Archive for the 'Diversity' Category

Oct 25

CDR. Ernest Evans, Skipper of USS Johnston (DD-557)

Monday, October 25, 2010 12:01 AM


At first light on 25 October 1944, huge geysers of water shot up near the destroyer Johnston. That ship and half a dozen other American destroyers were escorting half a dozen jeep carriers off Samar. A shaky voice on Johnston’s talk between ships radio reported “a major portion” of the Japanese fleet fifteen miles astern. Commander Ernest Evans, the skipper, burst out of his sea cabin, barking out orders: All hands general quarters! Light off all boilers for maximum speed! Make smoke! Ernest Evans had come up the hard way, harder than most. His white paternal grandfather had married a… Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 19

“They Would Be Amazed”

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 12:01 AM


“Navy admits Negroes into the WAVES:” so read the headlines following the Navy Department’s October 19, 1944, press release announcing this change. This was indeed good news to the civic, religious, and civil rights organizations, the Afro-American sororities, Mary McLeod Bethune and others who had urged the Navy to have an integrated female reserve program since its inception. Captain Mildred McAfee, the director of the WAVES program, also advocated for their inclusion. The White House received petitions and numerous letters from whites and blacks a like arguing that not allowing blacks in the WAVES was discriminatory and inconsistent with America’s… Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 12

Breaking the Mold: The Ben Cloud Story

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 12:01 AM


Flying over Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War in an RF-8 Crusader, Ben Cloud never pondered his status as an officer of African American and Native American descent. His main concern was getting good photos of the Ho Chi Minh trail, and surviving the antiaircraft fire he received on every mission. Cloud came from a middle class family from San Diego, Calif., and entered the Naval Aviation Cadet program at the onset of the Korean War. He later was selected to fly one of the hottest planes of the period, the F9F Panther. By 1971 his career was on a… Read the rest of this entry »

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