Proudly We Served

The Men of the USS Mason

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Overview

Few Americans know the history-changing story of the men of the USS Mason, the only African-American sailors to take a World War II warship into combat. At a time when most blacks in the Navy were relegated to stewards or laborers, the crew of the USS Mason escorted six convoys across the perilous North Atlantic, helped to win the Battle of the Atlantic and directly influenced President Harry S. Truman’s decision to integrate all of America’s armed forces. Recommended in 1944 for a commendation for their heroic actions during a violent storm, the Mason sailors finally received that commendation in 1995. The Navy further honored the men by naming a new destroyer (DDG 87) after the crew of the Mason. This book is the basis of an award-winning PBS documentary and the feature film Proud starring Ossie Davis. The USS Mason story is featured in The National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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Editorial Reviews

"For decades African Americans were missing in our memories of World War II....In helping to show the world what America was against, you helped to show America what America is for. You helped liberate us all from segregation." —President Bill Clinton to the crew of the USS Mason and other African-American veterans during a 1994 ceremony in Washington