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Memorial Miniature Golf and Museum: Hole 17 – In recognition of African Americans fighting for our freedom
Hole 17 is sponsored by:
From the islands of the Pacific to the towns of war torn Europe, African Americans served with distinction in all roles, such as truck drivers, pilots & tank commanders. Of the 16 million Americans serving during WWII, one million of these men were African Americans, still being relegated to segregated units.
Many African American troops, while training at bases in the South, remarked how German POWs were often treated better than they were, due to the iron grip of Jim Crow laws on the South that barred African Americans from enjoying the same social life that their white comrades had.
With the Military hierarchy dominated by the white Southerners, roughly 90% of all African Americans in the Armed Forces were forced into rear-line roles, such as truck drivers in the “Red Ball Express,” even though front line troops were desperately needed for the push into Germany. Despite this statistic, one of the most effective units of the entire war was the all-black 332nd Fighter group, better known as the Tuskegee Airmen.
The Tuskegee Airmen flew over 15,000 sorties from 1943-1945 over Italy, and were beloved by the bomber crews they protected from Nazi fighters. The first American hero of WWII was an African American cook named Doris Miller, who helped his crewmen and mortally wounded Captain escape Japanese bombs at Pearl Harbor, while manning an anti-aircraft gun until he ran out of ammunition.
Seven African Americans earned the Medal of Honor during WWII, such as Edward Carter Jr. who captured two German prisoners, being wounded five times in the process. These two men were just a few of the African American heroes that ensured Germany and Japan were defeated.
African American women also served, acting as nurses and serving in the Women’s Auxiliary Corps. Unlike white GI’s who believed in fighting primarily against the evils of Germany, Japan and Italy, African Americans were motivated by what was known as the “Double V Campaign.” Double V standing for the double victories of fighting for Democracy abroad, and for Democratic rights at home against the injustice of segregation.
In August 1945, many thousands of African Americans stationed in the Pacific expected to invade the Japanese home islands, but the final act of WWII would play out very differently… (Continued on hole #18).
Vocabulary Word: Red Ball Express – The Red Ball Express was the nickname given to the convoy system that supplied Allied armies in Europe after D-Day. Staffed primarily with African Americans, the convoy operated nearly 6,000 trucks and was vital to ensuring the front-line troops in France were provisioned to defend against German attacks.Memorial Miniature Golf and Museum
This hole has a split path and a bit of an elevation change. The left path is a bit more flat but has a pocket on the left in the curve that can catch a few shots. The right path, separated by a large patch of rough, is certainly a bit more curvy but the finish can drop the ball right by the hole.
Mister Mini Golf Pro Tips
I recommend starting on the left of the tee and cutting close to the right edge of the left path. It will likely die back left at the hole.
ADA Accessibility Notes: ADA compliant pathways are installed to allow for 9 holes of accessible play.
For more details on course accessibility, always check in with a course you are visiting as they may be able to do additional accommodations. In addition, a great resource is the ADA Checklist for Miniature Golf Courses.
Check out the prior hole here:
Memorial Miniature Golf and Museum: Hole 16 – Pacific Island Hopping Campaign
Memorial Miniature Golf and Museum’s Page is located here:
Memorial Miniature Golf and Museum
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