Black Submariners in the United States Navy, 1940-1975

Black Submariners in the United States Navy, 1940-1975

by Glenn A. Knoblock
     
 

For as long as an American naval force has existed, black sailors have served it with bravery, distinction, and little or no recognition. They have since earned praise for service in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War, and more recently, they were integral to the development of the U.S. Submarine Service. Their roles limited by segregation,

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Overview

For as long as an American naval force has existed, black sailors have served it with bravery, distinction, and little or no recognition. They have since earned praise for service in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War, and more recently, they were integral to the development of the U.S. Submarine Service. Their roles limited by segregation, black submariners nonetheless were a key element of the "Silent Service" throughout World War II. With desegregation came expanded opportunities, and black submariners witnessed the birth and evolution of the nuclear-powered submarine, and some of the tensest moments of the Cold War. These men paved the way for those who followed—their contributions deserve recognition, and their stories deserve to be told.

This exploration of the role of African American submariners chronicles their service from World War II through the Cold War era. An historical overview of black sailors and the evolution of the Steward's Branch, to which black sailors were eventually restricted, precede descriptions of becoming a steward and a submariner, and of life as a submariner during World War II. An account of black submariners in post-war service during desegregation, the development of the nuclear submarine, and throughout the Cold War follows. Oral histories of more than fifty black submariners who served in World War II and post-war form the heart of the book. Photographs of the men profiled, including wartime photographs, complement the text. Appendices outline the naval steward rating system, list all black submarine stewards serving in World War II, top stewards by number of war patrols, and those lost or killed during wartime service. Rear Admiral Melvin G. Williams, Jr., submarine fleet commander and son of one of the men profiled, provides a foreword.

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Editorial Reviews

ARBA
recommended
Midwest Book Review
impressive and impeccably researched
The Northern Mariner/Le Marin du Word
"Knoblock does an excellent job tracing the rapid evolution of the role of Black sailors in the submarine service"

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786464302
Publisher:
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date:
04/04/2011
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
494
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 9.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Author and lecturer Glenn A. Knoblock is the author of many works of history. The top military contributor to Harvard/Oxford University Press eight volume African-American National Biography (2008), he also writes on local history. He lives in Wolfeboro Falls, New Hampshire.

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