doughboys with mules African American Soldiers 1 African American Officers gas masks Riveters pilots in dress uniforms The pilots Mule Rearing

Stories of Service

Lester W. Chase

Submitted by: T.J. Cullinane

598e42e80de17 Lester W. Chase

Lester W. Chase served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1916 - 1918.

 

The First to Fall; a Dreaded Milestone

Private Lester W. Chase, a shoemaker turned soldier, was the first service member from Derry, New Hampshire, to die of wounds sustained in combat during the First World War. Even with the 100th anniversary of his death fast approaching, his name remains firmly rooted in the fabric of the town as his fellow veterans elected to designate their meeting place as the Lester W. Chase Post Nine of the American Legion. Three generations of Legion baseball players have taken to the field with his name emblazoned on their chest, just one example of the community activities conducted in his good name.

Chase was pre-deceased by two Derry soldiers who succumbed to pneumonia. Charles E. Bitgood died in France on February 3, 1918, while assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division’s 15th Artillery Regiment. Just 22 years old, he was buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, in Romagne, France. An excerpt from the Derry Enterprise published on February 12, 1918, contained the following sentiment, “Charles E. Bitgood's memory will ever be honored as being the first soldier boy enlisted from Derry to answer the last roll call on the soil of France, while engaged in the service of his country in that foreign land.”

In spite of this exhortation, it is the memory of Lester W. Chase that remains honored rather than that of Bitgood. Such is the “glamor” of death in combat. As we’ll soon see, the death of Lester Chase was anything but glamorous. Based on the information currently available, Frederick R. Huson, the other Derry soldier who died before Chase, appears to have passed away just two weeks after joining the Army. Huson died while undergoing basic training on April 9, 1918 at Camp Devens in neighboring Massachusetts. Bitgood and Huson, along with Chase, are memorialized on the tablet set aside for those who died in service on the town’s World War One monument.

Read more: Lester W. Chase

Gilbert Nelson Jerome

Submitted by: Laura A. Macaluso

Gilbert Nelson Jerome

Gilbert Nelson Jerome served in World War 1 with the United States Army Air Corps. The dates of service are: Known June 16, 1917-July 11, 1918.

 

Gilbert Nelson Jerome's Military Service Record, State of Connecticut is mostly blank. His mother neatly typed up answers as she could, but page three, in which the state asks questions like, "what was your attitude toward military service?" and "what were the effects upon yourself of your overseas experience?' would not be answered, since her son was killed in his bi-plane on July 11, 1918 in France.

Although twenty-nine year old Gilbert wasn't able to answer those questions, he wrote often to his mother while serving, and it's safe to say that his experiences in WWI were similar to many others, infantry and airmen alike. During training and later, in between sorties, Gilbert and his cohort experienced long periods of down-time, when they would try to keep themselves busy reading, writing letters home or playing games. These quiet periods were often shattered with bad news--such as the day when Gilbert learned his bunkmate Ernest Leach, a minster's son from Cape Cod, was shot down in the same plane Gilbert had flown earlier in the day.

Certainly no one was safe in the Great War years, civilians or those in service were all under siege from the Spanish flu and other diseases, as well attacks from the enemy. But, those who flew--in paper thin airplanes with mounted machine guns--had high rates of casualties. It didn't matter if you were the son of a president (Quentin Roosevelt was killed in action) or the son of a minister. Many of them died, and as was the custom during war, each was buried where they fell--overseas and far away from their homes and families.

Read more: Gilbert Nelson Jerome

Henry Winter Davis

Submitted by: Benjamin Woodard

Henry Winter DavisHenry Winter Davis served in World War 1 with the United States Army . The dates of service are: Known 12 May 1918-14 Oct 1918.

 

Born 2 Sep 1887 at Huntington, WV, to John and Mary Davis. Served in the WV National Guard before receiving a commission. Volunteered for immediate overseas service and sailed on MONGOLIA 11 Sep 1918.

Upon arrival attended American officers’ school at La Vanbonne, France; upon completion assigned to 165th Infantry Regiment, 42nd Division as a 2nd Lieutenant (Nov 1917). Assumed duties with headquarters company until Feb 1918 when transferred to Machine Gun Company. Served with this company in the Baccarat sector, Chasseurs, Champagne, Villers-sur-Fere, Murcey Farm, River Orcq, St. Mihiel sector and at Landres St. George.

Recommended for promotion shortly after regiment came out of Chateau Thierry sector. After service at Chalons-sur-Marne, awarded Silver Star. The citation reads as follows:

“By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved July 9, 1918 (Bul. No. 43, W.D., 1918), Second Lieutenant (Infantry) Henry W. Davis, United States Army, is cited by the Commanding General, American Expeditionary Forces, for gallantry in action and a silver star may be placed upon the ribbon of the Victory Medals awarded him. Second Lieutenant Davis distinguished himself by gallantry in action while serving with Machine Gun Company, 165th Infantry Regiment, 42d Division, American Expeditionary Forces, in action near Chalons-sur-Marne, France, 15 July 1918, and by his brilliant leadership.

General Orders: GHQ, American Expeditionary Forces, Citation Orders No. 1 (June 3, 1919)
Action Date: July 15, 1918".

Read more: Henry Winter Davis

Colonel Pashupati Joseph Sarma

Submitted by: Tanveer Kalo

Colonel Pashupati Joseph SarmaColonel Pashupati Joseph Sarma served in World War 1 with the United States Army . The dates of service are: Unknown .

 

Colonel Pashupati Joseph Sarma was born on September 29, 1893 in Calcutta, British India.

He arrived to the New York City on June 28, 1912 at age of 20 from Liverpool, England on the ship Mauretania. It interesting to note that his race was listed as East Indian in the passenger list.

Sarma settled down in Chicago, Illinois. He become a general medical surgeon in the city.

He registered for the U.S. military on June 5, 1917. According to the book History of Medicine and Surgery and Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago by the Chicago Medical Society, during the war, Sarma entered the medical corps of the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of 1st Lieutenant.

He applied for naturalization on April 11, 1918 in Chicago.

Read more: Colonel Pashupati Joseph Sarma

Gobind Sahai Jaye

Submitted by: Tanveer Kalo

no photo 300Gobind Sahai Jaye served in World War 1 with the United States Army . The dates of service are: May 26 1918 to Unknown.

 

Gobind Sahai Jaye was on October 15, 1895 in Sialkote, British India. He immigrated to the United States on September 14, 1913. Jaye settled down in Chicago, Illinois.

On June 5, 1917, Jaye registered for the U.S. military. He entered into the U.S Army on May 26, 1918.

On August 9, 1918, he petitioned for naturalization in Macon, Georgia as U.S. Army soldier at age of 22.

At some point after August 1918, Jaye was deployed to France with a medical supply depot unit.

Private First Class Jaye of the medical department left Brest, France on August 26 ,1919 and arrived in Brooklyn , New York on September 5, 1919 for Camp Merritt, New Jersey on ship Aeolus.

After the war, Gobind Sahai Jaye returned to Chicago.

On June 16, 1923, Jaye married Mary Daeschler.

Read more: Gobind Sahai Jaye

Chandra Lachman Singh

Submitted by: Tanveer Kalo

no photo 300Chandra Lachman Singh served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Unknown .

 

Chandra Lachman Singh was born on May 14, 1895 in Grenada, West Indies, Great Britain. He arrived to the United States on August 2, 1913.

He settled down in Chicago, Illinois. Singh registered for the U.S. military on June, 5 1917.

On October 23, 1918, Singh departed from Hoboken, New Jersey with his unit, Headquarters Company, 8th Infantry on the ship Princess Matoika to France.

He departed from Brest, France on July 11, 1919 with his unit and arrived to Hoboken, New Jersey on July 20, 1919 on the ship Plattsburg.

After the war, he returned to Chicago. He married Merissa P. Rathau on January 17, 1924 in Manhattan, New York.

By 1940, at the age of 44, he was working as salesman and living with his wife Merissa Singh.

Chandra Lachman Singh died in December 1989.

Read more: Chandra Lachman Singh

Oreste Alberighi

Submitted by: Diego Paganini {great-grandnephew}

Oreste AlberighiOreste Alberighi served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known From July 26, 1918 to July 3, 1919.

 

Oreste Alberighi was born on Jan. 27, 1887 in Gradizza, a small hamlet of Copparo in Ferrara district in Italy. His father was Antonio and his mother unknown.

He was stout, with brown hair, grey eyes and he used to smoke pipe. From this habit he got the Italian nickname of « Pipa Calda », Hot Pipe.

He left Italy in April 1912 for New York – Stoneco (and then Beacon) to follow the paths of his stepsister Ernesta Novelli Manzolli that had left Italy the year before to settle in the US after her marriage and the birth of her second child.

Oreste Alberighi did his military service as private in Dutchess in 1917-1918. He was naturalized in Spartanburg SC – in June 8,1918.

After that, during WWI, he served overseas in France in the company B 51st Pioneer inf - Army serial number 3,181,515 from July 26, 1918 to July 3, 1919.

Read more: Oreste Alberighi

A Tradition of Service Logo 75Maj. Gen. Walter G. Farrell, USMC

Submitted by: Dana Tibbitts

Capt. WGFarrell 1919Maj. Gen. Walter G. Farrell served in World War 1 with the United States Marine Corps. The dates of service are: Known 1916-1946.

 

My grandfather, Major General Walter Greatsinger Farrell, best known as “Great,” joined the Marine Corps in 1917 after a brief stint in the Army. A consummate storyteller, Great fought in WWI and WWII, earning a Silver Star for “exceptional heroism against the Japanese.” Between wars he served in Haiti, Nicaragua, and later China, where he commanded the 3rd Marine Air Wing. In 1945, Farrell reported for duty at El Toro as deputy commander, 11th Naval District Air Bases.

‘Banana Wars’ author Ivan Musicant referred to Great as “the most fascinating man person I’ve ever met.” He was a resident of San Diego for more than 60 years. At the time of his death in 1990, Great was the oldest living naval aviator in the United States, and held two of the few pilot’s licenses signed by Orville Wright.

 

Walter Greatsinger Farrell in WWI

Parris Island & Quantico, 1917-18

The fledgling four-square-mile training base in balmy South Carolina was enjoying a construction boom, garnering its reputation as the “Hot Bed of the Marine Corps.” But the explosive growth on the base at the outset of WWI had its downside. New recruits arrived to discover that the depot was plumb out of uniforms. Instead, each man was issued two pairs of pajamas while they awaited the arrival of the next shipment of regulation shirts and trousers. For a week or so, they were stuck in their skivvies, listening to lectures on military discipline and esprit de corps.

Read more: Maj. Gen. Walter G. Farrell

Purushottam Bhikajee Mulye

Submitted by: Tanveer Kalo

no photo 300Purushottam Bhikajee Mulye served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known March 25, 1918 to December 17, 1918.

 

Purushottam Bhikajee Mulye was born on Feburary 14, 1884 in Bombay, India to Bhekajie V. Mulye and Gungabai Nimker. He arrived to New York City on October 27, 1912 from Southampton, England on the ship St. Louis, which was under the command of Master F M Dassow.

Mulye made his way to Ohio State University and was part of the Cosmopolitan Club, which helped native and foreign students interact with each other and learn about each others' cultures. Mulye then went to Sunbury, Pennsylvania, where enlisted in the U.S Army on March 25, 1918 at age of 24.

As part of his service he was sent to the school of aerial photography in Rochester, New York until October 3, 1918. Then he was assigned to Langley Field in Hampton, Virginia until October 5, 1918. Afterwards, Mulye was with the school of aerial photography at Langley Field until November 12, 1918. He also was at Madison Barracks in New York at some point during his service. His second to last assignment was at Camp Garden City in New York until November 18, 1918.

Read more: Purushottam Bhikajee Mulye

LiberAntonio Bonsanto

Submitted by: Jim Rosati {grandson}

LiberAntonio Bonsanto Mug

LiberAntonio Bonsanto served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 8 July 1918 to 9 July 1919.

 

He served with the 127th Engineers in France from September 1918 until July 1919. He never spoke a lot about it but I found out that he served honorably as a foreign national. The documents are the only thing we have as to his service.
 

 Update: June, 2017

Grandpa and World War I

Newly-released information through Ancestry, several emails to the U.S. Army Center of Military History, and the book, “Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War”, a more complete picture has emerged as to Grandpa's military service during World War 1.

Read more: LiberAntonio Bonsanto

Thomas William Butterbaugh

Submitted by: Raymond W Schaffranek

598d2598c190e Pvt Thomas W Butterbaugh picture

Thomas William Butterbaugh served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known July 22, 1918 - November 11, 1918.

 

Thomas William Butterbaugh, the first son of William and Mary (Nagle) Butterbaugh (aka Booterbaugh), was born on December 23, 1894, in Mark Hanna, Cambria County, Pennsylvania. He was working in a coal mine at age 15.

At age 22, he was single, living in Lilly, Cambria Co, PA, and working as a coal miner in Cassandra, PA, when he registered for the military service draft on June 5, 1917.

On July 22, 1918, he was inducted into the US Army at South Fork, PA, and sent to Camp Lee, VA, for training. He served as a Private with the American Expeditionary Forces from September 8, 1918 to November 11, 1918.

On September 8, 1918, he sailed overseas out of Newport News, VA, as part of the 69th Provisional Company August Replacement Draft on the USS Madawaska, which was originally the German steamship Konig Wilhelm II.

Read more: Thomas William Butterbaugh

Subcategories

About Family Ties Button

Stories of Service Button 250

 

submitservice revise

Documenting Doughboys 260

donateartifact revise

RollofHonorSideButton

genealogicalresources revise

Navy Log Button 250

Founding Sponsor

PritzkerMML Logo