CHRONOLOGY

4-21-42
Lt. John P. Graff, US Navy, writes to Town of Chapel Hill, proposing to house "a U.S. Navy Band composed entirely of colored musicians" at the Community Center, not yet completed.

5-10-42
Greensboro Daily News announces that 13 A&T students are to join the Navy band to be stationed at the new pre-flight school being established at UNC. The band will be housed at the Negro Community Center there. Those accepted for enlistment include Gibbs, Brower, Haith, Yourse, Holt, Woods, Butler, Morgan, Currie, Clay, Skinner, White, and Gavin.

5-16-42
6 students from A&T added to band for pre-flight school: Williamson, Guy, Lawrence, Thurman, Wilson, & Siler.

5-17-42
"I Am An American Day" at A&T features the college's 50 piece band, under direction of Bernard T. Mason. According to the Greensboro Daily News: "Some of the members of the band will soon be leaving for Chapel Hill, where they will form the nucleus for the first Negro band."

5-23-42
U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School is dedicated at UNC.

5-27-42
U.S. Navy B-1 Band leaves Raleigh after formal induction for basic training in Norfolk.

5-28-42
First Pre-flight students arrive at Chapel Hill

7-31-42
U.S. Navy B-1 Band arrives in Chapel Hill for duty

8-20-42
According to official U.S. Navy records, Leonard L. Bowden becomes the first African-American sailor to serve in the modern Navy at rank other than galley. Bowden, a former band director at Tuskegee Institute, was to become bandmaster at Camp Smalls at Great Lakes.