Clarence Mathias Hensel
Submitted by: T.J. Cullinane, community historian
Clarence Mathias Hensel born around 1893, Clarence Hensel served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.
Story of Service
Ohio farmer Clarence Mathias Hensel was a soldier of the Great War serving as an infantryman in both the 84th “Rail-splitter” Division and the 78th “Lightning” Division.
Clarence was born on April 16, 1893 to John Hardin and the former Elizabeth Casper in Cessna Township, a small community located in Hardin County in northwestern Ohio. From his draft registration card we learn that Clarence was 24 years old when America entered the World War One and was employed as a farmer on the farm belonging to his father, John Hensel. The farm was located on Rural Route Number 4 in Kenton. Kenton lays claim to great American military heritage as John Wilson Parrot, a Union soldier and the first recipient of the Medal of Honor, would call Kenton home after the Civil War.
Clarence was of medium height and medium build with blue eyes and dark hair. He noted on his registration card that he had weak eyes. In spite of his defective eye sight, Clarence was inducted into the U.S. Army on June 28, 1918 and given serial number 3533412.
He was originally assigned to the Headquarters Company of the 334th Infantry Regiment of the 84th Infantry Division. According to Wikipedia, the division was made up of National Army drafts from Indiana and Kentucky with at least one member in the person of Clarence Hensel from the Buckeye State. The division was organized at Camp Zachary Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky and would remain there until joining the American Expeditionary Force in France.
Clarence and his unit would embark on the S.S. Acquitania, a former Cunard liner and sister ship of the ill-fated Lusitania in New York City and sail for France on September 18, 1918. Upon arriving in France the 84th Division would serve as a training formation for replacements and Clarence himself would be transferred to Company B, 1st Battalion, 310th Infantry Regiment of the 78th Division. This regiment would see heavy action in the closing campaigns of the war and would receive campaign streamers for the St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Lorraine Campaigns. With the information currently available, it is unknown if Clarence participated in any of these cataclysmic battles.
Clarence and his new unit returned to the United States on the U.S.S. Julia Luckenbach. The ship cast off from Bordeaux on May 16, 1919 and arrived in Hoboken, New Jersey on June 5, 1919. Based on the ship’s manifest, it appears as though the unit was transported to Camp Dix, New Jersey and demobilized. Clarence received an honorable discharge.
After the war, Clarence resumed farming and married the former Correne Kahler Hensel (1895 – 1959). Correne would give birth to two daughters who would die in infancy and a son, Dennis J. Hensel (1926 – 2002). Clarence the farmer and former Doughboy died of a blood clot at the young age of 49 on March 13, 1943 in the midst of the Second World War. He is buried near his family members in Smith Cemetery in Dola, Ohio.
My thanks go out to Find A Grave member “teacherdeb” for her memorial to Clarence which is rich in genealogical information (Memorial 81270342).