Derricks' Bridgehead

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Derricks' Bridgehead

The History of the 92nd Division, 597th Field Artillery Battalion, and the Leadership Legacy of Col. Wendell T. Derricks

Dimensions:6" x 9"
Item No. 9781636242712

The 597th Field Artillery Battalion, 92nd Division, was the first, last, and only all-black officered direct support field artillery battalion committed to combat in the history of the U.S. Army. It was the first all-black unit in a combat division and, together with the 600th Field Artillery Battalion, constituted the only all-black units in any combat division. Alongside impressive achievements on the battlefield in Italy in 1944–45, the unit provided more key command and staff positions exclusively for black field artillery officers than any other U.S. Army unit in combat, giving combat training and experience to more senior black field artillery officers than any of the other 16 black field artillery battalions during World War II.Colonel Wendell Derricks worked to shelter his troops from the worst of the racism exhibited during the war and, due to his ability to envision an integrated postwar army, he provided unique leadership opportunities for his senior officers. The alumni of the 597th Field Artillery Battalion have an impressive record of success, many of them were inducted into the Field Artillery Hall of Fame; some served at the Pentagon, including Lieutenant Colonel Clark; and others forged successful careers in the civilian world.