US Army unit honours Black soldier lynched 80 years ago

A United States Army post, Fort Benning, has honoured a Black soldier who was lynched in 1941.

Private Felix Hall, a 19-year-old man from rural Alabama, had said goodbye to two colleagues after working a shift at the sawmill at Fort Benning, but he didn’t reach the post exchange where he was headed.

He had joined the segregated 24th Infantry Regiment in August 1940 in preparation for World War II.

Hall’s body was found six weeks later in a ravine near the Chattahoochee River. His hands were tied to the back, legs bound with bailing wire and had a noose around his neck.

Investigations by Washington Post revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation ignored certain information that could have helped solved the murder case.

Despite the FBI having leads and evidence, 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.”

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