Dan Waupoose, a Menominee chief, training at Algiers, Louisiana, on August 24, 1943.

 As many as 25,000 Native Americans actively fought in World War II: 21,767 in the Army, 1,910 in the Navy, 874 in the Marines, 121 in the Coast Guard, and several hundred Native American women as nurses. These figures represent over one-third of able-bodied Native American men aged 18–50, and even included as high as seventy percent of the population of some tribes. Unlike African Americans, Native Americans did not serve in segregated units and served alongside white Americans

Alison R. Burnstein argues that World War II presented the first large-scale exodus of Native Americans from reservations since the reservation system began, and presented an opportunity for many Native Americans to leave reservations and enter the “white world.” For many soldiers, World War II represented the first interracial contact between natives living on relatively isolated reservations and whites.

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