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Stealth Fighters: 1942

Stealth Fighters: 1942

October 1942. "High school Victory Corps. Learning the rudiments of advancing on an enemy will prove valuable to these boys if they are called to join their older brothers in the armed forces. This is part of the 'commando' training given in physical education courses at Flushing High School, Queens, New York." Photo by William Perlitch for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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I believe that, to the extent that NYC public schools were segregated, it was "de facto," based on housing patterns, rather than "de jure." The elementary school in Flushing that I attended beginning in 1950 was about 1/3 African American. So it would not be surprising to see black faces at Flushing HS in the 40s.

Just wondering...

Was Flushing HS integrated at the time?

Kissena Park?

Kissena Park?


I grew up in Flushing, but lived closer to, and attended, Jamaica HS. Graduated 19 years after this photo was taken (which was three years before I was born).

Unfortunately, no landmarks that can identify the spot, but their were plenty of marshlands in Flushing in those days.

The spirit of things to come

This is quite an amazing photograph, in more ways than one. At that time, black and white young men didn't often have the opportunity to work together, as equals, in the military. Fortunately, the integration of the military was only six years away, making way for the military I grew up in. There were still individuals who held on to personal prejudices but, for the most part, the military community was decades ahead of the world outside the base. That's one of the main things that have always me proud of being from a military family, and which prepared me for raising a multiracial family, too!

Guns are back in the lockers

These guys were probably in the Gun Club, too. We used to bring our rifles to school and keep them in our lockers till the after-school meeting. And this wasn't in Texas or somewhere like that - it was New Jersey in the late 60s. Yeesh!

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