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Victory for Valor: US Army Clears Names of 110 Black Soldiers

Victory for Valor: US Army Clears Names of 110 Black Soldiers

Victory for Valor: US Army Clears Names of 110 Black Soldiers

Victory for Valor: US Army Clears Names of 110 Black Soldiers

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  • US Army overturns convictions of 110 black soldiers from 1917 Houston Riots.
  • Military review acknowledges unfair trials and racial injustice in treatment.
  • Service records to be reclassified as honorable for the exonerated soldiers.

The convictions of 110 black soldiers arrested in the aftermath of the 1917 Houston Riots have been reversed by the US Army.

A military review determined that these soldiers did not receive fair trials and were subjected to unjust treatment based on their race.

Their military service records will be reclassified to recognize their service as honorable.

The riots unfolded following prolonged racial provocations against the “Buffalo Soldiers” regiment.

“By setting aside their convictions and granting honorable discharges, the Army is acknowledging past mistakes and setting the record straight,” Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth said in a statement on Monday.

The 3rd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, part of the “Buffalo Soldiers,” a term dating back to the 1860s, was one of four regiments comprising all-black servicemen.

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The Houston Riots erupted on August 23, 1917, fueled by months of racial tensions, including the violent arrest and assault of two black soldiers.

Amidst rumors of further threats from a white mob, armed black soldiers gathered in the Texas city, resulting in clashes. Tragically, nineteen individuals, including civilians, lost their lives in the violence.

The army convicted 110 soldiers from the regiment on charges ranging from disobedience of lawful orders to mutiny and assault with intent to commit murder.

Nineteen soldiers faced execution, with 13 executed in secrecy within a day of sentencing, while others received life sentences.

Historians note that the proceedings were marked by numerous irregularities, constituting the largest mass execution of American soldiers by the US Army.

In October 2020 and December 2021, the Army received petitions from retired general officers seeking clemency for all the soldiers.

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Under Secretary of the Army Gabe Camarillo said: “We cannot change the past; however, this decision provides the Army and the American people an opportunity to learn from this difficult moment in our history.”

The Army has indicated that family members of the soldiers might be eligible for compensation.

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