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Camp Gordon Johnston Museum works to identify African-American WWII heroes

Posted at 7:03 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 19:03:16-05

CARRABELLE, Fla. (WTXL) — February is a special month at Camp Gordon Johnston Museum in Carrabelle, as the museum honors the African-American men and women who served in the military during World War II.

"I like the things I learn and the things I hear," said Sharon Rider, who is on staff at the museum. "Especially the people who have relatives who were in World War II and they tell their stories."

Names of those heroes are pinned to the walls of the museum.

"Trying to find these stories takes a tremendous amount of treasure hunting and various resources," said Lisa Keith-Lucas, an archivist at Camp Gordon Johnston.

She said the museum has all sorts of photos on display of soldiers training in Carrabelle, but identifying who some of these soldiers are, has not been easy.

"It's interesting but it's kind of sad that these stories aren't better documented than they are," said Keth-Lucas.

According to archives.gov, a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis destroyed more than 16 million military personnel files making the task even greater.

Now, the museum is hoping to do its part in identifying some of our local heroes.

"If your family member was involved in any of these companies, we would love to know if they gave you history, if they told you about it, explained their experiences," added Keith-Lucas.