Virtual Book Tour: Men of the 65th

I’m happy to welcome author Talia Aikens-Nuñez. Today, Talia shares interesting facts about the 65th Infantry Regiment and her new release, Men of the 65th.

Here are ten interesting facts about the 65th Infantry Regiment as detailed in
Men of the 65th:

1. The unit’s, 65th Infantry Regiment, history dates back to 1899.

2. Puerto Ricans are American citizens because of the Jones-Shafroth Act signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson in 1917. This law also allows for Puerto Ricans to be drafted.

3. The United States military used the small island off of Puerto Rico called Vieques for military exercises.

4. The battle name of the Men of the 65th was the ‘Borinqueneers’. It is a combination of the original name of the island (named by the Taino people), Boriquen and Spanish pirates of the 1600’s, Buccaneers.

5. When the men set sail in the summer of 1950 they did not know where they were going.

6. Soldiers that fought in the Korean War for the United Nations Forces, had to endure below freezing temperatures and summer heat as they moved up and down the Korean peninsula.

7. The 65th Infantry Regiment was an integral part of what is considered one of the greatest military evacuation movements by sea from Hungnam, Korea during the Korean War in December 1950.

8. The unit was involved in the largest court-martial of the Korean War.

9. By 1954, all of the accused soldiers received clemency or full pardons.

10. The unit received the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the highest awards given, in 2016.


Honor and Fidelity. That is the motto of the 65th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Borinqueneers, the only Puerto Rican unit in the United States Army.

Since the regiment’s creation in 1899, the men of the 65th have proudly served the US through multiple wars, despite facing racial discrimination. Their courage, loyalty, and patriotism earned them hundreds of accolades, including the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014.

But the honor and fidelity of the men of the 65th came into question in 1952, in the midst of the Korean War, when ninety-one Borinqueneers were arrested and tried for desertion and disobeying orders. How could this happen in one of the most distinguished and decorated units of the Army?

In this telling of one of the forgotten stories of the Korean War, author Talia Aikens-Nuñez guides us through the history of the Borinqueneers and the challenges they faced leading up to what was the largest court martial in the entire war. Rediscover the bravery of the men of the 65th through Aikens-Nuñez’s thorough writing and the soldiers’ firsthand accounts of the Korean War.


The US public was shocked to discover that during the war, 162 soldiers of the 65th Infantry Regiment had been court-martialed and ninety-one of those soldiers found guilty of disobeying orders and desertion.

The US military kept the courts-martial quiet. But the soldiers of the 65th sent letters to their families describing what was happening, which led to public outcry and confusion from the press. How could one of the most distinguished regiments of the Korean War, whose soldiers had only months before been praised by General Douglas MacArthur for their “brilliant record of heroism,” become involved in the largest mass court-martial of the Korean War?

Did the Borinqueneers lose their bravery and heroism in such a short time? Or were they victims of discrimination in a prejudiced and segregated system? Were they betrayed by the country they risked their lives for?

This is the story of one of the bravest and most decorated regiments in the history of the US military. It is a forgotten story in a forgotten war. But it is a story of patriotism, loyalty, and bravery in the face of danger and discrimination, and it is one that deserves to be told.

Author Bio and Links

Talia Aikens-Nuñez is passionate about sharing with young readers the little-known stories, accomplishments, and contributions of people of color from all throughout history. Aikens-Nuñez is the author of Small Nap, Little Dream, a bilingual Spanish/English picture book. She and her husband live in Connecticut with their two children.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Lerner Books | Amazon


Talia Aikens-Nuñez will be awarding a $25 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow Talia on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.


6 responses to “Virtual Book Tour: Men of the 65th

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