Rajah William Bandy
Submitted by: Tanveer Kalo
Rajah William Bandy born around 1893. Rajah Bandy served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1916 and the service was completed in 1918.
Story of Service
Sergeant Rajah William Bandy was born about 1893 in Madras, British India. According to Mary Bandy Rajah's adopted mother in a 1908 letter, his biological parents were "[..] an Irish tea planter who died and left three children and their Indian mother". His Irish aunts sent him and siblings to a native school miles away until he was adopted by Mary and her husband Charles Henry Bandy. Rajah's adopted parents were Presbyterian missionaries, who had lived in British India for some time.
Rajah immigrated to the United States in 1912 and settled with his adopted family in Ohio.
According to The Bandy Family in America by Dale Bandy, Rajah enlisted in the Ohio National Guard in 1916. When the United States entered World War I , Rajah was assigned to the Company D 146 Infantry until May 1, 1918. His last assignment was Headquarters Company 146 Infantry. Bandy served in the AEF from June 15, 1918 to March 31, 1919.
He was promoted to sergeant on September 4, 1918. Sergeant Bandy saw action at Ypres-Lys and Meuse-Argonne as part of the defense sector.
It is interesting to note that Rajah listed his residence on his outgoing and returning U.S. Army Transport Service Passenger List as Fatehgarh, United Provinces, India. Fatehgarh was where his adopted parents were missionaries.
He was honorably discharged on April 13, 1919. The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the World War, 1917-18, recorded his race as white.
After the war, Rajah returned to Ohio. He attended Wooster College. By 1920, was living at Wooster. His 1920 federal census recorded his race as Hindu , native tongue as Urdu, and as naturalized.
Dale Bandy notes that Rajah was expelled from the university due to his protest of the expulsion of a student athlete. Dandy further notes that Rajah then graduated from Parsons College in 1923 and lived with his parents in Iowa until 1925.
According to Dale Bandy, Rajah returned to British India to become an instructor at a missionary school in Allahadbad. Dale Bandy also asserts that Rajah might have found his biological sister or was with his adopted sister, Queenie while he was in British India. Mary Bandy noted in a 1908 letter that when Rajah was little he wanted to find his family later in life. She said in her letter, "He says he will find his mother when he is a man, and he is sure she will be a Christian if he tells her to. I will help him to find her if I can".
Rajah William Bandy died in 1928 in Allahadbad, British India from Typhoid Fever.