WWII Photo Post – First Integrated Combat Unit – Company K, 394th Infantry Regiment, 99th Division


The 5th Platoon of K Company was assigned to the 394th Infantry Regiment of the 99th Division, making the African-American men of the platoon the first integrated combat soldiers since the Revolutionary War.  Of the nearly 1,000,000 African-Americans to serve in WWII, only a small handful were put in front line combat duty, and even fewer fought shoulder to shoulder with White comrades.

A recent eBay find turned into an interesting research piece for me.  I had no idea black soldiers fought in the 99th Division, and the Purple Heart and Combat Infantry Badge present in the photo are indicators of a battle-hardened veteran of combat.  All we know about his identity is that the photo was taken in November of 1945 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Maybe someone knows a way to narrow down the list of K Company men and discover his identity?




Want to read more about this topic?  Check out the following sites for a slew of interested articles and photos: