Margraten, The Netherlands - Commemoration ceremony.

Tribute to the 32 Negro Infantry Volunteers - Ceremony on Thursday 5th September 2019.

Veteran Pastor Matthew S. Brown, age 97, fought with the 9th Infantry Division. He returned to Europe and payed tribute to the 32 "negro infantry volunteers" buried at the American cemetery in Margraten. He shared his experiences, supplemented musically by Nienke Nassarian.


During the Second World War, America fought with a segregated army. African Americans were almost completely excluded from combat units. Due to the increasing shortage of men as a result of the Ardennes offensive, however, the army asked African-Americans in December 1944 to make the switch to infantry. Around 5,000 of them answered this call. Ultimately, more than 2,000 soldiers would actually make the switch: the Negro Infantry Volunteers.