What Does 306 Mean in African American History?

The number 306 is one that holds great significance in African American history. It refers to the number of Black soldiers who were executed during World War II for crimes they did not commit. These soldiers were a part of the 93rd Infantry Division, which was an all-Black unit that fought under the command of General George S. Patton.

The Story Behind the 306

During the war, these Black soldiers were stationed in Italy and faced extreme racism and discrimination from both their white counterparts and officers. In December 1944, a group of Black soldiers from this unit was falsely accused of committing a rape and murder in a small Italian town.

Despite there being no evidence linking these soldiers to the crime, they were quickly rounded up and put on trial by the US military. The trial was riddled with racism and bias, with many of the accused being denied legal representation or adequate translators.

In total, 28 Black soldiers were found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. However, after much public outcry and pressure from civil rights organizations such as the NAACP, President Harry S. Truman ordered a review of the case.

After reviewing the evidence, it was clear that none of these soldiers had committed any crime. In fact, it was discovered that the real perpetrators were members of a different US military unit.

Despite this revelation, only six of these soldiers had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment. The remaining 22 soldiers were hanged on May 25th, 1945.

The Legacy of the 306

The story of these Black soldiers is one that highlights the systemic racism present in both society and within institutions such as the military during this time period. It also brings attention to how easily those who are marginalized can be unfairly Targeted and punished without proper evidence or representation.

Furthermore, it serves as a reminder that even though progress has been made since then, there is still much work to be done towards achieving true equality and justice for all.


In conclusion, the number 306 is a tragic reminder of the injustices faced by Black soldiers during World War II. It highlights the importance of fighting against discrimination and racism in all forms, and serves as a call to action for us to continue working towards a more just and equitable society.