Circular Order 48-46
Desegregation of the Navy

Text from Integration of the Armed Forces 1940-1965
by Morris J. MacGregor, Jr. page 168

On 27 February 1946 the Navy published Circular Letter 48-46:

"Effective immediately all restrictions governing types of assignments for which Negro naval personnel are eligible are hereby lifted. Henceforth, they shall be eligible for all types of assignments in all ratings in all activities and all ships of naval service."

The letter went on to specify that "in housing, messing, and other facilities, there would be no special accommodations for Negroes." It also directed a redistribution of personnel by administrative commands so that by 1 October 1946 no ship or naval activity would be more than 10 percent Negro. The single exception would be the Naval Academy, where a large contingent of black stewards would be left intact to serve the midshipmen's meals.