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Eugene Jacques Bullard (1919) The first African-American combat pilot, was one of 200 Americans who flew for France in World War I.
Wounded and escaped over the border into Spain, and from there to New York. In 1949, attending a concert in Harlem that organized by entertainer /activist Paul Robeson to benefit the Civil Rights Congress. Peekskill Riots, performers and attendees of the concert, Bullard among them, were savagely beaten by a mob that included members of the local and state police. Bullard’s beating was captured on film, but none of his attackers were ever prosecuted.
During World War II, Josephine Baker served with the French Red Cross and was an active member of the French resistance movement. Using her career as a cover Baker became an intelligence agent, carrying secret messages written in invisible ink on her sheet music. She was awarded honor of the Croix de Guerre, and received a Medal of the Resistance in 1946.
First Lieutenant William Dominick Matthews, of the U.S. Colored Light Artillery, In addition, Matthews helped recruit many black soldiers. Before the Civil War, Matthews ran a boarding house in Leavenworth, Kansas, that was part of the underground railroad. The Leavenworth businessman soon was appointed captain, the highest ranking African American officer in the regiment. More extensive historical story at the link!