African American troops of the U.S. 501st Army Engineers, build port facilities at Brest, France, during World War I
Brest France Date:1918 Duration:2 min 41 sec Sound:NO SOUND
Army Engineers of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) use a rail-mounted conveyer-type bucket dredge to deepen a channel for Allied ships on the Penfeld River at Brest, France, during World War 1. In the background, the Kerguillo mansion in the suburb Bohars, can be seen. The dreged spoils are being emptied into a string of open rail cars. Men work around the base of the dredge, loosening soil with long poles. Army engineers, including African American soldiers of the U.S. Army 501st Engineers work with French civilians to build wharfs on the Penfeld River. They stand with a rail car of concrete at the job site, and manually remove it when emptied. Construction supplies are piled up at the port, where 501st Engineer members are seen with other U.S. soldiers and French soldiers. View from rail car (not seen) moving along track, away from the port. A locomotive is seen with "USA" painted on its side,next to a newly constructed rail platform. A French workman carrying a large can walks next to the tracks. A railroad crane stands on a siding. Workmen build a station on the platform. (One raises his arms out wide for the camera.) An open rail car sits by the platform. A soldier from the 501st crosses the track near a rail car filled with wooden ties. View of U.S. troops running from work on a train of rail cars, as they respond to noon mess call. African American soldiers of the 501st Engineers getting lunch and eating at an outdoor mess. Four of them tap dance for the camera, as their comrades watch and clap.
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