African American Heritage Month
1950-1973

KOREAN AND VIETNAM WAR

1950-1953: KOREAN WAR
1959-1973: VIETNAM WAR



1950-1953: KOREAN WAR


New opportunities began to emerge for black Soldiers while serving in the Korean War.

 In October 1951, the all-black 24th Infantry Regiment, which had served during the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II and the beginning of the Korean War, was disbanded.

This eliminated the last lingering formal practice of segregation in the Army.


 Black Soldiers now served in all combat service elements and were involved in all major combat operations, including the advance of United Nations Forces to the Chinese border.

(Caption: This machine gun crew of African American soldiers in the Korean War beat off a fierce night attack with their accurate firing. Courtesy photo by Harry S. Truman Library & Museum)


1959-1973: VIETNAM WAR

From a legal standpoint, the 1960s marked a transformation of the realities of discrimination and political equality for blacks with the passing of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Act (1964 and 1965, respectively).

The 1960s also marked the full engagement of the United States in the war in Vietnam. In support of this campaign to uphold democracy, black Soldiers continued the tradition of serving the Army with distinction.