- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 30, 2004

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. (AP) — Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Lena Horne performed there, and heavyweight champion Joe Louis boxed out front.

But today the paint is flaking off the World War II-era Colored Officers’ Club at the Army’s Fort Huachuca. The Southwest Association of Buffalo Soldiers is working to restore the 1942 building.

“I used to party here all the time as a young soldier,” said Thomas Stoney Sr., who retired as a first sergeant after serving in Korea and Vietnam and now is president of the association.

The building, also called the Mountain View Officers’ Club, was among 1,400 structures hurriedly constructed to house, train and care for black soldiers destined for the North African and Italian battlefields of World War II. Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Stoney’s group, it is the only building of that group that hasn’t been demolished.

The association envisions the old club as a research center for the role of black servicemen. Its 85 members are working to gather the estimated $1.5 million to $2 million it will take to restore it to its World War II-era condition.

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