• Forgotten

  • The Untold Story of D-day's Black Heroes, at Home and at War
  • By: Linda Hervieux
  • Narrated by: Ron Butler
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (233 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

The injustices of 1940s Jim Crow America are brought to life in this extraordinary blend of military and social history, an account that pays tribute to the valor of an all-black battalion whose crucial contributions at D-day have gone unrecognized to this day.

In the early hours of June 6, 1944, the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, a unit of African American soldiers, landed on the beaches of France. Their orders were to man a curtain of armed balloons meant to deter enemy aircraft. One member of the 320th would be nominated for the Medal of Honor, an award he would never receive because the nation's highest decoration was not given to black soldiers in World War II.

Drawing on newly uncovered military records and dozens of original interviews with surviving members of the 320th and their families, Linda Hervieux tells the story of these heroic men charged with an extraordinary mission, whose contributions to one of the most celebrated events in modern history have been overlooked. Thousands of African Americans were sent abroad to fight for liberties denied them at home, including these members of the 320th: Wilson Monk, a jack-of-all-trades from Atlantic City; Henry Parham, the son of sharecroppers from rural Virginia; William Dabney, an eager 17-year-old from Roanoke, Virginia; and Samuel Mattison, a charming romantic from Columbus, Ohio. In Europe these soldiers discovered freedom they had not known in a homeland that treated them as second-class citizens - experiences they carried back to America, fueling the budding Civil Rights Movement. In telling the story of the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, Hervieux offers a vivid account of the tension between racial politics and national service in wartime America and a moving narrative of human bravery and perseverance in the face of injustice.

©2015 Linda Hervieux (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Forgotten

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What I did not know

I loved the book. I was in the army and my uncle served in the unit. We as a family had no idea of what he did or the units history. It was never spoken of in the family.

37 people found this helpful

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Unforgettable

It is impossible to read this book without feeling frustration and anger about the way those with dark skin were treated, especially during WWII. Not everyone was socially blind, and the people whose eyes were opened and who did things right from the beginning were uplifting. The lack of bitterness among the people who were ill-treated is inspiring. This book was so good, I am purchasing a hard-cover paper copy for my library.

26 people found this helpful

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An enjoyable treatment of an unpleasant topic that needed more coverage

The choice of story lines and the use of carefully considered language combine to make an interesting and easily appreciated course through what must be new terrain for most of us. What it lacks as a page-turner it makes up for with heart-felt vignettes that tie back to complete some of the life stories of the forgotten.

21 people found this helpful

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Thought provoking and tear inducing

The stories told brought literal tears to my eyes. To hear how poorly our people were treat and to see that replay itself today is heart wrenching. But it also gives me renewed resolve to never stop fighting injustice.

14 people found this helpful

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A Must Read

This is another great historical rendering of the disparities when it comes to Black Folks. and especially those who have served their country with honor and heroism but denied recognition because of discrimination.

12 people found this helpful

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Great book

This is a book everyone should read. These men are such heroes despite the horrific treatment they had to endure. It’s so well written and narrated, I fear I’m going to have a hard time following it up!

1 person found this helpful

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Slow with too much background

The majority of this book is background information, with just a small part on D-Day's Black heroes. It feels like this could have been a good 2-hour podcast, but was really stretched out to make a short book. The subject interested me, but the pace was too slow to keep my interest. If you want a history of racism in the military, this will give you that. If you want an engaging story of men overcoming odds in WW2, you should look elsewhere. I learned a little, but I expected more.

1 person found this helpful

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  • pb
  • 07-30-21

A Sad Tale of the ongoing discrimination US hist.

A sad and both uplifting tale of Black GIs in WWII. We still have a long way to go as a nation.

1 person found this helpful

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A Hidden Gem

This is a story that is told, clearly about men who loved and fought for a country that didn’t love them. Yet they persevered and paved the way for a people who had dreams and ideas to make America a better place. They suffered unfathomable humiliation and disrespect while still believing they could make a difference. For those who continue to bury history, this should be a required reading.

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The balloon battalion

The historical content was interesting to learn. It is disappointing to realize how these troops have not been recognized in WWII movies and a majority of documentaries.

The two setbacks I have is the prolonged beginning of the first few chapters and the constant jumping of time lines. For example your focused in 1941, then 1865, then 1936, 1877, etc...

It's understandable to give context, but it's difficult to follow at times. If a new edition is created, it would help to shorten the first few chapters to keep interest.