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"We as colored soldiers in Ft. Benning could not go into the main Post Exchange. We looked in [and] could see the German and Italian prisoners of war sitting down at the same table with white soldiers... So it is understandable how colored soldiers would have an inferiority complex." Audio interview transcript, page 5, 23:15

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   Walter Morris
Image of Walter Morris
Walter Morris, First Jump with the 1st Sgt. 555th Parachute Battalion and Color Portrait
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion (Triple Nickel)
Service Location: Fort Benning, Georgia; Camp MacKall, North Carolina; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Pendleton Field, Oregon
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Place of Birth: GA
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Walter Morris played an important role in integrating American troops in World War II. Morris submitted ideas on how to run an all-black guard unit attached to the parachute school and soon he and his men were learning to make jumps. Dubbed the 555th Parachute Infantry Company - "The Triple Nickles" - Morris and his men were disappointed when VE Day cut off their chance to fight in Europe. Like many other servicemen, they expected to participate in the upcoming invasion of Japan, but the Army—and the Department of Agriculture—had something else in mind.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Complete Interview  (74 min.)
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
Assigned to smoke jumping in the West. (03:38) Discrimination on the base. (00:53) A chance to command his own company of paratroopers. (05:04)
Taking charge of an all-black service company. (05:22) Postwar activities of the Triple Nickles. (04:47) Soldiers with something to prove. (02:43)
  
 
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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