Aftican Americans enlisted by the hundreds of thousands during World War II,
swelling the ranks of the U.S. Military by more than a million strong. And
as they had in every U.S. War from the Revolutionary War on, blacks signed up
with two goals in mind: To fight for the country they loved and to earn,
on the battlefield, the respect they'd been so long denied at home.
Lieutenant Welton I. Taylor, a lanky kid from the South Side of Chicago, was
no different. Trained as a liaison pilot for the Army Field Artillery, he
longed to defend his country by directing hailstorms of 155mm howlitzer shells
onto enemy positions. byt Taylor's goals and those of the jajority of
black soldiers serving during World War II would remain elusive. The U. S.
Army believed blacks ill-suited for combat and relegated most black units to
labor battalions or the Quartermaster Corps. Even those men who eventually
fought in Italy or in the jungles of Bouganville found they were fighting on two
fronts--battling not just the enemy, but Jim Crow in the barracks and the mess
halls too. For these men of the Greatest Generation, World War II was just
the newest war. The Civil War--long since over but never truly won--raged
Deployed to the South Pacific with the all-black 93rd Division, Lieutenant
Taylor faced the enemy and the segregated U.S. Army, too, but did as his father
taught him: he played the hand he was dealt. In the process, Taylor
outsmarted both the Jim Crow Army and the enemy and proved that race is a poor
yardstick by which to judge a man. Two Steps From Glory is his story and
that of so many more.
By Maj. Welton I. Taylor, Paperback, 436 Pages