Viewing page 17 of 28

[[newspaper clipping]]


Negroes in Military Doubled; 'Complex Problems' Remain

WASHINGTON, April 23 (UP).- The Defense Department said today the number of Negro officers and enlisted men in the armed services was more than doubled since 1949. But it acknowledged, in a progress report on racial integration, that opportunities for the department's Negro civilian employees still "lag far behind."

While racial barriers for men in unifrom  have been crumbling in all of the services during the last five or six years, the report said, "The utilization of the individual Negro (civilian) employee at his maximum potential often appears as a distant objective."

The report also admitted "complex problems" in achieving racial integration in the National Guard, Reserve Officers' Training Corps and other civilian components. 

The report listed the following percentage of Negro officers and enlisted men in each of the services, compared with the total personnel of the service:

ARMY: Negro army officers accounted for 1.8 per cent in July, 1949, and 2.97 per cent in July, 1954. Negro enlistees increased from 12.4 to 13.7 per cent.

NAVY: In July, 1949, no Negro officers and 0.1 per cent in July, 1954. Negro enlistees declined from 4.7 to 3.6 per cent.

AIR FORCE: In July, 1949, Negro officers accounted for 0.6 per cent and 1.1 per cent in July, 1954. Negro enlistees jumped from 5.1 to 8.6 per cent.

MARINE CORPS: In July 1949, there were no Negro officers and 0.1 per cent Negro officers five years later. Negro enlistees rose from 2.1 to 6.5 per cent in July, 1955.

Negroes in uniforms holding responsible and important jobs on a fully integrated basis include [[pencil underlined]] Brig. Gen. Benjamin O. Davis [[/pencil underlined]], director of Operations and Training, Far East Air Force, Tokyo; Col. James H. Robinson, management officer of New York Military District; Lt. Comdr. Dennis D. Nelson, public information officer of the San Diego Naval Training Center, and Lt. Col. Bernice G. Hughes, Women's Army Corps, administrative chief of special services in United States Army Europe. 

[[/newspaper clipping]]
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact