Family of WWII veteran who was castrated, beaten and shot to death in 1956 demands justice

Mildred Europa Taylor Mar 19, 2020 at 04:00pm

March 19, 2020 at 04:00 pm | News

Mildred Europa Taylor

Mildred Europa Taylor | Head of Content

March 19, 2020 at 04:00 pm | News

Family members recently gathered to commemorate his death. Photo: Antoinette Harrell

World War II veteran Hammondee Green was allegedly murdered in Amite, Louisiana in 1956 while in the custody of the Amite Police Department for reasons unknown.

After 64 years, his family is seeking truth and justice.

Green, amid the harsh treatments of racism and Jim Crow, had gone to the cleaners to pick up his clothes but ended up exchanging words with a white woman employed there.

“He was home on a furlough when it all started,” said Green’s sister Bertha. “My brother wouldn’t say yes’mam and no’ mam. He went into the cleaners to get his clothes, and this is where it all started, she said. It wasn’t until he came home from the services that things got worse.”

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Green’s only living sister Bertha Green Coleman. Photo: Antoinette Harrell

Bertha was 25 years old when she heard the news that her brother had been brutally murdered.

“We never said anything because mama told us to be quiet and not to say anything because she was afraid that others in her family would be killed,” said Bertha. “Mama didn’t want to lose any more of her children.”

Bertha said that even when the funeral home called her mother to come and identify Green’s body, she couldn’t go and instead sent her two sons and grandson Adolphus to go to the funeral home. 

Adolphus was only 11 at the time, but he recalled seeing his uncle Green lying on the table with a bullet hold in his forehead and burned marks on his body.

The family later found out that Green had been “beaten, castrated and shot to death.” His testicles were also stuffed in his mouth, and his body was moved around for five days before it was brought to Amite, Louisiana, according to relatives and members of his community.

“I didn’t get a chance to meet my grandfather,” said Robert Jackson who recently asked genealogist and local historian Dr. Antoinette Harrell to help him research his family history. Harrell started conducting genealogical research on the Green family of St. Helena Parish, Louisiana.

So far, it has been discovered on the death certificate from the Louisiana State Archives that the cause of Green’s death is “Unknown – drunk & fighting.”

Family members recently gathered to commemorate his death. Photo: Antoinette Harrell

This has left the family with more questions. Green’s sister, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other family members recently gathered to commemorate his death.

Dressed in royal blue tee shirts, they placed flowers on his grave amid tears and pain of losing their loved one, a man who had put his life on the line for this county, only to come home and be killed.

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