Great Lakes, Ill. 1945. Two panoramic photographs, 10 x 19.25 and 8 x 18.25 inches. Minor wear at corners; lower left corner of larger image partially stripped. Minor toning and dust soiling. About very good. Item #1711
A striking set of two panoramic photographs that comprise official portraits of African-American Naval Company 771 at the Great Lakes U.S. Naval Training Station at the end of World War II. The training center, on the shore of Lake Michigan just south of Waukegan, Illinois, was the principal site for the training of naval recruits during World War II, and the only location for Black recruits, who were trained from 1942 through the end of the war at a segregated base within the larger facility called Camp Robert Smalls. The earlier of the two portraits, dated July 24, 1945, is a traditional group shot, with the 127 men of the company kneeling and standing on bleachers. The second, larger, of the two images, dated August 10, 1945, calls the group the, "Last Negro Company of Great Lakes, Ill., Winners of All Competitive Flags," and shows the men standing in formation at attention in front of a training vessel. A fine pair of images.