Fort Hood, Texas

...The Great Place


African-American Soldiers Train to Lead at
Tank Destroyer Officer Candidate School

African American soldiers

Camp Hood trained one of the first black officers at its Tank Destroyer Officer Candidate School. Charles Thomas was one of those officers.

He and other black officers completed the course and were assigned to all-black Tank Destroyer battalions also training at being trained at Camp Hood. Thomas graduated in the 21st Tank Destroyer Officer Candidate School class in March of 1943 and by early 1945 was serving in Europe as a captain in the 614th Tank Battalion.

During a time of segregation and discrimination, brave young African- American’s stepped up to their countries call for brave souls.

They filled vital positions within the military and showed courage, dignity and earned the respect of their fellow soldiers.

The families were their backbone and were also affected by the segregation of the times. Fort Hood’s African-American children traveled to Belton to attend segregated schools. Even with adverse conditions, education systems that were several miles out of the way, these soldiers and their families still flourished and succeeded. They were the forerunners for all soldiers and families today.

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