The White and Black Ship

By Stephen D. Lutz

During World War II, the U.S. Navy built more than 1,000 destroyer escorts, ships whose primary duty was to escort supply convoys across the world’s oceans to insure that their precious cargo of food, fuel, war material, and personnel got to their destinations safely. Read more


Battle of New Market Heights

By David Norris

Reports of a massive enemy force crossing the James River to assail the paper-thin Confederate lines defending Richmond reached Lt. Read more

Major Charity Adams (center) commanded the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, the only all-black, all-female Women’s Army Corps unit to serve overseas during World War II. PFC Romay Johnson remembered her as a strict officer.


A Black WAC in the U.S. Army

By Kevin M. Hymel

Although Private First Class (Pfc) Romay C. Johnson served in war-torn England and France during World War II, it was her tumultuous voyage across the Atlantic Ocean that she remembered most vividly. Read more

For what the U.S. Army called a “magnificent display of courage” while killing a dozen Vietnamese soldiers during a January, 1968, ambush in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, Johnson was recommended for, and received, the Congressional Medal of Honor the same year. He was the City of Detroit's only Vietnam War Medal of Honor winner and the first African American soldier from Michigan to recieve the nation's highest military honor.


Tank driver Dwight Johnson in Vietnam

By William E. Welsh

The U.S. military had 409,000 soldiers and Marines in South Vietnam organized into approximately 100 infantry and mechanized battalions at the start of 1968. Read more


They Also Served

By Kevin M. Hymel

When it came to the global war against tyranny, America’s blacks would not be denied a stake in the action. Read more

The road to victory: A military policeman waves through another truck rushing cargo on a one-way highway to the fast-moving front lines in Normandy, France, August 1944. The mostly African American drivers of the Red Ball Express realized that without a steady stream of food, fuel, ammunition, medical equipment, troops, and other critical supplies, the Allied advance would grind to a halt.


Red Ball Express to the Rescue!

By Dante Brizill

In a message to the Red Ball Express in October of 1944, Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote, “To it falls the tremendous task of getting vital supplies from ports and depots to combat troops, when and where such supplies are needed, material which without armies might fail. Read more


The Crater: Explosion of Death

By John Walker

It was just after 3 am on Saturday, July 30, 1864. A month of relative quiet along a two-mile stretch of Union and Confederate trench lines immediately east of Petersburg, Virginia, was about to come to an explosive end. Read more

Fighting men of the 92nd Infantry Division, the famed Buffalo Soldiers, march past the wreckage of a knocked out PzKpfw. VI Tiger tank in the vicinity of Ponsacco, Italy. The African-American soldiers of the 92nd Division fought racial injustice in their own army, as well as the Germans.


The Brave Buffalo Soldiers

By Michael D. Hull

Despite their gallant service in the Civil War, on the Western frontier, and in the Spanish-American War, black soldiers were used mostly for labor and given only a limited fighting role when the U.S. Read more


The Fort Pillow Incident

By Roy Morris Jr.

When Confederate Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and his 3,000 battle-hardened troopers rode back into their homeland of West Tennessee in late March 1864, they were not in the best of moods. Read more