Introduced Version





HOUSE CONCURRENT
RESOLUTION No.
________




DIGEST OF INTRODUCED RESOLUTION



    A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION urging Congress and the United States Air Force to remove the letter of reprimand from the records of Quentin Smith.



Cheney




    _______________________, read first time and referred to Committee on








Introduced

First Regular Session 112th General Assembly (2001)


HOUSE CONCURRENT
RESOLUTION



    A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION urging Congress and the United States Air Force to remove the letter of reprimand from the records of Quentin Smith.

    Whereas, During World War II, Indiana became a battleground over the issue of segregation in the armed forces resulting from an incident at Freeman Field in Seymour, Indiana;

    Whereas, The Freeman Field incident depicts courageous young black men's trials and tribulations and their fight for equal rights;

    Whereas, The incident involved the arrest of a group of black Army Air Force officers assigned to the 477th Bombardment Group at Freeman Field;

    Whereas, On April 5, 1945, this group attempted to enter a segregated USO officers' club;

    Whereas, Segregation in the armed forces was widespread, and the black officers were not given access to the officers' club;

    Whereas, The black officers refused to accept this situation and demanded lawful entry into the segregated club;

    Whereas, As a result, one officer was charged and convicted by a general court martial of assault and two other officers were court martialed. These officers were later

acquitted of all charges;

    Whereas, The other officers involved were given letters of reprimand and were charged with "conduct unbecoming an officer, failure to obey a lawful order, and breech of good order and discipline";

    Whereas, During this period, a letter of reprimand was one of the strongest administrative actions a commander could impose on a service member;

    Whereas, Quentin Smith was one of the officers who received a letter of reprimand;

    Whereas, His story is one of heroism and bravery in the face of injustice;

    Whereas, Quentin Smith deserves our gratitude and our respect;

    Whereas, Quentin Smith does not deserve to have his military record tarnished for speaking out against injustice;

    Whereas, Nine years before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,and Mrs. Rosa Parks ignited the nation by refusing to obey the segregation laws of the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Company, Quentin Smith entered a segregated officers' club at Freeman Field and stood up for the rights of minorities throughout our nation; and

    Whereas, Quentin Smith deserves to be honored for his stand against racism and segregation: Therefore,

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives

of the General Assembly of the State of Indiana,

the Senate concurring:


    SECTION 1. That the Indiana General Assembly urges the Congress of the United States and the Air Force to remove the letter of reprimand from the records of Quentin Smith.
    SECTION 2. That the Principal Clerk of the House of Representatives transmit a copy of this resolution to Quentin Smith, the

Indiana Congressional delegation, and to the commanding general of the United States Air Force.