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About Portland inquirer. (Portland, Or.) 1944-194? | View Entire Issue (March 22, 1946)
Friday. March 22. 1946
“Command car hit a land mine,” to see what the commotion was.
been forced to leave any skill in as physically unfit. It was natur go was—ammunition.
Sitting next to Bill was Chuck he said quickly, “It’s laying on its “Did you hear us?” Big Bill ask
which they became too adept al that Southern States should
(Continued from page 7)
which they could not share. He There was a backlog of hard have a higher number of rejec Tate, the assistant driver, and in side about twenty yards down ed.
They both nodded. “O. K.” Bill
himself had seen the shameful earned experience and American tions among Negroes because the body of the truck were two hill.”
“Anybody in it?”
said. Anybody wants to get out,
record written in the pages of mechanical ingenuity in Negro those States had a higher Negro men guarding the ammunition.
“Just the driver, and it looks now’s the time to do it.”
history books. All the glowing troops waiting to be channeled population than the rest of the But Bill felt alone. His truck had
“It’s pretty comfortable back
words about equality coming out into specialized skills. The Army country. But it was not natural been separated from the long line like he’s passed out. But there’s
that there should be a higher per of one-and-a-half tonners when a somebody else—I saw bushes here, Sarge" one of them said
of the mouths of politicians had provided the channel.
Bill Sanderss went through centage of rejections. That per flat tire had forced him to pull moving on the other side of the casually, “I guess we’ll stick
meant nothing to him but a ser
around.” and the other nodded.
ies of shattered hopes. The only thirteen weeks of basic training centage was a reflection of the out of the convoy. The responsi road above us.”
“That wouldn’t be our boys,”
Bill turned to Chuck. “How a-
reason Bill Sanders reported to in which he learned how to be opportunities afforded Negroes to bility of his cargo and his men
Bill said. He was thinking as fast bout you,” he said, “you want
the Army was because he had come a soldier. He crawled on get adequate housing, food and weighed heavily upon him.
Chuck Tate proved to be some as he talked. “They'd be down by out?”
his belly through mud, learned medical attention.
to. It was the law.
Bill was thankful that he had distraction with his constant the Command car helping the
The Army, however, felt no how to use a rifle, how to throw
“I'll stick," Chuck said. “I don’t
like it but I’ll stick.
such antipathy towards William a grenade, and felt the impact of somehow stayed healthy enough stream of jokes and stories. Chuck driver. Let’s go.”
"Gonna make a run for it?”
Sanders. In fact, he was regarded a Bazooka against his shoulder. to pass the Army physical. Dur was telling a story about the
“Okay,” Bill said, “grab that
as good soldier material. Sanders
After a screening test, Bill was ing his first year, he had learned Louisiana cotton fields when they Chuck asked. “It’s a short stretch rifle and keep pumping lead out
of road up ahead and then there’s the side window. Johnson, man
was physically fit, iptelligent and sent to Auto-Vehicle Recovery about machines and had learned heard the explosion up ahead.
Big Bill jammed down on the another turn. We can be out of the anti-aircraft on top of the
had enough education to read School. Here, he saw trucks being how to translate that knowledge
and write. The last factor was rolled into ditches, smashed be into leadership. For this he had brakes and had his truck stopped their range in less than a min truck. Turner, keep that machine
the fore their eyes. He had learned been made a Sergeant and had to before the thud of the explosion ute.”
gun going out of the back. Don't
“We’re going,” Bill said softly, fire until they give us their posi
Army could not begin to make a long ago how to recover those learn how to assume authority— had died. Bill’s command was fast
and business like.
“but we’re taking that guy in the tion.”
soldier if a man was illiterate.
trucks, how to repair them and and responsibility.
“Chuck, run up and see what Command car with us.”
Even his name had changed.
Hundreds of thousands of Ne set them back on the road in
He swung the truck around the
“Are you crazy?" Chuck yelled. bend and then shifted the gear to
groes were rapidly being induct running condition. Now he learn His friends called him Big Bill. happened.”
Chuck was out of the truck and “If those Krauts hit our ammuni extra low and turned the wheel
Other soldiers called him Sarge.
ed into the Armed Forces, Bill ed more.
knew. But he also knew that a
Bill Sanders learned about Instead of driving a circus tw :k flattening himself against the tion we’ll go up like a keg of dyn sharp left. He could hear the
large percentage of them had to machines. For the first time in througii one night stands, Bill wall where the road had been cut amite.”
chatter of a machine gun from
be sent to Special Training Pro his life he had an experienced was driving a one and a half ton through. Then he disappeared
Bill turned and looked through above and then saw the splash of
grams until they had attained a instructor who wanted to teach truck northward in the rugged around the bend. A moment later the back glass of the cab. The two bullets in the dirt ahead.
literacy equivalent to the fourth him. The Army was saying to mountain terrain of Italy. His car he was back.
men in the truck had moved up
(To be continued)
grade of school. Whites also had him, “Go ahead— learn. The more
to have Special Training, but the you know the further you’ll get
proportion was about eight Ne in this man’s Army.” It was a
groes to every wi.ite.
new experience for Bill. It was
Records show that the greatest wonderful.
number of illiterates, both in the
From the day his mother told
Negro and white groups come him he could only go to the mov
from the Southern States. Thus, ies on Sunday, Bill Sanders had
the Army, with its system of been conscious of segregation. He
mass tabulation, has proven con accepted the fact that he ate and
clusively that the degree of liter slept with Colored troops. But in
acy among Negroes depends on the Army’s school it was differ
the educational opportunities a- ent. White and Colored troops
were mixed and the amount of
The Army experiment in mass progress made depended solely
education showed that a slightly on the individual’s ability and
higher percentage of the Negroes willingness to learn.
than the whites successfully com
Bill was developing a kindlier
pleted the Special Training Pro attitude towards the Army than
gram. Further study showed that he had at the time of his induc
the speed at which Negroes ac tion. He heard that in some Offi
complish the desired standards cer Candidate Schools, white and
was approximately as rapid as Negroes were eating and sleeping
the rate of the whites.
together as well as attending the
Teaching men to read and same classes. He began to see a
write watf-only the beginning of reason for his being in the Army.
-th e Army’s educational task. He began to acquire a thing brass
Very few technicians were sup hats called “morale.” To Bill
plied to the Army from civilian Sanders it meant liking his job.
occupations. While the' shortage
With intense interest in his
of specialists in the over-all pic work, and a feeling o f being part
ture was great, it was even more oi a something big and important
acute in connection with the Ne Bill Sanders finished among the
first ten and had an extra stripe
During a specific period—in on his sleeve when he graduated |
every thousand Negroes inducted from the Auto-Vehicle Recovery
—there were approximately six School.
auto mechanics, three construc
Those stripes meant a lot. They
tion carpenters, less than one
stood for the first time in his
plumber, and a negligible number
life he had ever been allowed to
of draftsmen, machinists, and
step out in front just because he
kelders. The needs of the Army
could do a job a little better than
could not begin to be met by
somebody else. They stood for an
this small number of specialists.
equal chance— regardless of race,
The only answer to the prob
color, or creed.
lem was more training. The Ar
A lot of changes had taken
my had to teach men to be mech
anics, plumbers, carpenters, line place in William Jesse Sanders by
Democratic Candidate for
Democratic Candidate for
men, cable splicers, to do any the time he had a year of Army
job that a modern army geared in him. His neck had filled out
for war has to know how to do. and his muscles responded quick
The greatest asset to the train er. He knew this was due to reg
ing program were the thousands ular Army life with good food
of “Bill Sanders” who had been and top medical attention. But
inducted. The thousands of Ne Bill sometimes wondered about
groes who had worked and the Negroes who hadn’t had the
fought for the chance to be near same opportunities as he, the
machines. The Negroes who had thousands who had been rejected
AND THESE CANDIDATES
URGE YOU TO
BEFORE APRIL 16, IN ORDER TO
VOTE M ay 17th
OLIVER E. SMITH
CLIFFORD (Cliff) HOWLETT
A full College Course for you
with expenses paid
Here's important news for young
men 18 and over (17 with par
ents’ consent). Under the GI
Bill o f Bights, if you enlist in the
U. S. Army before October 6,
1946, for 3 years, upon your dis
charge you will be entitled to 18
months o f college, trade or busi
ness school education. Tuition
up to $500 |M-r ordinary school
year will be paid. And you will
receive $65 monthly living al
lowance— $«0 if you are inai-
ried. Get the fa cts at your
nearest U. S. Army Recruiting
U. S. ARMY RECRUITING STATION
614 S. W. ELEVENTH, PORTLAND, OREGON
Democratic Candidate for
CHARLES W. BAKER
Democratic Candidate for
Clerk of the District Cout
Democratic Candidate for