View images of African American soldiers taken during World War II. More than one million African American soldiers fought with distinction during World War II, but still experienced discrimination and segregation in the military and at home. Segregation would be an official policy in the armed forces until President Truman signed Executive Order 9981 in 1948, abolishing it. The experience at home for African Americans was still separate, but not equal. Many were unable to find work at defense plants, which led to President Roosevelt outlawing discrimination in war industries, but racial tensions and discrimination at home persisted.