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Collection Veterans History Project Collection

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Roscoe Spann at time of service

Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945
  • Branch of Service: Army
  • Service Unit/Ship: 92nd Infantry Division; 93rd Infantry Division; Army Reserve
  • Location of Service: Fort Huachuca, Arizona
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Collection Number: AFC/2001/001/54076

View full service history

"I often wonder what happened to my men I spent all that time with." (Video Interview, 28:34)

Roscoe Spann was in medical school in 1941 when his local draft board notified him. Feeling that his education to be a doctor was more important, he managed for six months to ignore the notice, but the FBI finally caught up to him. He decided to make the most of his service and attended Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning, Georgia, where he confronted segregated conditions. Assigned to Ft. Huachuca to train troops of the 92nd and 93rd Divisions, Spann was told he was too good a trainer to be assigned overseas. He spent most of the war in the Arizona desert, where a cold war between black and white officers never thawed. Spann was court-martialed for striking a white officer, and though he was found guilty, he was given a promotion several months later. A request by him and his fellow officers to meet with General Benjamin O. Davis, the highest ranking black officer in the Army, failed to ease the tensions.

Interview / Recording

About this Item

Title

  • Roscoe Tyson Spann Collection

Names

  • Chapman, Mimi
  • Spann, Roscoe Tyson
  • Ypsilanti District Library and Ypsilanti Rotary
  • Vollano, William J.

Home State

  • Michigan

Headings

  • -  Spann, Roscoe Tyson
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army.

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Race

  • Black or African American

Status

  • veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: Army
    • Service Unit/Ship: 92nd Infantry Division; 93rd Infantry Division; Army Reserve
    • Location of Service: Fort Huachuca, Arizona
    • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
    • Dates of Service: 1941-1947
    • Entrance into Service: Drafted
    • Military Status: veteran

Materials

  • Photograph: Duplicate [6 items] -- Photograph (collected 1943-2005)
  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Reference copy (collected 2005-11-29; 2005-11-29)
  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 2005-11-29; 2004-12-08)
  • Manuscript: Biographical information [2 items] -- Typewritten document (collected 2005)
  • Manuscript: Clippings [2 items] -- Typewritten document (collected 2001)
  • Photograph: Mixed (Multiple types of photographs) [8 items] -- Photograph (collected 1943-2005)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/54076

Cite as

  • Roscoe Tyson Spann Collection (AFC/2001/001/54076), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Chapman, Mimi, Roscoe Tyson Spann, Ypsilanti District Library And Ypsilanti Rotary, and William J Vollano. Roscoe Tyson Spann Collection. 1941. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.54076/.

APA citation style:

Chapman, M., Spann, R. T., Ypsilanti District Library And Ypsilanti Rotary & Vollano, W. J. (1941) Roscoe Tyson Spann Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.54076/.

MLA citation style:

Chapman, Mimi, et al. Roscoe Tyson Spann Collection. 1941. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.54076/>.