The Library of Congress Veterans History Project Home 
Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project
Home » Bertran F. Wallace

"There were still people who had hidden agendas because of the color of my skin, which I had nothing to do with." (Video Interview, 36:23)

   Bertran F. Wallace
Collection image
Bertran Wallace
War: World War, 1939-1945; Korean War, 1950-1953
Branch: Army; Army
Unit: Battalion and Prisoner of War (POW) Command, 743rd Military Police Detachment, Military Police Corps; Battalion and Prisoner of War (POW) Command, 743rd Military Police
Service Location: Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Devens, Massachusetts; North Africa; Italy; New York; Korea; also: Koje-do Island, Korea
Rank: Major; Major
View Full Description

Serving in two wars plus almost 30 years of peacetime duty didn't take the edge off Bertran Wallace, a proud man who fought as hard against prejudice within the Army as he did against the Germans in North Africa and Italy and the North Koreans. Wallace's fondest memories are from World War II, when his all-black MP unit served with distinction after the Allies captured Rome.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (10 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (89 min.)
»Photo Album  (5 photos)
 Other Materials
»743rd Military Police Battalion yearbook
More like this
»Forever a Soldier
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (10 items)
Answering the call for "pilots of color" with two buddies; run-in with a sergeant; serving in enlisted reserve corps under respectful officer. (05:02) Part of an MP unit in North Africa with a good C.O.; sports competitions among Army units; assigned to Rome hotels hosting officers on R&R (07:37) Applying after the war to become an officer; running up against prejudice (04:33)
Volunteering to serve in Korea; trying to avoid assignments in the Southern U.S. (03:15) Troubles in Korea at Kojedo camp for POWs. (02:55) Made Compound Commander over 13,000 prisoners; dealing with race riots. (02:52)
Photograph album of the prison at Kojedo. (04:15) A new assignment, more problems with a prejudiced senior officer. (04:58) Though he enjoyed good assignments, he still encountered prejudice. (03:08)
Why he left the military. (05:09)  

Home » Bertran F. Wallace
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
  Legal | External Link Disclaimer Need Help?   
Contact Us