'Trying To Prove Something:' A WWII Vet Remembers His All-Black Battalion On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Robert Madison, a 97-year-old World War II veteran, recalls his time in battle. He fought in the then-segregated Army as an intelligence officer.
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'Trying To Prove Something:' A WWII Vet Remembers His All-Black Battalion

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'Trying To Prove Something:' A WWII Vet Remembers His All-Black Battalion

'Trying To Prove Something:' A WWII Vet Remembers His All-Black Battalion

'Trying To Prove Something:' A WWII Vet Remembers His All-Black Battalion

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/943319466/943768972" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Robert P. Madison served in the 370th Regimental Combat Team, 92nd Infantry Division, the only all-Black division to see infantry combat in World War II. Library of Congress hide caption

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Library of Congress

Robert P. Madison served in the 370th Regimental Combat Team, 92nd Infantry Division, the only all-Black division to see infantry combat in World War II.

Library of Congress

On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Robert Madison, a 97-year-old World War II veteran, recalls his time in battle. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, Madison, who is Black, was attending Howard University in Washington, D.C. He left college to fight as an intelligence officer.

Black soldiers were segregated and marginalized, and Madison remembers a profound moment when a white general acknowledged his all-Black battalion.

It was, he says, "the first time anybody had recognized that we were there to fight."

Click on the audio button to hear the interview with Madison.