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Indians in World War 2

Posted By Dennis Partridge On In Featured NA,Military,Native American | No Comments

Six grandsons of the Reverend Ben Brave, Sioux Indian
Six grandsons of the Reverend Ben Brave, Sioux Indian
Top: S-Sgt. Judson Brave; Center: S-Sgt. Francis Brave, S-Sgt. Waldron Frazier, Cpl. Alexander Brave: Bottom: Ronald and Donald Frazier

The material in this pamphlet was collected for the 1945 Memorial Number of Indians at Work, before the magazine was discontinued because of the paper shortage. Many devoted workers spent much time and effort to get these stories, and the families of the boys whose names will be found here loaned the photographs, which accompany the lists. We wish to express our gratitude to all of those who made this record possible.

The casualty lists and the lists of awards and decorations continue those begun in Indians at Work for May-June 1943 and carried on in the November-December 1943, May-June 1944, and September-October 1944 issues. They are not complete, and it is hoped that when the peace has come the whole story of the Indian contribution to the victory may be gathered up into one volume.

Awards of the Purple Heart have not been indicated here because every soldier wounded in action against the enemy is entitled to the decoration, and the award should be taken for granted.

Some 44,000 Native Americans served in the United States military during World War II. For every one drafted, one and a half volunteered; American Indian participation in the war per capita exceeded any other group. By 1940, a large fraction of American Indians lived off reservations; their experiences in the war mirrored the general population. Of special interest was the enormous impact the war had on Indians living on reservations, mostly in remote western areas. The war meant the draft for young men, and high paying war jobs in far-away cities for others. Most of those who left the reservations did not permanently return there after the war.

In grateful memory of those who died in the service of their country. They stand in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live, and grow, and increase its blessings.

Freedom lives, and through it they live in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men.

Franklin D. Rosevelt


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