Courage Has No Color

Courage Has No Color

The True Story of the Triple Nickles : America's First Black Paratroopers

eBook - 2013
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Examines the role of African-Americans in the military through the history of the Triple Nickles, America's first black paratroopers, who fought against attacks perpetrated on the American West by the Japanese during World War II.
Publisher: Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, [2013]
Edition: 1st ed
Copyright Date: 2013
ISBN: 9780763668204
Branch Call Number: 940.541 Sto
Description: 1 online resource (147 pages) : illustrations
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, formed when the U.S. Army was racially segregated, was assigned to a secret mission called Operation Firefly.

The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, formed when the U.S. Army was racially segregated, was assigned to a secret mission called Operation Firefly.

The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, formed when the U.S. Army was racially segregated, was assigned to a secret mission called Operation Firefly.

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Think about what it would be like to sit in the open door of a helicopter, your feet dangling into thin air, the sound of the rotors loud in your ears and the wind whipping your face. Far below, trees look like broccoli and roads are nothing but thin lines. Think of pushing off into the air, hoping your parachute was packed correctly and will open in time. Now think that even in full military uniform you’ll have to sit in the back of the bus, you won’t be able to sit with white soldiers at mealtime, and you won’t be able to watch movies at the theater on base. This is the story of the first black paratroopers in the United States and how they fought for freedom and equality.

BCD2013 Jun 12, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
An expertly researched and deftly written account of those soldiers that fought for their country, in spite of segregation on the homefront and amongst their ranks.


I don’t know about you, but when I was in school my history classes sort of raced over WWII when we learned about it. You had your Allied Forces, Hitler, Pearl Harbor, atom bomb, and that was that. So in the midst of all this I can be nothing but pleased with Tanya Lee Stone’s latest. Having already established herself as capable of giving voice to missed historical opportunities, Stone turns her attention to a core group of brave professionals that risked everything and managed to do a great deal of good in spite of the obstacles they encountered along the way.


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The hisCourage1 Review of the Day: Courage Has No Color by Tanya Lee Stonetory of African-Americans serving in the military has always had its pitfalls and problems. Yet one of the stories too little known concerns The Triple Nickles and their work during the war years. In 1943 Walter Morris, a black serviceman in charge of an African-American unit, could see that his troop’s morale was dangerously low. In light of this he got permission to train his men the same way the white paratroopers at Fort Benning, GA were being trained. In time, their work paid off and President Roosevelt’s order to create an all-black paratrooper unit fell on them. All would have been right as rain but instead of being sent into battle they were instead told to fight fires on the west coast. Little did they suspect that this seeming busywork was actually fighting an enemy closer at hand than anyone had ever suspected. Peppered with art from artist and serviceman Ashley Bryan, Stone’s book takes its cues from original primary sources, interviews with the subjects themselves, and produces one of the finest looks into these heroes too little lauded in their day.


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“Tiny bits and pieces of this story have been scattered in obscure places for decades. There have been articles written about the Triple Nickles, as well as one slim book by Bradley Biggs, which is primarily an autobiographical perspective, but putting all the events, perspectives, and the complete story together in historical context has never been done.”


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