Black Submariners in the United States Navy, 1940-1975

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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 over 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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786419937
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/6/2005
  • Pages: 662
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
I Black sailors and the evolution of the steward's branch in the United States Navy from 1775 to 1939 9
II Overview of the steward's branch of the United States Navy during World War II 13
III Becoming a steward 18
IV Becoming a submariner 33
V Life as a wartime submariner 45
VI The submarine navy during the postwar years 161
VII Histories of black submariners 257
App. A The steward rating system, 1939-1974 383
App. B Black submarine stewards killed or lost during World War II 385
App. C Top stewards during World War II by number of war patrols 388
App. D Black stewards of World War II 392
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