James William Lucus was born in Abbeville, GA on 26 December 1895 to Jack and Hattie Dean Lucus. James entered Tuskegee Institute in 1913 and earned his high school academic diploma in 1916 and his applied electricity diploma in 1916. The skills he acquired at Tuskegee enabled him to serve in the U.S. Army's C.O. Company "F" 317 Engineers during World War I. In June 1918 his unit was deployed to France for nine months. Their primary mission was to dig trenches and dugouts in the battle zones. His unit returned on 31 March 1919 and Mr. Lucus was honorably discharged on 18 April 1919.
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Portraits -- African American men
James and Ethel Lucus papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Meridith McCurtis and Hildred Lucus McCurtis.