African American Studies

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By Catherine Reef

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He addressed a letter to President Abraham Lincoln in which he offered his services as a physician, explaining, “I . . would like to be in a position where I can be of use to my race. . ” Lincoln passed along Augusta’s letter to the Army Medical Board. At the time the board was having trouble finding enough qualified physicians to serve in the army and with African-American troops in particular. Nevertheless, the board rejected Augusta, giving two reasons: first, he was a British citizen, and enlisting him might violate Britain’s proclamation of neutrality; second, he Alexander T.

Despite the deliberate or inadvertent oversight, Archer elected to remain in uniform after the war. He returned to the United States to act as chief of the Instrument Instructors School at Tuskegee Army Air Field. He completed his education at the University of California at Los Angeles and later attended the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. As an air force officer, Archer held positions of international importance. S. Air Force Base at Bordeaux, France, and was chief of the Air Force Latin American Postal Service.

As Becton assumed the duties of company executive officer and, later, company commander, white soldiers accepted his authority. “Korea gave the Army the opportunity to prove that integration would work and work well,” Becton said. In the army, Becton furthered his education. In 1960, he received a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Prairie View A & M University, a historically black school in Texas, and in 1967 he earned a master’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland at College Park.

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