Korea and Vietnam

What were race relations like during the Korean War?

Black solders found a much segregated army at the outbreak of the Korean War. When the all-black 24th Infantry Regiment was called to duty, false reports circulated that the black soldiers were unreliable; however, combat troops were much needed, which led to at least ad hoc integration by the end of the war. Large numbers of blacks enlisted; by mid-1951, blacks accounted for one out of every four new army recruits. Before long, all of the army’s basic training centers were integrated and blacks joined all-white combat units. By the end of the Korean War, over 90 percent of the blacks in the army were in integrated units. Both the U.S. Air Force and the Marine Corps also eliminated their racially segregated units.


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