John Lee, first black commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy is assigned to duty.
Dec 1944-Jan 1945 The U.S. Army integrated black volunteers with white troops to fight during the "Battle of the Bulge," the Germans¹ last desperate counteroffensive to break through in the Ardennes forest in Belgium. Over 5000 African-American soldiers in the Army¹s service units volunteered; 2500 of them were accepted. After 6 weeks of training, the black troops were organized into 37 platoons of 40 men each, which were then attached to white units of 200 men each. Suggested by General John Lee and approved by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, this was the first and only example of an integrated Army fighting force in WWII. White officers later judged that these black soldiers had performed "very well" or "fairly well." Although this experiment proved to be quite successful, the Army withheld a favorable survey on the intermixing of its troops because it would supposedly have undermined southern political support for a postwar peacetime draft.