segregated units not getting enough credit

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by elmilitaro, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. elmilitaro

    elmilitaro Member

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    Hey guys, i was wondering if you feel the same about this as i do, do battlalions such as the Japenese-american 442nd, the african-american 92nd, or the african-american 761st tank batallion get enough credit for their work during WW2 as other divisions do?

    I hope not to start anything bad.
     
  2. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Why? Do you believe they should receive special mention just because they weren't white? That's racism, giving them a higher mention. All races fought the same, and were all doing their duty.

    I don't see any special mention for any white units, except the famous ones such as the 101st Airborne.
     
  3. Ball Turret Gunner

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    Well, fortunately, some of those who served in colored units are finally starting to get the recognition they deserve.

    In fact, one person I wish they would upgrade a valor decoration for is: Dorey "Doris" Miller -- for his actions at Pearl Harbor as well as in Iron Bottom Sound off of Guadalcanal in 1943. Sadly, in one of the many battles there, he was killed in action. Doris Miller had already been awarded the Destinguished Service Cross for his bravery at P.H. During the action that he was killed in, he was killed while manning (I think Pom Pom Guns) similar to what he did at Pearle -- when he took over a machinegun after its crew had been either killed or wounded. Dorey had managed to shoot down one or more Japanese aircraft until another torpedo slammed into the side of the ship he was on knocking him to the deck.

    In case it is not clear, Dorey Miller was black. This man's job on board the ships he served on, was as a kitchen hand. I think due to the prejudices of the time, he was not awarded the Medal of Honor. So, I think his award should be up-graded and do hope that someday that will happen.
     
  4. Hunter368

    Hunter368 Active Member

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    Agree 100% If they did something better or more heroic than any other units thats a different story. But if its based just on color, nope, they faught the same as the rest of the units.
     
  5. wmaxt

    wmaxt Active Member

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    I also agree that recognition should be reserved for those that earned it. However neither the recognition or publicity related was ever given even though it was deserved in many cases, some examples:

    The "Red Ball Express", made up of African-Americans, almost exclusively, kept the supplies not only moving but at the front regardless of risk, weather, or other conditions.
    Tuskegee Airmen, the only group never to lose a bomber to enemy fighters. No one knew they existed until the movie.
    Negro Medal of honor winners - I caught this in passing so may be wrong - were not recognized until '95 because of their color.
    Japanese American soldiers were given the very toughest assignments and as indivuduals and units were the most highly decorated units in WWII but few knew they even existed. Their families were in captivity as undesireable, by the US while they fought for their country.
    Code talkers both Souix and Navajo

    There are more that never got the recognition these are just off the top of my head!

    wmaxt
     
  6. elmilitaro

    elmilitaro Member

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    Thank you, that's all I'm trying to say, I'm not trying to be racist nor am I a racist person. I was brought up in a diverse neighberhood with Italians, African-Americans, Indians, Pakistanis, and hispanics and I got along with most of them.
     
  7. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Personally, I think you ought to get the Doris Miller story straight before you start complaining about his awards or lack thereof.

    For starts, his name really was Doris, his nickname was Dorrie, and he was never awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
     
  8. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    i dunno about the american medal system but with the british system there has to be whitnesses and, depending on the medal, various other criteria have to be fulfilled, even if you deserve the Victoria Cross, no proper whitnesses or any of the other stuff, you aint getting it, maybe that's what happened in that case.........
     
  9. Ball Turret Gunner

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    Please delete this. My corrections are not allowed to be made.
     
  10. Ball Turret Gunner

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    Hi Elmilitara, R.Leonard.

    El, I see nothing that you posted as racist in any way, shape or form. I completely agree with you that these men who did not recieve the decorations they deserved--should be awarded them to correct a wrong.

    R. Leonard, thanks for the slight correction about Doris Miller. I mistakenly and unthinkingly mentioned that he recieved the Army award and should have said that he recieved the Navy Cross. The spelling of his name is: Doris "Dorie" Miller.

    Also, I never lay claim to be the all knowing, perfect person here. I do NOT have photographic memory and rely on my books to "Keep me clean." However, I must mention that I am very rusty at times with the info concerning the history of American involvement of WWII as I am mainly interested with happenings in the E.T.O, as well as the war between the Germans and the Soviets -- known as The Eastern Front.

    Thanks and regards -- BTG.
     
  11. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    And here's the info on Doris Miller:

    http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq57-4.htm

    Frankly, I've personally known men awarded the Navy Cross for less (a very, very small number) and a great many more men who were awarded the Navy Cross for doing quite a bit more, quite a bit, indeed. Is anyone going to push to upgrade their Navy Crosses to Medals of Honor? What about those who were awarded 2, 3, even 4 Navy Crosses? Should they be allowed to trade up 2 for 1 or 3 for 1? Awards are best left alone. Before anyone starts thinking someone's award should be upgraded, maybe a look at the citations of those actually awarded the Medal of Honor might be in order. Then one could ask one's self, "did the deed of so and so measure up to these?" Will there be a push to have the Medal of Honor awarded to anyone shooting down an enemy aircraft? That's a lot of Medals. I would guess that, just at Pearl Harbor, there was more than one fellow behind a machine gun somewhere who managed to perforate a Japanese airplane whose usual duties did not include manning a machine gun. Who will track that gent down and insure that he, too, gets a Medal of Honor?

    My country's history of race relations is nothing of which to be proud, but, in my opinion, to pluck a black sailor who was awarded his service's highest award (and when you read the requirements therefore, the award seems quite in order) and say he should be bumped to the Medal of Honor because he was black is merely the flip side of the racist coin.

    Rich
     
  12. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Exactly, Rich, I could not have said it better myself. There were plenty of white soldiers and civilians that did deeds of great heroism that were not recognised. As Rich said, and I completely agree with, picking out ethnics and make shows of them because they're not white is a flipside of racism.
     
  13. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    If the action warrants the award, then race, color, religion or any other fact should not go into the determination. I am sure there are soldiers of all different makeups that were either unrecognized for their actions, or given a "downsized" award. But the plain truth is that in the heat of battle, the last thing on a soldier's mind is "gee, I could get a medal for this". I have met Navy Cross and Silver Star recipients that don't think that they did anything spectacular. Everyone that I have spoken to that has those medals typically say they were just doing their job.
     
  14. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    My brother was awarded a Siver Star for a firefight he participated in inside the Ashore Valley, S. Vietnam 1968. Some of our friends and family members label him a hero, he says he was just a survivor....
    he never used the fact that he was a "minority" duirng this action as well.....
     
  15. Ball Turret Gunner

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    Rich, I too have personally known many veterans who have recieved high awards. Yes, I do know and are friends with a few men who were Medal of Honor Recipients. If you wish a list of names, I will gladly submit them. Also, I do know many other people who are somewhat and or are very wekk known. Ever hear of Captain Edward Beach? I knew this famed author as well as I know many of the Doolittle Raiders, member of VMF 214 The Black Sheep (even had a long distance conversation with Col. Boyington himself a few months before he passed away in 1988.

    One of my best British friends was a WWII Victoria Cross Recipient. This Gentleman is: Captain Richard Wallace Annand. I have known literally hundreds of German veterans as well. Ever hear of RKT's Erich Topp, Reinhard Hardegan, Helmut Witte, Paul Brasack, Hans-Gunther Lange, Ernst Barkmann, Hans Hauser, Heinrich Springer, Otto Kumm, Martin Drewes, Otto Westphalen, Otto Carius, Martin Drewes, Remy Schrijnen, Sepp Lainer, just to name a few. Any of these names ring a bell?

    I am not trying to show off but, I just want to point out that your not the only one who has access to men like these. I do see your point but, you also have it mistaken as to the reason why I feel that Doris Miller should recieve a higher decoration for his actions at Pearl Harbor and in the waters near Guadalcanal. If you really do believe in what you said above are MY reasons for wanting him to get more recognition, then brother; you could not be in more error than you are in now.

    I highly doubt that Doris Miller ever thought that "Gee, if I run out on deck, maybe I could recieve a medal for firing a machinegun."

    Flyboy, I tip my hat in ultimate respect for your brother and what he did in Vietnam.

    Best regards-BTG.
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Thank you BTG..
     
  17. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    I don't think you could point to a post where I said anything like that or even implied same and somewhat resent the implication.

    Nice to know that you knew Ned Beach. So did I, met him through George Street who in his pre-submarine days served with my father aboard USS Arkansas. He was a year ahead of my father at USNA, 1937 and 1938, respectively; Ned Beach was class of 1939. Hadn't been for Capt Street marrying the lovely Mary Martha, one of my mother's childhood friends, lo, those many years ago, my parents wouldn't have met. Street went off to New London and a long career and my father went off to Pensacola for a career that went through retirement in 1971. Street, of course, was awarded the MOH for action as skipper of Tirante.

    I'm still wondering, though, why the Navy Cross wasn't good enough, I have yet to hear a rationalization that measures the criteria to the events. Suggest you read the requirements for both awards carefully and not get carried away with the emotion.

    Your protestations noted, but if you want to get in a name dropping and decorations contest, be my guest, I would rather not, though I suspect my list of who I know or knew, in the Navy end of the business, is probably a little bit longer than yours. I could always start with my father, an ace, with 2 Navy Cross, Legion of Merit w/combat V (and 3 additional LM awards), Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star w/combat V, 6 Air Medals, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, 2 Navy Unit Commendation, and a couple of rows of all the little "I was there at the time" ribbons.

    As for your German friends, no, none of them ring a bell at all and, no offense, I've no real interest. On the other hand, as any of the long time denizens of this illustrious forum can tell you, I don't have much to say at all about European events and personalities, my interests being in the Pacific. Call me narrow if you wish, but to each their own, I say.

    Also, I'm wondering just what Miller did in the waters around Guadalcanal? After Pearl Harbor he went to USS Indianapolis. That ship served briefly in the South Pacific in the winter of 1942 and then returned to Mare Island for refit. By the time Guadalcanal came along in August 1942, Indianapolis was on the way to the Aleutians where it remained until January 1943. Miller was detached from Indianapolis in November 1942 and was sent to the pre-commissioning crew of USS Liscome Bay, the ship he was serving aboard when it was torpedoed sank at the tail end of the Tarawa Campaign on 24 November 1943. I find it odd to proclaim great, unspecified, deeds in places people were not serving. Suggest you look at the site I pointed out.
     
  18. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Unfortunatly for the USN, and it is a terrible stain our history, they were the most segregated branch of the service. At least the USA and AAF started to come to their senses and use the "minority" soldiers in combat roles.
     
  19. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Yes, sadly the "senior service" is frequently the last to embrace change. Not only in the US. :rolleyes:
     
  20. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    is it known as the senior service in the US too? i would've thought it would be? but to be honest over here it's the RAF that has the biggest problems adjusting...........
     
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