Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
54th Coast Artillery Army Regiment War Memorial
Coast Artillery Army
Regiment that aided in
protecting the California
coast from enemy attack
during World War II
These members remained in
Santa Cruz after the war:
John Bowen Sr.
Cornelius Bumpus Sr.
Russell R. Dawson
William E. Jackson Sr.
Location. 36° 57.106′ N, 122° 1.631′ W. Marker is in Santa Cruz, California, in Santa Cruz County. Memorial is on West Cliff Drive ¼ mile south of Pelton Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 701 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz CA 95060, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Surfing Was First Brought Here By Hawaiian Princes (within shouting distance of this marker); History of Surfing in Santa Cruz (approx. ¼ mile away); Saint Joseph Marello O’Neill’s Surf Shop (approx. ¾ mile away); The Cocoanut Grove (approx. 0.9 miles away); Before the Boardwalk (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (approx. one mile away); The Plunge (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Santa Cruz.
More about this memorial. The marker is located at Lighthouse Point, and the lighthouse (circa 1967, now the Surfing Museum) makes for a convenient landmark for finding the marker.
Also see . . .
1. All-black military unit that guarded the coast to be honored Wednesday. The Santa Cruz Sentinel's 2009 article on the unveiling of the memorial, as well as the historical role the regiment played in defending the area. (Submitted on September 22, 2016.)
2. To Know My Name: A Chronological History of African Americans in Santa Cruz County. ...On Easter Sunday, the 54th Coast Artillery, an all-Black unit from Camp San Luis Obispo, was stationed at Lighthouse Point, then known as Phelan Park. From that moment on, race relations in Santa Cruz county were changed forever. Integration was quick and permanent. The reaction of white citizens was mixed and varied, but this was war time and change was coming like it or not. Local churches and civic groups welcomed the newcomers with a series of entertainments, dinners, teas, etc. Ed and Inez Smith transformed their home into a U.S.O. center for the colored soldiers from the 54th and nearby Camp McQuaide, as well as Fort Ord. When the city fathers tried to make certain parts of the city off-limits to the men of the 54th, their Chaplain, Captain Baskerville, threatened to boycott "the whole damned town." Local businessmen were forced to choose economics over racism.... (Submitted on September 22, 2016.)
Categories. • African Americans • War, World II •
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Credits. This page was last revised on September 22, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 22, 2016, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 278 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 22, 2016, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.