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Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

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This section focuses on African Americans who served in the U.S. Navy during the 1980s.  Continuing the breakthrough made by mates, Midshipman Janie L. Miles became the first African American to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1980.   In 1982, Leslie Branch became the first African American Roman Catholic chaplain.   An additional achievement before the end of the decade was when U.S. Naval Academy graduate Matice Wright became qualified to be the first U.S. Navy's first African American female flight officer. 

Other resources:

Downloadable African American Pamphlet

NHHC African American Experience

Image:  330-CFD-DN-SC-93-04639:  Ensign Matice Wright, 1993.   Matice Wright was first African American female naval flight officer.  Official U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.