Nearly 900 African Americans fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima, but accounts of their service have gone largely unrecorded. This book seeks to correct that omission for the sake of the brave Americans who served and for the sake of a more inclusive American history. Eleven veterans contribute their memories and experiences, starting with their youth in the Depression, their enlistment, the battle itself, and their experience of returning to a nation that continued to treat them as second-class citizens. Appendices include a history of the Montford Point Marines, a history of the Army's 476th Amphibian Truck Company, a chronology of the Battle of Iwo Jima and a task organization chart for the participating U.S. forces.
Clarence E Willie — Retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Clarence E. Willie is a former school district superintendent and now a consultant and grants evaluator.
Willie, Clarence E. African American voices from Iwo Jima: personal accounts of the battle. McFarland, 2010. 252p bibl index afp ISBN 0786441585 pbk; ISBN 9780786441587 pbk. Reviewed in 2011apr CHOICE.
Iwo Jima is etched into the US consciousness. Like many island battles in the Pacific, there was no rear area, no secure zone of comfort. Anyone who recalls the battle remembers the immortal words of Admiral Chester Nimitz, "Uncommon valor was a common virtue." At a time when African Americans were seldom seen or heard, wartime documentaries provided a rare glimpse of African Americans in combat, even at Iwo Jima. During most of the war, the US Army and Marines practiced Jim Crow. Yet on February 19, 1945, all troops who landed on Iwo Jima saw combat. In a book originating from the author's role in the making of a documentary about black Marines, Willie tells the story of the 900 African Americans who fought and died on Iwo Jima. Relying on those interviews and additional conversations with African Americans who served in the Army's 476th Amphibious Truck Company, Willie provides a comprehensive picture of African Americans in WW II. A significant contribution to understanding the unsung role played by African Americans in the "Good War."
Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. -- C. C. Lovett, Emporia State University