We are driven to tell the story of the African American experience during WW2. This includes the home front experience, the combat experience, and the shifting tide of politics surrounding the deployment and use of Black troops.
We are committed to authentically recreating battle scenes. To that end we painstakingly research and invest in the uniforms and equipment that are relevant to the time period, the theater of operation, and the units that we portray. We strive for high standards of authenticity that extend beyond uniforms and equipment and into every aspect of our portrayal in the field. We participate in living history events, air shows, field immersions and tactical events, parades, and veteran’s events.
The name “5th Platoon” was conceived from a little known piece of WW2 American military history. As a result of heavy losses moving up to and during the Battle of the Bulge, the American Forces were desperately in need of replacements. In January of 1945, a plan was conceived to convert men from service units to infantrymen. 4,562 Black soldiers from Communications Zone service units answered the call. Because of strict quotas, only 2,221 were to be accepted. In early March of 1945 more than two thousand hastily trained African American soldiers entered the front lines in Germany to fight alongside white soldiers in infantry and armored divisions engaged in the final battles of WW2 in Europe. These men were formed into fifty two all black platoons, comprised of about fifty men each. An infantry company at full strength has four platoons, the additional fifty men or fifth platoon was added to each white company, which is where the name “5th platoon” was derived.
Although our name is specific to the African American volunteers from service units, we portray all aspects of the African American WW II experience. We strongly feel that the attitude of our original 5th Platoons best represents our attitude and our story; Those who are simply willing to work, and eager to volunteer no matter how difficult the tasks.
Units We Portray
5th Platoon K Company 99th Infantry Division
European Theater of Operation (ETO),
from January 1945 through end of war
Our distinctive logo represents our organization. The 7 stars within the shield on the helmet represents 7 African American medal of honor winners in the war. These men were finally recognized for their heroism in 1997, 6 posthumously. The only surviving medal of honor winner present at the awards ceremony was 1st Lt. Vernon J. Baker.