African American soldier's World War II photograph album of India, circa 1942-1945 0.2 Linear Feet — 1 box — 16 pages
Collection comprises a 16-page, 8 1/2 x 11 inch photograph album belonging to an unidentified member of the 45th Engineer General Service Regiment, one of at least four segregated units of African American soldiers active, stationed in Ledo, India beginning in 1942. Their charge was to build a portion of the Stilwell Road, a military supply route from Ledo in Assam, India, through Burma, to Kunming, China.
The album's original binder is no longer present. Mounted on the loose pages are 44 black-and-white snapshot photographs, most measuring 3 x 4 1/2 inches, some with brief captions in ink. The images include posed and candid snapshots of individuals and groups of African American soldiers, at work on the base and during periods of rest. Soldiers identified in the captions include Charley Woodard, Clarence Benson, Charles J. Greene, and Cain Walker. There are also photographs of buildings on the base, including Battalion Chapel, headquarters (labeled "The Gateway to Hell"), Harmony Church, a large Stilwell Road sign, along with varied shots of military equipment, a "Coolie Camp," the "laundry man," and the Taj Mahal. There are a number of blank pages, and there are some photographs missing.
Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.