Major General Jens Anderson Doe
(20 June 1891 – 25 February 1971)
Jens Anderson Doe was born Chicago, Illinois on 20 June 1891. He graduated from West Point in 1914 and served in France during WWI where he won the Silver Star. After the war he attended the Command and General Staff College before a tour in China from 1926 – 1930, where he undoubtedly learned some Chinese, as officers were expected to learn the language of the country where they were posted.
He was assigned to the 7th ID at Fort Ord on September 1940 where he assumed command of the 17th Infantry in November and was promoted to colonel in 1941. In 1942 he assumed command of the 163rd Infantry and fought in several battles in the South Pacific.
He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. He became the Assistant Division Commander and was promoted to Brigadier General in 1943. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and an oak leaf cluster to the Silver Star he earned during WWI. He became commander of the 41st ID in 1944 and was promoted to major general.
In 1946, the Army Ground Forces had reorganized its training centers for the Army, placing them at six installations: Fort Dix, New Jersey; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Fort Lewis, Washington, and Fort Ord, California. All African Americans, except those slated for service in the Army Air Forces, were sent to Fort Jackson. Fort Jackson however, had been the scene of many racial disturbances since 1941. After listening to concerns of the African American Community that an increase in the black troop population would only intensify the hostile community attitude, in 1947, the Army began training black soldiers at Fort Dix and Fort Ord for basic training.
The decision to train Blacks at Fort Ord aroused the combined opposition of the citizens around Monterey Bay. On July 31, 1948, the mayors of Monterey, Carmel, and Pacific Grove, sent a telegram to US Senator William F. Knowland complaining that theirs was a tourist area unable to absorb thousands of black trainees "without serious threat of racial conflict." Knowland sent the letter on to Secretary of the Army Kenneth C. Royall who wrote back to Knowland on August 16, that Negroes would be trained at Fort Ord, and the Secretary of the Army would be glad to explain the situation and cooperate with the local citizenry. Although African Americans were initially trained in segregated units at Fort Ord, this would soon change.
Major General Jens A. Doe, was the Fort Ord and 4th ID Commander from 18 March 1947 to 25 February 1949, where he became the first Fort Ord commander to integrate training units. In 1949, Major-General Robert T. Frederick, the commander Fort Ord from March 1949 to Sept 1951, completed the job when he completely eliminated segregation in Basic Training due to manpower shortages.