Boston: Waide & Slater, 1942. Original photographic display, 15 x 23 inches. Framed. Photographic print in excellent condition. Frame with some small nicks. Item #WRCAM54814
A large and very interesting photographic display featuring Company A of the 385th Engineers, an African-American unit in training in the early years of World War II. The central image is a class photo of the whole company (some 210 men in all), along with five caucasian officers. The image of the company is surrounded by four different views of their training facility: the mess hall, the entrance, their barracks, and a panoramic view of the base facilities (which appears to be in a different location than the more bucolic setting shown in the base entrance image). As usual throughout World War II, the company is entirely composed of African-American servicemen, but the officers are all caucasian. World War II was the last segregated war fought by the United States, as President Truman desegregated the armed forces in the summer of 1948. Most African-American companies served in support roles during the war, and never saw combat, though quite a number of engineering units were involved with building bridges and other infrastructure in Europe and the Pacific.