About Forgotten

They stormed Omaha and Utah Beaches early on June 6, 1944. They've been written out of history. Movies don't show them. Most books don't mention them. But they were there. Watch the video to learn more about the men of the 320th.

The injustices of 1940s Jim Crow America are brought to life in this extraordinary blend of military and social history—a story that pays tribute to the valor of an all-black battalion whose crucial contributions at D-Day have gone unrecognized to this day. In the early hours of June 6, 1944, the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, a unit of African-American soldiers, landed on the beaches of France. Their orders were to man a curtain of armed balloons meant to deter enemy aircraft. One member of the 320th would be nominated for the Medal of Honor, an award he would never receive. The nation’s highest decoration was not given to black soldiers in World War II.  

In telling the story of the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, Linda Hervieux offers a vivid account of the tension between racial politics and national service in wartime America, and a moving narrative of human bravery and perseverance in the face of injustice.

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Men of the 320th Barrage Balloon raise a balloon on Omaha Beach.
National Archives and Records Administration