Trailblazing paratrooper broke color barrier in secret





Thurgood Marshall, Hattie McDaniel, the Tuskegee Airmen and Walter Morris -- all African-Americans who made history breaking the color barrier. But while America's first black Supreme Court justice, the first African-American Oscar winner and the U.S. military's first African-American pilots are well known, you may never have heard of Walter Morris or his role in American history.

The War Department, as the Defense Department used to be called, wanted it that way. On Thursday, a ceremony at the Pentagon will undo that.

But because Operation Firefly started out as a secret, the Triple Nickle's contribution to protecting the home front and to history was all but lost.

Now the Pentagon wants to change that, honoring the Triple Nickle. Of those first 17 graduates, three are still alive -- Walter Morris, Roger Walden and Clarence Beavers.




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