Honor Flight WWII vet served in segregated unit

WASHINGTON - Of the 66 veterans on the 13th Central Valley Honor Flight, fewer than 10 of them served in World War II. However, only one served in the 93rd Infantry Division – an African-American only unit.

 

LeVille Stephens remembers the discrimination he faced, even after his time in-service. When veterans were sent home, he saw how differently his unit was treated.

 

"My division was sent back to the United States on freighters, any way they could get back to the states," Stephens said.

 

When he returned home to Oklahoma, he made it a point to not let society's prejudice victimize him.

 

"After what I had gone through, I never went in a colored restroom or drank out of a colored fountain at that time," Stephens said.

 

While Stephens may not have been treated with honor when he was discharged, he did get the treatment he deserved on the Honor Flight. While touring the memorials and the Air and Space Museum, many made sure to stop and thank him for his service.

 

Also, during the Honor Flight's banquet, staff took a moment to thank Stephens for serving a country that didn't fully recognize him.

 

The 93rd Division was also known as the 'Blue Helmets.' The unit also served in World War I.


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