Day 443

Famous Firsts

March 17th, 2013

This plaque inside the armory honors the achievements of the Harlem Hellfighters, the renowned African-American regiment that fought in World War I. The rest of the plaque reads:

- Only volunteer regiment raised for the war which reached France
- Embarked as part of first 100,000 of A.E.F.
- Shipwrecked three times enroute to France
- Only regiment in history of U.S. to carry state flag throughout war
- First regiment in history of U.S. to serve as an integral part of a foreign army
- First American privates in army of France to receive Croix de GuerreHenry JohnsonNeedham Roberts
- Regiment cited by French high command approved by American high command for extraordinary gallantry in action and colors decorated with Croix de Guerre
- First regiment of the Allies to reach the Rhine
- Served 191 days in action longest of any American regiment
- Never lost a man by capture or a foot of ground
- First combat regiment to arrive home and to march up Fifth Avenue under the Victory Arch [great photo of the Victory Arch here]

One Comment

  1. Steve says:

    Note that the regiment was placed under French command. The French had numerous “Colonial” units on the front lines from all parts of Africa and the Middle East. The US Army was too racist to fight alongside black troops and the French were quite willing to sacrifice their Colonials.

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