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 do wish
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 is to contribute as much
as I know about these, let's call them special civilians, who once made
the Upper Keys their home. I also am a 22 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 34 at least 1,000 veterans were sent here
to work - In unincorporated Monroe County there were more WW-1 veterans
than non-veterans. It was the Great Depression era and all did not
remain, but in
September 1935 about 700 were assigned to three work camps here. With
about 400 perishing in the storm, that leaves about 600 who could have
returned at some time.
I have been contacted by several
grandchildren for information which I supplied if I had factual data.
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.
I also wish to recognize those who lived, had children, who had
children and are someplace today. The "Hurricane Monument" was made
possible by the Harvey Seeds American Legion Post collecting and
providing 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 1904 and enlisted in 1914. Well, 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.
Next offered is
a brief 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 camp plus meet a few where they lived, played and
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. (6/29/10)
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 their being
needed in the Keys. Note: some are not completed as of June 30,
(1) The 1935 Hurricane,
to survivor sworn statements, Click Here.
(3) Four published maps of
the 1935 Hurricane track, Click
(4) Map from the Miami
September 5, 1935, Click HERE.
(5) For Marjory Stoneman
description of the hurricane and WW-1 veterans, Click
(6) For the published Monthly
Weather Review, Click
(7) For a War Department
hurricane data collected in the Keys, Click
(8) For a Florida Emergency
Administration damage report, Click
(9) For a Florida
report, Click HERE.
(10) For portions of a U.S. Coast Guard report, Click
(11) For the Key West Weather Bureau reports, Click
(12) For four versions of the 1935 Hurricane
path, Click HERE.
To return to Genera Keys History page, Click