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The War in Vietnam came as the U.S. Southern civil rights struggle was reaching a climax, and the two conflicts defined a watershed in race relations in the United States. African-Americans were heavily involved in Vietnam combat operations, generally in the lower ranks. As the war became longer and appeared less likely to produce a victorious outcome, racial and other tensions in American society, and in the Navy, reached an unprecedented level. During the early 1970s, this situation led to major changes in the Navy's approach to its African-American personnel.


This page features African-American Naval personnel engaged in Vietnam War activities afloat and ashore.