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The Golden Thirteen (Bluejacket Books) (Paperback)

The Golden Thirteen (Bluejacket Books) By Paul L. Stillwell (Editor), Estate Of Colin L. Powell (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Paul L. Stillwell (Editor), Estate Of Colin L. Powell (Foreword by)


In January 1944 sixteen black enlisted men gathered at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Illinois to begin a cram course that would turn them into the U.S. Navy's first African-American officers on active duty. The men believed they could set back the course of racial justice if they failed and banded together so all would succeed. Despite the demanding pace, all sixteen passed the course. Twelve were commissioned as ensigns and a thirteenth was made a warrant officer. Years later these pioneers came to be known as the Golden Thirteen, but at the outset they were treated more as pariahs than pioneers. Often denied the privileges and respect routinely accorded white naval officers, they were given menial assignments unworthy of their abilities and training. Yet despite this discrimination, these inspirational young men broke new ground and opened the door for generations to come.

In 1986, oral historian Paul Stillwell began recording the memories of the eight surviving members of the Golden Thirteen. Later he interviewed three white officers who served with and supported the efforts of the men during World War II. This book collects the stories of those eleven men. Introduced by Colin L. Powell, they tell in dramatic fashion what it was like to be a black American.

About the Author

Paul Stillwell is an independent historian and retired naval officer. He worked for thirty years at the U.S. Naval Institute as an oral historian and editor of Naval History magazine. He is the author or editor of thirteen books, including four on battleships and an award-winning volume on the Navy's first African American officers, The Golden Thirteen.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781591148401
ISBN-10: 1591148405
Publisher: US Naval Institute Press
Publication Date: March 14th, 2003
Pages: 336
Language: English
Series: Bluejacket Books