing, is more at a disadvantage than the white, and is slower at thinking, or especially objective thinking than the white person. This involves an adjustment that fails in the insight upon the first experience without instructions, hence a different method should replace this type of response where the negro is concerned.67
While Fort Jackson's Post Inspector found no evidence of malingering, the commanding general believed that men "could easily be trained in how to fail to pass this test." The Director of Selective Service for South Carolina was "quite upset" by the high rejection rates of Negroes, the commanding general reported. Letters and his own observation had convinced him that "a large number of gentlewomen with children and without children are being left ill communities and also in the communities are large numbers of negro laborers." Many of the Negro rejects could be used, perhaps in "farm battalions." The state would otherwise be unfairly burdened with furnishing a "very high

percentage" of white men.68 The Fourth Service Command, approving the South Carolina recommendations, observed that the South Carolina situation was duplicated in all states of the command.69
The arguments concerning the validity of the test for Negroes were ignored by the War Department, for the Negro rejection rate was almost exactly what the Army had hoped it would be. The Fourth Service Command was informed, however, that induction proportions in the South were being preserved. The 1940 census showed 31 percent of the population of the command to be Negro while the induction rate of Negroes for the period 14 June-14 August was 33 percent.70 The War Department was satisfied that the Negro induction rate was being preserved by the new system.
Service Command Special Training Units
Special training units "to relieve organizations, unit training centers and replacement training centers from expending regular training effort" on the expected increase in illiterates and low literates were authorized for each service command.71 The units were set up with the expectation that nearly twice as many Negroes as whites would receive this special training and that the heaviest loads would be in the two southern commands. Actually, there were always more white than Negro trainees in these units, with nearly 70 percent of the men at any one time being white. 72 Instead of the predicted I percent of the whites and 2o percent of the Negroes processed at reception centers, 9 percent of all whites and 49 percent of all Negroes inducted after June 1943 went to special training units. This number represented about 11.5 percent of all men received through reception centers. Eighty percent of the trainees were illiterate or non-English-speaking; the remainder were AGCT Grade V men. From June 1943 through May 1945, over 260,111 men went through these units, of whom over 220,000-about 85 percent of the white and 86 percent of the Negroes-were forwarded to regular basic military training.73
Men assigned to special training units received three hours of academic and five hours of military training daily instead of alternating between training and labor as originally planned. With a maximum three months of training authorized, 79 percent of the men in training during the fiscal year 1945 completed training in sixty days or less and 44 percent required less than thirty days. Negroes completed special training in approximately the same average time as whites. With the exception of a few stations, the training given was of a high order.
Although the special training units in their two years of operation, proved the value of accelerated, elementary literacy training for men of limited educa-

tional, mental, and language abilities, the units were not an unqualified success in correcting the situation which the plan they evolved from was designed to combat. They did make available to the Army larger numbers of white and Negro men-the equivalent of more than a dozen divisions-who would otherwise have been rejected as illiterate and they did provide elementary training for these men. Though marginal soldiers no longer delayed the training of regular units, training centers complained that special training unit men, especially when placed in units where they had little need to practice their newly learned literacy skills, quickly deteriorated. Many of the men, a few months after being certified as "functionally literate," were still signing payrolls with X's. This deterioration was not the responsibility of the special training units; nevertheless, commanders of Negro T/O units, many of whom received practically all of their fillers from special training units, tended to complain that the units had not done their jobs well. There was some evidence that in certain of the units AGC tests were given repeatedly to men until they raised their scores to Grade IV. These men were then classified "literate" and released to regular training. This practice, contrary to the purpose of the units, was ordered stopped, with the warning that "the ability to read and write is not in itself a requirement for successful military training, however, that ability materially accelerates the rate of progress." 74
There were suggestions that the problem of slow learners and backward men could not be solved by the limited training available in the special training units. The Neuropsychiatry Division of the Surgeon General's Office, seeking a method for the utilization of physically qualified men discharged from these units as inapt, recommended the organization of slow learners into supporting and construction companies modeled on the American pioneer units of World War I and the British Pioneer Corps of World War II. The British had included in their units even those men who were so backward that they could not be trusted with lethal weapons. "With good officers and non-commissioned officers these men are magnificent," British reports ran.
In the last six months of 1943, 90,172 educationally deficient men were inducted. Of these 66,258 went to regular training after a stay in special training units. The question of what to do with the other 24,000 physically fit men remained. The average slow learner could not keep pace with the quick learner. "Such competition forces hint to find an escape consciously (AWOL) or unconsciously (psychoneurosis) , and the process holds back the possible speed of training for the normal," Lt. Col. William C. Menninger, director of the Neuropsychiatry Division, explained. Many, with more time, could be adequately trained, though a few would be unable to finish basic training no matter how much time was given them. If men who scored less than 70 on the ACCT were placed in special units, operating as construction crews, maintenance Units, stevedores, and on manual

jobs, the amount of maladjustment in the Army would be reduced.75
ASF and G-1, in rejecting this proposal, took the position that the number of men discharged from special training units as unteachable or unadaptable to military training was too small to be administered effectively without special supervisory personnel. Since these men, if retained in special units, would have to be counted in the Troop Basis, other organizations would have to be removed in order to keep the Army within its manpower ceiling. The men discharged from special training units were not thought of as a loss of trained manpower, for the Army actually gained by replacing them with better qualified men from the nation's manpower pool.76
Neither the old literacy training efforts conducted by T/O units nor the newer reception center special training units did more than guarantee Negro units fewer totally illiterate and low Grade V men. By their very nature, they were unable to affect markedly the upper AGCT grades so thinly distributed in Negro units. Of Negro men released from special training units in the first six months for assignment to regular training, 99.2 percent were in Grades IV and V, but the number in Grade IV was considerably larger than that in Grade V. While these men were manifestly better able to enter regular training than the unsorted and untrained daily 1o percent of illiterates and random percentage of Grade V's previously received, they relieved rather than solved Negro units' difficult problem of absorbing too many men of poor backgrounds. While special training units could not solve completely the problems of units which continued to receive disproportionately large numbers of low-scoring men, they did succeed in their main purpose: to relieve regular units of the burden of special training and to make available for regular training larger numbers of illiterate and low-literate men of higher potentialities.
Instructional Problems
Since lower scores generally meant slower learning, it was assumed that extending training periods would go far to correct deficiencies in the progress of Negro units. In 1 943, shortly after the establishment of the new special training units, G-3, on the recommendation of the Commanding General, Fourth Service Command, and of the Army Service Forces, authorized extended training programs for units which, because of a preponderance of low-grade personnel, "unusual mental attitude," or other reasons were not progressing satisfactorily. Extended military training programs, to be identified by the letter A (as in MTP 10-1A) and requiring up to six months' training, were to be prepared. Units were to be designated formally as substandard to prevent their being committed to an overseas theater before receiving sufficient training. Disciplinary training was to be intensified. Officers

for these units were to be especially chosen.77
Extended military training programs were slow in preparation. After they were ready, training headquarters were sometimes reluctant to designate units substandard. A unit which was in demand was needed within a minimum time while a unit which was not in demand would have an automatic extension of its training period. What training commands and centers wanted was better men from reception and replacement training centers rather than substandard program authorizations. When sixteen Transportation Corps amphibian truck companies at Camp Cordon Johnston, Florida, were declared substandard and placed on a 26-week substandard training program in October 1943, the Transportation Corps protested that if better personnel had been sent to it, this training delay would not have occurred. As matters stood, at least five of these units would have to be committed in their current status of training when about halfway through the extended program.78
Extended training periods, without corresponding adjustments in instructional techniques and leadership approaches to the problems of Negro units, were in no case enough to guarantee an effectively trained unit. For though there had been general agreement as far back as the post-World War I planning period that it would take longer to train Negro units, there was no indication that units with extended periods were better fitted to carry out their missions than many others which had a normal training period or than many of those which were shipped overseas without completing training.
The difficulties of carrying out effective instruction in units with large numbers of low-scoring men were, however, generally recognized. In those everyday, taken for granted practices in living, thinking, and working common to most Americans, the low-scoring Negroes of many units had basic deficiencies for which no corrective existed in Army instructional doctrines. Few commanders of small units had either the time or the inclination to peer behind every shortcoming of their troops to determine both the origin and remedy for these basic deficiencies. That directions framed in such terms as "discipline," "sentinel," "compensation," "maintain," "observation," "barrage," "counter-clockwise," or even "exterior" might be meaningless, 79 no matter how patiently or repeatedly given, occurred to few instructors charged with training Negro units. To reduce what was ordinarily accepted as understandable language to an even lower level was not easy to do without subconsciously berating one's listeners for that lack of "intelligence" which required annoying additional effort on the part of the instructor.
Proper instructional methods for slow

learners of poor experiential backgrounds were hardly stressed in a functional manner as a necessary adjunct to good leadership techniques as they affected the training of Negro troops.80 While American troops in general required instruction in the reasons for mobilization and, later, in the reasons for America's entry into the War,81 Negro troops often had to be instructed as well in the bare rudiments of existence in a machine age and, at that, in terms to which most available teaching personnel, Negro as well as white, were unaccustomed. Supervision of their training sometimes required more personnel than usual. The training of a maximum of 170 officers and 3,600 enlisted men at Camp Gordon Johnston required a Headquarters and Headquarters Company of fifty officers and 266 enlisted men.82
The range of subjects in which even a nontechnical unit was expected to gain proficiency was far wider than the limited horizons of many low-scoring men had ever before included. The twentysix week training program of a quartermaster railhead company, as an example, included the following in addition to the basic military training subjects: storage and issue (warehousing, space utilization, prerequisites for issue) ; vehicle loading; daily telegrams and the computation of supplies on the basis of information furnished therein; railhead arrangement; use of road nets and sidings; receiving, sorting, and checking supplies; accounting for supplies; inspection of subsistence stores; salvage operations; selection of sites for railheads, including plans for defense, camouflage, and protection from air attacks; practical operation of railheads; map reading; security (including reconnaissance, defense against guerrilla, chemical, air, and paratroop attacks, concealment, dispersal, and camouflage) ; decontamination apparatus and its use; demolitions; safety measures; night operations. In addition, the unit was to conduct specialist training of chauffeurs and clerks in event these men could not be supplied by the specialist schools.83
Moreover, in a unit of this sort, as in many other small units which might have to operate independently with reduced personnel, the training of all enlisted men was supposed to emphasize the importance of individual responsibility when direct supervision was not available. In this area alone, because of their immediate past, many Negroes required a complete reorientation and retraining in their daily living habits. Individuals were to be trained to perform different tasks, such as supervision of loading details, guiding traffic, and all phases of railhead operation so that a single man might function effectively in many positions to allow for inter-

changeable team and labor pool use of men in varying situations. The range of subjects to be covered in twenty-six weeks was greater than many of the men assigned had encountered in all the preceding years of their lives. Large numbers of slow learners of poor backgrounds were an obvious handicap to the efficient training progress of such a unit.
In addition to the general difficulties of training low-scoring men in a variety of tasks in a short time, there were a number of specific areas of difficulty which units and their men faced because of the preponderance of slow learners. In order to complete their training and become available for operational use, all units, including the less technical types, had to have available the specialists required for unit functions. Specialists required by port companies, in addition to cargo-handling personnel, included, for example: mechanic foreman, mess sergeant, stevedore foreman, supply sergeant, hatch foreman, company clerk, blacksmith, cargo checker, carpenter, clerk-typist, cook, cooper, crane operator, hatch tender, longshoreman, general mechanic, tractor mechanic, rigger, tractor operator, truck driver, combination welder, and winch operator. Obtaining key specialists for service units was sometimes baffling to training directors. One reported to a training conference:
For example, the problem of training negroes to successfully fill key and technical positions of an Engineer General Service Regiment or an Engineer Construction Battalion is almost, if not entirely, unsurmountable. Such key positions as Construction Supervisor (059) , Electrician, General (078) , Surveyor, General (227) , Designer, Electrical (078) , Designer, Road Construction (382) , Designer, Structural (074) , Foreman, Machine Shop (086) Draftsman, Mechanical (071) , Draftsman. Structural (074) and Foreman, Bridge (541) and many others of this nature require considerable civilian background anal experience. The key and technical positions for Engineer units mentioned above should be filled with men who have had a civilian background commensurate with the job to be clone so that within a reasonable short course of military instruction, inductees could fill the required positions. Wide search will fail to reveal negroes whose background reflects experience in such required key positions . . . . Since personnel must be trained for the above key positions in 20 weeks, it can be readily seen that upon activation, two strikes are already called on a technical unit allotted negro personnel. The specialists required may be named, may be rated, and may draw the pay of specialists, but the real specialist is not there. Who does the technical work of these so-called specialists? It is probable that the white officer does, if it is accomplished, thus being forced to neglect his own work.84
Officers themselves were not always able to give much aid. At the Third Engineer Aviation Unit Training Center. MacDill Field, Florida, where nearly all Negro aviation engineer units were trained in the last half of the war, inspectors found training officers who were not able to identify tools and who could not identify component parts of engineer sets and chests. 85

Schools were set up to transform the thousands of young men with little civilian experience into the specialists required, as well as into the pilots, gunners, and cannoneers for which there were no civilian counterparts. 86 But standards for entrance to many specialist schools were higher than the available enlisted men of most Negro units could meet.87
Certain units requested that requirements for specialists' courses be lowered. They argued that their lower-rated men could do the required classroom work and that, in any event, they were the only ones who could be spared. For Engineer courses, units suggested broadening the base to include men from the upper fifth of the command. This request was approved.88 Army Air Forces, pointing out the immediate need for signal construction companies, urged the lowering of minimum scores and the substitution of equivalent experience for specialist training in Signal Corps schools. In this case the approval was conditioned by the attachment of a white signal construction unit to help intensify training in the Negro units.89
Other units gave retests of the AGCT in an attempt to qualify men for specialist and officer candidate schools. Some of these were genuine retests, in which adequate explanations of the tests and adequate time, both often lacking in reception centers, resulted in a marked improvement in scores. How much of this improvement may be traced to newly acquired knowledge and experience cannot be gauged. At other times, men were retested several times, until their scores were raised. This latter procedure, frowned upon by the Classification and Replacement Branch, had little validity in a determination of the actual scores of the men concerned. That units took the time to administer these retests indicates how serious the shortage of AGCT qualified men was.90
Many units were genuinely hard put to fill quotas allotted them for officer as well as specialist training. Since the requirement of a score of 110 (Grade II) or better for appointment to officer candidate schools left a relatively small number of Negro eligibles, the problem of filling allotted quotas became a desperate one in some units.

In 1942, inspecting officers, one of whose responsibilities was to determine whether or not unit commanders were exploiting fully the opportunity to send Negro candidates to OCS, found that in many units there were practically no opportunities to exploit. While in the average white unit 3o percent or more of the men fell within the two top grades eligible for appointment, in the average Negro unit less than 5 percent of the men were eligible on the basis of scores without regard to other qualifying criteria.91 Reductions for other disqualifying reasons left many Negro units without possible candidates. School retests of candidates left more than the suspicion that many Negro units were not too careful in certifying AGCT scores for men sent to OCS. Candidates, once they were sent to the schools, were usually allowed to remain. Some of the borderline cases successfully completed their courses, but many others were rapid failures. The predominance of low-scoring men hampered even high-scoring men in their attempts to take full advantage of Army training opportunities, for sending men to officer candidate schools often removed most of the enlisted leadership material from the unit.
For admission to the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) at civilian colleges, Negro enlisted men were at an even greater disadvantage, for the requirement here was a score of 115 or better. Since only about 2.5 percent of all Negroes in the Army had scores of 115 or better, Negroes eligible for ASTP constituted less than one-fourth of 1 percent of all the men in the Army. In December 1943, at the program's peak, 105,265 students were enrolled. Of these, only 789 were Negroes. They represented three-fourths of 1 percent of the total.92
Barriers to Advanced Training
Despite the difficulty of securing enough men with the required qualifications for specialist and advanced training, there existed additional barriers to the selection of well-qualified men for training. The percentage of Negro eligibles was so small that their distribution to varying units of the arms and services made it difficult to locate men who might have made excellent candidates for specific types of advanced training. Judge Hastie suspected that there were many Negro men "lost" within the Army in units which had no need of their qualifications while other units suffered shortages in the same field. Sufficient evidence, in the form of requests for assignment and occasional inspectors' comments, existed to support this view. G-3, realizing that numbers of Negro men were in units such as aviation squadrons and medical sanitary companies which had no true specialists' requirements, requested a sampling survey of these units to determine if enough men of high caliber were available there to fill some of the requirements of more critically needed units. The results of the survey were discouraging; there was

no excess of highly qualified men reported from these units.93
Later, in a blanket attempt to salvage men of higher capabilities from units which required proportionately fewer men of this type, the War Department directed that certain types of units be cleared of men of greater potentialities. "Specifically," the directive read, "excess of men with high intelligence in units such as aviation squadrons, sanitary companies, and service units of the Quartermaster Corps and Engineer labor units will be reassigned to unit where their skills and intelligence can be utilized more effectively." 94 But the one word, "excess," defeated the purpose of this directive. The common shortage of men qualified as noncommissioned officers forced many of these units to report that they had no "excess" among high-scoring men.
There were other units in which little attempt was made to screen out possible applicants for advanced training. Often, officers of these units and the enlisted men themselves, having received no specific instructions in the matter, were equally uncertain of what applications, if any, could be made with a chance of acceptance by the men of a Negro unit. Even units and commands with definite training requirements were uncertain of either the procedure or the possibility of sending Negro soldiers to certain schools. Inquiries on specific training policies as they affected Negroes were frequent. Will there be a separate school for tire maintenance? the Civilian Aide's office asked. Can Negro enlisted men be trained as guard patrolmen at Miami Beach? First Air Force wanted to know. May they be sent to the corps area horseshoeing school? Fourth Corps Area was asked. Are Negroes eligible for the General Mechanics Course at Motor Transport Schools? the Replacement and School Command and the Antiaircraft Command inquired. Can Negroes be given observation aviation training? Scott Field asked. Where can we send Negro medical enlisted men for training? Second Army and the Flying Training Command inquired.95 Occasionally an officer, observing that no applications for specialists' or advanced training had ever come from the enlisted men of the unit, made specific inquiries. Up to July 1943, the 61st Aviation Squadron, with 300 men, had not processed a single application for aviation cadet training. "And being uncertain as to the course we should pursue," Moore Field's Aviation Cadet Examining Board wrote, "we have not made a direct appeal to them as part of our current recruiting campaign." From their records, however, the board had

concluded that several of the squadron's men seemed well qualified "and would probably welcome the opportunity to file applications if they were specifically invited to do so." 96
Units might well have pondered the wisdom of advising their men of all training openings announced by the Army, for at times training agencies reported that they had no facilities for training Negroes and at other times Negro trainees reporting to training stations were summarily transferred elsewhere. Certain training facilities were considered "inadequate" for Negroes and assigning agencies were directed to use other facilities. School policies, moreover, shifted from time to time. The Air Forces, desiring the Signal Corps to train Negro enlisted men for the 1000th Signal Company, 96th Service Group, learned that Signal Corps was training no Negroes in the required specialties. The Air Forces proceeded to make a search to obtain men from civilian life who already had the required training and experience.97 Some six weeks later, it learned that Signal Corps was now training Negro soldiers in these specialties.98 Negro enlisted men arriving at the Parachute School in 1942 were immediately transferred on the grounds that the school had no facilities for training them and the Army had no units to which they could be assigned.99 Ordnance trainees were ordered to Aberdeen or other Army installations rather than to affiliated schools because trainees in civilian plant and other private schools were billeted in YMCA's and hotels where only "unsuitable" facilities were available for Negroes. This restriction applied to all affiliated ordnance schools except Hampton Institute.100 The existence of special separate schools like the Hampton automotive training school, established by the Quartermaster Corps in April 1941 as a stopgap program for training the increasing Negro personnel of the Army, and the course for Negro physical therapists at Fort Huachuca established by the Medical Department for civilians and, later, for Wacs, in 1943, further confused the issue of the eligibility of Negroes for any and all Army schools.
The location of training facilities in schools and colleges operating under state segregation laws, most of whose contracts with the Army contained the usual federal nondiscriminatory clauses, posed a further problem at times. Generally, where these schools objected to Negro students and where duplicate facilities existed elsewhere, Negro trainees were sent to schools in other areas, but in some instances, as at the School for Personnel Services at Washington and Lee University, Negro trainees were accepted in regular courses. No general policy on this matter was formulated.
While these additional barriers to full participation in the Army's facilities for training did exist, the main deterrent to the full and adequate training of Negro

specialists continued to lie in the inability of a large enough number of men to meet the formal requirements for advanced training. Most Army schools were open to Negroes and most Negro units received the regularly allotted quotas for school training along with all other units of their types. The units' chief problem was to find men who were suitable candidates for training in courses which varied from horseshoeing at Fort Riley to airplane mechanics at Lincoln Air Base, from bakers and cooks at stations like Fort Benning to clerks at schools like Washington and Jefferson College. To add to the difficulty, many units lacked sufficient men qualified by temperament or certified ability to fill all existing needs for the noncommissioned officers so essential to unit training and to unit operations. The result was that most units blamed their lack of training progress on a variety of factors, most of which they traced back to the lack of knowledge and preparation of their enlisted men as exemplified, visibly, in the AGCT scores inscribed on each man's Form 20 card. AGCT scores, illiteracy, and "low intelligence" became the major villains besetting Negro units. Special training units were a help, and locally operated "leadership" and specialist schools filled many a gap in unit training opportunities, but most units felt that if they could just receive fillers with more nearly normal AGCT scores most of their problems would be solved.
Often the existence of low AGCT scores in a Negro unit became a bulwark against adverse criticisms of training progress and discipline. Unit officers learned very early that the maldistribution of AGCT scores in Negro units as measured against white unit norms was generally an acceptable explanation for nearly all difficulties which a Negro unit might be undergoing. If noncommissioned officers were poor, it was because too few men were in the leadership producing Grades, I, II, and III. If training progress was slow, it was because too many men were in the slow learning Grades, IV and V. If venereal disease rates were high, if morale was low, if discipline was poor, if AWOL rates were high, if mess halls and barracks failed to pass sanitary inspections, if vehicles and equipment were improperly maintained, low AGCT scores-low "intelligence"-were to blame. In many units the AGCT score became the refrain for a continuous jeremiad used as a fraternal greeting for inspectors. "When the Inspector General inspects a Negro unit," one officer experienced in the training of Negro soldiers explained, "the Unit Commander frequently calls his attention to the big percentage of men below Class II. The inspector thinks, `Good Heavens, a unit like that can't be much good' and he starts looking for trouble. Sometimes he will say in his report, `Unit will not be ready for movement overseas until a higher percentage of men in Class I, II, and III is assigned.' . . . Now the fact is that some very serviceable units can be made of personnel of this type. It would be a little silly to assume that all German soldiers are of Class III or better in spite of their claims of superiority. The Russians might lose some of their confidence if they knew the dreadful truth about their mental gradations...
Many of our officers are giving the re-

sults of these tests more weight than was ever intended." 101
Something of what could be done when the situation demanded it and when full use of resources was made was illustrated by training centers such as the 3d Engineer Aviation Unit Training Center at MacDill Field, Florida, where eighty-eight enlisted instructors were used in the last half of the war. Most of these men were young, with a median age of 24. Most were from the South by birth and most had had limited civilian experience before induction into the Army. Their education ranged from the second year of elementary school through completion of college; exactly half had had four years of high school or some college training. All had been in the Army from twelve to eighteen months. Exactly half were in the first three grades, half were in IV and V. Nearly half had been manual laborers, with the remainder spread through a varied list of skilled and semiskilled civilian occupations, few of which had direct connection with the engineering trades. Of these soldiers and their backgrounds the training center reported:
The list of specific occupations will suggest the civilian experience on which Army specialist training could be grounded. Perhaps one-third of the list, including the bartender and the asylum attendant, are difficult to connect with the task of building runways for advancing air power. Even so, native human capacities under the spur of need and the stress of opportunity often do respond in unsuspected ways. 102
While the AGCT scores and the poor backgrounds of Negro enlisted men which they measured were certainly
central to the slow progress of many units, they alone could not be held responsible for all training difficulties which Negro soldiers and their units faced. While low scores were characteristic of most Negro units, not all units faced the same varieties of training problems, nor were all units equally affected by comparably low scores. Those unit commanders who discounted the paramount value of scores in judging the potentialities of units found there were other factors of equal importance involved in the successful training of Negro units. With an examination of these factors in the life and training of Negro units, the role of AGCT scores loses lustre as the touchstone for understanding the major problems of Negro units and their training.


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