Exacerbating the Army manpower woes was the policy of segregation. In the 1940s Jim Crowism was rampant in the United States. Racism and segregation affected all aspects of society in the South. Matters were little better in the Northern and Western states. The effect was that over fifteen percent of the nations military manpower was underutilized. Most African-Americans were restricted to serving with Service and Supply units, many of which were simply pools of brute-force, unskilled labor.
The second 2nd Cavalry Division (originally it was the 3rd Cavalry Division, it became the 2nd Division when the original 2nd Division was disbanded) was disbanded in 1944. Ironically, the 2nd Cavalry Division was arguably one of the most experienced and professional divisions in the Army. The 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments of the division, known as the Buffalo Soldiers, were two of the most famous regiments in the Army. When the division was disbanded the men of these two great regiments were assigned as laborers to port and engineer battalions.
The experience of the 93rd Division in the PTO was similar. It was split up and served mostly as labor parties on various Pacific islands. It suffered only 138 combat casualties however, losses to disease were severe.
People in our parent's generation were sensitive to issues involving race. The great majority were uncomfortable with social integration and insisted on seperate schools, churches, military units, waiting rooms and about anything else you can name. As far as any of them knew, relations between white and black people had always been that way.
Are we expected to believe that negative racial attitudes towards African-Americans and segregation all came about after the Civil War? If Southerners in the 1860s really were so inclusive on racial issues, how was all this progress reversed so rapidly? What exactly happened to change people's attitudes?