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41st Engineers: 1942

41st Engineers: 1942

March 1942. Fort Bragg, North Carolina. "41st Engineers, at Negro camp, taking advanced training. Sergeant Franklin Williams, left, in jeep." Acetate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Foreign Information Service of the U.S. Office of the Coordinator of Information. View full size.


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Not to be confused with the 42nd Infantry Division, a division of the United States Army National Guard.

"During World War II, many African-Americans served in engineer general service regiments within a segregated Army. In theory, these units were “trained and equipped to undertake all types of general engineer work,” which usually entailed the construction and repair of roads, airfields, and bridges. In practice, several black regiments were ill-trained and not given proper equipment. Unfortunately, many of the white officers assigned to the black units were hostile to the men they were supposed to lead and assumed they could not be taught to operate machinery. Accordingly, the men of many black engineer units were given duties requiring little or no skill."

See also and "United States Army in World War II, Special Studies, The Employment of Negro Troops, Center of Military History (see chapter 20)


It’s not Sergeant Franklin Williams I’d be worried about, but that guy in the back seat. I can almost hear the low grrrrrr sound.

Jeep ID

1941 Ford Blitz Buggy, which predates the final design with the stamped grille.

Bye bye M1917 Helmet

Those WWI-era M1917 helmets weren't long for the world at the time of this photo. They were about to be phased out for the brand, spankin' new M1 helmets whose new design had been approved the year before and production started immediately thereafter. Just like Audie Murphy wore.

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