Over all, if American history shows anything, it reveals that racially segregated combat units have succeeded in battle. Segregated regiments performed well during the American Civil War and throughout the nineteenth century in the United States. The black regiments of the 93d Division in World War I fought to high acclaim, as did segregated platoons thrown into the line after the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.
The results of the study clearly suggest that what happened to the 24th Infantry in Korea was a product of injustices that afflicted black Americans prior to the formal integration of the Army. Until recently, historians have tended to interpret the regiment's performance without recognizing those prejudices and the corrosive effects they had on cohesion within the unit. The whole story is much different.
If it reflects lapses of command and deficiencies in leadership, training and equipment-the sort of failings that burdened all units during the initial stages of the conflict-it also contains displays of honor, commitment, selflessness and heroism that are in keeping with the best traditions of the United States Army. Indeed, that the 24th Infantry achieved what it did-at Yechon, in the early weeks in Korea, at the Han and Hant'an River crossings, and elsewhere- can only underscore the courage and determination of those among its members who chose to persevere and to do their duty in the face of adversity.
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