Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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  • nhhc-topics:african-americans
  • nhhc-topics:submarine
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African American Submariners in the U.S. Navy

Centennial Seven

BALTIMORE (Feb. 21, 2009) Members of the Navy's Centennial Seven pose with U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen. Capt. Pete Tzomes, left, Rear Adm. Tony Watson, Capt. Will Bundy, Vice Adm. Mel Williams, Capt. Bill Peterson, Rear Adm. Cecil Haney, Rear Adm. Bruce Grooms, Cmdr. Rich Bryant, Cmdr. Roger Isom. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Karen Eifert/Released)


Materials relating to African American Submariners:

The nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine USS George Washington Carver (SSBN-656) was named in honor of an African American. The submarine honors scientist George Washington Carver (1864-1943). Commissioned in June 1966, the Carver carried out 73 patrols in the Atlantic area until mid-1991. She was decommissioned in March 1993. Source


Good Read: "Black Submariners in the United States Navy, 1940-1975" by Glenn A. Knoblock with Foreword by VADM Mel Williams, a submarine fleet commander and son of one of the men profiled. An historical overview of black sailors and the evolution of the Steward’s Branch, to which black sailors were eventually restricted, precede descriptions of becoming a steward and a submariner, and of life as a submariner during World War II. - Available from on-line retailers

Black Submariners in the United States Navy, 1940-1975


NHHC online art exhibit entitled The Silent Service: An exhibit on the submarine service in World War II put together by Abbott Laboratories in 1943 to tour the United States as part of their contribution to the war effort. From the exhibit:

Coffee and Chow (Artist: Thomas Hart Benton)
Stand By to Fire (Artist: Georges Shreiber)
Published: Wed Nov 29 10:19:29 EST 2017