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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

   Walter Morris
Collection image
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
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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)
»Part 1 | Part 2 
Download: audio(1) | 
Download: audio(2) (74 min.)
»Photo Album  (3 photos)
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
Taking charge of an all-black service company. (05:22) A chance to command his own company of paratroopers. (05:04) Discrimination on the base. (00:53)
Assigned to smoke jumping in the West. (03:38) Soldiers with something to prove. (02:43) Postwar activities of the Triple Nickles. (04:47)

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  October 26, 2011
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