Clarence Edward Trimble, Sr. - First "Negro" Korean War Registrant
Clarence Edward Trimble, Sr. – First “Negro” Korean War Registrant
The following is excerpted from an article which appeared in the Cumberland Evening Times, February 6, 1951. It was entitled, “Cumberland Area Sends One Hundredth Draftee And First Negro Registrant into Armed Services.” The newspaper article was written by William Mackert.
"The draftee contingent leaving here yesterday for induction into the armed forces at Martinsburg, West Virginia included two "celebrities" - the first Negro and the one hundredth Cumberland registrant to be called for service since the Korean war began less than eight months ago.
Singled out for special attention was Clarence Edward Trimble, 21, son of Mrs. Christine Gant of Lamont Street. Trimble attended Carver High School and was employed as a construction worker before Selective Service ordered him to report for a physical examination.
Interviewed on his thoughts concerning induction, Trimble remarked, 'It may be for the best. People tell me you have to see some of the world before you know anything about it.' He said his stepfather, Jeremiah Gant, who was in the service during World War II, 'told me to be good, take care of myself, and listen to what people tell me.' Trimble has never been farther from home than Washington and Pittsburgh but he expects to make up for lost time."
According to information researched by Joe McKenzie in 2008 and located on the “Find A Grave” website, Private Clarence Edward Trimble, Sr. was born in Cumberland, Maryland in 1929, and died in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania in 1999. He worked as a chef and is buried in the Rocky Gap Veterans Cemetery in Allegany County, Maryland. He was a son of Christine (Trimble) Gant and Earl Banks.
The newspaper article also highlighted John Robert Boone, 21, of Pennsylvania Avenue as the Cumberland area's One-Hundredth Draftee.
With the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950, the Universal Military Training and Service Act of 1951 (which modified what was commonly referred to as the Selected Service Act of 1948) was created. Among other things the draft age was lowered from 19 to 18 and one-half years of age, and increased the time for active duty service from 21 to 24 months. The Korean War ended in July 1953.
Cumberland Evening Times
Photograph from the Cumberland Evening Times, February 6, 1951; additional information from Find A Grave
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008