Air University Review, November-December 1981

Black-White Relations in the
 U.S. Military 1940-1972

Major Alan M. Osur

The thirty-two years from 1940 to 1972 saw the United States military undergo tremendous changes in its acceptance and treatment of minority group personnel. During this time, however, most Americans in and out of the military saw black-white relations as the most dramatic and most visible aspect of the total race relations problem. Also, the military tended to treat other minority groups somewhat better than it did blacks, and many of the gains that they did make would favorably affect others. Therefore, this essay will address white-black issues and examine how the military—first the Navy and War Departments and then the Department of Defense—reacted to the presence of blacks in its ranks.1

There are many watersheds in U.S. history, but for the history of race relations and especially black-white relations, World War II must be considered as very important.2 The war started a trend, an awareness, a movement that has never stopped. Other dates also come to mind—1954, 1955, 1963, 1967—but the path from 1940 is unbroken, beset with only minor backsliding. Nowhere is this trend more evident than in the military itself. Gains were made, starting in 1940, that have continued to the present and have carried into related areas such as the debate over whether women should be committed to a combat role.

Yet in looking at the military in 1940, one would hardly have any idea of what was to transpire in even a few short years. Within the War Department, the Army and Army Air Forces (AAF) severely restricted or excluded blacks. The Army, pushed by the Congress, had permitted four black regiments to serve in the active force. The 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry were established by 1866 and 1869 legislation. In 1939 this token force amounted to 3640 men of a total Army strength of 189,839.3 Only five black officers were on duty in the regular army: three were chaplains, and two were father and son, then Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., and Lieutenant Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.4 The AAF's record was even worse. Simply stated, blacks were not permitted in that service. The policy of the Marine Corps was similar to that of the AAF. The Navy’s 2807 black enlisted men served in the messman’s branch; none of the 19,477 commissioned and warrant officers in the Navy was black. Done Miller, one of the heroes of Pearl Harbor, earned the Navy Cross while serving as a messman. He was still a messman when he died at sea in 1944.5

The rationale for those policies had been consistent throughout U.S. military history and would remain so into the 1950s. Basically, racial prejudice and the military’s concept of efficiency mixed. This point was succinctly stated by Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall in 1940 in a letter to Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Marshall believed that societal conditions made it necessary for the War Department to follow a policy of segregation, and the military should uphold the status quo without offering blacks any concessions beyond those they had in civilian life. Any change would have a destructive effect on military efficiency as the military was not the proper vehicle for critical social experiments. Segregation had been successful for a long time, and this success was interpreted from the perspective of white soldiers, who, he believed, performed better under this system. The following year he again maintained that "experiments within the Army in the solution of social problems are fraught with danger to efficiency, discipline, or morale."6

But at least two forces were unleashed with the coming of the war—the military power of the United States and the organized protest of the black community and their white liberal allies. Black pressure translated into a political potential that caused President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, and Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, to put pressure on their services to initiate change. The preelection 1940 gains for blacks and Executive Order 8802 establishing the Fair Employment Practices Commission (June 1941) as a result of a threatened march on Washington are but two examples. That pressure continued throughout the war, helped by Eleanor Roosevelt in the White House, white liberals in the Congress, a number of racial disturbances in the military initiated by blacks protesting against discrimination, and by a conscription law that forced the services to accept blacks.7

By the end of the war in 1945, dramatic difference had emerged in the racial structure of the services. Nowhere was change more dramatic than in the Air Force; 131,936 blacks served in the AAF in September 1945. Most of them were organized into segregated service units under white officers, but a number of black flying units were in operation. The 99th Squadron fought in the Mediterranean Theater and performed in a creditable manner as did the 332d Group, which added three new squadrons to the theater and absorbed the 99th. They flew pursuit planes while another group trained in medium bombers (B-25s) back in the States. Segregation still severely limited opportunities for blacks; however, important gains had been made in their employment, and a few of them went through the integrated officers training school.8 The Navy slowly extended its use of blacks as the racial segregation of manpower along traditional lines had proved "incredibly inefficient," and it even experimented with, all-black and integrated ships.9 Fifty-eight black men and two black women became Naval officers, and some of the training facilities were integrated. Still, at the end of the war 45 percent of the 165,000 blacks in the Navy belonged to the messman or steward branch.10

The Army, because of its size and reliance on the draft, received the most blacks and generally assigned them to segregated units. Yet gains were made as blacks also served in two combat divisions fighting in the Pacific and in Italy. There was some integrated training, specifically at the officers training schools, and an experiment with integrated platoons after the Battle of the Bulge.11 Aside from these, U.S. Army leaders were still reluctant to increase opportunities for blacks, and most remained in a service capacity. The Marine Corps slowly and reluctantly opened its service to blacks, with most serving in depot and ammunition companies.12 In late 1944 they made up only 15,131 of the 475,000 men and women in the Marine Corps. The first black Marine officer was not commissioned until November 1945—after the war.13

Would these changes be permanent or would they, as in past wars, disappear with the peace? Both the military and the black community were concerned with those questions and set out to ensure that their answers would win the peace. Complicating the matter, although giving more support to blacks, was the fact that the Cold War determined that the military establishment would not diminish greatly. Both sides in the dispute recognized that gains had been made and should continue. The main issue was how far to go. The military was willing to accept an increased use of blacks but generally wanted to employ them within a segregated framework. Even the Navy’s plan offered, at best, only token integration. The black community pushed for their full utilization through total integration.

As the Navy experimented, the War Department remained uncertain of its direction and muddled through some surveys on the role of blacks in the postwar Army before deciding on a Board of Officers to offer direction. The Gillem Board saw better possibilities for blacks but still under a "separate but equal" system. Blacks appearing before the board stressed that they had the right to participate fully in the military establishment, but many white officers took the opposite view, claiming that the military was not ready, as with the nation, for integration. In the end, although the Gillem Board did recommend increased opportunities and limited integration and although the results were published in a War Department Circular, the Army demonstrated little progress toward implementing this policy.14

While the military debated and made decisions (or did not make decisions) about the future of blacks, the black community did not stand idly by. Numerous opportunities existed in 1947 and 1948 to assert pressure on what was now a consolidated target: the Department of Defense (DOD). In 1947 Grant Reynolds and A. Philip Randolph organized the Committee against Jim Crow in Military Service and Training with the primary purpose of ending segregation in the military. They focused attention on the military draft bill in Congress and indicated that they were prepared to recommend mass civil disobedience by encouraging blacks to refuse to register for the draft. This pressure, as well as the other comments from the black community, was directed not only against the Congress but also against President Harry S. Truman.15

President Truman, meanwhile, had been moving on his own in the area of civil rights. Concerned about some incidents against black soldiers in the South during the immediate postwar period, in December 1946, he appointed the President’s Committee on Civil Rights. Its report, issued on 29 October 1947, condemned segregation and recommended legislative and administrative action "to end immediately all discrimination and segregation based on race, color, creed, or national origin, in . . . all branches of the Armed Services." Truman’s conviction that some federal action on civil rights in the military was needed as well as the necessity of winning a presidential election were fused.16 Realistically, he would not be able to get any civil rights bill through the Congress, but he could act as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. On 26 Ju1y 1948 he issued Executive Order 9981 stating that:

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin. This policy shall be put into effect as rapidly as possible, having due regard to the time required to effectuate any necessary changes without impairing efficiency or morale.17

Significantly, instead of simply permitting the military services to proceed on their own, Truman created the President’s Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Forces, commonly called the Fahy Committee after its chairman, Charles Fahy. The Fahy committee started meeting in January 1949 and submitted its report, "Freedom to Serve," in May 1950. The report took so long to issue because the committee was an action committee, forcing the services constantly to change and modify their plans and policies to meet the goal of full desegregation. The committee also took time because the Army continually resisted efforts to push it along. A study of the committee provides an opportunity to see how the three services compare in their utilization of blacks.18

The Air Force under Secretary Stuart Symington had already committed itself to desegregation before the committee met and by 1949 had 1301 integrated and only 59 segregated units. That year it also broke up the all-black 332d Wing because the service was finding it more and more difficult to maintain two segregated air forces. In addition to other personnel problems, segregation held up the progress of Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., whom Air Force officers recognized as an excellent commander.19 The Navy, under Secretary of the Navy (later Secretary of Defense) James V. Forrestal and Secretary of the Navy John L. Sullivan, planned for full integration, but much of their progress was on paper only. In 1949, 57.4 percent of the blacks were still in the messman’s branch, only four in 1949 and 19 in 1950 were officers, and promotions for blacks were slow. But significantly, where there was integration, there was no racial friction.21

Blacks made up 6.2 percent of the Air Force and 4.7 percent of the Navy, but the Army had by far the highest number and percentage, a black enlistment rate of 8.2 percent in 1950. It was to the Army that the nation looked, and it was the Army that was most intransigent. That service resisted the efforts of the committee, and senior officers were supported by their Secretary, Kenneth Royall. A few examples might suffice to demonstrate this. At one point during the negotiations, it appeared that the Army tried to slip something over on the committee by submitting a plan that was simply a rehash of the Gillem Board recommendations and still included segregation. Next, on 1 October 1949, the Army sent out an order calling for a certain degree of integration but then on 27 October sent out another message telling all commands to disregard the first one. The Fahy Committee was only informed of the first order, although someone sent them a copy of the second. As a result, only token integration took place—blacks were permitted in the headquarters units but only as cooks, duty soldiers, and drivers—and 198 of the Army’s 490 job specialties remained closed to blacks.2

The Fahy Committee was not totally successful in integrating the Army, but the Korean War was, as integration was achieved on the battlefield. First, as the Army quickly built up, commanders at training camps such as Fort Ord, California, and Fort Jackson, South Carolina, did not have the time, money, or facilities to provide for segregation so they quietly integrated. The same situation prevailed in Korea as a neat segregated pattern was not possible. In 1951 the Army hired a civilian contractor to study the desegregation process in Korea and in the United States, and their report, "Project Clear," showed the doubting Army that it was working successfully and encouraged the military to continue with integration. Specifically, "Project Clear" showed that integration was the result of: commanders’ simply practicing it on the battlefield because no one was there to check on them; battle losses, which caused an increasing demand for replacements, and blacks were available and in excess of those required as replacements in all-black units; and black replacements’ being accidently assigned to white units.

Ultimately, blacks fought better in integrated units, and white performance was not adversely affected. Similar success was noted in the United States, although the desegregation process was slower in Europe.22 Obviously, Europe was not experiencing the same buildup is the United States and Korea, and thus was not affected by the same pressures. Still, by October 1953, 95 percent of the black soldiers in the Army were in integrated units, and on 30 October 1954, the Department of Defense announced that there were no more all-black units.23 Although only desegregation and not full integration had been achieved, one would have to agree with Richard M. Dalfiume, who concluded that: "A quiet racial revolution had occurred with practically no violence, bloodshed, or conflict."24

During the rest of the 1950s, the racial situation in the military appeared calm because for many, white and black alike, the military had solved its racial problems through desegregation. True, difficulties did exist, but they were mainly in the off-base environment, and the military had no control over that situation. The concept of institutional racism was not well understood, and blacks were often forced to accept personal racist affronts. But many blacks perceived that, whatever the difficulties, they were better off than those out in civilian life.25 Civilians perceived the same, so there was little pressure from within or without for change. Yet, the problems cannot be ignored. A friend of mine, a black pilot, was stationed at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, during this period. He indicated that restrictions placed on him because of his color included an informal policy that he could never be the aircraft commander of a transport, regardless of his flying experience. There were accounts of similar problems on and off bases throughout the nation.26

Circumstances were very different in the 1960s, during the Kennedy and Johnson years. More important, during the Robert S. McNamara years as Secretary of Defense, a major revolution took place in the concept of race relations in the military. With only a minimum of pressure exerted on it, the Department of Defense set out to move the military ahead of society. From 1962 to 1967, the DOD worked toward that goal, although not always with success. Later, from 1967 to 1972, great pressure from the enlisted ranks pushed the Defense Department even further.

There were some political motivations behind the Kennedy and McNamara measures, such as the civil rights debt from the close victory in the 1960 election, but there were also humanitarian impulses, as represented by the McNamara comment: "Five more years as Secretary of Defense and I could have integrated the nation."27 He believed that the military should be used to attack social problems and injustices, especially in civilian communities where black troops were "singularly defenseless against this bigotry."28 And there was a concern for military efficiency as racial discrimination created serious morale problems and thus was a detriment to performance.29 As with Truman, the administration recognized that it would be difficult to confront key Southern congressmen by sending a bill through Congress. Thus, in 1962, they reactivated the President’s Committee on Equal Opportunity in the Armed Forces, this time called the Gesell Committee after its chairman, Attorney Gerhard A. Gesell.

The committee met and issued its report in 1963. The Initial Report (l3June 1963) noted the following weaknesses in the military:

The committee’s recommendations were as extensive and far-reaching as the analysis the members asked for:

The final committee report of November 1964 pointed to similar problems overseas and in the National Guard.

As a result of the Gesell Committee report, Secretary McNamara decided to act, and on 26 July 1963 (the anniversary of Executive Order 9981), he issued a directive stating that the military would no longer follow civilian society but take the lead; furthermore, the military would protect its members. His program was designed to combat discrimination against black servicemen in civilian communities adjacent to military installations. Commanders would be responsible for the program, and annual reports were required.31

What happened then? As McNamara stated: "In the Pentagon we turned our minds to other problems." The Pentagon assumed that a simple directive would solve a long-seated problem, and then went on to other things.32 In reality, very little happened— especially in the South.

In 1968 David Sutton conducted an investigation based on a field trip to seven military installations. He discovered that the 1963 directive generally had been ignored and that very little change came about as result of the military’s action: some schools were integrated because of military funding, and some restrictions were placed on segregated groups meeting on base. Overall, Sutton noted three important deficiencies.33

First, personal prejudices of local military commanders could work against full implementation of the program as they were sometimes not willing to take a stand or were even hostile toward integration. The commander of a naval station in Louisiana reported that "The Command has had no reports of off-base discrimination and therefore no action has been taken." And a base in Georgia reported 100 percent open housing, but the housing officer did not know of any blacks moving into white areas.

Second, Sutton noted the "capture" of the base commander by the local population. Pressure from local civilians included the ability of getting the commander promoted, and many commanders stayed in the local area after retirement to take advantage of job opportunities. This type of pressure could result in a military-civilian council meeting such as one reported at a South Carolina base in 1968: The coordinator of the council officially opened the meeting, and the base chaplain gave the invocation. The coordinator called on the base commander, who welcomed those present, expressed his appreciation for council activities, and introduced the new military members of the council. The coordinator called on the mayor for a response, and he expressed his pleasure at the colonel’s remarks on the value of the council, thanked the commander for the warm welcome, and noted how civilian members look forward to attending council meetings. An excellent dinner was served, and a tribute was passed to the Officers’ Open Mess. The coordinator then called for committee reports from the four functional committees: Police-Health-Safety, Religion-Welfare, Recreation-Education, and Housing-Commercial Services-Public Relations. Each committee chairman responded, "No report." There being no other business before the council, the coordinator adjourned the meeting.

Finally, commanders did not believe they would receive support from higher headquarters, and thus there was reluctance to use the off-limits sanctions at all levels. Officers often follow the example of a more senior officer. They would naturally receive a negative message when the general in charge of a new DOD program to open up housing put down a deposit on a segregated apartment. Also, from 1963 to 1967, only two requests were sent by commanders to their civilian service chiefs for sanctions, and both were either ignored or denied.

By 1967 the Department of Defense recognized that its program had failed and sent a team to a dozen bases to look at every aspect of race relations. As a result, McNamara noted: "One fact became painfully clear: The voluntary program had failed, and failed miserably. This failure we found intolerable." And he admitted that the program lacked sanctions and leadership, starting with him at the top.34 Thus, the lesson learned from Sutton and McNamara was that commitment and sanctions were needed to overcome racism and blindness. An example of this blindness is apparent in a comment by new Secretary of Defense Clark M. Clifford, who on 25 July 1968 said: "By 1955 all formal racial discrimination had been eliminated, although vestiges lingered into the early 1960’s." This statement does not stand up to the facts, as McNamara had attested to the previous year.35

Secretary McNamara issued a new directive calling for a nationwide census of off-base facilities and the mobilization of effective community support. The department started first in the Washington, D.C., area, where high officials met with realtors and landlords. Within 120 days, the number of nondiscriminatory units moved from 15,000 to 53,000. Then the military went to other parts of the United States and required monthly reports from commanders. In 1967, only 31 percent of the housing near bases could be certified in writing by the owner or base commander as open to all races; in 1968,91 percent of the housing was open.36

By 1968, however, events in the military were moving much beyond the careful control of the Secretary’s office. While the military was attempting to take the institution beyond society, blacks in the military were reflecting that society.37 Rioting by blacks demonstrated their frustration with institutional racism, powerlessness, and the war in Vietnam. Rioting became almost a trademark of many American cities during the 1960s. Institutional racism and powerlessness existed in the military but personal racism also existed in daily contacts between whites and blacks. As a result, racial incidents occurred at Longbinh outside Saigon (1968) and at Camranh Bay (1969) in Vietnam, and at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (1968), Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (1969), and Camp Pendleton, California (1970).38

Disturbances would continue further into the 1970s, such as at Anjong-Ni, Korea(1972), and at Fort Ord, California, and Fort McClellan, Alabama (1972). The Department of Defense believed that more action had to be taken and appointed Air Force Colonel, now Major General (Retired), Lucius Theus to head a study committee to determine the causes of racial unrest in the Armed Forces. The result was "The Report of the Inter-Service Task Force on Education in Race Relations," (31 July 1970), which recommended an education program in race relations for all military personnel and a Race Relations Education Board to determine policy and approve curricula for the program.39

As a direct result of the Theus Committee report, the Defense Race Relations Institute (DRRI) was established at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, in June 1971. Although I have no direct proof, I believe that a final push was needed to bring DRRI into active being. During a visit to the Rosslyn, Virginia, temporary office of DRRI in early June 1971, I sensed that the organization was in a "holding pattern," even though planning had been going on since late 1970. The Rosslyn office was plainly waiting for a final go-ahead with no positive assurance as to when—or if—it might come. That approval finally came later in the month—on 24 June. It is my belief that the race riot at Travis Air Force Base, California, in May 1971 was the final push that once and for all gave DOD the indication that something had to be done. The timing seemed too perfect.40

The Travis riot started over the playing of loud music and continued from 22 to 24 May 1971. In the end, 135 military personnel were arrested, including 25 whites and 110 blacks, of whom 89 were first-termers.41 Interesting from a historical perspective was the military’s failure to recognize at that time the causes of the disturbance. A letter from Vice Chief of Staff General John C. Meyer noted that "No reports received prior to 24 May 1971 indicating that possible racial unrest at Travis AFB." Actually, numerous indicators were available, but at Travis as well as many other places they were ignored. Letters and memoranda throughout the Air Force warned commanders of a potential for racial difficulties and suggested communication, dialogue, and discussion. At Travis, conditions resembled the ghetto environment described in the Kerner Commission Report, and there had been complaints by blacks of racial problems on and off base. Also apparent was the impersonality, insensitivity, and indifference of commanders at various levels of the chain of command.42

The Travis riot was the final catalyst that triggered DOD’s resolve to use education, via DRRI, to make all military personnel aware of racial difficulties. But education alone would not be enough, as commitment to change, strong leadership at all levels, sensitivity to problems, and the resolve to take action when necessary were also needed.

So by 1972 the Defense Department had been roused and moved along a course that to a great extent has carried the military ahead of society in removing, in the words of former Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird, "every vestige of discrimination" from the Armed Forces.43 Top department officials were motivated by humanitarian impulses, pressure from inside and out, and a concern for mission effectiveness. Quite simply, planes could not fly from Travis AFB if a race riot were going on, and the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk and U.S.S. Constellation could not perform their missions if they were facing similar difficulty. Occasionally, the department was forced to react, and this cause and effect is reflected in an incident at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas, on 19 September 1972. A takeover of the dining hall led to a further demonstration that resulted in the firing of the wing commander, not for being a racist but for being blind to what was happening at his base. As a result, one month later the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General John D. Ryan, sent a letter to all commands clearly stating: "I desire that you, your commanders and supervisors support the USAF Equal Opportunity and Race Relations Education program with the same vigor and enthusiasm as that given the flying mission."44 This statement is another indication that by 1972 the Department of Defense had made great strides since the early 1940s when few commanders were even willing to accept blacks into their organizations.

SINCE the early seventies, the military has continued to build on the foundation established in the post-World War II years and has moved ahead in the overall goal of enhancing military efficiency by providing for equality of treatment while fighting personal and institutional discrimination. How much real progress has been made is the subject of debate among many in and out of the military; statistics, of course, are available, but they do not always tell the full story. Still, the Department of Defense made several important efforts during the 1970s, and these, seen from the perspective of 1981, are proof that in the area of human relations the military is at least keeping pace with society and is most likely ahead of it. The Task Force on Military Justice initiated many needed reforms, while Affirmative Action Plans ensure workable goals and the means to monitor them. The DRRI has changed its name (Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute) and its direction to place more emphasis on organizational management and provide leaders with the tools to carry out their mission effectively; and more and more women are entering the service. Finally, the visible evidence of black faces throughout the chain of command bears witness to continued changes within the United States military.

Ramstein AB, Germany


1. Key secondary sources on this topic are: Richard M. Dalfiume, Desegregation of the United States Armed Forces: Fighting on Two Fronts, 1939-1953 (Columbia, Missouri, 1969); Jack Foner, Blacks and the Military in American History: A New Perspective (New York, 1974); Alan L. Gropman, The Air Force Integrates, 1945-1964 (Washington: Office of Air Force History, 1978); Ulysses Lee, The Employment of Negro Troops (Washington: Office of the Chief of Military History, 1966); Morris J. MacGregor, Integration of the Armed Forces, 1940-1965 (Washington: Center of Military History, 1981); Dennis D. Nelson, The Integration of the Negro into the United States Navy (Washington: Navy Department, 1948); Lee Nichols, Breakthrough on the Color Front (New York, 1954); Alan M. Osur, Blacks in the Army Air Forces during World War II: The Problem of Race Relations (Washington: Office of Air Force History, 1977).

2. Richard M. Dalfiume, "The 'Forgotten Years' of the Negro Revolution," Journal of American History, June 1968; Harvard Sitkoff, "Racial Militancy and Interracial Violence in the Second World War," Journal of American History, December 1971.

3. Lee, p. 88; Russell F. Weigley, History of the United States Army (New York, 1967), p. 569. Nearly ten percent of the total force or 14,486 were officers.

4. Foner, p. 131.

5. Ibid., pp. 131-32, 172-73.

6. Letters from General Marshall to Senator Lodge and Judge Hastie, 27 September 1940 and 1 December 1941, Albert F. Simpson Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

7. Osur.

8. Ibid.

9. Morris MacGregor, "Armed Forces Integration—Forced or Free?" in David MacIsaac, editor, The Military and Society (Washington: Office of Air Force History, 1975), p. 132.

10. Frederick S. Harrod, "Integration of the Navy (1941-1978)," United States Naval Institute Proceedings, October 1979, p. 45.

11. Lee, p. 134. As early as 31 December 1942, 467,883 blacks were in the Army—of 4,532,117.

12. The Marine Corps Commandant in early 1942 stated that it would be "absolutely tragic" if they had black enlistments. MacGregor, p. 131.

13. Henry I. Shaw, Jr., and Ralph W. Donnelly, The Blacks in the Marine Corps (Washington: U.S. Marine Corps, 1975), pp. 47, 95.

14. Dalfiume, pp. 148~53: Gropman, pp. 47-62.

15. Gropman, pp. 104-5; Dalfiume, pp. 155, 163-68.

16. Dalfiume, pp. 144-45, 155.

17. "Freedom to Serve: Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services," Fahy Committee (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1950).

18. Nichols, pp. 89-97.

19. Ibid., pp. 73-81; Dalfiume, p. 195; Gropman, pp. 75-76; MacGregor, p. 133. Davis would later retire as a lieutenant general.

20. Nelson, pp. 183-205; "Freedom to Serve," p. 24.

21. Nichols, pp. 92-95, 107-8; Dalfiume, p. 202; Gropman, p. 221; Foner, p. 186.

22. Leo Bogart, editor, Social Research and the Desegregation of the U.S. Army Project Clear (Chicago, 1969), pp. 49-50, 319-21; Nichols, pp. 127-33.

23. Bogart, p. S21.

24. Dalfiume, pp. 218-19.

25. Charles C. Moskos, Jr., "Racial Integration in the Armed Forces," The American Journal of Sociology, September 1966, pp. 140-41, 145-46.

26. Gropman, pp. 153-68.

27. MacGregor, pp. 131, 135.

28. Robert S. McNamara, The Essence of Security: Reflections in Office (New York, 1968), p. 124.

29. MacGregor, p. 135.

30. "Equality of Treatment and Opportunity for Negro Military Personnel Stationed within the United States," Gesell Committee, 13 June 1963.

31. Adam Yarmolinsky, The Military Establishment: Its Impact on American Society (New York, 1970), p. 351.

32. McNamara, p. 124.

33. David Sutton, "The Military Mission against Off-Base Discrimination," in Charles C. Moskos, Jr., editor, Public Opinion and the Mi1itary Establishment (Beverly Hills, California, 1971), pp. 149-79.

34. McNamara, pp. 124-25.

35. Yarmolinsky, p. 341.

36. McNamara, pp. 126-27; Yarmolinsky, p. 352.

37. Moskos, pp. 146-47.

38. Foner, pp. 201-16; Yarmolinsky, pp. 344-45.

39. "The Report of the Inter-Service Task Force on Education in Race Relations," Theus Report, 31 July 1970; U.S. Army "Equal Opportunity Letters," 1972.

40. Gropman, p. 343, footnote 100.

41. AirForce Times Family Magazine, 18 August 1971, pp. 4-7, 19.

42. Letter from General John C. Meyer to AFSC, 25 May 1971; letter from DPX to all commands, 15 December 1970; "Findings and Analysis of the Travis Incident," l9 July 1971.

43. Address by Donald L. Miller to the Annual Psychology in the Air Force Symposium, March 1972.

44. Letter from General John D. Ryan to all commands, 18 October 1972.


Major Alan M. Osur (Ph.D., University of Denver) is Chief of Social Actions at Ramstein AB, Germany. His previous assignments include instructor, Defense Race Relations Institute, Patrick AFB, Florida; Associate Professor and Director of U.S. History at the USAF Academy, Colorado; and tours in photo reconnaissance at RAF Alconbury, England, and Udorn, Thailand. Major Osur is the author of Blacks in the Army Air Forces during World War II: The Problems of Race Relations (1977).


The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.

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