Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Blacks in US submarines?

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by Otto, Oct 26, 2000.

  1. Otto

    Otto Gearing up. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    9,346
    Likes Received:
    1,526
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    Were there black sailors aboard US subs during he war. I recall several occasions where black sailors were relegated to shore duties, but many films portray them as members of sub crews. Anyone have any info/sources?
     
  2. Yankee

    Yankee Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2000
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Im not sure, it sounds familiar..... But most likely i dont think so. Before the war act (aah its name is slipping my tongue)in 1947 it was still perfectly ok to have the "Seperate but equal". I doubt it anything pre-1947
     
  3. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    25,883
    Likes Received:
    855
    I have no sources on black sailors, but do know that some were on submarines, but I think just for galley duty.
     
  4. Snefru

    Snefru Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know for certain that blacks served on major capital ships as stewards. There was very limited room on submarines so there would not be enough room to carry people who were simply stewards (also lt commanders and commanders were sub captains and the hardly rate a steward).
     
  5. A.GREG

    A.GREG Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2001
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    When did blacks start to help the ship out with direct functions with the ship, like not gulley duty and crap? I thought I heard somewhere they weren't allowed to use the computers and such on board but I am not quite sure if that is true.
     
  6. Otto

    Otto Gearing up. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    9,346
    Likes Received:
    1,526
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    I'd really love an answer to this, anyone have a good WW2 Pacific Theater submarine specialist handy? :)
     
  7. Ron

    Ron Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2000
    Messages:
    607
    Likes Received:
    3
    hmmm well i'm not sure! :(
    but i do know that by the end of the war there were blacks on ships serving more duties than just cooks and janitors and minor things like that. However i don't know them doing anything more than manning anti aircraft guns and such. Nothing that was REAL technical.
    However my guess is that when the armed forces were fully integrated blacks did the same duties as anyone else. Of course that happened after the war ended.
     
  8. USSBOWFINSS-287

    USSBOWFINSS-287 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2001
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry that my information is choppy, at best, but I am reasonably certaint that there was a black man serving aboard the USS Intrepid during WWII that rec'd (a Navy Cross?) a decoration for his service during a kamikaze attack!!

    I know that I have the information on a video regarding the USS INTREPID and will attempt to post the "correct" info here soon!
     
  9. USSBOWFINSS-287

    USSBOWFINSS-287 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2001
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Gang!! Got a message from my uncle today regarding blacks on US subs in WWII.

    I asked him if blacks served on subs and were they combatants:

    "The answer is yes to both of your questions. True, they were stewards mates but everyone on a submarine is a combatant. One's duty assignment is always secondary to the role of combatant. After the war, while I was the executive officer on SENNET, we had a steward, Willie James, who was reputed to have made a 73 day patrol and served eggs for breakfast every day and never used the same recipe twice."

    No doubt he was a crew favorite!!!
     
  10. Otto

    Otto Gearing up. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    9,346
    Likes Received:
    1,526
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    This is awesome info, thanks!! I've been looking for an answer to this question for literally years!!
     
  11. Jackson

    Jackson Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2000
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
  12. Otto

    Otto Gearing up. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    9,346
    Likes Received:
    1,526
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    Thanks for the links of proof, my cycloptic colleague.
     
  13. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Truman integrated the armed forces in 1947, the same year the Air Force was created. Until then in the Navy blacks could ONLY be stewards. In the Army whole units were created and blacks were kept segregated from white units. Never heard of the Tuskegee Airmen? There was no air force of course, it was part of the army and the Marine Corps was (and still is) part of the USN.
     
  14. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    25,883
    Likes Received:
    855
    Thats true, they could only be Stewards, but also HAD to be trained to do another job like: radio operator, sonar operator, pill-pusher etc. :)

    Sadly in most cases, they never had a chance to do the other duty. :(
     
  15. patch

    patch recruit

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    watching run silent,run deep.there is a black sailor in the crew.curious if blacks served on subs in ww2.
     
  16. Ussdanielboone629

    Ussdanielboone629 recruit

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    As an anthropologist, the era did not allow blacks to be confined with whites such as Submarines. The studies of the 30's to prevent blacks equality in the military were false and politically and "grant" enhanced. It would be like females onboard submarines. In the REAL world there are to many controversies, problems not to mention temptations.
    Movies of that time were made after 1947, after equality in the military became law.
     
  17. Highway70

    Highway70 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Challenge, CA
    View attachment 16839

    Wardroom of USS Cero July-Auguat 1943
    From Wikipedia "USS Cero (SS-225), a Gato-class submarine, was the first submarine and second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the cero mackerel, a large food and game fish of the mackerel family, found chiefly in the West Indies.
    Cero's keel was laid down on 24 August 1942 by Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT. She was launched 4 April 1943 (sponsored by Mrs. D. E. Barbey) and commissioned 4 July 1943, Commander David C. White (Class of 1927) in command."



    Photo from this site:


    African-Americans and the U.S. Navy - Images
     

    Attached Files:

    Otto likes this.
  18. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    17,194
    Likes Received:
    1,993
    Location:
    Alabama
    Otto likes this.
  19. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,321
    Likes Received:
    378
    On the contrary, blacks served as cooks and stewards in submarines just as they did on surface ships, and they bunked in the same compartments as their white shipmates.

    One anthropological curiousity, sub skippers sometimes assigned black crewmen as night lookouts due to a belief that they had superior night vision.
     
  20. von_noobie

    von_noobie Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,079
    Likes Received:
    73
    They were stewards and cooks, Some acted as noght look outs as Carronade pointed out and a few even acted as loaders for the deck gun.
     

Share This Page