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David H. Cole transcript

 Collection — Container: Single Folder Collections - 2001 Box 18 (01.0445-01.0463), Folder: 01.0455 - Folder 1
Identifier: 01.0455

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of an oral history interview transcript of an African American private in the 84th Aviation Squadron during World War II in the European Campaign as he details tensions between black soldiers and white officers.


  • Created: 1942-1946
  • Other: Date acquired: 09/26/2001


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

David Henry Cole was born on November 17, 1924, in Shenandoah, West Virginia. Cole moved to Harper's Ferry and remained there for most of his youth. He dropped out of high school at 16 and began working jobs around town. Cole joined the Army at 18 in 1943, according to his discharge papers. He went to Clarksburg, Virginia for his physical and then to the induction center at Fort Hays, Ohio.

Cole remembered Native Americans' integration within white forces, to his surprise. He then went to Camp Lee, Virginia for a short period and later joined the Quartermaster Truck Company at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. Cole applied to the Army Air Corps and received a medical discharge due to hypertension. He learned only through his discharge papers that he was in the 84th. He later found this excuse common among discharged African Americans. He fondly remembered marching with the bands during his time in the military and vividly remembered instances of racism and tensions between black soldiers and white officers. Cole attended Storer College for his Bachelor's degree in 1946 and pursued a Masters degree at American University upon graduation.


1.00 folders

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Transferred from the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience to FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives in July 2022.

Source of Acquisition

David H. Cole

Method of Acquisition


David H. Cole transcript
Jenna Pope
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US