805th Pioneer Infantry

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805th Pioneer Infantry
Country  United States
Branch Army
Type Pioneer Infantry

805th Pioneer Infantry was an all-African American infantry regiment of the United States Army during World War I. The 805th contained black soldiers from the state of Mississippi. The regiment landed in France in July 1918 and served in Europe until July 1919; the division saw 39 days of action.

Entertainment and sports[edit]

During World War I, the regiment was nicknamed "Bear Cats." A commander, Colonel Chauncey Benton Humphrey (1872–1958) (USMA 1898), boasted that, among other things, his Bear Cats had "the best Jazz band in France," "the best vaudeville show in the American Expeditionary Forces, and the best baseball team of any outfit in France."[1]

Notable personnel[edit]

See also[edit]

Other segregated, non-white units in the U.S. Armed Forces

  • 185th Brigade (Infantry)
  • 186th Brigade (Infantry)
  • Other

Related articles


  1. ^ Lefferts, Peter M. Lefferts, "Black US Army Bands and Their Bandmasters in World War I," University of Nebraska-Lincoln, August 21, 2012
  2. ^ Bliss, Paul Southworth (1889–1940), Victory: History of the 805th Pioneer Infantry, American Expeditionary Forces, Saint Paul, Minnesota: published by the author (1919) (typed draft); OCLC 47888345, 8933282