Submitted by: T.J. Cullinane, community historian
Paul Ratkovich born in 1896, Paul Ratkovich 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
Paul Ratkovich served as an Infantry Sergeant with the First Infantry Division in the Great War.
He was born in Zagreb, Croatia on April 29, 1896, one of six children to Paul V. Ratkovich (1863 -1937) and the former Julia Malkovich (1861 – 1946). The family would later migrate to the United States and settle in Colorado.
Paul’s home of record was 249 Poplar Ave in Canon City, Colorado. He joined the U.S. Army in 1917 and was assigned serial number 246503. He is pictured in his Army uniform in 1917.
After completing training, Paul, now promoted to Corporal, would deploy to France as a member of the 2nd Company, Training Battalion, of the 26th Infantry Regiment. The unit would embark on the U.S.S. Mount Vernon, a former luxury liner seized from Germany upon America’s entry into the war. The unit sailed for France from Hoboken, New Jersey in late 1917.
After completing his tour of duty, Paul, now promoted to Sergeant and assigned to the 1st Replacement Depot – Division, would sail back to Hoboken from Brest, France, on the U.S.S. George Washington. The ship left France on April 27, 1919.
After his discharge from the Army, he would return to Canon City. Paul would later marry the former Grace Marceile Moore. Paul died in 1961 and is buried next to his wife Grace in Lakeside Cemetery in Canon City.