Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Topic
  • Boats-Ships--Submarine
  • People--African Americans
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  • Historical Summary
Wars & Conflicts
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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. From left to right, Capt. Pete Tzomes, Rear Adm. Tony Watson, Capt. Will Bundy, Vice Adm. Mel Williams, Capt. Bill Peterson, Rear Adm. Cecil Haney, and Rear Adm. Bruce Grooms. The Centennial Seven were the only African Americans to command a submarine during the 20th century. Pictured to the right of Grooms, Cmdr. Rich Bryan, who commanded USS Miami (SSN-755), and Cmdr. Roger Isom, who commanded USS Wyoming (SSBN-742). Bryant and Isom were the first two African Americans to command a submarine during the 21st century.

Centennial Seven

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: Tue Jul 02 09:25:00 EDT 2019