Forgotten: The Untold Story of D-Day’s Black Heroes – Linda Hervieux
This book covers the Forgotten story of the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, comprised of African American soldiers who were part of the D-Day landings.
These brave soldiers role was to deploy and maintain a curtain of explosive barrage balloons, that were dangerous to enemy aircraft, thus deterring them from attacking the beaches effectively.
Hervieux built her research for the book by holding a series of interviews with the surviving members of the battalion. In addition, she trawled a collection of newly discovered Military records to help bring their story to life.
Focus is on Four Black WW2 Soldiers
Inside the book, we meet four individual members of the Battalion and learn of their struggles both within the Army and their personal lives.
One member of the Battalion would be nominated for the Medal of Honour, sadly, he never received that medal, nor would any other African American Soldier, during the War.
It took until 1997 until the then President, Bill Clinton finally awarded the Medal of Honor to seven African-American soldiers.
The book looks at the respect Black troops received when they were stationed in England and in Europe contrasting it sharply with the racial segregation of 1940’s America.
We read about the dark and ugly conflict, not with the German enemy but of the racial tensions between Black and White American soldiers, and the politics that governed and tried to manage that fragile relationship.
The European experience so profoundly changed these men that they would carry it with them, back the U.S, where it helped fuel the budding Civil rights movement.
This book has been lovingly crafted to provide real insight into the lives of Black Soldiers in WW2.
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Watch the introductory video about the 320th.
- Linda Hervieux – ‘Forgotten’ Website
- All Black Battalion Served with Distinction.. – U.S Army
- ‘Forgotten’ – Book Review – Task & Purpose
- Why Black Soldiers Were Finally Given the Medals of Honor They Deserved – Time Magazine
- Medals of Honor Awarded at Last To Black World War II Soldiers – NY Times