Vereen Bell Highway

Vereen Bell Highway

Year Erected: 1953

Marker Text:  This access road into the great Okefenokee Swamp was named by the Georgia Legislature (1946) in memory of VEREEN BELL, Lt. USNR, young Georgia patriot and writer, who by his novel “SWAMP WATER” gave to the world insights into this unique area, and who gave his life for his country in World War II.

Born in Cairo, GA., Oct. 5, 1911; Davidson College A.B., 1932; home later, Thomasville; wife and two children; died Oct. 26, 1944.

His brilliant but brief literary career included two novels, many short stories and articles. He wrote mostly of nature and outdoor life, including the Okefenokee, which he loved and made the locale of several stories. Two separate motion pictures were made from “SWAMP WATER,” (20th C. Fox, 1942, 1952).

Volunteering for the Navy 1943, he became Intelligence Officer of Air Combat Squadron VC-10 on aircraft carrier GAMBIER BAY.

This valiant ship was sunk in the Battle for Leyte, Oct. 23, 1944. VEREEN BELL was injured, died the next day and was buried at sea of Samar Island, P.I. He dies nobly and unafraid.

Tips for Finding This Marker: At the intersection of Okefenokee Swamp Park Road (Georgia Route 177) and Jacksonville Highway (U.S. 1), on the right when traveling west on Okefenokee Swamp Park Road in Waycross.