Exhibit Closes Dec. 31, 2017
African Americans played critical roles in ensuring Allied victory in World War II. Both on the home front and in all military theaters of operation, they served with distinction and honor. MOSH presents a photo exhibit, African Americans in World War II, which represents the work of the more than 1.2 million African Americans who served in all branches of service, in Europe, the Pacific and Stateside during World War II. It also features African Americans not in the service, but supporting the war effort.
The military roles of African Americans broadened during the war, from service duties, such as supply, maintenance and transportation, to positions such as infantrymen, pilots, tankers, medics and officers. Pilots included the 99th Fighter Squadron, popularly known as the Tuskegee Airmen. Black women came to the defense of the nation by enlisting in the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC). They made up 10 percent of the women recruited.
Despite these advances, the U.S. Armed Forces were segregated throughout World War II. African-American leaders at home launched a “Double V” campaign that called for victory against the Axis powers and victory against racism in the U.S. They fought against employment discrimination in the defense industry and their efforts helped lead to the racial integration of the Armed Forces in 1948. In many ways, World War II laid the foundations for the civil rights movement to follow. This is your last chance to see the exhibit before it closes on December 31, 2017.