Heart of Louisiana: Black Panthers

At a time when the US Army was still segregated, an all-Black tank battalion was created in Louisiana. The unit was called the “Black Panthers.”
Published: Apr. 30, 2023 at 2:50 PM CDT
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FOREST HILL, La. (WAFB) - At a time when the US Army was still racially segregated, the all-Black 761st Tank Battalion was created at Camp Claiborne in Louisiana.

The unit, nicknamed the “Black Panthers,” went on to earn combat honors on the battlefield with General Patton’s Third Army in Europe.

US Forest Service Ranger Jonny Fryar guided the crew through the tall longleaf pine woods of the Kisatchie National Forest. The ground is charred from a prescribed burn that cleared out the underbrush.

And that exposes the concrete foundations of what was once Camp Claiborne, a World War II-era facility where a half-million soldiers trained for battle overseas.

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