African-Americans and the U.S. Navy
World War I to World War II



This page features pictures of African-Americans in the Navy during and after World War I, as the process of shutting them out of all rates except those of the Steward Branch reached completion.

For additional images taken during this time period,

  • African-Americans and the U.S. Navy - World War I to World War II (Part II).

    The following page features a noteworthy African-American who served in the Navy from 1896 to 1925:


    Additional pictorial coverage, see African Americans and the U.S. Navy cover page.


    Click photograph for a larger image.


    The following pictures show African-Americans in Navy scenes, afloat and ashore, from 1917 to 1941.

    Photo #: NH 75519

    "A Bad Play for the Navy"


    U.S. Navy Sailors attending a sporting event in England, probably during World War I, with British soldiers in the foreground.

    Photograph by the Central News, Ltd., London.

    U.S. NHHC Photograph.

    Online Image: 93KB; 740 x 580

     
    Photo #: NH 41866

    USS Rambler
    (SP-211)

    Ship's forward 3"/50 gun in action, while she was operating off Brest at Pallice, France, on convoy escort duty, 1918.
    The original photograph was taken by Robert W. Neeser.

    U.S. NHHC Photograph.

    Online Image: 80KB; 740 x 535

     
    Photo #: NH 41865

    USS Rambler
    (SP-211)

    Ship's forward 3"/50 gun in action, while she was operating off Brest at Pallice, France, on convoy escort duty, 1918.
    The original photograph was taken by Robert W. Neeser.

    U.S. NHHC Photograph.

    Online Image: 80KB; 740 x 530

     
    Photo #: NH 56659

    USS Bushnell
    (Submarine Tender # 2)

    Mess Attendants on board the ship, during World War I.

    U.S. NHHC Photograph.

    Online Image: 75KB; 740 x 500

     
    Photo #: 111-SC-9231

    "Type in the U.S. Navy - The Winning Smile"


    An Army photograph of a Navy Steward on board ship, during World War I.

    Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

    Online Image: 51KB; 740 x 605

    Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

     
    Photo #: NH 103148

    USS Madawaska
    (ID # 3011)

    Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken in 1918-1919, showing the ship's ward room as her stewards prepare to serve a meal.
    This image was published in 1918-1919 by A.M. Simon, 324 E. 23rd St., New York City, as one of ten photographs in a "Souvenir Folder" of views concerning USS Madawaska.

    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2005.

    U.S. NHHC Photograph.

    Online Image: 79KB; 740 x 490

     
    Photo #: NH 3048

    USS Prometheus
    (Repair Ship # 3)

    Wardroom Mess table ready for a meal, circa 1919-20.
    Three Stewards are standing by in the background.

    U.S. NHHC Photograph.

    Online Image: 85KB; 740 x 510

     
    Photo #: NH 103999

    USS Matsonia
    (ID # 1589)

    Halftone reproduction of a photograph of the officer's galley on the ship, taken in 1918-1919.
    This image was published in 1918-1919 as one of ten photographs in a "Souvenir Folder" of views of and on board Matsonia.

    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2006.

    U.S. NHHC Photograph.

    Online Image: 105KB; 740 x 510

     
    Photo #: NH 103956

    USS Pretoria
    (1919-1919)

    Halftone reproduction of a photograph of four crew members in the officers' pantry, 1919.
    This image was published by A.M. Simon, 324 E. 23rd St., New York City, in 1919 as one of ten photographs in a "Souvenir Folder" of views of and on board Pretoria.

    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2006.

    U.S. NHHC Photograph.

    Online Image: 88KB; 740 x 490

     
    Photo #: NH 99392

    USS Black Arrow
    (ID # 3913)

    Ship's Officers and Crew on deck, 1919.
    Panoramic photograph by the Taylor Studio, Norfolk, Virginia.
    Note the group of African-American Sailors in the lower right.

    U.S. NHHC Photograph.

    Online Image: 127KB; 900 x 370

     
    Photo #: NH 105700

    USS Imperator
    (ID # 4080)

    Ship's Officers and Crew, posed on her after boat deck, circa late spring or summer 1919.
    Panoramic photograph by H.A. Helm, 121 West 68th Street, New York.
    Note the large boat cranes flanking this scene, and the very large group of stewards in the front left.

    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2008.

    U.S. NHHC Photograph.

    Online Image: 212KB; 2000 x 505

     
    Photo #: NH 90515

    USS S-22 (SS-127)


    Ship's Complement, at New London, Connecticut, Summer 1941.
    Officers, seated in front center, are (left-to-right):
    Lieutenant Joseph F. Enright, USN;
    Lieutenant Commander George H. Wales, USN, Commanding Officer;
    Lieutenant Ernest S. Friedrick, USN; and
    Ensign Alvin E. Kirstein, USNR.

    Courtesy of Captain Joseph F. Enright, USN(Retired), 1979.

    U.S. NHHC Photograph.

    Online Image: 104KB; 740 x 570

     


    For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions





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