Raleigh’s first black soldier to die in WWI wounded late
The day an armistice was signed ending World War I on Nov. 11, 1918 – 100 years ago – was also the day Raleigh soldier Charles T. Norwood was wounded.
He later died, becoming the first African-American soldier from Raleigh who died in World War I.
American Legion Post 157 in Raleigh is named for Norwood.
Members of the post marched in the North Carolina Veterans Day Parade in downtown Raleigh on Saturday.
According to the American Legion, Norwood was an Army private who served with Company H, 365 Infantry, 92nd Infantry Division. At the time he lived with his mother, Emmeline Nor- wood, on East Lane Street, according to a newspaper clipping.
During World War I, African-American soldiers in the U.S. Army were segregated from white soldiers and assigned to units led by white officers, according to a war exhibit now on display at the N.C. Museum of History in downtown Raleigh.
Two African-American combat divisions served in France: The 92nd Divi- sion, where Norwood was assigned, served in the American Expeditionary Force and fought in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, according to the museum.
The other division was the 93rd Division, which served with the French army.
Norwood, 23, was wounded in France on Nov. 11, 1918, and died from his wounds and pneumonia on Jan. 17, 1919. The American Legion post in Raleigh was named for him when it was chartered in 1924. Norwood was buried in the Raleigh National Cemetery in 1921.
“It’s just a great blessing to be here today to honor (Norwood),” said American Legion member Willie Pulley, who marched in the Veterans Day parade. Pulley, the post chaplain, is an Army veteran.
Post member James Whitaker, also retired from the Army like Pulley, said it means a lot to be in the American Legion post named for Norwood. Whitaker said the post, which meets at Martin Street Baptist Church, works to help families in the community at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
In a ceremony on the N.C. Capitol grounds after the parade, U.S. Army Col. (ret.) Martin Falls noted that it was “on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of World War I fell silent across Europe, and America’s doughboys started coming home.”
The parade Saturday morning included high school marching bands, high school JROTC groups, the Triangle chapter of Veterans for Peace, Scouts groups and veterans groups.
LOSS AND LEGACY OF WORLD WAR I
Interest in the N.C. Museum of History’s World War I exhibit has been large enough for the
IT’S JUST A GREAT BLESSING TO BE HERE TODAY TO HONOR (CHARLES T. NORWOOD). Willie Pulley, Army veteran, American Legion member and post chaplain
James Whitaker, left, and Willie Pulley are members of American Legion Post 157, named for Charles T. Norwood. Their post marched in the North Carolina Veterans Day Parade on Saturday in downtown Raleigh. Norwood, who lived on Lane Street, was the first African-American soldier to die during World War I. He was wounded hours before an armistice went into effect, ending World War I. Norwood is buried in Raleigh National Cemetery.
Broughton High School Air Force JROTC students march in the North Carolina Veterans Day Parade in downtown Raleigh on Saturday.