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Minuteman Minute | Alfred Palmer World War I Uniform

Alfred Palmer was an African American member of the Washington DC National Guard when his unit became part of the segregated 93rd Infantry Division upon US entry into World War I. The 93rd was one of two new National Guard divisions created in 1917 and Palmer’s regiment was instrumental in bringing the war to an end.

I’m Will Roulett, Director of the National Guard Memorial Museum here in DC, and this is your Minuteman Minute. This uniform was worn by Private Alfred Palmer of the Washington, DC National Guard during World War I.

When the US entered the war in April 1917, all the National Guard's existing divisions were brought into Federal service. Additional National Guard divisions were created, including the 93rd Infantry Division. The 93rd was manned by white officers and African American enlisted men because of America's segregation laws. 

Three of the 93rd’s regiments were comprised of existing National Guard units including Palmer's Company B 372nd regiment. Upon arriving in France, Palmer's regiment was assigned to the French army, evidenced by the patch on the uniforms left shoulder depicting the fringe Adrian helmet. The 372nd was a decisive part of the Meuse Argonne offensive, the Allied offensive that ended the war. 

Come see this and a whole lot more at the National Guard Memorial. Museum. I'm Will Roulett. That's been your Minutemen Minute brought to you by the National Guard Educational Foundation.