Lakeland in Polk County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Great African American Generation
[Veterans Memorial Park]
This monument pays tribute to all of those Polk County African Americans who served in World War II. Their service to the country would continue long after the battlefields of World War II grew silent.
More than one and a half million African Americans served in the United States armed forces during World War II. As members of the US military this great African American generation frequently encountered unequal treatment and limited opportunities for promotion and transfer. Despite the challenges Polk County African Americans joined the war effort serving in combat and combat support units both overseas and in the United States. Jordan “J.J.” Corbett was one of them. Enlisting in 1943 and serving in the “Triple Nickle” 555th parachute infantry battalion nicknamed the “Smoke Jumpers”. These soldiers conducted dangerous missions parachuting out of planes to extinguish forest fires.
Another WWII veteran was Lemuel Geathers who after graduation as valedictorian of all-black Jewett High School in 1943 joined the U.S. Navy at age 19 he became one of the first African Americans to be trained by the Navy as an electrician.
Erected 2021 by Polk County Veterans Council and the Lakeland Chapter of the NAACP.
Topics. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • War, World II. A significant historical date for this entry is May 31, 1943.
Location. 28° 2.432′ N, 81° 57.984′ W. Marker is in Lakeland, Florida, in Polk County. Memorial can be reached from Lake Beulah Drive, 0.1 miles north of Lime Street, on the right when traveling north. The marker is located on the grounds of Veterans Memorial. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 138 Lake Beulah Dr, Lakeland FL 33801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pearl Harbor Memorial (here, next to this marker); World War II Prisoners of War (a few steps from this marker); Women Veterans of World War II (a few steps from this marker); Global War on Terrorism Freedom Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); 9/11 Memorial (within shouting distance Private James H. Mills (within shouting distance of this marker); No Longer the Forgotten War (within shouting distance of this marker); “The Greatest Generation” (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lakeland.
Also see . . . Monument to African American WWII Soldiers to be dedicated. (Submitted on March 16, 2022, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 17, 2022. It was originally submitted on March 16, 2022, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 105 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 16, 2022, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.