[No place: no publisher], 1944.
Unbound. Gelatin silver photograph. Approximately 29" x 8". Group image of an all-black unit of approximately 130 uniformed soldiers posed in four rows in front of what is most likely a barracks. Very slight age-toning, about fine. The 318th Engineers were part of the segregated African-American 93rd Infantry Division (Colored). During the the first world war the Division included two highly decorated combat units: the 369th Infantry Regiment ("The Harlem Hellfighters") and the 370th Infantry Regiment ("The Black Devils"), who fought alongside the French troops.
The Division was reactivated in 1942, trained in California, and was shipped to the South Pacific theater in January of 1944. It is quite possible this image was taken in Guadalcanal, where the Division was training for combat duties at Bougainville Island the following month. They spent much of the rest of the War at Morotai, Dutch New Guinea, where they skirmished repeatedly with Japanese forces, eventually comp[elling the surrender of over 40,000 Japanese. The 93rd suffered over 120 casualties and twelve combat dead.