New race riot harasses Army (8-7-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (August 7, 1941)


Wilmington, NC, Aug. 7 (UP) –
A second Army camp in North Carolina was forced to take precautions against race riots today after one member of the Camp Davis military police was stabbed at the Wilmington bus depot and white military police and Negro soldiers had been involved in a melee over bus accommodations.

All Negro soldiers at Fort Bragg were segregated after a member of the military police and a Negro private were shot to death on a passenger bus. Army authorities said Sergeant Elwyn J. Bargraves, 20, of Corsicana, Tex., attempted to arrest Ned Turman, 27-year-old Negro selectee from Ashton, SC, and that both were killed in a gunfight which followed.

The Southern Jim Crow laws require Negroes to take seats as far back as possible in buses and trains. Early Tuesday morning about 400 soldiers were crowding at the depot seeking bus passage to Camp Davis, 20 miles from here.

The Negroes refused to move to the back of the bus, and 14 white military police used clubs and a water hose before subduing the Negroes. 12 Negro soldiers were arrested and placed in the Camp Davis courthouse.

In the bus depot early today, Private J. C. Monts of the military police was stabbed twice by a Negro whom he identified as Private J. Davenport, while an unidentified person pinned Private Monts’ arms behind him.

Camp Davis authorities have doubled the military police force and ordered all Negroes to remain in their quarters.