"Even as a soldier fighting I’m denied many of the privileges as a Negro, to which the guys who wear the swastika are welcomed. Negroes are doing their bit here, their supreme bit, not for glory, not for honor but for, I think, the generation that will come. If the blood that flows here on Italy’s mountains will wash from some folk’s minds the stigma that has been bred there for years, then I think that the men who have gone so bravely here will not have given their lives in vain. I’m proud to be one of these few men who are fighters. The American papers call us “Tan Yanks” and other fancy names, but the Italians call us “Americans,” just plain Americans. That’s all we want to be, and one day I hope we will just be plain Americans."
PFC Joe Johnson in a letter to his wife in early 1945;
sadly Johnson was KIA in Italy that spring. (via demons