Ready And Forward (Updated)
Retired 1st Sgt. Mark Matthews, 111, one of the last of the nation's legendary Buffalo Soldiers, died of pneumonia Sept. 6 at Fox Chase Nursing Home in Washington.(Credits: Original link - Free Republic, Story, image and caption text - Washington Post)
I particularly liked this quote from the WaPo article: "I did it all," Sgt. Matthews told The Washington Post a few years ago. "Yes, I was there."
Some history of the Buffalo Soldiers, the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments, here re-posted. These, and more recent segregated military units served with distinction up through World War II.
The 99th Pursuit Squadron is well known, from the HBO film The Tuskogee Airmen.
On July 21, 1943, Charles B. Hall became the first black fighter pilot to down an enemy aircraft. (image credit)
Less well-remembered is the 761st Tank Battalion,
the USS Mason,
and the USS PC1264.
To paraphrase Sgt. Matthews... They did it all, they were there.
* * * Original Post * * * * * *
From the Booker Rising blog comes a link to the St. Petersburg Times article about a reunion of Buffalo Soldiers. This reunion was for members and decendants of members of the all-black Army units during the period when these units were segregated.
And proud they should be, fighting both for the United States, and against segregation and racism. Although no longer all-black units, the 9th and 10th still serve with distinction in Iraq today. I salute them all.
[...] They were named by Cheyenne warriors in 1867 because they fought with the ferocity of a cornered buffalo. The nickname carried through the years, and members of the 9th & 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association have accepted it proudly. [...]
For those interested, here is some history of the units.
(Image and Text Credits: The Buffalo Soldiers)
And it turns out that the Buffalo Soldiers were unknowingly ahead of their time, as among their ranks was a female soldier. Read the story of Cathay Williams.
(Trackback to Mudville Gazette)