T-shirt - Trailblazers
T-shirt - Trailblazers
T-shirt - Trailblazers
T-shirt - Trailblazers
T-shirt - Trailblazers

T-shirt - Trailblazers

Regular price $30.00

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To commemorate Black History Month, we have launched a limited edition Trailblazers Collection with all net proceeds to benefit The Give Team, a fitness and leadership program made up of students from the inner city neighborhood of Parramore in Orlando. This collection highlights a few of the African-American units that were pivotal during WWII. Prior to WWII, the military treated African-Americans soldiers as inferior to their white counterparts. WWII was a huge turning point because it marked the beginning of the end for racial separation within military units.

761st Tank Battalion

The 761st known as the “Black Panthers”, arrived in France on October 10, 1944, coming ashore at Omaha Beach and moving into France and Belgium. They became the first Black unit to see ground combat in Europe, joining Patton’s Third Army in France in early November 1944. On November 7, 1944, they attacked the German-held town of Morville-les-Vic in support of the 26th Infantry Division. There, they were able to capture the town, proving their worth in the first of a series of hard fought battles. They helped liberate 30 towns under Nazi control and spent 183 days in combat, including the Battle of the Bulge.

452nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion

The 452nd fought in nearly every major Allied land campaign in the European Theater of Operations, including Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, the Rhineland and Central Europe. They were credited with destroying 88 German warplanes and, in a 24 hour period, destroyed ten enemy planes while defending a bridge crossing of the Rhine River near Oppenheim. The 452nd was a critical part of strategic operations in WWII and often called on by General Patton to support American forces throughout Europe.

555th Parachute Infantry Battalion

In 1945, the unit was assigned to a series of firefighting missions in the Pacific Northwest. This assignment, called Operation Firefly, saw the Triple Nickles become the first military smokejumpers in U.S. history. That spring, they parachuted into U.S. forests to battle wildfires that were set ablaze by Japanese incendiary balloons. When the battalion was inactivated in 1947, its men were transferred into the 3d Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82d Airborne Division. Soon afterward, individual black paratroopers were transferred to units throughout the 82d Airborne Division, making it the first integrated division in the US Army.

Tuskegee Airmen

The Tuskegee Airmen were extremely successful during World War II. The Tuskegee Airmen, an all-Black fighter pilot group trained at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, escorted bombers over Italy and Sicily, flying 1600 combat missions and destroying 237 German aircraft on ground and 37 in air including three German ME-262’s.