Segregated troops at Ft. Gordon, Georgia in 1950s
December 31, 2010 12:01 PM   Subscribe

My father-in-law, who is 81, was stationed at Ft. Gordon in Georgia in 1951, as part of the signal corps. He has charged me with finding out anything I can about the segregated troops during the period.

Specifically, he remembers that the African-American soldiers marched in a tighter formation and used what he calls a "Joey cadence," which he describes as a shuffle-step. I'm looking for more information on any of this, thank you.
posted by mecran01 to Human Relations (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The only reference to "Joey Cadence" on google is this question.

This is from the wikipedia entry:
At the end of June 1950, the Korean War broke out. The U.S. Army had accomplished little desegregation in peacetime and sent the segregated Eighth Army to defend South Korea. Most black soldiers served in segregated support units in the rear. The remainder served in segregated combat units, most notably the 24th Infantry Regiment. The first months of the Korean War were some of the most disastrous in U.S. military history. The North Korean People's Army nearly drove the American-led United Nations forces off the Korean peninsula. Faced with staggering losses in white units, commanders on the ground began accepting black replacements, thus integrating their units. The practice occurred all over the Korean battle lines and proved that integrated combat units could perform under fire. The Army high command took notice. On July 26, 1951, the US Army formally announced its plans to desegregate, exactly three years after Truman issued Executive Order 9981.
Soon Army officials required Morning Reports (the daily report of strength accounting and unit activity required of every unit in the Army on active duty) of units in Korea to include the line "NEM XX OTHER EM XX TOTAL EM XX", where XX was the number of Negro and Other races, in the section on enlisted strength. The Form 20s for enlisted personnel recorded race. For example, the percentage of Black Enlisted Personnel in the 4th Signal Battalion was maintained at about 14 % from September 1951 to November 1952, mostly by clerks' selectively assigning replacements by race. Morning Report clerks of this battalion assumed that all units in Korea were doing the same. The Morning Reports were classified "RESTRICTED" in those years.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:11 PM on December 31, 2010 [1 favorite]

He probably means the "Jodie" cadence. And while this anecdote doesn't specifically pertain to Ft. Gordon, it does discuss the racial segregation of the U.S. Marines during World War II. What makes this particular story of interest is that the first white captain to be put in charge of an all-black unit was Bobby Troup, who went on to gain fame as Dr. Early on TV's Emergency!
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:19 PM on December 31, 2010

"We, Too, Serve Proudly" (.pdf) popped up for me; looks like Ft. Gordon was known as Camp Gordon until the mid-'50s.
posted by MonkeyToes at 12:21 PM on December 31, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for these responses, they are very helpful!
posted by mecran01 at 3:38 PM on December 31, 2010

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