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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

Hollis Bean

Submitted by: Eric Bean great grandson

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Hollis Bean born around 1888, Hollis Bean served in World War 1 with the the United States Army . The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1917

 

Burlington Free Press and Times: Friday, January 24, 1919

Vermonters in Thick of Fighting

Men from Green Mountain State in 58th and 59th Regiments of Infantry Which Bore Brunt of Many Battles for Four Months

While columns of publicity have been given some of the regiments from the big cities and the Marines for their fighting in France, some of the Vermont contingents weren’t one bit behind them. Among the regiments which had a share in the hard work is the 59th Infantry, made up to a good extent of Vermonters who volunteered before the draft went into effect about a year ago. This regiment was cut up so that it has been filled and refilled out of other outfits until hardly an officer of the original regiment remains.

Earl Sheehan is back on a month’s furlough with one eye destroyed, and Hollis Bean went dot to Camp Devens yesterday with a big shrapnel wound in his shoulder. These are only two from this vicninti8y who were shot and are back. A lot of the men who went away last February will never come back. There are probably few regiments in the United States service which suffered more than the 59th.

Read more: Hollis Bean

E. Reynold Thomas

Submitted by: Margaret Thomas Buchholz {daughter}

E. Reynold Thomas

E. Reynold Thomas served in World War 1 with the United States Marine Corps. The dates of service are: Known jan 1918 to early 1920.

 

My father, Corporal E. Reynold Thomas, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 4 November 1898. His maternal ancestors were Quaker and came to this country with William Penn. He enlisted in the Marines (serial # 305258) just after his 19th birthday on 4 January 1918. He left Atlantic City High School a semester before he would have graduated.

Thomas revered his grandfather, J. Warner Kinsey, who had served in the Civil War, and when he was a boy scout went with him to a memorial reunion at Gettysburg (1905).

After basic training at Parris Island he was sent to France in April 1918, and was assigned to the 55th Company, 2d Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. He fought at Belleau Woods through the month of June and at Soissons 18 and 19 July.

It was after Belleau Woods that he wrote the letter to his mother telling how awful it was, “a living hell” – he was one of a small percentage of his battalion to survive. The battalion was at Les Mares Farm on 3 June where they stopped the Germans at the point closest to Paris the Germans would come in the war.

Read more: E. Reynold Thomas

Norman E. McLeod

Submitted by: Rob McGregor

Norman E. McLeod

Norman E. McLeod served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known Jun 1916 - Jan 1919.

 

At just 16 years of age he joined the Plant City Rifles, Second Florida Regiment (National Guard) on 13 Jun 1916. Was mobilized on 19 June 1916 for service on the Mexican border. Returned to in late spring of 1917 after America's entry into the war and mobilized again as part of the 124th Infantry Regiment, 31st Division (known as the Dixie Division) and sent to Camp Wheeler, GA.

Norman chose to go to France sooner than the Dixie Division was scheduled to go and transferred to L Co, 103rd Infantry Regiment, 26th Division.

Norman's unit was part of the Aisne-Marne Campaign, advancing up the Marne salient and pushing into Belleau Wood, moving 10 miles from 18-25 July 1918. The Germans were heavily engaged in the use of mustard gas and heavy artillery along this front and the battles were furious and unrelenting.

Read more: Norman E. McLeod

Percy Keller Buzzell

Submitted by: Daniel Vaughan

Percy Keller Buzzell

Percy Keller Buzzell served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 28 May 1918 - 9 Jun 1919.

 

Private Percy Keller Buzzell was born in Searsmont, Maine on January 29, 1889. He was a farmer and also worked in a shoe factory. Percy signed up for the draft on June 5th 1917 In Waldo County, Maine at the age of 28.

He entered service with the U.S. Army on May 28th in Belfast, Maine. Percy was assigned as an Infantry man to Company M, 302nd Infantry Regiment, 76th Infantry Division Nicknamed the Liberty Bell Division and also the Onaway Division. Under the Command of Maj. Gen. H. F. Hodges.

The 76th Infantry Division departed from the United States for France on June 5th 1918. Upon Arrival most of its troops were used as replacements for front line units. On October 2nd 1918, Private Buzzell was reassigned to Company L, 320th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division. Nicknamed the Blue Ridge Division. Maj. Gen. Adelbert Cronkhite Commanding.

Private Buzzell participated in the Meuse Argonne campaign. During the campaign the 80th Division was the only one that saw action during each phase of the offensive (three times). And they first earned their motto, "The 80th Division Moves only Forward!".

Read more: Percy Keller Buzzell

Rama Heirder Singh

Submitted by: Tanveer Kalo

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Rama Heirder Singh served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Unknown .

 

Private Rama Heirder Singh was born in 1889 in Amishah or khalra, British India. He immigrated to the United States in May 1907 from Vancouver, Canada at age of 25. The U.S., Border Crossings from Canada list from this period recorded his race as East Indian and occupation as a laborer. Singh settled in Washington state.

By 1917, Singh was working as laborer at a saw mill and lived at Cosmopolis, Washington. He registered for the draft on June 5, 1917 in Cosmopolis. Singh's draft card listed his race as Hindu(East Indian).

Private Singh was assigned to 166 Depot Brigade until his discharge. On July 31, 1918, while in the military, Singh applied for U.S. naturalization at Camp Kearny.

Read more: Rama Heirder Singh

Herman H. Weimer

Submitted by: Michael R. Morawey

Herman H Weimer

Herman H Weimer served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Unknown .

 

In the advance in the Meuse Argonne, Herman Weimer, then a Lieutenant with the 131st infantry, 33rd division, led his men into fierce fighting. Wounded twice in the shoulder and his scalp, he refused medical treatment and returned to battle persisting in his attack until his unit's objective had been taken. He sought medical treatment for his men first before accepting medical treatment himself.

As a result of his heroic actions Lt. Weimer was presented the Distinguished Service Cross Medal, the second highest award the nation can confer.

A grateful French government presented the Croix de Guerre with Palm to Lt Weimer for his heroism on French soil. Marshall Petain, Commander of all French Forces presented the award.

The steel helmet which Lt. Weimer was wearing when he was wounded bears the entry and exit holes of the bullet which creased his scalp and is treasured today as an irreplaceable remnant of American and Family history.

Read more: Herman H Weimer

Private Abde Khan

Submitted by: Tanveer Kalo

no photo 300

Private Abde Khan served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known Discharged on March 22, 1919.

 

Private Abde Khan was born on June 23,1891 Halwara, Punjab, British India. He came to the United States from Hong Kong in 1906. He settled in Settle, Washington.

By 1918, Khan worked in a ship yard. On October 4, 1918, Khan declared his intention to apply for U.S. naturalization.

During this time or sometime in 1919, Khan was inducted into the U.S. Army. He was assigned to Company K 160 Infantry until July 2, 1919. He then served with the QMC till discharge. He did not serve overseas.

Private Khan was discharged on March 22, 1919.

On April 22, 1919, Khan was granted U.S. naturalization at age of 28 in Seattle.

Read more: Private Abde Khan

Andrew A. Capets

Submitted by: Andrew J. Capets {grandson}

59eddfff0672e andy capets 313

Andrew A. Capets served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known April 1918 to June 1919.

 

How do you write a 'Story of Service' about a young Doughboy and make it stand out among the millions of men and women who served in the Great War? Do you tell the story about this Private being so cold during a night in France that he had to sleep on top of a manure pile just to keep warm? Do you talk about his pride after returning home from the war, and that he routinely attended Battalion reunions in Erie, PA to commemorate his service with friends?

The answer is yes, you document as much as you know, and write down any story you were told to ensure that the experiences of this young Doughboy will be known 100 years from now.

I went a whole lot farther and released a book in September 2017 called "Good War, Great Men. The 313th Machine Gun Battalion of World War I." The book was written for the same reason this portion of the WW1CC website was created, "The stories of the service of all these Americans should not be forgotten." I wrote the book to commemorate my grandfather's service during the Great War, as well as wanting to help other family members that have descendants of the 313th Machine Gun Battalion read about their own soldier's experiences through the writings of over a dozen men that served together in World War I.

Read more: Andrew A. Capets

Private James Mohammed "Jim" Dullo

Submitted by: Tanveer Kalo

no photo 300

Private James Mohammed "Jim" Dullo served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known May 28, 1917 or 1919 to July 3, 1943.

 

Private James Mohammed "Jim" Dullo was born on August 15, 1898 in Bohara, Hazara, British India to Mahomed Dean. He immigrated to the United States prior to 1917 or 1919 and settled in Settle, Washington.

Dullo registered for the draft on June 5, 1917. Mullo's draft card listed his race as white, occupation as a unemployed laborer, and residence as 409 James St, Settle.

On May 28, 1919 or 1917, Dullo was inducted into the U.S. Army. He was assigned to Company D 2nd Battalion, 20th Regiment Engineers( (Forestry). On November 7, 1917 Dullo and his unit departed Hoboken, New Jersey for France on the ship Madawaska.

They left Pauillac, France on May 7, 1919 on the ship Martha Washington for Camp Morrison, Newport News, Virginia. The date of his discharge is unknown.

Read more: Private James Mohammed "Jim" Dullo

Jatindra Nath Guha

Submitted by: Tanveer Kalo

Guha

Jatindra Nath Guha served in World War 1 with the the United States Army . The dates of service are: Known July 9, 1918- Unknown .

 

Jatindra Nath Guha was born on January 20, 1890 in Calcutta, British India to Janaki. He immigrated to the United States in April or June 1912 and first settled in New York City, then in Pittsburgh, and finally in Detroit during the last years of the his life.

Guha entered to the United States military on July 9, 1918. He was assigned to E.W.S Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

He applied for U.S. naturalization while in the military. He was granted naturalization on December 3, 1918. It is unknown when he was discharged from the military.

On January 20, 1919 Guha applied for a U.S. Seaman's Protection Certificate in New York City at age of 29.

Read more: Jatindra Nath Guha

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