World War II Markers and Memorials
A number of markers and memorials to service members who served in World War II are located across Arkansas. While some of the monuments are standalone structures, others include World War II veterans alongside service members from other conflicts, including World War I and the Vietnam War. Monuments across the state also memorialize individuals, units, and ships with Arkansas connections.
Two of the earliest monuments erected in the state after the war memorialize fallen men in both world wars. Dedicated in 1947 and located at the Old Scott County Courthouse in Waldron (Scott County), one such monument consists of a marble column topped with an eagle and lists the names of men lost in the wars. The next year, the Crittenden County War Memorial was dedicated in West Memphis (Crittenden County). The monument also lists the names of men who died in both wars and is located on the grounds of the West Memphis Municipal Court.
Medal of Honor recipient Jack Williams is memorialized on a plaque located on the grounds of the Boone County Courthouse in Harrison. A native of the town, Williams posthumously received the medal for his actions as a corpsman during the Battle of Iwo Jima. A plaque located at the entrance of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) building on the campus of the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) honors men who attended the institution and received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the war. Dedicated by the local Scabbard and Blade chapter in 1963, the marker includes the names of four men who served in World War II and one who received the medal for actions in the Korean War.
Four markers on the grounds of the Ouachita County Courthouse in Camden honor local individuals who served in the war. Veterans of all wars, including World War II, are honored by a three-panel memorial. Rear Admiral Ira Nunn, a Camden native, is honored for his service at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, where he earned the Navy Cross. First Lieutenant Robert Hite is remembered for his role in the Doolittle Raid on Japan, and Captain Solie Solomon is honored for participating in the downing of the last enemy aircraft of the war. The Fulton County World War II Memorial, located on the grounds of the courthouse in Salem, is a granite obelisk that lists the names of forty-one local service members who died in the war. The memorial is enclosed in a wrought-iron fence.
A monument to service members who were present at the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, is located on the grounds of the Little Rock National Cemetery. Dedicated on December 7, 1993, by survivors of the attack, the low granite monument is topped with a plaque and the seal of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. Another naval marker in the state is the Ozark Mariners World War II Veterans Memorial located in Memorial Park in Bentonville (Benton County). The monument honoring twenty local sailors includes an anchor. Located at the Saline County Veterans’ Plaza in Benton (Saline County), a bench honoring World War II veterans accompanies memorials to other war veterans from the area.
Located on the grounds of the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History in Little Rock (Pulaski County), a brick and bronze monument honoring the service of 206th Coast Artillery regiment relates the history of the unit that originally served in the Arkansas National Guard. The monument details the history of the unit, including service before the United States entered the conflict and combat in Alaska during the war.
A monument to the USS Snook is located at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum in North Little Rock (Pulaski County). Fifty-two American submarines were lost during the war, and each state was asked to construct a memorial for one submarine, with New York and California constructing two. The Arkansas Diamond Chapter of the United States Submarine Veterans of World War II originally constructed the Snook memorial, which includes a torpedo and the names of the last crew members of the boat, in MacArthur Park, and it was reassembled at the North Little Rock museum in 2005.
For additional information:
American Memorials Directory. http://www.americanmemorialsdirectory.com/arkansas.html (accessed February 25, 2020).
USS Snook Memorial. http://aimmuseum.org/uss-snook-memorial/ (accessed February 25, 2020).
Henderson State University
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