During World War II, many black colleges and universities embraced the idea of winning both the war against the Nazis in Europe and Jim Crow in America. They viewed the war as an opportunity for advancement and felt it would open up many more opportunities to blacks that were elusive in the segregated past. For this reason, school careers were curtailed temporarily or permanently in order that they could defend our cherished democratic ideas with the hope that they could partake in them upon returning back home.
For example, many students who entered Xavier University in September of 1941 were serving in the Armed Forces of the United States by the time of their junior year in 1943.
The following photos and names were taken from the 1943 yearbook of Xavier University of Louisiana. Below, you will find information on 75 Xavierites who were presently serving in the military in World War II.
In its yearbook’s dedication, “Mary Immaculate, Madonna of the Stars” is listed as the Beloved Patroness of our country and the following dedication is listed this way.
We particularly ask your kind solicitation for these, our classmates, and for all Xavier students, who, with fortitude and unselfish devotion to duty, are now in the Armed Services of our country. May your protection extend to them so that they may share in a special way this dedication.
It is our hope that many of you will find loved ones from the recent past.
[Please click photos to enlarge all images]
(1) Vernon Feddix (2) Samuel F. Douglas (3) Wesley Scott ( 4) Griffith Washington ( 5) Stanford A. Wright (6) Moses Hopkins (7) Delmas Davis (8) Alex Johnson ( 9) James Bernard (10) Joseph M. Ashford (11) Ivan Evans (12) Rudolph LaSalle (13) Arnaud Mitchell (14) Henry Harris (15) Daniel Osborne
(16) Arturo V. Baker (17) Martin Miller (18) Frank B. Crozier (19) Oliver Barconey (20) Albert Jackson (21) Gilder Farrow (22) Calvin Webb (23) Leonidas Epps (24) James Hare (25) Willis Williams (26) Cornelius Teer (27) Samuel Bell (28) Henry P. Julien (29) Lucius Thomas (30) Benjamin Mourning
(31) William Hornsby (32) Ralph A. Allen (33) Charles Fernandez (34) Harold Jackson (35) Vernon Frilot (36) Ernest Dennard (37) Herbert L. Wilson (38) Clifford Roberts (39) Thomas Monson (40) Henry Bellinger (41) James Snowden (42) Lloyd W. Thompson (43) Alphonse Soniat (44) Sidney Desvignes (45) Arthur Battiste
(46) Harold Verdun (47) Bernard Johnson (48) Joseph A. Azemard (49) Morrison Commeaux (50) Lenet Thibodeaux (51) Cleveland Chandler (52) Edward Julien (53) Lilburn Williams (54) Sylvester J. Ina (55) Mohammed Shaik 56) Hamilton Polite (57) John Horner (58) Felix James (59) Edwin Roberts (60)Beverly Dejoie
(61) Clarence Forcia (62) Shelton Greenhouse (63) Flourney Coles (64) Walter Farmer (65) Wilson Pecot (66) Leonard Lemelle (67) Felix Alexis (68) Cleveland Chandler (69)Herbert Mitchell (70) Porter Myrick (71)Alvin Daste (72) Tilford Coles (73)Bradford Morgan (74) Carlos Belizare (75) Brady Carpenter
Also, in the 1943 yearbook, there is a long list of names of other Xavier students besides those whose pictures are shown above. I have included this list also.
Source: The Gold Rush – 1943 yearbook, Xavier University of Louisiana Archives & Special Collections
Lolita V. Cherrie