On Monday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m., the Palm Valley Community Association (PVCA) will host a special presentation by local historian Scott Grant entitled, “The Night the Nazis Attacked Jacksonville Beach.”
The featured presentation will describe the last hours of the SS Gulf America, an oil tanker owned by Gulf Oil, and the 1942 Nazi U-boat attack that sunk her in full view from Jacksonville Beach, killing 19 aboard. Grant is responsible for collaborating with Judith Delmar and her Ponte Vedra chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution to produce a memorial for these 19 men that is now placed in Jacksonville Beach on the corner of Beach Boulevard and Second Street.
“It is important for us to remember these men who died off our coast,” Grant said. “Merchant seamen played a large part in the U.S. winning World War II. They had a one in 10 chance of being killed off the East Coast in the Spring of 1942, yet they worked fearlessly to get supplies to the Allied Forces.”
To be held at the Palm Valley Community Center at 148 Canal Boulevard in Palm Valley, the presentation will highlight an evening devoted to recognition of Veterans Day. The meeting is open to the public and all area veterans and other community members are encouraged to attend.
“Veterans Day is a day that has incredibly deep meaning to many Americans,” PVCA President Garry Phillips said. “We hurt and grieve for loved ones that were lost in past conflicts and rejoice for all those veterans that were able to return home. We should be grateful every day for the men and women that have given so much.”
The PVCA has issued a special invitation to the local American Legion chapter and all its members to come and join in honoring all those who have served the country.
The Palm Valley Community Association, founded in 1948, is one of the oldest, continually operating community associations in all North Florida. The PVCA works to represent the common interests and shared views of all members of the greater Northeastern St. Johns County area.