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1619 1865 NOW

Tuskegee Airmen

Daniel James

He took part in a special training program of the U.S

Army Air Corp (U.S. Air force) which held at Tuskegee
Army Air Field trained the men who would become the
first black pilot in the U.S. military. These pilot become
well known as the Tuskegee Airmen, many of them
fought in WWII
1943, James received a commission as a second
lieutenant. As a fighter pilot, he flew 179 combat during
Korea & Vietnam wars. He won promotion to brigadier
general in 1970 and lieutenant general in 1973. He
served as commander of the North American Air Defense
& Commander (North American Aerospace Defense
Combat) from 1975 until his retire
He spoke strongly for civil Rights, praised excellent in
performance as a way to attack institutionalized racism.
The World Book Encyclopedia (5 – D) – page 47
General James is widely known for his speeches on
Americanism and patriotism for which he has been
editorialized in numerous national and international
publications. Excerpts from some of the speeches have
been read into the Congressional Record. He was
awarded the George Washington Freedom Foundation
Medal in 1967 and again in 1968. He received the Arnold
Air Society Eugene M. Zuckert Award in 1970 for
outstanding contributions to Air Force professionalism.
His citation read "... fighter pilot with a magnificent
record, public speaker, and eloquent spokesman for the
American Dream we so rarely achieve."
Accessed day: Jan 31st, 2006

Benjamin O. Davis Sr.

In November 1944 Benjamin O. Davis Sr. became

Special Assistant to the Commanding General,
Communications Zone, European Theater of Operations,
stationed in Paris, France, and in November 1945 was
granted a period of detached service for the purposes of
recuperation and rehabilitation. In January 1946 he
again became Assistant, The Inspector General,
Washington, D.C. He retired on 14 July 1948, after
having served fifty years. General Davis died on
November 26, 1970. His remains are interred in
Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. His son,
Lieutenant General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., (U.S. Air
Force, Retired), is the fourth African American graduate
of the U.S. Military Academy and the nation's second
African American general officer.
Accessed day: Jan 31st, 2006

The 35th United States Colored Troops

The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts was organized in

March, 1863 at Camp Meigs, Readville, Massachusetts
by Robert Gould Shaw, twenty-six year old member of a
prominent Boston abolitionist family. Shaw had earlier
served in the Seventh New York National Guard and the
Second Massachusetts Infantry, and was appointed
colonel of the Fifty-fourth in February 1863 by
Massachusetts governor John A. Andrew.
Along with the 35th United States Colored Troops, the
Fifty-fourth entered the fighting late in the day at
Olustee, and helped save the Union army from complete
disaster. The Fifty-fourth marched into battle yelling,
"Three cheers for Massachusetts and seven dollars a
month." The latter referred to the difference in pay
between white and colored Union infantry, long a sore
point with colored troops. Congress had just passed a
bill correcting this and giving colored troops equal pay.
However, word of the bill would not reach these troops
until after the battle of Olustee. The regiment lost
eighty-six men in the battle, the lowest number of the
three black regiments present.
The 54th, as well as the 35th United States Colored
Troops, served as the rearguard for the Union Army and
possibly prevented its destruction.
After Olustee, the Fifty-fourth was not sent to
participate in the bloody Virginia campaigns of 1864-
1865. Instead it remained in the Department of the
South, fighting in a number of actions, including the
battles of of Honey Hill and Boykin's Mill before
Charleston and Savannah.
It was mustered out in August, 1865.
More than a century after the war the Fifty-fourth
remains the most famous black regiment of the war, due
largely to the popularity of the movie "Glory", which
recounts the story of the regiment prior to and including
the attack on Battery Wagner
Accessed day: Jan 31st, 2006

54th massachusetts volunteer regiment

Samuel Lee Gravely Jr.

Among those accomplishments, are a string of

impressive "firsts" that include: the first African
American to command a U.S. Navy warship ( USS
Theodore E. Chandler); the first African American to
command an American warship under combat conditions
since the Civil War (USS Taussig during the Vietnam
War); the first African American to command a major
naval warship (USS Jouett); the first African American
admiral; the first African American to rise to the rank of
Vice Admiral; and the first African American to command
a U.S. Fleet (Commander, Third Fleet).
Accessed Day: Jan 31st, 2006