Tag: Buffalo Soldiers

Buffalo Soldiers of U.S. Armed Forces Honored by CA State Senate at Capitol Ceremony & Reception

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Buffalo Soldiers representative with CA State Senator Tony Mendoza (photo courtesy http://sd32.senate.ca.gov)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Sacramento – To celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Buffalo Soldiers, an historic group of African American service members, California State Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) and State Senator Isadore Hall III (D–Compton), Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, hosted a reception on June 6th in the State Capitol and presented Senate Concurrent Resolution 128, which recognizes the Soldiers for their unique contributions to the United States and its military.

“I am honored to recognize the great accomplishments and service of the Buffalo Soldiers. These men made history by breaking barriers and serving our country with honor and distinction during war and peacetime under tremendously challenging circumstances,” said Senator Tony Mendoza.

The Buffalo Soldiers were established on July 28, 1866 by an Act of Congress. It was officially known as the 9th and 10th Calvary regiment and was comprised of former slaves, free men, and black Civil War soldiers. The Buffalo Soldiers were the first African Americans to serve in the United States Army during peacetime.

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WWII’s African-American Paratroopers, the “Triple Nickles,” Lauded in New Book

Award-winning author Tanya Lee Stone is clear about why she’s written her new nonfiction book, “Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers” (Candlewick Press, $24.99).  “I want to help the Triple Nickles become as well-known as the Tuskegee Airmen,” Stone says.
The Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American pilots in the U.S. military, are now an integral part of the history of World War II. Far fewer people, however, have heard of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion — nicknamed the “Triple Nickles” — and the unit’s pioneering efforts to open up paratrooper jobs during World War II.
In her meticulously researched, well-written book, Stone tells the story of how the 555th was established in 1943 — a unit with black soldiers and black officers, the first-ever black U.S. paratroopers.

The unit’s nickname was a nod to the Buffalo Soldiers, as the African-American regiments in the U.S. Civil War and later were called. The “Triple Nickles” name also connects to the buffalo image that was stamped on American nickels for many years.

It took Stone 10 years, working off and on, to write “Courage Has No Color.” It was definitely worth the wait, as Stone movingly portrays the inspiring courage, determination and persistence displayed by African-American servicemen in the face of overwhelming racial prejudice in the U.S. military. It’s a story that Stone strongly believes should be much better known than it is.  “These men are almost not with us anymore,” Stone says, noting that many of the Triple Nickles are in their 90s.

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