Private Felix Hall was killed eighty years ago and the United States Army has decided to give him a posthumous honour.
Naija News understands that the young Black soldier was lynched in 1941. The 19-year-old private who hails from rural Alabama had said bid his two colleagues farewell after working a shift at the sawmill at Fort Benning.
Unfortunately, Hall who had joined the segregated 24th Infantry Regiment in August 1940 in preparation for World War II didn’t reach the post exchange where he was headed.
Reports revealed that his lifeless body was found six weeks later in a ravine near the Chattahoochee River with his hands tied to the back, legs bound with baling wire having a noose around his neck. Investigations by Washington Post revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation ignored certain information that could have helped solve the murder case.
Naija News understands that despite FBI’s involvement in investigation of the incident, it failed to make arrests neither was the case taken seriously. Army Times reported that a civilian supervisor at the sawmill had threatened to kill Hall if he came back to work there.
Hall’s death was passed off as a suicide, according to army officials. A plaque will soon be placed right where his body is believed to have been found.
Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., who has Fort Benning as part of his district led a push for a memorial for the late soldier.
“They were meant to kill the victim and frighten the [Black] community,” said Bishop, noting that Hall “was neither the first nor last African-American service member whose murder was racially motivated.”