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Camp Van Dorn Slaughter

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The Camp Van Dorn Slaughter was an alleged massacre of black soldiers occurring at Camp Van Dorn Army installation at Centreville, Mississippi. The alleged victims were members of the 364th infantry regiment.

Contents

Incident

Prior to their assignment to Camp Van Dorn, the soldiers of the unit were involved in a racial incident in Phoenix Arizona known as the The Phoenix Massacre, in which soldiers from the 364th rioted in Phoenix overnight. In 1943, about 1200 Negro soldiers were allegedly massacred by fellow white soldiers at Camp Van Dorn. An investigation by the US Army has accounted for the individual soldiers alleged to have been murdered. This incident was alleged to have occurred by an army clerk in his self-published book, The Slaughter. The soldiers protested racial strife in the base and surrounding community. The Army confirms at least half a dozen racial incidents occurred in the area. The Army denies the massacre ever took place and although Case and the NAACP have found accounts of other events, nothing has surfaced that even hints of a massacre. The bodies were said by the author of The Slaughter to have been buried on the outskirts of the base and covered by a lake. One soldier, Private William Walker, is confirmed to have died, having been shot by a local sheriff while escaping from MPs at the front gate. He was returning to base from R&R. Following these incidents, the soldiers participated in the Louisiana Maneuvers and were stationed in the Aluetian Islands in Alaska. At the end of World War II, 1000 of 3000 original soldiers remained of the 364th, an attrition rate of at least one per day. Other "troublemakers" were sent to various parts of the nation.

Public reaction

Ronald Ridenhour, who had previously investigated the My Lai massacre, became interested in the story and began interviewing local Centreville residents. His death, by heart attack, led to a book being self published by Carrol Case, the company clerk for the 364th during the regiments assignment at Camp Van Dorn called The Slaughter. The alleged massacre became well known after its publishing. The NAACP under Kwesi Mfume asked for an investigation into this incident by Janet Reno.

Books

  • The Slaughter
  • References

    Camp Van Dorn Slaughter Wikipedia


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