Medgar Evers

Medgar Wiley Evers (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963) was an American civil rights activist from Mississippi who worked to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi and enact social justice and voting rights. He was murdered by white supremacist and Klansman Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens’ Council, a group formed in 1954 to resist the integration of schools and civil rights activism.

Medgar Evers entered the Army in 1943 and served in the 325th Port Company, a segregated unit commanded by white officers, which followed the Normandy invasion into France. He saw action in Liege, Antwerp, Belgium, Normandy, Le Harve, and Cherbourg. Units such as the 325th made up The Red Ball Express, which arrived shortly after an assault and delivered much needed supplies. Evers was honorably discharged, with the rank of sergeant, in 1945.

Medic has obtained the Official Military Personnel File of Medgar Evers from the National Archives. The files are: Cover Sheet, Physical Exam, Allotments/Allowances, Sick Reports, Service Record 1, Service Record 2, Service Record 3, Service Record 4, Service Record 5, DD 214, Correspondence.

Noteworthy is the correspondence is the letters exchange between Col Eugene S Tarr and Hugh Quinn, an irate civilian.

For his protection, Evers was regularly followed home by at least two FBI cars and one police car. On the morning of his death, for reasons unspecified by the local police or FBI, he arrived home without an escort. Many believe that members of the police force at the time were members of the Klan.

The murder of Medgar Evers and the resulting trials inspired civil rights protests as well as numerous works of art, music and film. All-white juries failed to reach verdicts in the first two trials of Beckwith. He was finally convicted in a new state trial in 1994 based on new evidence.

Medgar Evers was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, with full military honors.

Ironically, the disgraced De La Beckwith, a Marine machine gunner, who fought at the Battle of Guadacanal and at the Battle of Tarawa,  and received a Purple Heart, lies in a private cemetery in Tennessee.


Medgar Evers/Wikipedia

Medgar Evers/FBI files.