Lucious Walker is believed to be the oldest and still living Baldwin County man to have served in the military during World War II.
In a recent interview with The Union-Recorder, Walker, who soon will celebrate his 102nd birthday, talked about his service to the country in Army intelligence, as well as his life after he returned home.
He also provided some advice for people.
Walker was among several local military veterans who recently were honored with framed plaques from the Baldwin County Board of Commissioners for their service to America during wartime. Because the now 101-year-old Walker was unable to attend the commission meeting to receive his plaque, Commissioner Emily C. Davis presented it to him during a visit to see him at Savannah Court in Milledgeville, where he has called home since 2017.
“This certificate of recognition is proudly presented to Lucious Walker for his service to our country during World War II, and his membership in the American Legion Post 523,” Davis said.
Although Walker served in the Army during World War II, he is best known for having operated his own business, known as Lucious Walker General Contractor and Cabinet Company. The business thrived for more than 40 years in Milledgeville.
“I used to do (build) a house a month,” Walker said.
Walker built a number of houses throughout Milledgeville and Baldwin County.
Walker later worked for the city of Milledgeville as code and building inspector for 16 years.
“I did a little of everything during the time I worked for the city,” said Walker. “I started with the city when I was 54 and left when I was 70.”
During his 39 months in the Army, Walker was assigned to military intelligence.
He quickly pointed out in the interview, “Well, some of it I can tell you and some it I can’t, because let me put it this way: I was just an U.S. Army soldier. I went in and I wanted to get it over with but they put me in military intelligence. I did everything that I was allowed to do in the Army.”
Walker was asked how difficult those times were since he is a man of color.
“I had to fight my way through it,” Walker said. “I fought the white folks in America more so than I did the Germans.”
Walker explained that he was merely a soldier at the time, and not a commissioned officer.
He said he had trained to go to Japan.
“I was supposed to be there before the other American soldiers ever got over there,” said Walker from his wheelchair. “But what happened was President Roosevelt died and President Truman just thought it was a shame for us to run around and try to fight the Japanese, so he got the Atomic bomb dropped.”
Walker was on the verge of being right there in Japan.
“I was behind the lines at the time when that bomb was dropped,” Walker said, noting that after the bomb was ordered dropped by Truman that he no longer had to see foot in Japan. “A lot of soldiers did go and didn’t get back. It was a blessing for me that I didn’t have to go.”
He realizes today he could have been one of those who didn’t make it back and continues to give thanks to God that his life was spared.
Fifina Walker Stephens, who is Walker’s daughter, works as a paraprofessional with the Baldwin County School District, said her father actually served in the Army from Oct. 2, 1942 until Nov. 21, 1945.
Walker said he’s never liked talking about the war.
“It’s a shame that you had to fight everybody that came your way except your own folks,” Walker lamented. “Black soldiers had to fight American soldiers, because they segregated us.”
Walker still is a little upset over the fact that the Army informed him they were going to discharge him, “which they never did.”
It was during the time that Germany was about to invade Czechoslovakia.
“I was under what they called civil service and working in what they called a CC camp,” Walker said. “It was like the Army, so far as being in the uniform, but under soil and water conversation.”
Walker explained that when Germany was preparing for the invasion of Czechoslovakia that the Army put everyone on alert.
“They were getting us ready to go over there and fight them,” Walker said. “The Checks wouldn’t let us (Americans) fight for them. And they surrendered to Germany. And I ain’t never got my pay. I’m still looking for my money today.”
Walker said he would appreciate it if President Trump would get involved and get him the pay due to him with interest.
“I didn’t mind being in the Army because I’m an American, too,” said Walker, noting that he is proud to be a veteran.
During his time in the Army, he said, “I did the best I could.”
After Walker returned home from the war, he immediately went to work for himself doing what he was so gifted at doing for more than four decades - building houses and the fixtures, such as cabinets for each one of them.
Walker said he always had had good work ethics and believes work ethics are still an important trait for anyone.
For those who are young and not doing what they should be doing today, Walker shared a brief message.
“Straighten up and fly right,” Walker said.
Walker is looking forward to celebrating his 102nd birthday on Dec. 19.
“I don’t know how I could feel any better than I do right now,” Walker said. “I can hear you talking and asking me questions. It feels great. I owe a lot. I won’t be able to pay it, but I know I owe a lot.”
Walker said he owes God so much because he has been so good to him and allowed him to live a long and fruitful life.
“I owe God so much that I cheated him out of,” Walker said. “He’s been so good to me.”