Harlem Hellfighters Essay

471 Words 2 Pages
Harlem Hellfighers

The 369th Infantry Regiment otherwise known as the Harlem Hellfighters was the first all-black US combat unit that was shipped during WW I and was crucial in the WWII battles in Hawaii and Okinawa. These members who were skilled and very proud were shipped to Hawaii and protected the Hawaiian islands with antiaircraft from Japanese attack. William De Fossett was one of the main leaders of the 369th regiment, who joined it due to the regiments fame from the waning days of World War I. The original Harlem Hellfighters fought with the French Army and were awarded for their excellent service. De Fossett made the highly selective and demanding requirements of the 369th regiment. He grew up in the highly cultured
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Despite their great military record, troops of the 369th regiment were still believed to be inferior and insufficiently trained and illiterate. The white army officers were very willing to attribute any unsuccessful missions from Black troops due to racial inferiority. Many blacks due to this racism were against participation in the military and the American war effort. William De Fossett did not think about the racial issues but the bigger war effort and was wiling to sacrifice for his nation. The Army showed good faith to the 369th unit giving them the antiaircraft duty which is a highly trained and respected job in the war effort. The Harlem Hellfighters were sent to Hawaii to protect the island and saw the great racial diversity on the island. There were many instances of discrimination but the military was trying to make all policies uniform so that the war could be won and these racial distractions would not cause internal conflict. Over 1 million men came to Hawaii during the war time to protect the island and build up military forces. In 1944 the 369th regiment was ordered to join forces in Okinawa. The unit did a great job and sacrificed so much for our nation on top of the racial discrimination. The 369th regiment caused many of the military policies to be supportive of Blacks or make rules that were uniform to all units. War Department had set rules and regulations that put military needs and rules ahead of traditional racist policies. Through the 369th

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