Homepage for the World War One
Veterans Who Worked In the Upper Florida
By Jerry Wilkinson
Posted June 30, 2010
NOTE: THIS PAGE UNDER
CONSTRUCTION - THANKS
I goal is
to pay tribute to the efforts of the World War One veterans and
families who worked and died in the Florida Keys. Their presence
are usually mentioned only when the death and destruction of the 1935
Hurricane is mentioned and then only as "The World War One Veterans."
During the 1935 hurricane about 400 humans lost their lives
and of these
about 250 were WW-1 veterans - there are various sets of numbers that
could be used. From this it is seen that more WW-1 Veterans lost
their lives than so-called civilians - yes they were also civilians.
To begin with I will provide lists of the names and serial numbers
were here on September 2, 1935. These lists were taken from a
Congressional Inquiry investigating the reason why so many perished.
They are listed alphabetically by their last name. To access please Click here.
My purpose here and the following pages
is to contribute as much
as I know about these, let's call them special civilians, who once made
the Upper Keys their home. As a note, I also am a 23 year veteran, but
in my off
and on years since 1947 have never met a World War One Veteran in the
Florida Keys. During 1934 and 35 at least 1,000 veterans were sent here
to work, all did not stay - In the Upper Keys there were more WW-1
than non-veterans. Speaking of the veterans only, in theory the three
camps were designed for a capacity of 250 each for a total of 750 -
eight per building. Some civilian employes did occupy some buildings.
It is believe that in
September 1935 it was near capacity, but for the Labor Day weekend some
were away for the extended holiday. The later 1936 Congresional Inquiry
could not determing how many were in camp on September 2, 1935.
Over time I have been contacted by
grandchildren for information which I supplied based on a copy of the
Below will be most of the WW-1 Veteran data that I have and I hope it
serves someone's use.
Each Memorial Day we have services
at the Florida Keys Memorial, aka the Hurricane Monument, but it is
only the families of the locals who can be recognized as they are here.
This page is to recognize the veterans who died and those who lived, as
well as their children, who had
children and are someplace today. The "Hurricane Monument" was largely
possible by the Harvey Seeds American Legion Post in Miami who
provided sufficient matching funds for the WPA to build it. The WPA
provided the remaining funds.
To my knowledge and as a
former subscriber of 'The Torch'
newsletter there may be several surviving WW-1 veterans, but one is
born 1901 and enlisted in 1917. ( I learned today, March 1, 2011, from The Miami Herald of his recent
death - my condolences - JW) Anyway, Frank to you and all the
offspring of former World War One Veterans, thank you, God bless you
and this is in your and all veterans' remembrance.
Below is more or less
and index to the web site.
Next offered is
a brief but more detailed photo journey from the 1932 Bonus Army to the
end of the bridge
project, titled 'The Bridge That Never Was' - please Click here.
you can visit each Veteran Camp plus meet a few where they lived,
worked and some died:
Camp 1, base camp, Windley Key Click here.
Camp 1, work station, Plantation Key Click here.
Camp 3, base and work station, Lower Matecumbe Key - Click here.
Camp 5, Lower Matecumbe Key - NOT STARTED YET. (7/20/10)
It is time
to read the actual sworn statements of survivors given to investigators
after the hurricane. These are from the National Archives and
transcribed for your review. For an index please Click here.
The choice now
is a page on the Florida Keys Memorial for the civilians and veterans
who perished dedicated in November 1937 - please Click here.
Note: I am working on the following
supplemental info below - JW
pages are supporting
additional reading for the 1935 Hurricane which ended the veterans
needed in the Keys. The hurricane effectively destroyed the railroad of
which the bridges and right-of-way made the Overseas Highway easier to
convert than to build separatly. Note: some are not completed as
of July 7,
(1) The 1935 Hurricane mostly with
photos, Click here.
The Historical Society's local publication number 47 re the 1935
Hurricane, Click here.
(3) Index/links to civilian's and veteran's hurricane
survivor sworn statements, Click
(4) Four published maps of
the 1935 Hurricane track, Click
(5) Map from the Miami
September 5, 1935, Click here.
(6) For Marjory Stoneman
description of the hurricane and WW-1 veterans, Click
(7) For the published Monthly
Weather Review, Click
(8) For a War Department
hurricane data collected in the Keys, Click
(9) For a Florida Emergency
Administration hurricane damage report, Click here.
(10) For a Florida
report, Click here.
(11) For portions of a U.S. Coast
Guard report, Click
(12) For the Key West Weather Bureau
hurricane advisories/reports, Click
To return to Genera Keys History page, Click