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Description de l’éditeur
Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this unique USAF publication relates how the leadership in the War Department and the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) tried to deal with the problem of race and the prejudices which were reflected in the bulk of American society. It tells a story of black racial protests and riots which such attitudes and discrimination provoked. The author describes many of the discriminatory actions taken against black airmen, whose goal was equality of treatment and opportunities as American citizens. He also describes the role of black pilots as they fought in the Mediterranean theater of operations against the Axis powers. In his final chapters, he examines the continuing racial frictions within the Army Air Forces which led to black servicemen protests and riots in 1945 at several installations. Despite these problems, the author concludes that the Army Air Forces made substantial progress in race relations and in opening up additional career opportunities for black airmen in the post-1945 period.
Chapter I - THE WAR DEPARTMENT AND THE BLACK COMMUNITY * Chapter II - THE ARMY AIR FORCES: EARLY POLICIES AND PRACTICES * Chapter III - THE ARMY AIR FORCES: BLACK OFFICERS AND FLYING UNITS * Chapter IV - 1943: ERA OF CHANGE * Chapter V - PROBLEMS, PROTESTS, AND LEADERSHIP * Chapter VI - CONFRONTATION AT FREEMAN FIELD * Chapter VII - THE POSTWAR SURVEYS * Chapter VIII - CONCLUSION
Race relations in the Army Air Forces (AAF) during World War II ran the gamut from harmonious to hostile, depending upon the unique circumstances existing within each unit, command, and theater. But in spite of the availability of vast source material on the subject, historians have attempted little evaluation. The abundance of data, now located in the depositories at Maxwell Air Force Base (AFB), AL, and the National Archives, is a product of the military administrative system which distributes as a matter of course numerous memoranda, directives, and letters. The War Department and AAF were particularly active in seeking a solution to the problem of employing blacks in the war effort. In order to understand the question of race relations in the AAF, it is helpful to examine the structure of the War Department, which was the focal point for much of that activity during the war. The AAF in 1942 constituted, along with the Army Ground and Service Forces, one of three major commands within the War Department. With the Army reorganization of the same year, the official name changed from the Air Corps (AC) to the AAF.