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Fighting for America: Black Soldiers--the Unsung Heroes of World War II Hardcover – December 28, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Allied victory in WWII was a triumph of logistics as well as combat power. Moore (Jubilee: The Emergence of African American Culture) looks deeply and broadly into those efforts and comes up with a major addition to the literature. He finds African-American units building the lion's share of the logistical infrastructure in Europe and the Pacific, as well as transporting everything from artillery pieces to bottles of plasma. Among combat units, the familiar Tuskegee Airmen and the Black Panthers of the 761st Tank Battalion are here, but so are the 93rd Infantry Division, which never fought as a unit in the Pacific, and the 92nd Infantry, much maligned for one failure in an otherwise respectable record in Italy. African-American WACS saved the European theater's mail system from total chaos. A great many black Americans who served endured incidents of racial discrimination; Moore vividly depicts their coping strategies. The son of two WWII veterans who met in Europe, Moore contributes a somewhat rambling essay on the development of his own racial identity, but scores of letters and photographs counterbalance that minor deficiency.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Moore's painstaking research and personal history (his parents met while serving in the military in World War II) add enormously to this tribute to the contributions of black soldiers during that war. Moore focuses on the reluctance, and even resistance, to send black troops into military service, based on the myth of their incompetence and cowardice. Thus, black soldiers fought the war on two fronts--at home and abroad. When the war effort required the deployment of black troops, they were originally assigned only support roles of preparing roads and getting supplies to advancing troops, but they proved themselves to be brave fighters as their roles evolved into combat. Moore highlights individuals who distinguished themselves in the war, drawing on previously unpublished materials from individual soldiers and black platoons. Moore chronicles the bravery of the troops as well as their struggles for equality at home, where they continued to be treated as second-class citizens. Photos, newspaper clippings, and letters add to the rich portrayal of the heroic service by black soldiers during World War II. Vernon Ford
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: One World/Ballantine; First Edition edition (December 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345459601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345459602
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Chris Moore's chronicle of black patriotism from Colonial times through World War II is nothing short of an excellent walk through history. As a history buff I found myself eager to turn each page. I would sit with highlighter in hand marking special passages as though I was still a college student studying for an exam. Moore has a special way of transporting the reader back in time, allowing one to almost hear the voices of those who wrote the letters featured in the book. I never realized just how much we as a people contributed to the early Colonial battles that set America as a country free.

Even though black Americans have fought and died in every war this country has faced, only the heroes of recent history get recognition. Yes, we grew up with a knowledge of Crispus Attucks, but what about heroes like Seaman Doris 'Dorrie' Miller and Pfc Robert H. Brooks. Miller was aboard the USS West Virginia, when she was attacked December 7, 1941 by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. Miller, a naval messman, managed to save several lives when he shot down four enemy planes with a .50-caliber anti-aircraft gun he'd never been trained to use. Miller was later presented the Navy Cross for his efforts. I was never taught in school about Pfc Robert H. Brooks was the first soldier to die at Fort Stotenbugh in the Phillipines, when the Japanese attacked December 8, 1941.

There was also airmen Eugene Bullard, who was not allowed to fly combat missions for America. Bullard was however, welcomed by the French army and became an ace pilot during World War I. Bullard flew more than twenty missions against the Germans and was credited with shooting down at least five enemy aircraft. Moore introduces us to black female heroes like pilot Willa Beatrice Brown.
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Format: Hardcover
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 - ands 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, it will meet that requirement.
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Format: Hardcover
To anyone with any common sense, it should come as no surprise that African American soldiers carried the load, literally, during the Second World War. FIGHTING FOR AMERICA does a superb and meticulous job in detailing all of the many ways which black soldiers helped to win the war. It is simply a national shame that most black soldiers who fought in WWII have gone to their graves without any recognition for their bravery and heroism. This book is loaded with bonafide heroes who are worthy of our applause and any monument which can be erected in their honor. I recommend this book highly.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book. I was a bit skeptical at first thinking this would be one of those condemnations of the country and a cry for reparations or something. It was not.

What this book was is a look into the history of our Black Soldiers who fought for America. From the Revolution on up into the later part of the 20th Century. It was also a personal history of the authors family and their contribution to our freedom. It made me both proud to be and American and ashamed of how our soldiers of color were treated.

Back in the early 70's when I was in I had no issue serving side by side with Black Americans. After all, we all wore the OD and we were all family - a brotherhood of young men, serving our country. I had read about the heroism of the Buffalo Soldier during the Indian Wars and in the late 18 and early 1900's and was proud to serve with their descendants. What I never knew until just recently was the way these fine men were treated by our government and by their fellow citizens. For that I truly am ashamed however, the good fight was fought and for the most part, in the minds of most of us, we are all Americans - no matter what skin color.

If you are a fan of American History, this book will be a welcome addition to your library. It was well written, interesting and easy to read. Believe me, most books take me weeks to get through, this one was hard to put down and I finished it in record time and sad that I had turned the last page. I wish to thank Mr. Moore and his family for their service to "our" country and hope that for once, at least this history will never repeat itself.
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