U.S. At War: Struck Out

At Corpus Christi Naval Air Station, a Negro seaman found out that color was a bar to advancement, no matter what the books said.

The station's daily bulletin had announced a call for "strikers"* in the aerological branch. The requisite: a high-school education. A dozen bluejackets applied for admittance to the aerological school. The Negro seaman's interview with the personnel officer went like this:

Personnel Officer: "Have you had physics?" (Recommended but not required.) The bluejacket had.

P.O.: "Have you ever had any calculus?" (Not required.) He had.

P.O.: "How much schooling have you had?" He...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!