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Stories of Service

Mary Coan Reilly Ravener

Submitted by: Bob Ravener (grandson)

Mary Reilly Pvt First Class USMC

Mary Coan Reilly Ravener served in World War 1 with the United States Marine Corps. The dates of service are: Known 1918-1922.


Mary Coan Reilly Ravener

One of the Few, the Proud… the First 300

By Bob Ravener

The United States Marine Corps has a long and proud tradition fighting America’s battles and after the U.S. declared war on Germany, were using virtually every active duty service member to fight in the Great War or training those preparing to fight. On 08 August 1918 that all changed when they took on another cause, women in uniform. That’s when Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels wrote a letter authorizing the Commandant of the Marine Corps to enlist women in the Marine Corps Reserve for clerical duty.

Six weeks later, on 24 September, a five foot tall, grey eyed, and auburn-haired Mary Coan Reilly, became one of those first women Marines.

During this period of global crisis and tumultuous change, a little more than 300 women donned the forest green uniform of the Corps, but selection was anything but easy for these aspiring Marines. In fact, it was extremely competitive. According to the book written by Captain Linda Hewitt in 1974, “In New York City alone, 2,000 hopeful applicants lined reply to a newspaper article that the Marine Corps was looking for ‘intelligent young women’.” Mary was one of those many applicants and became one of only five or so to be selected to serve in New York at the Marine Corps Publicity Bureau in lower Manhattan. Most of the rest of these early pioneers served at Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington DC.

Read more: Mary Coan Reilly Ravener

Clement Anthony Grobbel

Submitted by: Michael V Grobbel

5890ef49b79fe Clem Grobbel 4 Jul 1919

Clement Anthony Grobbel served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known May 26, 1818 to July 7, 1919.


Clement Anthony Grobbel of Center Line, Michigan, was a member of the US Army "Polar Bears" who were sent to North Russia in the closing weeks of World War One.

Clem was 22 years old when the U.S. entered World War One. He was soon drafted into the Army and on 27 JUN 1918, he arrived at Camp Custer, near Battle Creek, MI. There he began training with Rifle Company I of the 339th Infantry Regiment of the National Army.

The 339th became known as "Detroit's Own Regiment", since three-quarters of the enlisted men and officers were from the Detroit area (upon their return to the U.S. in 1919, the 339th and their attached units took to calling themselves the "Polar Bears"). On 14 JUL 1918, the 339th broke camp and boarded trains for New York City, from which they sailed for England on 22 JUL 1918.

Read more: Clement Anthony Grobbel

Corporal Harry Edward Shenton

Submitted by: Rex Passion

Harry Edware Shenton Jr

Corporal Harry Edward Shenton served in World War One with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known April 18, 1917 to May 16, 1919.


Harry Edward Shenton served in Company B, 103rd Engineers of the Pennsylvania National Guard from the beginning of the U. S. involvement until the war’s end. His unit was attached to the 28th Division and Corporal Shenton built defensive works on the Marne at Charly sur Marne, fought in support of the 109th infantry at St. Agnan in the breakout of July 15th, built bridges under fire at the Battle of Fismes, built roads in the Muse Argonne and fought in support of the 111th infantry at Chene Tondu. They were preparing to cut the German wire at St. Louis Farm in the Thiaucort Sector when the war came to an end.

Ed Shenton was an art student when war was declared and promptly joined the engineers. He was in the habit of drawing every day and continued this routine throughout his training and his service overseas. When he returned home, no one was interested in his stories or his drawings so he put his sketchbooks away and went back to art school. He had a fifty-year-long career and became one of the major book and magazine illustrators of his day.

Read more: Corporal Harry Edward Shenton

Lee Roy "LeRoy" Appleton

Submitted by: Ethel Lee Douglas Lawson (niece)

588bffdd042ae Lee Roy Appleton

Lee Roy "LeRoy" Appleton served in World War One with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 15 May 1917 - 23 Nov 1917.


My Uncle LeRoy Appleton served in WWI as a private in Co. G of the 144th U.S. Infantry. He was 25 years old when he enlisted May 15, 1917.

Many years ago my mother, Ethel Mae Appleton Douglas, told me an interesting story about my Uncle LeRoy and my father, John Albert Douglas.

My mother and her brother had been very close all of their lives, since the death of their mother at an early age. When my mother had not heard from her brother for a very long time, she became extremely worried for fear he had been killed or wounded so badly he could not write letters. After unsuccessfully trying to console my mother, my father decided to get on the train from Texas to New York. That’s where the troops came in from the European war zone and where war records were kept.

Read more: Lee Roy "LeRoy" Appleton

Harold R. Johns

Submitted by: Alice L. Luckhardt

588bc6e0e47bc 2017 Harold Johns in uniform

Harold R. Johns served in World War One with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known August 1917 to September 30, 1918.


Harold R. Johns, the son of Morris and Augusta Johns, born in Stuart, Florida in September 1895. Soon after the US entered the war, Harold enlisted, June 1917, reporting to service by August with special engineering training at Camp Wheeler and Camp Hancock during the following nine months. Private Johns was sent overseas May 18, 1918 with the U.S. Army, Company E, 103rd engineers, 28th Division.

There was considerable military action across France during the next few months. Harold dodged many bullets until September 27, 1918, when he was wounded near the town of Varennes, during the battles at Meuse-Argonne or 'No Man's Land' as it was often described.

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David Gaines Gentry, Jr

Submitted by: Barbara J. Selletti

5881263cc91e4 David Gentry in Uniform

David Gaines Gentry, Jr served in World War One with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 01 Apr 1918-03 Apr 1919.


David was a Private in Co. B/E, 105th Ammunition Train, 30th Division of the Army. He was a 22 year old cotton mill worker in Jonesville, SC at the outbreak of the war. He had only recently married with a young one on the way.

For a young man who hadn't traveled more than 100 miles from where he was born and lived, the prospect of not only serving in the military must have seemed exotic, but also traveling over the ocean to another county.


Read more: David Gaines Gentry, Jr

Herbert Lowe Parsons

Submitted by: Lori Parsons (granddaughter-in-law)

586bc6580a155 10336760 10203809551750103 7543957225038627844 n

Herbert Lowe Parsons served in World War One with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 5-19-1918 to 4-27-1919.


Herbert Lowe Parsons, my husband's grandfather, served in World War 1 as an ambulance driver. Originally with the 2nd Missouri Ambulance Company with the Missouri National Guard, his company became part of the 35th Infantry Division when the United States declared with Germany.

Research shows that his ambulance company, the 138th Ambulance Company, was part of the 110th Sanitary Train within the 35th Infantry Division. His ambulance company set up dressing stations and evacuated wounded at Bussang, Vittel, Gerardmer, Fraize, Auzeville, Neuvilly, Vauquoise Hill, Cheppy, Charpentry,

Read more: Herbert Lowe Parsons

Charles Gilbert Miller

Submitted by: Nancy Miller

Charles G. Miller 300

Charles Gilbert Miller served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Unknown .


Served in the motor pool at Fort McHenry, where his unit was formed, preparing vehicles for shipment overseas.








Chester William Arms

Submitted by: Kathy Huff

Chester Arms in Uniform 300

Chester William Arms served in World War One with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known Jun 05, 1917.


Enlisted June 5, 1917 and was in 9 days because he got sick.

















Manuel E. ("Mannie) Reams

Submitted by: Michael Brimer

Mannie Ellsworth Reams

Manuel E. ("Mannie) Reams served in World War One with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known Sept 1917-31 Oct 1918.


Drafted in September 1917, assigned to newly forming 91st Division. Completed basic training at Fort Lewis Washington, then was assigned to 363rtd Bn and trained as a machine gunner. Traveled with the division to England, then to France.

Participated in several battles, was wounded and recovered, then sent back to front lines. Was part of the 363rd Battalion's attack on German positions in Spitaals Bosschen woods area. He was killed during the first day of the assault. He eventually was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

The American Legion Reams Post 182, Suisun City, CA was formed in 1920 and named after him. It has been in existence ever since.


George Washington Dick

Submitted by: Merrilee Jung

George Dick

George Washington Dick served in World War One with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Unknown .


Company A, 36th infantry., 7th Snelling, Minnesota.














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