Black Heritage: Tampa man wins wars against Nazis, segregation

- He fought two wars - one against Nazi Germany, the other against military segregation. He won both. 

David Bryant of Tampa dropped out of high school and joined the army when he was only 16. He distinguished himself in world war two and led the way for de-segregation among the ranks.

"When we got to the beach we stayed there on the beach for a month." David said.

At his modest east Tampa home ,90 year old David Bryant shares his memories about landing on Omaha Beach during World War II.

"We were under attack from the air almost everyday, every night, early morning, early in the morning called them bed check charlie." David said.

David recounts the harrowing experience when he and a friend came face to face with a German plane while walking to the frontlines.

"We saw a German plane coming for a straight run, and somewhere on the line he must have misfired or something or gum jammed and he didn't fire because he had us in his sight." David said.

Born in 1925, David joined the Army in 1942 when he was 16. He quickly moved up the ranks and at 26 was named master sergeant for the Airforce Police.

"It was just being in the right place at the right time and also taking advantage of things." David said.

David describes the time when he was confronted with racism.
He was stationed in England with three white officers who didn't want him to stay in the same hut with them.

"I come back one night all those guys stuff was moved out of the hut and left me in that hut by myself." Added David.

"For those 18 months I stayed in that hut by myself. Now that was really something." David said.

"All these are chiefs that's when we where at 80 first fighter wing." David said. "I was the only black chief there in the whole group." 

Because of hard work and dedication David was one of the first black's promoted to Chief Master Sergeant.

"The military has been good to me." David said.

David earned his g-e-d while in the army and retired from active service after thirty years. He then went on to graduate from the University of Tampa, Crystal Clark, fox 13 news.

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