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Army unveils memorial to a Black soldier lynched on military base 80 years ago

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On Tuesday, US Rep. Sanford Bishop and army officials dedicated a historic marker that stands near where Hall was last seen alive at Fort Benning in Georgia on February 12, 1941. He was killed less than a year after he enlisted.

Private Felix Hall, a 19-year-old man from rural Alabama, 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.

The FBI launched a 17-month investigation that corroborated the doctor’s findings and suspects were identified but the case was never prosecuted.

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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