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"Townsville mutinity." Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP24 Feb 2012 9:44 p.m. PST

"An Australian historian has uncovered hidden documents which reveal that African American troops used machine guns to attack their white officers in a siege on a US base in north Queensland in 1942.
Information about the Townsville mutiny has never been released to the public.
But the story began to come to light when James Cook University's Ray Holyoak first began researching why US congressman Lyndon B Johnson visited Townsville for three days back in 1942.
What he discovered was evidence detailing one of the biggest uprisings within the US military.
"For 70 years there's been a rumour in Townsville that there was a mutiny among African-American servicemen. In the last year and a half I've found the primary documentation evidence that that did occur in 1942," Mr Holyoak told AM."

Complete article here.
link

If you choise to do it, this would be the first and unique wargame of a US mutinity in WW2?

Amicalement
Armand

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian24 Feb 2012 10:00 p.m. PST

This is the first I've ever heard of this incident. For the sake of academic rigour, this demands further evidence (1) and (2) begs the question, what was the nature of the serial abuse that conditions became so bad in the minds of those Black soldiers that they turned their weapons on their White officers?

Fact is is that I have never heard of so extreme an uprising by Black American soldiers under military command since the Revolution, especially during the 20th century.

Definitely grounds for deeper research and more thorough verification IMHO.


Leland R. Erickson

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member24 Feb 2012 11:41 p.m. PST

Why would I choose to do a mutiny of US troops against other US troops? It would be short lived if at all. What interest would there be? I find it interesting about the alleged mutiny but not enough to game it. And I too would be interested in more verification though. Robert

Cattle Dog25 Feb 2012 3:06 a.m. PST

This was reported recently in the mainstream media. The records of the event came from the Qld Police Force and seemed to confirm what rumours existed in Townsville at the time. Yes further investigation is required to confirm details from other sources.
Regards
Allan

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Feb 2012 5:12 a.m. PST

Here is a somewhat more detailed report.

link

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2012 10:11 a.m. PST

Who knows what people want to wargame?
I had seen incredible and unexpected games in my life.
Agree that the theme is quite interesting to more research.

Amicalement
Armand

Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2012 10:32 a.m. PST

32,000 rounds and nobody was hit. Does not sound like much of a mutiny

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian25 Feb 2012 2:08 p.m. PST

Too many hearsay sources so far for me to accept this at face value. This is definitely one for filing some official information requests to try and see if there are any declassified official U.S. Army records of the incident.

As it stands there's too much based upon third party rumors and unnamed sources in the original source materials for me to assign this any substantial credibility.

The fact remains is that this sort of incident would be highly unusual to say the least, as even under the most appalling of conditions Black American soldiers had historically endured up to that point in time they did not turn their weapons on their superior officers and White counterparts on such a mass scale (at least not that I am aware of).


Leland R. Erickson

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian25 Feb 2012 2:09 p.m. PST

"Who knows what people want to wargame?
I had seen incredible and unexpected games in my life.
Agree that the theme is quite interesting to more research."


I have to agree with you here, Monsieur; history *IS* often far stranger than fiction, and a great source of ideas for hobbyists such as ourselves.evil grin


Leland R. Erickson

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian25 Feb 2012 2:19 p.m. PST

Scott,

I read that article in detail. It's a lot of rumor and hearsay repeated as fact more than it is official records and documentation.

If in fact there is a mass grave or burial site, then further investigation is in order to corroborate or refute this tale. Habeus Corpus, dammit.

Right now, it smacks all too heavily of rumor mongering gossip during wartime and the lurid tales and assumptions of "Negro savagery" all too prevalent during those times in America and amongst white Americans, particularly white racists in the South.

Too much rumor, not enough facts, even if the mainstream (corporate) media is running this tale.

I need more facts.


Leland R. Erickson

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member25 Feb 2012 2:40 p.m. PST

"Right now, it smacks all too heavily of rumor mongering gossip during wartime and the lurid tales and assumptions of "Negro savagery" all too prevalent during those times in America and amongst white Americans, particularly white racists in the South."

And there ya go. One of the links posted above is from 2000 so this story has been around for awhile. Seems to be more in the realms of "What if?" so far. And since it would be a single Battalion of Engineers on a "crucial base for campaigns into the Pacific" full of more then just that "Battalion" very short lived. Robert

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Feb 2012 3:18 p.m. PST

Leland,

I have no horse in this race :) I just did a Google search on the engineering battalion involved and that article came up and posted the link here for anyone interested. Take it for what you will.

Sundance Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2012 5:20 p.m. PST

Tango's apparently back to his anti-American sentimentality here. Between the fact that no one was hurt and looking at the timeline, I have to agree – not much of a mutiny. Doesn't even say anyone was punished for their role in it, meaning that it was a meaningless action. If it had actually been a mutiny on that level and among black troops against white officers, there would have been a LOT of courts martial against the participants.

highlandcatfrog Inactive Member25 Feb 2012 5:45 p.m. PST

You're absolutely right Sundance – like an addict, he can stay clean for only so long before giving in to his "Why is America so evil" urges.

number425 Feb 2012 5:57 p.m. PST

This site supposedly quotes LBJ's report: link

There were other incidents too, apparently link

link

Of course big garrison towns have always had brawling servicemen, (think Aldershot, San Diego or Osnabruck on a Saturday night), and Australia was no different.
link

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian25 Feb 2012 7:54 p.m. PST

"number4,"

none of those reports substantively corroborate the "Townsville mutiny."

LBJs report appears to be based solely upon taking other people at their word as to "what the Hell just happened?" His report also betrays his own expectations in the matter, those of a White Southerner of the first half of the 20th century. I take LBJ with a grain of salt in this matter, keeping in mind that he was a man of his time and place in history, and he was relying entirely upon the hearsay reporting of others.

The murder of an Italian POW and the riot that preceded it are again, contextual events, and again, do not confirm the "Townsville mutiny" in any sense IMHO.

Your last point *is* spot-on; garrison towns always do draw their share of brawling servicemen. Now throw in the racial tensions of early 20th century "Jim Crow" America and a segregated Armed Forces into the mix, stir in some local resentment, then add a gallon of White Southern GIs who upon arrival are appalled to discover that their social "inferiors" are being treated as *equals* by the locals.


Leland R. Erickson

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian25 Feb 2012 8:01 p.m. PST

"If it had actually been a mutiny on that level and among black troops against white officers, there would have been a LOT of courts martial against the participants."


Take a look at the Port Chicago Mutiny and see what happened when such a "mutiny" did take place:

usmm.org/portchicago.html

link

link


I for one just don't see the racially segregated US Army of 1942 excusing such an incident as described in the "Townsville mutiny" account, especially under the conditions of Australia in 1942 (ie, the possible and imminent threat of a Japanese invasion).


Leland R. Erickson

highlandcatfrog Inactive Member25 Feb 2012 8:06 p.m. PST

As for LBJ's veracity, remember that he made sure to get himself a Silver Star for a mission he didn't fly (it's detailed in Henry Sakaida's book Pacific Air Combat WW II).

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member25 Feb 2012 8:39 p.m. PST

I find the Cocos Islands Mutiny much more interesting,
link

As for riots I like the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943,
link

Robert

Etranger25 Feb 2012 8:50 p.m. PST

I lived in Townsville at one point. The story was fairly well known then, even if the details weren't all available and there were eye-witnesses still living in the town.

Riot, mutiny or mass brawl? It might depend upon your prespective. And it wasn't the only bit of fighting that went on link link

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian25 Feb 2012 9:47 p.m. PST

Etranger,

eyewitnesses to what precisely remains my burning question? An eyewitness can be a frustratingly unreliable source of information as any street cop knows all too well.

So I again invoke that fine old American principle of jurisprudence regarding the "Townsville mutiny," Habeas Corpus. Show me that mass grave one of the "eyewitnesses" is talking about and I'll say there's something to it.

Show me some sort of official documentation from the US Army command actually stationed on the ground, and I will say you've got something there.

The 47 Loyal Ronin are seen widely in popular culture as a band of heroic samurai who carried out a raid to avenge their lord who had been unjustly framed by a corrupt courtier. The *reality* it turns out is somewhat rather different than the popular plays and film presentations would have posterity believe, and rather less noble.

Ramses the Great wanted future generations to know how he had won the Battle of Kadesh single-handedly over the Hittites. Too bad for Ramses that later generations that followed his New Kingdom Egyptian dynasties cooked up something called *science* and The Scientific Method, and applied same to the discipline of Archaeology, and wound up discovering that Ramses victory monuments were nothing but monumental PR.

We Americans when I was a kid were still telling ourselves about how George Washington cut down his father's cherry tree, and everybody just *knew* that George Washington was an honest man!


Leland R. Erickson

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2012 10:49 p.m. PST

Apparently not, Mr. Sundance.
You are quite wrong to quilify me to show and repeat a anti-american sentimentality because I post a thread about a possible mutinity in WW2.
Please I ask you to withdraw your words immediately.
They had no sense and it's a assault charge to my person.

Amicalement
Armand

GNREP8 Inactive Member26 Feb 2012 6:24 a.m. PST

Tango's apparently back to his anti-American sentimentality here

-----------------
As a Brit (who is not anti-American unlike quite a few of my fellow countrymen) I'd have to agree with my Argentinean fellow gamer – I don't see how posting a piece about some possible problems within one US unit (which needs more historical provenancing of course) constitutes anti-americanism – or are we just meant to talk about anything that might in any way be viewed as anti-american – I may not like what happened in certain British Army bases in Iraq over the treatment of arrested persons but you can't not mention it or want it to be suppressed – nor indeed what goes on at Guantanamo. As to the point of habeas corpus – well the site is not a court of law, but a discussion one so fair enough to throw it out for discussion

latto6plus226 Feb 2012 6:52 a.m. PST

What Tango and GNREP said.

Lion in the Stars26 Feb 2012 7:31 a.m. PST

Here's the thing: A massive brawl would have been dealt with fairly quietly, generally with just 'office hours' non-judicial punishment.

The allegation of "mutiny" would have resulted in a massive investigation and courts-martial, because the penalty for mutiny is death, especially in a time of war. And Courts-martial records should still exist from that time.

GNREP8 Inactive Member26 Feb 2012 8:19 a.m. PST

32,000 rounds and nobody was hit. Does not sound like much of a mutiny


Here's the thing: A massive brawl would have been dealt with fairly quietly, generally with just 'office hours' non-judicial punishment.

The allegation of "mutiny" would have resulted in a massive investigation and courts-martial, because the penalty for mutiny is death, especially in a time of war. And Courts-martial records should still exist from that time.

-----------------
I think people are being a bit selective in quoting (which is presaumbly what others would complain about in regard to the story to begin with)

The original link (which 'appears' to be based on police documents) talks about 700 rnds and 1 person killed. The 32 thousand rounds and mass casualties/graves is all from the kind of 3rd hand my granny told me stuff and maybe not entirely fair to rubbish the whole story based on them. I do think that troops firing on their officers at all is much more than a mass brawl. I'd have thought that the local police would be capable of establishing whether rounds were fire or not. Given the comment at the end of the piece re "Mr Holyoak will spend the next two years researching the sentences handed out to both the officers and the mutineers involved.", I'm surpised that some here already seem to imply that they know it was not dealt with by court martial and therefore quid pro quo could not have been a mutiny

number426 Feb 2012 9:58 a.m. PST

I agree with GNREP8 here – reading LBJ's report "Several members of the company and the captain are under court marshal" [sic] it looks like there was a serious breakdown in discipline. A court martial would have been messy if it involved a commanding officer and a gift to axis propaganda if it had come out.

(LBJ)It looks as if the entire unit (including all possible witnesses) are being sent to New Guinea and it is possible that nothing more will ever be heard of it."

Rather conveniently! And about two weeks after the night of the riot/mutiny, the entire battalion was in Port Moresby….How long does it take to move a battalion by sea in WWII?

Unlike the Port Chicago mutiny, this wasn't a case of troops refusing to work or obey orders over several days/weeks, with clearly identified "ring leaders" and reliable witnesses. This was an incident that blew up quickly and could be dealt with almost as quickly with minimal embarrassment to the US and Australian governments.

Personal logo Tango 2 3 Ditto Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2012 11:56 a.m. PST

Tango's apparently back to his anti-American sentimentality here.

???????????????????????????????????????

Come on guys, knock it off.
--
Tim

By John 54 Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2012 12:06 p.m. PST

I read all mr tangos threads, never seen any
Anti- mericanisms?

John

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian26 Feb 2012 12:35 p.m. PST

""Mr Holyoak will spend the next two years researching the sentences handed out to both the officers and the mutineers involved.", I'm surpised that some here already seem to imply that they know it was not dealt with by court martial and therefore quid pro quo could not have been a mutiny"


Which is my central point; I have yet to see any credible primary references cited by Mr. Holyoak lending any credence to the claims of all-out armed rebellion by the GIs of that battalion. If there are any, I'd be interested in seeing them, and trying to assess just what the Hell really went on to prompt those soldiers to turn their weapons on their officers as they're alleged to have done. If the sub-par training and utterly sub-par white officer cadre the 92nd Division was lumbered with is any indicator, this labor battalion may have received only the most basic of training and had some fairly dubious human material filling out its command structure… now what makes this incident if it occurred all the more potentially significant in my little mind is that so many other segregated labor battalions performed their duty without such outbursts AFAIK, so again, the question is begged, if this is correct, what the Hell was going on in that unit to inspire those GIs to take up arms against their white officers?

Perhaps it's just that having been trained to death as a researcher, I'm holding such a story to a higher level of accountability (in addition to my usual obsessiveness over pedantic details of historical record).evil grin


Leland R. Erickson

GNREP8 Inactive Member26 Feb 2012 12:48 p.m. PST

I have yet to see any credible primary references cited by Mr. Holyoak lending any credence to the claims of all-out armed rebellion by the GIs of that battalion.

--------------
Well it does say "He has uncovered several documents hidden in the archives of the Queensland Police and Townsville Brigade detailing what happened that night." In a short article like that in the link you are not going to get a Wiki level of footnotes etc saying 'Crime report by DInsp Smith of the Queensland CID dated 28/02/1942 ref number….'

number426 Feb 2012 3:22 p.m. PST

"what the Hell was going on in that unit to inspire those GIs to take up arms against their white officers?"

According to one of those officers, they'd been confined to camp after an earlier disturbance in town. From his diary:

"April 18, 1942
Because of the fight the other night, the colored boys are not allowed in town. In order to give them some recreation, we planned a movie and beer party this evening. It was a horrible flop. We had bought only 1200 quarts of beer, less than one bottle per man, and of this we sold less than 25%. The men for the most part broke." (apparently the movie sucked too)

This officer was from a different company and not present during the riot/mutiny, so obviously doesn't mention it in his diary.

So, you have a couple of hundred young, fit GI's penned up in camp, no beer, no women and no money and under officers, some of whom were not necessarily up to the job… a perfect recipe for trouble.

tuscaloosa26 Feb 2012 6:13 p.m. PST

No evidence or statements whatsoever except a number of local Australian citizens saying they heard something, or someone told them something, or…

Why on earth spread such nonsense? Historical research is hard enough without making things up.

BullDog69 Inactive Member26 Feb 2012 11:51 p.m. PST

Not that it should matter, but I am generally very pro-America. I have lived and worked in the US, served alongside American troops, worked with Americans all over the world in the oil industry and have numerous American friends. I have never considered Tango01's posts as in any way 'anti-American' and, indeed, think he is one of the most interesting and thought-provoking posters on this site.

Why are some on here so determined to claim that this couldn't possibly have happened? Could there be some reverse racism / extreme political correctness at work? We all know that Allied troops staged small-scale mutinies in various theatres during WW2, so why do some consider this so improbable? If (as the article asserts) police / military records confirm there was a disturbance / riot / 'mutiny' then that seems pretty conclusive to me.

Not all mutinies were treated as such – especially if the troops involved had a legitimate grievances or if taking an unreasonably hard line would actually be counter-productive.

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member27 Feb 2012 12:17 a.m. PST

"We all know that Allied troops staged small-scale mutinies in various theatres during WW2"

I think the other "small-scale mutinies" have been documented and confirmed with more concrete and solid evidence from the Military authorities themselves. There are records of what happened and the actions taken. The various Military organizations are well know for paperwork,especially the US, and if there was in fact a "mutiny" the Military would have certainly have some kind of record about it. The Cocos Island one I linked to is a good example. And I certainly don't think there is any "reverse racism" going on here. Just doubt as to the validity of the story due to no real evidence and just second hand recollections and gossip about something supposedly brought to light recently. The one site that was linked and mentioned this was posted 12 years ago. So it looks like just a non-story so far really. Or perhaps just a "story". That some are quick to believe it may have happened says something in and of itself IMO. Having said that I think thats all I have to say. There really isn't anything more until it is verified 100%. And so far its not even close.
Robert

BullDog69 Inactive Member27 Feb 2012 5:42 a.m. PST

Kaoschallenged

But as previously mentioned, there are plenty of records and documentation about it according to the article, the Queensland Police and Townsville Brigade both record it.

Do you also completely disregard the evidence of Lyndon Johnson's report which is housed in the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas, and in which he names several of the officers and NCOs involved, and gives a detailed account of what happened?

Why would you dismiss this?

Do you have any reason to
a) doubt that Johnson's report exists
or
b) suppose that he and the officers he mentions made it all up?

This link gives first a first hand account from an Australian soldier who was sent to quell the riot and also mentions the incident was recorded in the war diary of the 29th Brigade.

I am not sure that by my choosing not to simply dismiss all this evidence makes me 'quick to believe it'. When you first read about (eg) the Charge of the Light Brigade, was your first instinct to assume it was all made up?

That said, I don't know how interesting / appropriate it would be to wargame the riot / mutiny.

Personal logo Tango 2 3 Ditto Supporting Member of TMP27 Feb 2012 6:45 a.m. PST

Bulldog, I think you may have accidentally hit on a pretty nasty site… American Renaissance

It's pretty scary a quick poke around finds things like racial intelligence, selling of books like White Identity. Have a look at their "issues": amren.com/about/issues

Under "Science" it says:

"Race realists have a great advantage over those who push egalitarian orthodoxy: We accept what science says about race and genetics, and are eager for further discoveries."

I think this might be a white supremecist site you may have unwittingly found. I think I choose not to believe anything about this incident based on looking at their site.

The internet can really suck as a research tool frown

[EDIT] Here's a HUffington post article on the nut job that tried to murder a US politician that suggests American Renaissance is a hate group. For some reason there are a lot of US participants in TMP that find HP offensive politically, but it's worth a read anyway… grin
--
Tim

BullDog69 Inactive Member27 Feb 2012 7:25 a.m. PST

Tim,

Yes – AR certainly look like a bunch of whackheads to me. I am sure there are some lunatics who will grab onto something like the Townsville Mutiny to advance their own Bleeped texted up agenda, which is disgraceful. But at the same time that doesn't mean the event didn't happen, or that it should be covered up.
Interestingly, the Australian soldier who they quote claims he had no argument with the black Americans and reckoned they were a good bunch who had come to Australia to help.

Personal logo Tango 2 3 Ditto Supporting Member of TMP27 Feb 2012 7:31 a.m. PST

I searched on the vet's name and townsville and go this:

The Australian Web site warning slow loading!

I assume The Australian is maybe just a whole lot more cedible than AR. grin It looks like AR lifted the article direct from the Australian's site.

So I'm back at thinking this could have happened. Hell, all kinds of wartime stuff gets covered up. During WWII, the Canadian military (Newfoundland was not part of Canada) stationed in the city had plans to burn the city of St. John's to the ground to deny it to Germans had they invaded (as it was, they launched a couple of torpedoes into the harbour, sank a number of iron ore tenders both my parents witnessed this as kids as nearby Topsail beach had a good view of the explosion and sinking and was a very popular place in the 40s). We only found out about this sometime in the late 90s or early 2000s there was a lot of indignation about it, in fact.
--
Tim

BullDog69 Inactive Member27 Feb 2012 7:50 a.m. PST

Tim

Yes – I see no reason whatsoever to dismiss the story. Just because it doesn't fit the current obsession of political correctness, doesn't mean it didn't happen.

I grew up in the Shetland Isles, and everyone 'knew' that the first German bomb dropped in the war landed on Shetland and killed a rabbit. We all 'knew' this was the origin on the wartime ditty 'Run, Rabbit, Run'.

It was well into the '80s before this myth was finally declassified and it was revealed that British propaganda agents bought a rabbit from a local butcher and threw it into the bomb crater to ridicule the bombing raid.

Personal logo Tango 2 3 Ditto Supporting Member of TMP27 Feb 2012 8:53 a.m. PST

We all 'knew' this was the origin on the wartime ditty 'Run, Rabbit, Run'.

Cool. Pink Floyd uses this expression in one of their songson Dark Side of the Moon. I wonder if they were referring to that?
--
Tim

Lion in the Stars27 Feb 2012 10:36 a.m. PST

Why are some on here so determined to claim that this couldn't possibly have happened? Could there be some reverse racism / extreme political correctness at work?

Not in the least. I used to do paperwork for the US Navy, I *know* how much of a paper trail there would be for something bigger than a large fight.

And somehow nobody's FOIA'd the DOD about this? I smell a quantity of bull$h!t that can only come from an industrial dairy farm, or maybe a feedlot.

number427 Feb 2012 11:16 a.m. PST

"all kinds of wartime stuff gets covered up." Yes indeed Tim, for obvious reasons. These days the talking heads on TV trumpet our difficulties and mistakes in a way that they just didn't do in WWII (often with fatal results for our own people)

The notorious debacle of Exercise Tiger for one (although some details were released after Normandy), the sinking of the troopship SS Leopoldville, the loss of HMS Dasher, the crash of a Wellington bomber in a residential part of Bristol, UK after it went off course and collided with a balloon cable. All this stuff happened, but was suppressed to avoid giving 'aid and comfort to the enemy'. And black soldiers turning their guns on white officers would have been a bonanza for axis propaganda.

What we do know is that: some disturbance occurred, where shots were fired.

Not all the white officers were evil, bigoted stereotypes

The men had been confined to camp for some time following an earlier brawl in town

Few if any fatalities.

Two companies of an Engineer battalion were involved

The incident was serious enough to mobilize local Australian army units as a precaution.

Not much of a mutiny really, and not much of a story after all.

GNREP8 Inactive Member27 Feb 2012 1:39 p.m. PST

Not much of a mutiny really, and not much of a story after all.
----------------------------
Certainly if based on your points a mutiny and a story though – I'd think in any war that troops shooting at their officers (or some of them) is a story esp with any fatalities at all. As to the PC aspect funny of course the way different minds work – being a bit of a lefty multiculural marriage liberal, I immediately thought not that the story would be supressed beacuse it put African Americans in a bad light, but because it would have put the US Army in a bad light as having racists in it who could provoke such a reaction from their troops.

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian27 Feb 2012 2:23 p.m. PST

Why would you dismiss this?


Dismiss it out of hand? No. Question the Hell out of it? You betcha:


link

link

link


Just a little taster of the training I've been subjected to for the past year and a half or so… that I am still (1) alive and (2) coherent more often than not however is what really amazes me…evil grin

Cheers!evil grin


Leland R. Erickson

GNREP8 Inactive Member27 Feb 2012 4:22 p.m. PST

Dismiss it out of hand? No. Question the Hell out of it? You betcha:


link

link

link


Just a little taster of the training I've been subjected to for the past year and a half or so… that I am still (1) alive and (2) coherent more often than not however is what really amazes me…evil grin

Cheers!evil grin


Leland R. Erickson
------------
ah you see I work in Law Enforcement (for the past 30 years more or less) so vague stories, half truths and only presenting one side of the issue and ignoring inconvenient details are our stock in trade (only joking of course!)

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian27 Feb 2012 6:33 p.m. PST

ah you see I work in Law Enforcement (for the past 30 years more or less) so vague stories, half truths and only presenting one side of the issue and ignoring inconvenient details are our stock in trade (only joking of course!)


One of my mentors and a dear friend is a retired law enforcement officer… I worked private security for over a decade… minored in Administration of Justice for a year…and these days I'm an *academic* whose student body includes its share of law enforcement professionals, so you have no idea just how incorrigible I really am at any given moment of the day…evil grin

Now if you'll all excuse me, I must resume correcting student papers, corrupting the minds of hapless undergraduates, and advancing my diabolical plans for world domination… Mwahahaahaaa!!!!evil grin


Leland R. Erickson

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian27 Feb 2012 6:40 p.m. PST

I immediately thought not that the story would be supressed beacuse it put African Americans in a bad light, but because it would have put the US Army in a bad light as having racists in it who could provoke such a reaction from their troops.


Except that the US Army at that time was still (1) racially segregated, (2) still had a professional officer corps with a large percentage of white Southerners in its ranks, (3) reflected very much the racially segregated Jim Crow society it sprang from. Remember, at this time in history the training of Black men to fly aircraft was officially "an experiment." Same for allowing Black men to serve in armor; the 761st Tank Battalion spent two (2) *years* in training until General George S. Patton Jr., demanded any and all trained tank battalions be sent to him, and pronto!

So again, too damn much hearsay for my liking. I want some habeas corpus on this or any other story, dammit.evil grin


Leland R. Erickson

number427 Feb 2012 10:34 p.m. PST

"I'd think in any war that troops shooting at their officers (or some of them) is a story"

As LBJ says, not one that the US Army wanted broadcast.

All this invoking of Jim Crow gets us nowhere because everybody knows the US Army in WWII was segregated and 'colored' soldiers got a raw deal; the 761st Tank Battalion spent two years in training, but the 29th ID spent *three*, as did other outfits, including much of the Canadian army. The 761st landed in France in October 10th and linked up with Patton's Third Army near Nancy, France, on October 28. They went into combat November 7th – where is the racism there?

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian27 Feb 2012 11:56 p.m. PST

All this invoking of Jim Crow gets us nowhere because everybody knows the US Army in WWII was segregated and 'colored' soldiers got a raw deal; the 761st Tank Battalion spent two years in training, but the 29th ID spent *three*, as did other outfits, including much of the Canadian army.


The Canadian Army was not the US Army. Most U.S. Army tank units spent less time training before being sent overseas than the 761st IIRC. The main cause was the opposition within the US Army command structure to the very idea of Black men fighting in armor, just as the 332nd fighter Group had to push back hard and without letup against the same sort of racially-motivated opposition.


The 761st landed in France in October 10th and linked up with Patton's Third Army near Nancy, France, on October 28. They went into combat November 7th where is the racism there?


It was the 761st Battalion's *combat* tour that finally put the lie to the whole idiocy of "Black men cannot serve in armor because they are inherently inferior, blah, blah, blah."


Leland R. Erickson

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