By Carma Henry
Black WWII Soldier Denied Officer Status Becomes Commissioned Lieutenant 76 Years Later at 98-Years-Old
John Edward James Jr., who completed his officer training in 1942, was commissioned as a second lieutenant 76 years later. (Museum of The American Revolution)
An African American man who was denied officer status in the U.S. Army was commissioned as a second lieutenant on June 29 — 76 years later.
John Edward James Jr., 98, completed his officer training in 1942 but was denied his bars because of his race, WHYY-FM reported.
James attended officer candidate school at Fort Benning, Georgia, but the day before he was to receive his commission, he had told him he wouldn’t be made an officer and was being transferred.
It was common during World War II for Black soldiers to be denied commissions if they were to be assigned to a predominantly white unit. At the time, it was against Army regulations for white soldiers to be subordinate to Blacks.
James spent the war as a corporal, serving as a typist with a quartermaster battalion supplying front-line combat units in North Africa and Italy for three years. After the war, he married and worked for the post office.
He never told his children about being a …read more
Source:: The Westside Gazette