Cpl. Roy Underwood Plummer’s World War I Diary

About the Project

Roy Underwood Plummer (1896–1966) was born in Washington, D.C., and enlisted in the Army in 1917. Corporal Plummer served in Company C of the 506th Engineer Battalion. Plummer was one of approximately 160,000 African Americans who served as Services of Supply (SOS) troops charged with mainlining the military supply networks in France during the war. After serving in the Army, Plummer attended Howard University Medical School and established a successful practice in Washington, D.C.

This Army and Navy diary was made specifically for soldiers serving during World War I. The pre-printed pages include sections to record enlistment and service details, a French-English vocabulary guide, an address log of friends and fellow soldiers, and much more. Plummer’s diary entries discuss several topics including his insights on relations between US and French soldiers and citizens, the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, weather conditions, food and places that he visited, other African American companies and their bands, German prisoners of war, the study of French language by African American soldiers, and the racial conflict between US servicemen. Help us transcribe this rare example of the African American soldier’s experience during World War I.

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