By Josier Nicolas
In 1973 a fire broke out at the National Personnel and Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, Mo. The majority of the records of soldiers that served in the Army were lost during that fire. Because the records of many soldiers were lost in the fire, Boyd H. Anderson High School students are currently unable to determine the service of many of the veterans buried at Fort Lauderdale’s Woodlawn Cemetery. Some records were partially reconstructed using records from other governmental agencies and records that were submitted to the NPRC by veterans. The following men served in the United States Military and are buried at Fort Lauderdale’s Woodlawn Cemetery. Over-looked for too long, the service of these veterans needs to be recognized and appreciated this Memorial Day.
Wilmer Beasley, Army; Tomas Burney, Army; Nathaniel Bryant, Army; James D. Bradley, Army; Jasper Brown, Army; Overtus Bryant, Navy; Ashley Chatman, Army; Jonnie Chism, Army; James Cohen, Army; Willie Cummings, Army; Oz Daniels, Army; Charles Farrier, Army; James Franklin, Army; J.C. Frazier, Army; Thomas Gaines, Army; Lawrence Harper, Army; Alfred Herrington, Army; Carl Holley, Army; Charlie Lee Johnson, Army; Lonnie Johnson, Army; Matthew Johnson, Army; Sydney B. Johnson, Army; Willie Lee, Army; Thomas G. Love, Army; Rubin March, Army; William McCaskill, Army; Louis McNeil, Army; John Lee Mosley, Army; Eddie Lloyd Patter-son, Army; Sidney Prince, Navy; Robert Reed, Army; William Robertson, Jr. , Army; Cleo Robinson, Army; Joseph Briendley Sawyer, Navy; Guy Simpson, Navy; Fred Stevens, Army; James Tunnage, Jr. , Army; Johnnie L. Twiggs, Army; Aaron Washington, Army; James A. Weston, Army; Walter Whitaker, Army; R.L. Williams, Army.
Woodlawn Veterans: Everett Mosely and Herman Mosley
By Michael Ojeda
Everett Mosely [sic] was born Nov. 5, 1893 in Madison, Fla. and died in Coral Gables, Fla. at the age of 61 on Dec. 25, 1954. His father was Stephen Mosely, and his mother was Martha Waters. Everett enlisted in Jacksonville on April 26, 1918 and was honorably discharged Dec. 12, 1918, a month after the conclusion World War I. Everett Mosely served as a Private in Head-quarters Company 810th Pioneer Infantry at Camp Green North Carolina and received the World War I Victory Medal for his wartime service.
Evidence suggests that Everett Mosely was likely related to Private Herman Mosley [sic] who served during World War II. Little else is know about Herman Mosley’s military service because his military records were lost during the 1973 fire in the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Mo. Both Everett and Herman had the same primary residence in Fort Lauderdale off of NW Fourth Street and 15th Avenue and both worked as carpenters after leaving the military. Everett and Herman Mosely are buried at Fort Lauderdale’s Woodlawn Cemetery.
By Geoffrey Jean Joseph and Dwayne Young
Staff Sergeant Alvin L. Butler was born on May 27, 1953 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He enlisted in the Army on April 2, 1974 in Coral Gables, Fla. He served during the Vietnam Era but did not participate in combat operations. He served as a Senior Tactical Wire Specialist and Senior Gunner in Fort Hood, Tex. for four years. In 1979, SSG Butler received training as an Army Drill Instructor and was stationed at Fort Gordon where he served as a Drill Sergeant for the next three years. Alvin L. Butler was honorably discharged on July 10, 1981 from Fort Gordon, Ga. SSG Butler’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Drill Sergeant Identification Badge. Alvin Butler died on May 31, 1985 and was buried at Fort Lauderdale’s Woodlawn Cemetery.
Woodlawn Veteran: Willie F. Postell
By Roberto Fernandez, III
Willie F. Postell was born on June 12, 1915 in Jasper, Fla. On May 1, 1941 he enlisted in the Army at Camp Blanding, Fla. and was trained as an Infantry Soldier and a Heavy Truck Driver. He obtained the rank of Private First Class as a soldier in Company E, 24th Infantry Regiment, which was a segregated African American unit and part of the 92nd Infantry Division also known as the Buffalo Soldier Division. The 24th Infantry regiment saw combat in Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands during WWII. He served in the Pacific from May 1942 until October 1945. He was honorably discharged from the military on October 19, 1945 and returned home to Miami. Willie F. Postell’s awards and decorations include the Army Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic Pacific Theatre Medal, American Defense Service Medal and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. As of this writing, little is known about his life after his separation from the Army, or the circumstances that led to his move to Fort Lauderdale. Willie died on April 6, 1983 and was laid to rest at Fort Lauderdale’s Woodlawn Cemetery.
Woodlawn Veteran: Alphonso Payne Woodside
By Kevon Wright
Alphonso Payne Woodside was an African American male born on Nov. 25, 1925 in Palm Beach, Fla., and died on April 27, 1976, according to his grave marker. His mother’s name was Carolyn Woodside, and his sister’s name was Merserrie Doris Tucker. It is possible that as a child, Woodside and his family moved up north to New York as part of the Great Migration of African Americans from the rural south to northern cities, seeing as how he was looking for an industrial job in the north just as several other African Americans during that time.
Before entering the Navy on Jan. 29, 1944, he was a shipping clerk for five months in New York and also worked as a hat corder, essentially meaning that he was a hat maker. When he enlisted, Woodside requested assignment as a sheet metal mechanic and hoped to be trained in advanced sheet metal. While in the Navy, he took courses in sheet metal blue prints and heat treatment. After completing his training he served as an Aviation Ordnanceman and appears to have supported combat operations in the Pacific during World War II. His awards and decorations include the Asiatic Pacific Theatre Medal, the American Theatre Medal, and the WWII Victory Medal. Although he served in the Navy, his marker at Woodlawn Cemetery states he served in the Army. As of this writing, little is known about his life after his naval service, or the circumstances that led to his move to Fort Lauderdale.
By Evan Randall
Ulysses Griffin was born on April 12, 1918 in Millen, Georgia and got married on September 12, 1940 in Miami, Florida. Griffin was drafted into the U.S. Navy Reserves on July 29, 1943 and went active duty on Aug. 5, 1943. On October 20th, he was assigned to the U.S.S. Quincy where he served as a ships steward. ST3 Ulysses Griffin participated in both the Pacific and European campaigns during World War II. He was honorably discharged on Nov. 11, 1945. Sept. 4, 1973 and was buried at Fort Lauderdale’s Woodlawn Cemetery. His awards and decorations include the Asiatic Pacific Theatre Medal, the European Theatre Campaign Medal, the American Theatre Medal, and the WWII Victory Medal. As of this writing, little is known about his life after he was discharged from the Navy.
HISTORY ACROSS BROWARD NEEDS YOUR HELP.
If you have information about a veteran buried at Woodlawn Cemetery and would like to help please contact the students at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the club advisor Mr. Roberto Fernandez at (754) 322-0200.