41.11.05 Mr. Lawrence; Discrimination

Author:  Marshall, George C.
Date: November 11, 1941

Subject: Interwar

Mr. Charles Lawrence, President
Dukes of Bakersfield, Inc.
Bakersfield, California

Dear Mr. Lawrence:

The alleged discrimination against four negro soldiers stationed at Lardo Air Base, Bakersfield, California, reported in your letter of October 1 has been investigated.

It was found that although the four soldiers were fed in the same dining room with the white troops on the day of their arrival at the flying school, the commanding officer decided that a special table set up for them in the kitchen would relieve them from the embarrassing attention of the white soldiers. White cooks and mess attendants customarily eat in the kitchen, and the food and service are the same as those provided in the main dining room. It is felt that no discrimination was intended.

Upon the arrival of twenty additional negro soldier at the school on October 4, all were fed in the main dining room with white troops. Since October 10 a separate dining room and mess hall has been provided for them.

Discrimination in the Army against men of any color or race is not sanctioned by the War Department, and I thank you for bringing this matter to my personal attention.

Faithfully yours,

G.C. Marshall
Chief of Staff

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41.11.05 Lawrence


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