Some things feel far further into the past than they actually are — and this photo is an important reminder of that. Here you can see US Marines enjoying a break from delivering ammunition to the front lines of the Battle of Saipan. They seem relaxed, happy even, to be having a rest and there’s a sense of camaraderie in the closeness and relaxed posturing between the men. But it’s also a reminder that, even as recently as the mid-20th century, segregation in the military was in full swing. These men, despite putting themselves on the line for their country in the 3rd Supply Battalion, were racially segregated. We like to push segregation further back into our history, but The Battle of Saipan, part of World War two, took place during the lifetime and memories of many who are alive today. Cpl. Willis T. Anthony, Pfc. Emmitt Shackleford, and Pfc. Eugene Purdy are all pictured.

Battle of Saipan

Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands.

July 1944.

Credit: Anti-Worlds