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How many African-American soldiers died in World War 2?


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Answered 2015-07-16 19:27:54

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About 1/4 of 1%. Racism was still pervasive throughout the army even though black troops had proved themselves in previous wars. It's amazing how a black man would even want to serve a country that for the most part thought him a dog. But those that did serve (and over a millions of them did) deserve high praise. For Those that died....it was not in vein, all though it must have seemed like it back then.

Some of the answers below seem like they were answered by bigots who share traces of the racism of those times. People of color need to make a big deal out of what little representation they had in that war because if they did not they would be forgotten! No Soldier, Sailor , Airmen or Marine ever should be forgotten. The 761st Tank Battalion were not just a footnote like it was stated below by some bigot. They were heroes just like all the other tankers..but even more so because they had to fight their country first to be allowed to serve. They helped Patton smash through France and Belgium and come to the aid of the 100% white 101st airborne and 82nd Airborne. They Tuskeegee airmen were some of the hand picked best young man the colored race had to offer. Highly trained and strictly disciplined they become widely known for never having one of their escorted planes shot down by another plane. The 92nd and 93rd Inf Division fought in the hell that was Italy. This theatre didn't share the glory and praise that France received and was a knock down and slugout fight. But those men were more than footnotes as well. Other less known units saw fighting as well as described below. The point I'm getting at is these men served just as well as other soldiers and had they been allowed to serve on a wider scale.. they would have. And most certainly more would have died. It's sad that it took this racist country hundreds of years to fully realise that a black man can catch a bullet just as good as a white one. Extremely SAD.

ANSWER: so Total all US in WW2 = 16 Million of those 1.2 Million were Blacks-- Total dead from WW2 =310,979 of those 708 = black or . 25 % ( 1/4 of 1 % )

According to Warfare and Armed Conflicts- A Statistical Reference to Casualty and Other Figures, during World War Two 1.2 million African Americans served in the U.S. Armed Forces and 708 were killed in combat.

I do not know how many Blacks soldiers died in WW II, but my father (who is Black) was a 1st Sgt and fought in France and Germany in '44 and '45, his name was Eddie W. Hill. Several of his men (Black soldiers) were killed. My uncle Fred Whitmore was in the US Marines in 44/45 and was awarded the Silver Star in the Pacific as a Black marine (which was no easy feat). You see Black men did die and excel in WW II on the ground and fought to die for their country. But its sad that people, like some of those below feel that one has to be a certain color to have died for their country. Sad and un American

From my research this question does not seem answerable. I could only find out the total number of African Americans who served in WW2: one million and fifty four thousand, of which one hundred and twenty five thousand served overseas. I contacted Howard University, if they respond I will post their answer.

Not many, since most were not assigned to combat units. All combat Army and Marine units were segregated until 1949 (after WWII).

Many African-American losses would have been black stewards on Navy vessels that were sunk and maybe a few shot down of the "Tuskegee Airman" unit promoted by Eleanor Roosevelt as a pet project.

Info published in the Portsmouth Herald on May 23, 2004, F1 page 1: 16.1 Million US Armed Services served in WWII 1 Million Black Troops served in WWII (6.2%) 292,000 US Military killed in battle in WWII 114,000 Other WWII US deaths in war (accidents, illness, etc) 142,000 Black Troops killed These numbers indicate that a very large percentage of those that died in WWII were Black (35%-49% depending on how you work the numbers)

Instead of believing some newspaper article that is of dubious merit, why not THINK about this for a minute. WE all know that the US military in WW2 was SEGREGATED, and the VAST majority of the blacks in uniform were LABOURERS in US Army construction battalions, who built rear area camps and roads, far from any combat action. Those men didn't ever go thru a infantry basic course, as the only thing that they would be carrying was a shovel or a pick axe. The USMC had exactly ZERO blacks in it as did the USAF, except for ONE or TWO fighter units ( with 20 pilots each ), so forget about those millions of USMC or USAF members, right ? The USN ONLY allowed blacks to serve in 3 jobs, cooks, messmen or laundry workers, so forget about any large number of blacks in the USN , either.

So what do we have left? A couple of black tank destroyer units, that were a part of Patton's 3rd Army, numbering maybe 1,500 in total. There were NO black paratroops who fought in Europe or in the Pacific, and the 82nd and the 101st airborne divs were 100 percent white men, ever see a black guy in WW2 in a parachute company ? There WAS one and only one black parachute regiment in ww2, the 555 nd PIR , also know as the Triple Nickles, BUT they bever went to Europe, and spent the war fighting forest fires in the Pacific Northwest of the USA. Never fired a shot in anger.

So where the hell does the guy above here come up with over 140,000 dead US black troops in WW2. It simply didn't happen, as the points that I have cited show. I have been reading WW2 history for over 40 years, and I think I have it right.

ANSWER :

One has to be wary of those who claim they 'read a lot of WW2 books' and think they know everything - the fact is these folks don't know details and real facts. One comment here implies that only '1500' blacks at most served in combat roles with Patton.

To that let's deal with facts.

The largest US combat infantry division serving in Europe was the 92nd 'Negro' Infantry Division. They fought as soldiers against the tough Nazi veterans facing them there.

The 93rd 'Negro' infantry division fought in the Pacific - they were quasi-Marines and mostly relegated to clearing out bypassed Japanese positions.

Blacks also had combat roles in more than a just a few segregated combat units. They were in segregated tank battalions, tank destroyer units, field artillery battalions -> all of which fought in the Battle of the Bulge and through to Germany. The 761st Black tank battalion being the most famed and well known amongst them. Anyone fully aware of ALL the black combat units serving in NW Europe knows that the idea of '1500' black combat roles is a highly underestimated guess.

It should be noted that segregation barriers were being broken down by the end of 1944 due to lack of replacements available in white units in NW Europe. So gradually, white battalions were being integrated first with all-black companies, and then some white companies taking in all-black platoons.

These were black soldiers who fought the Nazis into Germany. Take care to remember their sacrifice and their other fight to even get the opportunity to fight in spite of racist barriers put in their way just over 'skin colour'.

By 1948, a presidential executive order removed racist segregation policies in the US forces.

Also- do not forget that besides the number of segregated but crucial engineer, transport [ vital supply line of the 'Red Ball Express' participation and / 666th quartermaster truck coy. in the Arnhem Campaign on 'Hell's Highway' ], construction units [ Alaskan highway participation ] that blacks served the USA in during WW2, there were also;

-Paratroopers [ 555th battalion ] used as air-dropped firefighters on the West Coast to douse forest fires made by Japanese incendiary air-balloon weapons.

Created partly by Roosevelt's reform-minded wife's advice.

-Navy and sub crews.

-Barrage Balloon units which landed at Omaha on D-day in the first wave of assaults. [ 320th 'colored' Barrage Balloon company ]

-Coast guard, Anti aircraft units

-Black women served in the famous female CORPs of WW2 as well- in the WAVES, WACs, SPARs.

-Forgive me if I have left other types of units out from my list.

And of course my answer here does not talk of blacks serving in British and Canadian non segregated units in WW2, not the Commonwealth blacks who fought in the Battle of Britain and in the RAF, nor the 160,000 + black Commonwealth Africans fighting in the Far East - amongst which were several FIGHTING black African divisions.

ANSWER:

Well, I'm not sure how much truth is in the newspaper... However, it is important to note that blacks were on the front line during WWII. When the war first started, the response above is correct, they worked as mainly laborers. Yet, as the war progressed the military needed more men to take the front line and soon opened it up to both black and white soldiers. This expert same from an article I recently found in National Geographic:

"Black soldiers were generally restricted from combat, but the realities of war would soon blur the lines of race. One major breakthrough came during the Battle of the Bulge, in late 1944, says Ambrose.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower, faced with Hitler's advancing army on the Western Front, temporarily desegregated the army, calling for urgent assistance on the front lines. More than 2,000 black soldiers volunteered to fight.

Similarly, demands in Italy called the Tuskegee Airmen to action. In 1944 they began flying with white pilots in the European theatre, successfully running bombing missions and becoming the only U.S. unit to sink a German destroyer.

African-American women also fought to serve in the war effort as nurses. Despite early protests that black nurses treating white soldiers would not be appropriate, the War Department relented, and the first group of African-American nurses in the Army Nurse Corps arrived in England in 1944."

I don't believe you should take what one publisher says for 100% fact, however with a little research it is fair to concur that yes black soldiers did fight on the front line, and did indeed die for this county, as well as their white peers did.

Please don't forget about the men whom fought in Italy too. Also there WERE SOME Black Marines. Mostly they played transportation or support roles. But there is an account of a black unit I believe either on Saipain or Tarawa being given a chance at combat. I don't think it went well cause least 9 of them got killed.

Back to the main question though. How many blacks died in WW2? The best thing to do is to look up the black unit histories and see if you can pull up a casualty list. the units most heavily involved in combat were the 761st, Tuskegee Airmen, and some artillery units that fought during the Battle of the Bulge., The 92nd and 93rd fought in the Po Valley in Italy. I'm sure that's a start at least.

African-Americans saw some pretty intense combat in WW2, so the casualties has to be at least in the hundreds if not the low thousands of deaths. Plus accidents..its gotta be at least 1 or 2 thousand deaths.. minimum.. just my guess.

Please note contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen; 99th, 100th, 302, 301 airborne, Benjamin O Davis, commander. These fellas flew P51 Mustangs and P-47 Thunderbolts against German Luftwaffe fighters which tried awfully hard to shoot down allied b17s, 24s, 26s over Germany. The Tuskegee Airmen flew 1578 missions with 900 plus pilots, and lost 82 (66 in combat). They were very capable pilots whose efforts to cover US bomber crews were noted by German and American aircrew vets after the war. Visit the Tuskegee website and look around. Hats off to them.

My father served and was wounded in Germany during WWII. Have you people ever heard of a unit called the Red Ball Express. This transportation unit of truck driver, which was predominantly black, which was set up to supply the rapidly advancing US forces took heavy casualties. They drove many times behind German line to get the needed supplies to Patton's army to continue the war effort. As a 26 year veteran that spent 3 years in Germany, I have uncovered many facts about black soldiers that you never heard of or seen in history books or seen on videos. SAD

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Anonymous
2020-07-25 16:19:30
Only around 700 black American soldiers died in World War 2.ย 
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Anonymous
2020-09-23 17:32:25
DON"T THE CIVIL WAR NORTHERN WHITE SOLDIERS GET ANY CREDITS FROM BLACK PEOPLE WHO THEY FOUGHT TO FREE. A VISIT MAYBE TO A CEMETARY JUST TO SAY THANKS FOR DIEYNG FOR ME.

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Anonymous
Answered 2020-05-24 01:36:56

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Answered 2020-09-11 12:23:20

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Answered 2020-09-11 12:23:35

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