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Seventy-five years later, the Netherlands honors the ‘Black Liberators’ who helped end the Nazi occupation

February 16, 2020

From the Military Times website

Dr. James W. Baldwin, a corporal who served in the 784th Tank Battalion, receives a certificate from Air Commodore Paul Herber and Deputy Chief of Mission Heleen Bakker at the Dutch Embassy on Feb. 6, 2020. (Courtesy of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands/Jeffrey Allanach – off the article)

On December 25, 1944 – Christmas Day – Cpl. James Baldwin and the 784th Tank Battalion landed in Soissons, France, to fight in the Allied liberation of Nazi-occupied Europe.

The 19-year-old Baldwin, of tiny Wagram, North Carolina, had entered the service two years earlier through the U.S. Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), which was created “to ensure a continuous flow of technically and professionally trained men” for the war effort. He had qualified for the program by achieving high marks on the Army General Classification Test, but when the program was suspended, Baldwin found himself in the regular army and headed into combat.

Thanks to Carswell “Caz” Ross for submitting this article.

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