Warning. Cloning this item will not retain its parent-child relationship.
93d Blue Helmet
93d Blue Helmet, published in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, was the first newspaper in the history of the United States Army published for an all African American division, the 93d Infantry Division. The paper’s first issue was published on September 18, 1942. It was edited and published by and for the personnel of the 93rd Division with Pvt. Jack Palms serving as Managing Editor. Palms wrote a weekly column called “At Ease.”
By the end of 1941, Fort Huachuca was changing at a dazzling speed. In January 1941, The Bisbee Daily Review [LCCN: sn 84024827] stated, “A record breaking pace is being set on the expansion program at Fort Huachuca with the roofs already laid on 192 new buildings after only eight weeks of activity.” All this was an effort to transform the fort into a fast-paced divisional training ground.
During World War II, African American soldiers and African American women serving in the Women’s Army Corps (WACs) lived under segregated conditions. Fort Huachuca, an Army base located in the remote southwestern desert, was the primary location for training black soldiers.
An article appearing in Arizona’s Negro Journal [LCCN: sn 87062100] published in Tucson said, “And still they come! From Maine to Florida and from New York to California, fresh recruits are daily arriving to add to the strength of the rapidly expanding 93rd Infantry Division.” By May 15, 1942, the entire 93d Division was activated at the fort. According to the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation 14,000 black soldiers lived and trained at Fort Huachuca, while the post’s overall population rose to 25,000.
An article appearing in the third issue of the 93d Blue Helmet on October 2, 1942 boasted, “Circulation of the Blue Helmet is the largest in the state of Arizona for a weekly newspaper. It has the second largest circulation of any newspaper in the state including dailies.” Every week 20,000 copies of the paper were distributed to the soldiers of Fort Huachuca. The only newspaper surpassing this was the Arizona Republic with a circulation of approximately 35,000 copies. The newspaper was prepared for print in the composing room of the Douglas Daily Dispatch [LCCN: sn 84020064] in Douglas, Arizona 56 miles away. The activation of the 93d Division made Fort Huachuca the third largest city in the state of Arizona.
According to Huachuca Illustrated, A Magazine of the Fort Huachuca Museum, “The 93d’s history goes back to World War I when it was activated at Camp Stuart, Va. in December 1917. It would not fight as a division, but have its four regiments (369th, 370th, 371st and 372d) attached to French divisions.”
In 1942, the 93d Infantry Division was activated at Fort Huachuca to take part in World War II. The 93d Infantry Division was composed of the 25th, 368th and 369th Infantry Regiments and the 593d, 594th, 595th and 596th Field Artillery Battalions. Service and support units included the 318th Quartermaster, the 318th Engineers, the 714th Medical Sanitation Company, the 93d Division Signal Company, the Reconnaissance Cavalry Troop, the 318th Medical, the 646th Tank Destroyers, and a Station Hospital. Major General C. P. Hall was the Commanding General of the division, followed by Major General Fred W. Miller who took over on October 30, 1942. The 93rd Infantry Division tackled many obstacles facing discrimination at home while fighting for freedom overseas.
The 93d Blue Helmet was published for 28 weeks. Alongside the paper’s last issue was distributed a special 32-page booklet, The Blue Helmet Presents the 93rd, showing the 93d Division in training. The 93d Division Blue Helmets would be leaving Fort Huachuca to continue their training in field maneuvers and make room at the post for another division. The 93rd Infantry Division would be the only African American division to serve in the Pacific Theater.Dates of Publication1942-1943Frequency of PublicationWeeklyPlace of PublicationFort Huachuca, ArizonaLanguageEnglishPermissions and ReuseThe contents of the Arizona Digital Newspaper Program (ADNP) are available to the public by our partners for using in research, teaching, and private study. Please note that U.S. Copyright and intellectual property laws apply to the digital resources made available through this site.Browse TopicMilitary and WarCommunity GroupsRace and Ethnicity