African-Americans and the U.S. Navy - The "Golden Thirteen"



In February 1944, the Navy commissioned its first African-American officers. This long-hoped-for action represented a major step forward in the status of African-Americans in the Navy and in American society. The twelve commissioned officers, and a warrant officer who received his rank at the same time, came to be known as the "Golden Thirteen".

The following pictures feature the "Golden Thirteen", as a group and as individuals.

Additional pictorial coverage African Americans and the U.S. Navy
African-Americans and the U.S. Navy during World War II

Click the photograph for a larger image.

Photo #: NH 95624

"The Golden Thirteen",
the first African-American U.S. Navy Officers


Photographed 17 March 1944.
They are (bottom row, left to right):
Ensign James E. Hare, USNR;
Ensign Samuel E. Barnes, USNR;
Ensign George C. Cooper, USNR;
Ensign William S. White, USNR;
Ensign Dennis D. Nelson, USNR;
(middle row, left to right):
Ensign Graham E. Martin, USNR;
Warrant Officer Charles B. Lear, USNR;
Ensign Phillip G. Barnes, USNR;
Ensign Reginald E. Goodwin, USNR;
(top row, left to right):
Ensign John W. Reagan, USNR;
Ensign Jesse W. Arbor, USNR;
Ensign Dalton L. Baugh, USNR;
Ensign Frank E. Sublett, USNR.

Courtesy of Surface Warfare Magazine, 1982.

U.S. NHHC Photograph.

Online Image: 69KB; 590 x 765

 
Photo #: 80-G-300215

First African-American U.S. Navy Officers


Photographed in February 1944, soon after attaining officer rank in the Naval Reserve.
They are (seated in front row, left-to-right):
Ensign George C. Cooper, USNR;
Ensign Graham E. Martin, USNR;
Ensign Jesse W. Arbor, USNR;
Ensign John W. Reagan, USNR;
Ensign Reginald E. Goodwin, USNR;
(standing in back row, left-to-right):
Ensign Dennis D. Nelson, USNR;
Ensign Phillip G. Barnes, USNR;
Ensign Samuel E. Barnes, USNR;
Ensign Dalton L. Baugh, USNR;
Ensign James E. Hare, USNR;
Ensign Frank E. Sublett, USNR;
Warrant Boatswain Charles B. Lear, USNR.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 85KB; 740 x 615

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives.

 
Photo #: 80-G-300191

Ensign Jesse W. Arbor, USNR


Photographed on 17 March 1944.
He was one of the Navy's first group of African-American officers.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 44KB; 575 x 765

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives.

 
Photo #: 80-G-300192

Jesse W. Arbor


Photographed in U.S. Navy enlisted uniform, probably during his initial training. Photograph is dated 17 March 1944, but was probably taken earlier.
He was one of the Navy's first group of African-American officers.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 49KB; 595 x 765

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives.

 
Photo #: 80-G-300211

Ensign Frank E. Sublett, USNR


Photographed 17 March 1944.
He was a member of the Navy's first group of African-American officers.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 52KB; 580 x 765

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives.

 
Photo #: 80-G-300212

Frank E. Sublett


Photographed in U.S. Navy enlisted uniform, probably during his initial training. Photograph is dated 17 March 1944, but was probably taken earlier.
He was one of the Navy's first group of African-American officers.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 55KB; 585 x 765

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives.

 
Photo #: NH 95625

Reunion of early African-American U.S. Navy Officers


On board USS Kidd (DDG-993) in April 1982.
They are (seated, left to right):
Jesse W. Arbor;
Dalton L. Baugh;
William S. White;
Samuel E. Barnes;
(standing, left to right):
George C. Cooper;
James E. Hare;
John W. Reagan;
Graham E. Martin;
Wesley A. Brown;
Frank E. Sublett.
Brown was the first African-American graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. The others were members of "the Golden Thirteen", the first African-American Navy officers, who were commissioned in 1944.

Courtesy of Surface Warfare Magazine, 1982.

U.S. NHHC Photograph.

Online Image: 101KB; 590 x 765

 


For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions





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