African-Americans and the U.S. Navy - World War II Shipboard Service



This page presents images of African-Americans serving on board ships during World War II, and provides links to other shipboard views and related subjects.

For other pictorial coverage of African-Americans during World War II, see African Americans and the U.S. Navy - World War II

For pictorial coverage of other eras, see African Americans and the U.S. Navy

The following pages feature views of or about World War II ships that had largely African-American crews, or racially integrated complements:

  • USS Mason (DE-529), first U.S. Navy ship to have an enlisted complement that was largely African-American.
  • USS PC-1264 (DE-529), Navy ship with a crew mainly consisting of African Americans.
  • USS Sea Cloud (IX-99), formerly USCGC Sea Cloud, ship with a Coast Guard crew that was racially integrated.


The following pictures feature African-Americans serving on board Navy ships during World War II:

 

Click photograph for a larger image.

Photo #: 80-G-K-3756 (Color)

Cruiser's Wardroom Scene


Officer's Stewards serve a meal to the cruiser's junior officers, during World War II.
The original color transparency was received by the Navy Photographic Science Laboratory on 13 April 1945.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 68KB; 740 x 610

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-15541 (Color)

USS Cero (SS-225)


Officers eating in the submarine's Wardroom, served by their Stewards, during Cero's shakedown period, circa July-August 1943, at the Groton, Connecticut, Submarine Base.
Photographed by Charles Fenno Jacobs.
Officers present are (from left to right):
Lieutenant Commander David H. McClintock;
Commander David C. White, Commanding Officer;
Lieutenant Charles D. Nace.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 97KB; 740 x 605

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-490370

Surrender of Japan, 1945


Japanese and U.S. officers negotiate the surrender of Mili Atoll, Marshalls, on board USS Levy (DE-162), 22 August 1945.
Identified U.S. officers present include (from left to right):
Commander H.E. Cross;
Captain H. B. Grow, USNR, senior U.S. officer present;
Commander W.C. Burkhard;
Lieutenant P.S. Breck, Jr.;
Commander C.G. Olson;
Japanese officers in center include an unidentified junior officer, at left, and Japanese Navy Captain Masanori Shiga.
Note pistol shoulder holster worn by U.S. officer in right foreground, fancy rope decoration on stanchions, metal wardroom chairs and steward in right background.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 91KB; 740 x 615

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-71586

USS Copahee (ACV-12)


Mess Attendants manning a 20mm machine gun, in a gun tub beside the flight deck, 9 September 1942. The carrier was then en route from Alameda, California, to the southwest Pacific.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 75KB; 740 x 615

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-21743

USS Indianapolis (CA-35)


African-American Mess Attendants in battle dress, July 1942. These men had volunteered for additional duty as gunners.
The ship's Commanding Officer, Captain E.W. Hanson, is the second officer from the right. Standing beside him is Steward William Henry.
A few of these men are wearing old World War I style helmets, while most have the then-new M-1 type helmets.

Identity of ship and men was provided by Mr. William Henry in October 1996.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 85KB; 740 x 605

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-417623

USS Tulagi (CVE-72)


Steward's Mate Second Class Miles Davis King carries a loaded magazine for a 20mm machine gun, as the escort carrier steams through the Mediterranean Sea en route to the Invasion of Southern France. Photographed a few days prior to 15 August 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 73KB; 590 x 675

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-11741

USS Argonaut (SS-166)


Crewmen reading their mail, after returning to Pearl Harbor from the Makin Island Raid, 26 August 1942.
The gun behind them is a 6"/53.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 96KB; 740 x 615

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-305241

Steward's Mate Second Class James Lee Frazer


Takes time to read a few chapters from his Bible, part of his daily devotional routine while serving on board an aircraft carrier. Taken 9 January 1945, the night before his ship launched strikes on the Manila Bay area in support of the Lingayen Operation.
Photographed by a member of Captain Edward Steichen's unit.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 75KB; 740 x 605

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: SC 192720

Southern France Invasion, August 1944


Soldiers and sailors singing hymns during religious services on board USS LST-4, while en route to the Invasion of Southern France, 13 August 1944.
Photographed by Smith.
Note capstan behind the men at left.

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

Online Image: 105KB; 740 x 605

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-305242

U.S. Navy Steward's Mates


Passing the time with a card game in their berthing space on board an aircraft carrier, the evening before their ship launched strikes on Manila, November 1944.
Photographed by a member of Captain Edward Steichen's unit.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 69KB; 740 x 635

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 


For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions





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