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African American World War II Casualties and Decorations in the Navy, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine: A Comprehensive Record

ISBN-13: 978-0786434732
ISBN-10: 0786434732
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This work attempts to rectify the record concerning African American service in the war at sea during World War II by providing a complete account of the 2,445 African Americans killed, wounded, or awarded medals during and after the conflict. Knoblock convincingly argues that a lack of interest in the subject is grounded in the misconception that blacks “were employed as mere servants for the officer corps and were not true combatants.” The work opens with a brief introduction and a note on sources used, the majority of which were acquired from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) and oral interviews. The body of the work is divided into five chapters: “The Pearl Harbor Attack of 7 December 1941,” “The United States Navy, 1941–1945,” “The Port Chicago Disaster” (July 7, 1944), “The United States Coast Guard,” and “The Merchant Marine Service.” Each chapter is prefaced with an excellent introduction that recounts the historical association of African Americans to each service or event. In “The United States Navy, 1941–1945,” which takes up a substantial portion of the book, Knoblock provides an excellent survey of the Steward’s Branch, focusing on training, organization, duties, and service by ship type ranging from aircraft carriers to auxiliary ships. The arrangement of individual entries is by ship, with a brief account of its war involvement and paragraph-length personnel records of the individuals killed, wounded, and decorated in service on each. Black-and-white photos of servicemen add a substantial degree of personalization to what is already a compelling collection of individual accounts. The briefer chapters on the Pearl Harbor attack and the Port Chicago disaster provide a depiction of the role played by African Americans in the Pacific War effort. A comprehensive index of individuals and ships makes searching effortless. A welcome addition for military, historical, and African American reference collections. --Brian Odom

About 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 is also active in local African-American historical studies. He lives in Wolfeboro Falls, New Hampshire.
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More About the Author

Glenn Knoblock (1962-) is a native of Ohio with New England roots. After graduating with a BA in History from Bowling Green State University (Ohio), he moved to New Hampshire in 1984 and has been there ever since. In his numerous works he has explored unusual aspects of New Hampshire history. He has also specialized in African American military history, both at the state and national level. His work "Strong and Brave Soldiers: New Hampshire's Black Soldiers and Sailors of the American Revolution" has been called by one reviewer "a powerful, uplifting, and shameful story, a profound tale". Nationally, Glenn is an expert on African Americans who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, as documented in his book "Black Submariners of the U.S. Navy", and has documented all known African American Naval, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine casualties and award winners from WW II in yet another work. What drives Glenn in his choice of research and book topics? "Its all about recovering our lost history, and documenting the achievements and contributions of notable individuals whose stories would otherwise be lost". In continuing this mission, Glenn has been a primary contributor, in both print and online editions, to the African American National Biography Project, a collaborative work between Harvard and Oxford University Press. To date, he has authored the biographies of over 100 significant African American military servicemen that have served from the Revolutionary War through the Vietnam War.
Glenn's other interests include New Hampshire cemeteries and gravestone carvers, as well as historic bridges, both covered bridges and early iron and steel bridges, and maritime history. His work "The American Clipper Ship: A Comprehensive History, 1845-1920" was released by McFarland & Co., Publishers in 2014 and has garnered great reviews from as far off as Australia. Glenn is also co-author of the popular book "Brewing in New Hampshire, a historic and fun work documenting the brewing history of the Granite State! His most recent book documenting historic African American burial grounds, cemeteries, and grave sites in New England will be released in mid-2015 by McFarland. Glenn is currently at work on a book documenting the weathervanes of the Granite State.

Glenn is very active with the New Hampshire Humanities Council and, as part of their Humanities To Go program, lectures throughout the state on the topics he has written about. To find a lecture in your area, check out the New Hampshire Humanities Council's website at www.NHHC.org.

Glenn and his wife Terry, and their daughter Anna, live in Wolfeboro Falls, NH.

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African American World War II Casualties and Decorations in the Navy, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine: A Comprehensive Record
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