HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — John Ramseier is a 97-year-old veteran, originally from central Wisconsin, who joined the army at a young age.
“I liked the army. I enjoyed it. I was trained down in the Carolinas, and then they sent me to England,” Ramseier told ValleyCentral.
Ramseier recalls the invasion of Normandy being a pivotal point in the war and racial segregation.
During the war, African American soldiers were segregated into separate units.
However, Ramseier served alongside an all-Black detail to perform one of the most important tasks in the war.
“They transferred me in with this Black unit, and I was the only white man,” he says.
Ramseier said he helped facilitate a supply system known as the Red Ball Express – where Black soldiers took the vital role of supplying the front lines with food, medical supplies, ammunition, and fuel.
He said, “These men were called on to do probably the second biggest job in the army at that time. The first biggest one was the front lines.”
Ramseier said he believes serving alongside these brave soldiers ultimately shifted the way he and the rest of the nation viewed the black community for their courage, skill, and instrumental service.
“I saw how they performed in their work and their attitude towards it and the chances they took on the difficult job,” he added. “My thinking of them changed dramatically. I admired them.”