African American women also faced discrimination and segregation in the military. Of the 350,000 women who served in World War II, only 4,000 were African American.
Segregated and limited in their assignments in the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC), they were excluded totally from the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) in the Navy until late in 1944.
Outside pressure as well as that from civil rights groups, the WAVES started enlisting black nurses in 1944. WAACs eliminated racially based assignments for nurses in January 1945.
Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Harriet Ida Pickens (left) and Ensign Frances Wills Photographed after graduation from the Naval Reserve Midshipmen's School (WR) at Northampton, Massachusetts, in December 1944. They were members of the school's final class, and were the Navy's first African-American "WAVES" officers.
Black U.S. Army nurses waiting to disembark in Greenock, Scotland, 15 August 1944.
Earley battled occupational segregation within the army. She worked at the pentagon with Major Harriet West, another African American, to increase the number of blacks in motor transport and other support jobs. They received some support, but the problem remained.
In 1989, Earley published One Woman’s Army , a memoir of her wartime service.
Due to family hardships had to drop out of Moore High School (segregated)
In 1939 he enlisted in the segregated US Navy as a mess attendant, his duties restricted to non-combat, non-military training. Instead, he received an eight-week basic training course for mess attendants.
On November 24 th , 1943, Dorie Miller died when his ship, the Liscome Bay, sank during the battle for Makin.
The navy has attempted to rectify its racial inequalities.
June 1973 a Knox-class destroyer escort, the USS Miller and the Service School Command barracks at Great Lakes Naval Station, Illinois were named in his honor.
Military Service and the fight for civil rights Many of the black men and women who served overseas noticed that they were treated better by the citizens of the countries in which they were stationed than they had been at home. This realization motivated them to increase their activity in the fight for equal rights for African Americans.