My Father's War: Fighting with the Buffalo Soldiers in World War II

My Father's War: Fighting with the Buffalo Soldiers in World War II

by Carolyn Ross Johnston

Hardcover(1st Edition)

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My Father's War: Fighting with the Buffalo Soldiers in World War II by Carolyn Ross Johnston

My Father’s War tells the compelling story of a unit of black Buffalo Soldiers and their white commander fighting on the Italian front during World War II.

The 92nd Division of the Fifth Army was the only African American infantry division to see combat in Europe during 1944 and 1945, suffering more than 3,200 casualties. Members of this unit, known as Buffalo Soldiers, endured racial violence on the home front and experienced racism abroad. Engaged in combat for nine months, they were under the command of southern white infantry officers like their captain, Eugene E. Johnston. 

Carolyn Ross Johnston draws on her father’s account of the war and her extensive interviews with other veterans of the 92nd Division to describe the experiences of a naïve southern white officer and his segregated unit on an intimate level. During the war, the protocol that required the assignment of southern white officers to command black units, both in Europe and in the Pacific theater, was often problematic, but Johnston seemed more successful than most, earning the trust and respect of his men at the same time that he learned to trust and respect them. Gene Johnston and the African American soldiers were transformed by the war and upon their return helped transform the nation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780817317683
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
Publication date: 08/03/2012
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Carolyn Ross Johnston is a professor of American studies and history at Eckerd College. She is the author of Cherokee Women in Crisis: Trail of Tears, Civil War, and Allotment, 1838-1907 and Jack London: An American Radical?

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xi

Part I War and Memory

1 The Buffalo Soldiers at the World War II Memorial 3

2 "This Is Your Father" 7

Part II Becoming a Buffalo Soldier

3 The Road to War 13

4 Training at Fort Huachuca 26

5 Marriage and Bisbee 30

Part III The Fight to Fight

6 Buffalo Soldiers in the Jim Crow Army 35

7 Maneuvers in Louisiana 49

Part IV Women Waiting

8 "I'll Be Seeing You": The Long Wait 59

Part V Facing the Gothic Line: War Stories in Black and White

9 Combat in Italy: September 1944-January 1945 65

10 From Defeat to Victory: February-November 1945 89

Part VI Life After World War II

11 Coming Home 119

Part VII Afterword

12 My Search for My Father's War 113

13 Fort Huachuca 135

14 Carlisle and the Battle for Memory 137

15 Notes from Italy 140

16 The Buffalo Soldiers at the Capital Rotunda 150

Appendix I 161

Appendix II 163

Notes 169

Bibliography 201

Index 213

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