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Catalog Data

Photograph by:
Alfred Phillip Mighell, English American, 1878 - 1943  Search this
Subject of:
Cpl. Lawrence Leslie McVey, Sr., American, 1897 - 1968  Search this
369th Infantry Regiment, American, 1913 - 1945  Search this
Medium:
silver and photographic gelatin on photographic paper, with ink on paper
Dimensions:
H x W: 5 7/16 x 3 7/16 in. (13.8 x 8.7 cm)
Type:
gelatin silver prints
portraits
photographic postcards
Date:
1914 - 1918
Caption:
The 369th United States Infantry, nicknamed the “Harlem Hellfighters,” was the first African American regiment of troops to reach the battlefields of World War I. The 369th Regiment was formed from the 15th New York National Guard Regiment and was recognized as part of the U.S. Army on July 15th, 1917. The regiment arrived in Brest, France on January 1st, 1918, being the first African American U.S. soldiers to arrive in France and initially assigned to dam building and stevedores in charge of loading and unloading cargo. The 369th Regiment, due to racial tension within the US Army was assigned to the French Army for the duration of US involvement in WWI. The 369th were the first Allied troops of the war to reach the banks of the Rhine. Upon completion of the 369th’s service in the war, the regiment had spent 191 days in combat, the longest of any American regiment. The entire 369th Regiment, in appreciation for their actions in the Maison-en-Champagne campaign, was given the Croix de Guerre, a medal awarded by the French Government for acts of bravery in conflicts against the enemy. In addition to this honor, 171 individual members of the 369th Regiment were awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honor. The 369th Regiment finished their service in Europe and returned to the US in February 1919.
Description:
A photographic postcard of Lawrence McVey in uniform posing at attention. The word [HERO] is inscribed in pencil on the top right corner. On the reverse, there is adhesive residue and a piece of Scotch tape. In pencil, the inscription [Lawrence in World / War one.].
Topic:
African American  Search this
Military  Search this
Photography  Search this
World War I  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Gina R. McVey, Granddaughter
Object number:
2011.108.17
Restrictions & Rights:
Public domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Media Arts-Photography
Exhibition:
Double Victory: The African American Military Experience
On View:
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Community/Third Floor, 3 053
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2011.108.17