Fighting for America: Black Soldiers—the Unsung Heroes of World War II
Published By: One World/Ballantine
Book Category: Non-Fiction,
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Reviewed by Connie Anderson
What an interesting subject, presented with historical perspective in Fighting for America, written by Moore to honor his GI Joe Mom and Dad.
I found myself saying out loud, "I didn't know that," as I got a history lesson about the role African-Americans played in fighting for America since they became "Americans."
Even in a movie like Saving Private Ryan, the important role of several hundred black soldiers at Utah and Omaha Beach on D-Day was not shown. Throughout the book that focuses on World War II, we learn about heroism, camaraderie, segregation, exclusion, demoralization, prejudice—and patriotism.
Often black men were sent on the most difficult missions—and then their efforts were greatly downplayed or excluded from history (both when it happened) and in written-down history.
Black women also served as nurses and with other support units. The 6,888th Central Postal Direction Battalion, an all-black unit, assigned some 80 black women to handle mail sorting at a base in Birmingham, England. Those women were the first black people many English had seen, and they helped to shatter stereotypes.
Many of us have heard of the Tuskegee Airmen and all they accomplished. Other black soldiers, trained as paratroopers, were sent to the West Coast of the United States and became firefighters. Their job was to jump into remote forested area and put out fires caused by airborne incendiary bombs sent aloft by the Japanese.
Also, a third of the 10,500 soldiers who built the Alcan Highway (from Canada through roughest Alaska) were black. This major construction project was rushed to ensure that America had a way to get supplies to northward to defend our borders if the enemy blocked our supply ships.
The book was filled with such interesting facts that any history buff will love it. And if you just like to read good stories about good people, Armchair Interviews gives this one a big "two thumbs up!"