Mountain View Black Officers Club
A living relic of a segregated military during World War 2. Fort Huachuca was the largest training camp for African American soldiers during World War 2. The military style club displays how these officers used it during there training for war. See how segregation was in the 1940s for African Americans. The club had the likes of Joe Louis, Dinah Shore and Lena Horne walk its floors. One of America's 11 most endangered historic places.
Backstory and Context
The U.S. military enlisted the aid of African Americans during times of war. A famous elite group of soldiers was the “Buffalo Soldiers” of the 10th Cavalry Regiment. The 10th Calvary Regiment was formed on September 9th, 1866 and were eventually stationed at Fort Huachuca in 1913. The Regiment consisted of around 4,000 soldiers at the time. Then Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941 and Fort Huachuca was in for substantial changes. Many African Americans were ready to enlist in World War II and did so. African American recruits stationed at Fort Huachuca was about 14,000 troops. The military was aware of segregation occurring in the United States at the time and created the New Cantonment Area. This area was south and east of Fort Huachuca to divide white and black soldiers during there training. The area designated for black soldiers had its own barracks, hospital, offices, warehouses, recreational facilities and maintenance buildings. This area was to include all African Americans serving in the military at Fort Huachuca. The officers that would lead these men into battle were also segregated. The military was afraid that white officers would object to having black officers with them in the offices club. So, the military built two officers club, Mountain View Officers Club for African American Soldiers and the Lakeside Officers Club for Anglo American Soldiers. The segregation didn’t stop there, it was even in the design and costs of each officer’s club. Mountain View Officers Club was built on a hill with no real design in mind and with materials that they could find, and the cost was $78,648 dollars. Now Lakeside Officers Club was quite different, it was built closer to Fort Huachuca and not on a hill. The materials used was by the design of the club and it also included a pool, the cost of Lakeside Officers club was $251,864 dollars. Many of the buildings in the area around the Mountain View Officers Club are gone. The military had little need of all these buildings after the war. The Officers Club is an example of segregation even in time of war and is a reminder of the past that can influence the future so that this can never be repeated. The club housed African American works of art during the war and had some famous visitors. Lena Horne, Joe Luis, and Dinah Shore visited, and some performed at the Officers Club. This building is a part of the African American history. November 9th, 2017, the National Trust for Historic Preservation joined forces with the U.S. Army to save, restore and preserve the Mountain View Black Officers Club of Fort Huachuca.
Buffalo Soldiers. SWABS. https://www.swabuffalosoldiers.org/projects/mountain-view-club. article
Buffalo Soldiers of Fort Huachuca. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vLAH7r_MKV. video
Mountain View Black Officers Club. blackpast.org. https://www.blackpast/aaw/black-soldiers-and-fort-huachuca-during world-war-II. article
Preserve Mountain View Black Officers Club. Arizona Preservation Society. https://www.preservetucson.org/stories/mountain-view-black-officers-club. article
Mountain View Black Officers Club. saving places. https://savingplaces.org/places/mountain-view-officers-club-at-fort-huachuca. article
Polletta, Maria. Mountain View Black Officers Club. The Republic/azcentral.com. December 09, 2017. https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2017/12/09. article