Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

History

Abstract

Otis Eliot Pope, Jr.

Loyola University Chicago

FORGOTTEN SOLDIERS FROM A FORGOTTEN WAR: ORAL HISTORY

TESTIMONIES OF AFRICAN AMERICAN KOREAN WAR VETERANS

This study seeks to illuminate the motivations, struggles, conflicts, and contributions African American soldiers made to the US military during the Korean War. Forty oral history testimonies from African American Korean War veterans were used for this dissertation. The findings of this dissertation illustrate that previously held beliefs about African American participation in the Korean War were inaccurate. My research indicates a variety of reasons, including a desire for upward mobility, influenced African Americans to join the US military. Additionally, the training African American soldiers received were equal to and sometimes better than that of their White counterparts. Also, while African American soldiers faced racism while they were serving their country during the war, they still served their country honorably. The Korean War’s impact on African American soldiers was both negative and positive. The results of my findings offer insight on why African Americans joined the US military, how they were prepared for war, what challenges they faced on the battlefield, and how the Korean War changed their lives. My dissertation concludes that the Korean War was transformative for African American soldiers, helping some achieve financial stability, while leaving others with psychological scars.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Share

COinS