Community Researcher, Crystal Carter, has extensively researched the story of Exeter’s Black GIs and how Exeter was a segregated city during World War II. Between 1943 and 1944, County Ground in St Thomas Exeter was home to a number of all black US Army battalions. The US military had a policy of segregating black and white troops which was applied in the USand throughout the European and Pacific Theatres of war. In Exeter this meant that Black troops were based in tents in County Ground, St Thomas and white soldiers were based in soldiers quarters at Topsham Barracks.

Crystal has given us the historical backdrop against which personal testimonies are set in her Timeline and reminds us that there were 1 million American troops in England in the run up to D-Day, many of whom were African American.

Crystal also tells the story in a short film on youtube.

See more pictures on Crystal’s Pinterest board about the African American experience in World War II.

Black GIs in BristolBlack American GIs, Park Street, Bristol, During World War IIby brizzle born and bred on Flickr (cc)