INTRODUCTION TO THE 369TH INFANTRY (HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS)

Military service card of James M. Webb

(Texas Military Forces Museum Collection; image from familysearch.org)

Thirty-eight thousand African Americans served in segregated combat units. The most famous of these was the 369th Infantry Regiment, also known as the “Harlem Hellfighters”. Although the bulk of the unit was made up of New Yorkers, over 65 East Texans served in the 369th, including Private James Madison Webb of Overton, Texas. Private Webb was severely wounded while fighting in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France. As a result of their performance in battle the entire regiment was awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French government.