African-American soldiers on the Omaha beachhead (1944)

The U.S. Army remained segregated until after the end of the Second World War, and most African Americans who served were confined to support roles. Nevertheless some units did see significant combat action. Many Black soldiers understood the fight against Nazism as a struggle against racism overseas but also as part of a struggle against racism at home.

This photograph shows a platoon of African-American soldiers surrounding a farm house near the French town of Vierville Sur-Mer. They are preparing to take out a German sniper who was holding up an advance. It is 10 June 1944, four days after the start of the invasion of Normandy.

Jeff Bowersox


Source: Record Group 111, National Archives, Washington, D.C., 111-SC-190120.

Creative Commons License

African-American soldiers on the Omaha beachhead (1944) by Jeff Bowersox is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at