Mary Lee Brady, Ph.D.
Marvin Williams was conceived and born in liberty. His known and unknown ancestors had paid the price for him with blood, sweat and tears before, during and after the Civil War. Marvin Williams was born into the first fully free-born Christian generation (years1890-1919) of African-Americans, ... two years before Booker T. Washington died at Tuskegee Institute having devoted his life as an educator urging African-Americans to gains skills in the technical fields such as engineering and even the new automotive and aviation industries. Marvin gained industrial skills by attending South Carolina State College located in Columbia, South Carolina.
Born: 31 Jan 1913 in: Batesburg, SC
Died: 31 Jul 1984 in: Englewood, NJ
Wife: Leoma Myrtle Martin Leoma Myrtle Lowry Martin, born abt 1922
Marvin prepared himself to march through doors of opportunity to be opened by technical enlightenment and economic demands in places like New York City wherein the pursuit of goodness included young men like A. Philip Randolph trying to be helpful to gifted and talented young men and women like Marvin. Now, for the rest of the story written by historian Lerone Bennett, Jr. we offer quotes from his book "Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America"
One Million Negro Inductions
Negroes were an important source of manpower for the armed forces in World War II as is shown by the fact that a total of 1,056,841 Negro registrants were inducted into the armed forces through Selective Service as of December 31, 1945. Of these,
885,945 went into the Army,
153,224 into the Navy,
016,005 into the Marine Corps, and
001,667 into the Coast Guard.
These Negro inductees made up:
10.9 percent of all registrants inducted into the Army (8,108,531),
10.0 percent of all inductions into the Navy (1,526,250),
08.5 percent of all Marine Corps inductions (188,709) and
10.9 percent of all Coast Guard inductions (15,235).
Thus Negroes, who constituted approximately 11.0 percent of all registrants liable for service, furnished approximately this proportion of the inductees in all branches of the service except During the period July 1, 1944-December 31, 1945, 141,294 Negroes were inducted, comprising 9.6 percent of all inductions (1,469,808) therein. Of this number:
103,360 went into the Army, which was 9.1 percent of all Army inductions (1,132,962).
The Navy received 36,616 Negroes, or 11.6 percent of its inductees (316,215).
The 1,309 Negroes going into the Marine Corps were 6.4 percent of Marine Corps inductions (20,563).
Only 9 Negroes were inducted into the Coast Guard, but this was 13.2 percent of the inductees for this branch of service (68).
The somewhat lower proportion of Negro inductions during this period was principally due to the proportionately lower calls made upon Selective Service for Negro registrants. The Negro call for 18 months was only 135,600, or 8.3 percent of the total call (1,639,100).
Marvin's story is an excellent example of our theme that moral worth is inherent and while our sights are limited to what we see, ... it is silly to imagine that events in our eye-sight is the beginning or ending in the pursuit of goodness. Marvin was about 28 years of age in year 1941 when the United States entered World War II and A. Philip Randolph along with other African-American leaders cited his plight as a reason to organize the first march on Washington demanding equal opportunity in the war industries and military services. It was the pre-requisite to the better known second march led by Dr. Martin Luther King in August 1963. Without understanding the reasons and objectives of the first march, it is nearly impossible for African-American youth to comprehend the how and why of the second one.
Marvin was six years of age when World War I ended fighting in Europe that conscripted over 300,000 African-American young men including some of his known and unknown relatives. His formal education began in public schools deliberately intended to be inferior in a state that had began the Civil War to keep his ancestors enslaved, but that too was overcome by South Carolina born African-Americans marching forward. He was part of a story much bigger than perhaps his mind could imagine but was nevertheless critical to it. Had there been no or few enlightened and educated young men like Marvin working in menial jobs such as railway porters, ... incentives and reasons to march would not have existed.
The FEPC was created by a 1941 executive order #8802 by President Roosevelt requiring companies with government contracts not to discriminate on the basis of race or religion. It assisted African Americans in obtaining jobs in industry. It said "there shall be no discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries or government because of race, creed, color, or national origin." In 1943 Roosevelt greatly strengthened FEPC with a new executive order, #9346. It required that all government contracts have a non-discrimination clause. FEPC was the most significant breakthrough ever for Blacks and women on the job front. During the war the federal government operated airfield, shipyards, supply centers, ammunition plants and other facilities that employed millions. FEPC rules applied and guaranteed equality of employment rights. Of course, these facilities shut down when the war ended. In the private sector the FEPC was generally successful in enforcing non-discrimination in the North, it did not attempt to challenge segregation in the South, and in the border region its intervention led to hate strikes by angry white workers.
African American: Double V campaign
The African American community in the United States resolved on a "Double V" campaign: Victory over Fascism abroad, and victory over discrimination at home. Large numbers migrated from poor Southern farms to munitions centers. Racial tensions were high in overcrowded cities like Chicago; Detroit and Harlem experienced race riots in 1943.
Draftsman For War Industry
World War II Homefront
Main articles: Iowa class battleship and Armament of the Iowa class battleship
New Jersey was one of the Iowa-class "fast battleship" designs planned in 1938 by the Preliminary Design Branch at the Bureau of Construction and Repair. She was launched on 12 December 1942 and commissioned on 23 May 1943.