William C. Jenkins

Private William C. Jenkins was a black American soldier killed in a fight outside a public house in Antrim, Co. Antrim on 30th September 1942.


William C. Jenkins

Private William C. Jenkins, an American soldier from Evansville, Indiana was the first victim of a racially incited attack between American troops serving in the European Theatre of Operations.

William C. Jenkins served in 28th Quartermaster Truck Regiment, United States Army during the Second World War. Born in Kentucky, he was the son of Joe Jenkins of Michigan City, Indiana.

Before the United States’ entry into the Second World War, William was a coal truck driver for Stone and Son Coal in his hometown. He and his brother Elwood Jenkins lived with their Aunt Mrs. Elenora Barnes at 927 East Cherry Street, Evansville, Indiana.

Both brothers had received their education at Lincoln Elementary School. William left school after completing the 5th grade. The Jenkins brothers enlisted in the United States Army on 8th August 1940 and had trained at Fort Knox, Kentucky and Fort Jackson, South Carolina. At the time of enlistment, documents note that William was a semi-skilled chauffeur, and able to drive buses, taxis, trucks, and tractors.

William died on 30th September 1942 aged 24 years old when United States Army Military Police clashed with black soldiers outside a public house in Antrim, Co. Antrim. His grave is in Glenalina Extension, Section ES, Grave 43 of Belfast City Cemetery, Belfast. A funeral service took place on 3rd October 1942. Like many other United States service personnel, William was reburied at Lisnabreeny American Cemetery, Belfast and then repatriated.