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Stories of Service

You can search for the name or unit and you will get a list of the stories that contain them.

A Tradition of Service Logo 75William Anderson

Submitted by: Nathaniel Jenkins, Jr.

5a6631ecdba2d Croix de Guerre

William Anderson born around 1894, William Anderson served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

 

My grandfather, William Anderson, a South Carolina native, was a real American War Hero. He was a quiet and warm man, a jack-of-all-trades born in the late1800s, and he lived a humble life in Asheville, North Carolina. He was part of an all-black regiment that fought with French soldiers against the Germans during World War I.

When my mother would take me and my sisters to visit him, he would frequently show us his medal that he had tucked away in an old tarnished tin Sucrets box. The medal, shaped like an Iron Cross backed by crossed swords, was marred with time; and it had an aged green and red ribbon attached. My grandfather would beam with pride every time he displayed the medal, but as little kids we didn’t fully understand the significance of his pride. Apparently, he wanted his grandchildren and great-grandchildren to know what he'd done--and to be proud of him.

Many years later, I discovered that Grandfather Anderson's efforts on the battlefield earned him a coveted French medal, the Croix de Guerre or Cross of War, for bravery in combat action. That's the same honor given Audie Murphy, the most decorated American combat soldier of World War II.

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Albert J. Lentz

Submitted by: Mark A. Snell and Eric Lindblade

Albert J LentzAlbert J. Lentz born around 1895. Albert Lentz served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1915 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Private Albert J. Lentz of Company D, 18th Infantry, 1st Division, was the first soldier from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to be killed-in-action during World War I. Lentz fell near Cantigny, France on April 26, 1918, a month before the seminal American offensive of the war.

Albert had moved to Chicago about three years earlier but his parents, Israel and Susannah, still resided in Gettysburg at the time of Albert’s death.

Ironically, Private Lentz spent part of his childhood living in the house that today is known as “General Lee’s Headquarters,” which in July 1863 was owned by the widow Mrs. Mary Thompson.

While working in Chicago, Albert enlisted in the Regular Army and served in the Mexican Punitive Expedition. His regiment was one of the first American units to sail for France in 1917.

A week after Albert fell in battle, his family received the tragic news with “no details being given, only the fact of being killed in actions,” according to a report in one of the local newspapers, the Gettysburg Compiler. The connection between Lentz, his historic hometown and the cause for which the AEF was fighting did not go unnoticed elsewhere across the country. The Cincinnati Post ran an editorial that noted “Lentz, whose name shows German ancestry . . . [gave] his life to compel the land of his forbearers to return to sanity. His home, Gettysburg, [is] site of the great decisive battle in the war which ended human slavery on the American continent. Liberty—but is there need to say more?”

Albert J. Lentz was buried in a temporary cemetery France but his remains were brought home and laid to rest on April 4, 1921, in Gettysburg’s “Soldiers National Cemetery,” where he lies among the graves of thousands of Union soldiers who had perished in the 1863 battle. Today, Albert’s grave can be visited in Section 8, Plot 3. Gettysburg’s American Legion Post 202 is named in his memory.5b8573dc9a113 lentz

5b8573dc9c802 Lentzcivilan

James Milo Miller

Submitted by: Myron M. Miller {Son}

James Milo Miller

James Milo Miller was born around 1893. Jamse Miller served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

The Service in World War I of James Milo Miller, 314th Field Artillery Regiment

February 1918 – March 1919

First, I would like to say that I have written a book about the experience of my father, James Milo Miller, in World War I based on all the letters he wrote to various members of his extended family during his time in that war, from the time of his being drafted in 1918 until he was discharged in March 1919. The book also describes the remarkable hospitality extended to the three regiments of the 155th Field Artillery Brigade (the 313rd, the 314th and 315th Field Artillery Regiments) during their two months of training on the French 75 in and near the city of Redon, Brittany, France.

The men of the 155th Field Artillery Brigade made such a favorable impact on the citizens of that city that there was a 100th year commemoration of the arrival of that brigade in Redon on June 9, 2018! The brigade entered Redon for their two months of training in the wee hours of June 13, 1918.

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Thomas Clay Carter, Jr.

Submitted by: S.W. Calhoun, Jr., Researcher, Lauderdale County Archives, Meridian, Mississippi

Thomas Clay Carter Jr

Thomas Clay Carter Jr. born around 1889. Thomas Carter served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Meridian Soldier to Receive Posthumous Purple Heart

1st Lieutenant Thomas Clay Carter, Jr began his military service in August, 1917, by application and acceptance into Officer’s Candidate School at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. After graduating from Meridian High School, Thomas was a Cadet Officer at Marion Military Institute and an outstanding baseball player. His education was continued at the University of Virginia, where he was Captain of the baseball team.

Thomas Carter was well thought of by all who came in contact with him. Thomas graduated from Officer’s Candidate School in December, 1917, receiving a commission and being assigned to the 320th Machine Gun Battalion at Fort Gordon, Georgia. In April, 1918, the 320th Machine Gun Battalion and other American units were on the way “Over There” to join the American Expeditionary Force in France. Lieutenant Carter was excited about going to war and the part he would play in the eventual victory. He saw his duty and clearly understood why we were involved and why it was necessary for the Allied Cause to prevail.

Read more: Thomas Clay Carter Jr.

John Chester Foster

Submitted by: Mark Foster {grandson}

John Chester Foster 300

John Chester Foster born around 1885. John Foster served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

In December of 2010, I started going through a box of my father's, letters, newspaper articles and pictures. I started reading several regarding my grandfather who was killed in World War 1. I knew very little about this man except that he was buried at Arlington National cemetery. Our family rarely spoke of him; he had divorced my grandmother and abandoned his family. My father never mentioned him and speaking with cousins, my uncles never brought him up either.

One interesting newspaper article stated that his headstone at Arlington was incorrectly labeled. It was from the Illinois State Register dated March 8, 1936 and said “the tombstone on his grave had borne the inscription, John Chester Foster of Pittsburg, Kansas, killed in action, 27 April 1918”. It went on to say that the family had visited Arlington and had trouble finding the grave because it had Kansas instead of Illinois. Later it said that the family had requested the headstone be changed and the war department had authorized “that a properly inscribed tombstone would be installed without delay.”

Read more: John Chester Foster

Harry Ford Beatty

Submitted by: Robert Kolar {Cousin}

no photo 300

Harry Ford Beatty born around 1894. Harry Beatty served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

About October 1st, 1918. Cpl. Beatty was out on a patrol in the Argonne Forest near hill 244 when he was wounded by a rifle bullet. He was shot through the hips, the bullet passing completely through his body. He was given 1st aid and later taken to the hospital where he died.

Harry's body did not come back to the states until 2 years later on September 11, 1920.

I recently visited the cemetery where Harry was buried and realized he did not have a headstone, and I worked with the VA and the local cemetery to get the appropriate military headstone.

 

Walter William Ratinski

Submitted by: Theresa Cobb, Research Volunteer, Polish American Congress

no photo 300

Walter William Ratinski born around 1888. Walter Ratinski served in World War 1 with the United States Marine Corps. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Walter William Ratinski served in World War I With the United States Marine Corps. His tour of duty with the U. S. Marine Corps lasted from his enlistment on December 15, 1917 in Rochester, New York, to his death in the trenches of France on June 6, 1918.

Walter Ratinski was born in Rochester, Monroe County, New York on June 7, 1888. He was one of thirteen children of Anthony and Josephine Borowiecka Ratinski. His parents emigrated from Posen Province, a partition of Poland, specifically from the area around Wagrowicz and Margonin, probably in the late1870’s. They settled in the city of Rochester, New York, and from records available, baptized most of their children in either St. Michael’s or St. Stanislaus Kostka Parishes.

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Cyrus Ross Chamberlain

Submitted by: Patrick Mosites Employee at Minneapolis International Airport-airfield named in his honor Wold-Chamberlain Field

no photo 300

Cyrus Ross Chamberlain born around 1889. Cyrus Chamberlain served in World War 1 with the Lafayette Escadrille. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

A native of Minneapolis, where his father was Chairman of the First and Security National Bank, Chamberlain joined the French Lafayette Flying Corps in June of 1917. He attended French school and was posted to Lafayette Escadrille Squad 98. Slightly older than his squadron mates, he was often more reckless than the rest.

During the German offensive in the spring of 1918, his squadron flew air superiority missions over the front lines and on 13 June, his group dove from 12,000 feet on some German aircraft. They had been lured into a trap and other German fighters attacked. Chamberlain was killed by machine gun fire from an enemy ship. He was posthumously awarded the Croix de Guerre.

Wold-Chamberlain Field - Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport was dedicated in his honor in 1923.

Read more: Cyrus Ross Chamberlain

Earnest Groves Wold

Submitted by: Pat Mosites, Employee at Minneapolis International Airport-airfield named in his honor Wold-Chamberlain Field

5aeb7f834f5a8 ernest g wold ca 1916

Earnest Groves Wold was born around 1897. Earnest Wold served in World War 1 with the Lafayette Escadrille. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service


Ernest Groves Wold, served as a reconnaissance pilot in France’s First Aero Squadron, the Lafayette Escadrille, during World War I. Wold’s exceptional coolness and accuracy of fire enabled him to crisscross enemy lines four times on August 1, 1918, photographing German positions and forcing down at least two of five attacking German aircraft.

After machine gun bullets riddled his arms and killed his observer-photographer, Wold piloted his disabled plane back to base, flying with his feet and knees. He died in the crash landing, but his photographs safely reached French forces.

Five years later when the primitive “Speedway Airport” in south Minneapolis was about to be expanded and used for commercial and passenger traffic, it was decided that the new name for the facility should be Wold-Chamberlain Twin City Airport in honor of two war heroes, Ernest Groves Wold and Cyrus Foss Chamberlain. He rests at Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France.

Read more: Earnest Groves Wold

Reeder Miller

Submitted by: Andy A Miller {Grandson}

Reeder Miller

Reeder Miller born around 1891. Reeder Miller served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

Reeder Miller entered service in Honesdale, Pennsylvania and traveled to Camp Wadsworth, South Carolina near Spartanburg. In September 1918, he deployed as the regimental sergeant major in the 4th Corps Field Artillery with the American Expeditionary Forces in France.

In late October, just as his unit was getting "into the thick of the fight", he was notified that he'd been selected to attend the field artillery officer training school at Saumur. He would spend the remainder of his time in France there.

When the Armistice was signed on November 11th, his class was kept in session and he graduated the school in January 1919. With the War over, and the need for officers and soldiers greatly reduced, his class was denied commission as artillery officers and were reverted to their previous rank prior to the officer training school. By the end of that month, he and his classmates were ordered home.

Read more: Reeder Miller

Edward Babb Cutter

Submitted by: Aaron Bahe, American Legion Post

no photo 300

Edward Babb Cutter born around 1887. Edward Cutter served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1906 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

On May 1, 1887 in Anoka, Minnesota, Edward Bab Cutter (Nicknamed 'Ned') was the youngest of three born to the family of Oscar and Mary Cutter. Completing his high school education and with his mother's permission, Ned joined Company B, 3rd Minnesota Volunteer Regiment on 22 June 1906. By 1909, his fellow comrades had elected Ned 2nd Lieutenant.

While majoring in Law at the University of Minnesota, Ned joined the Cadet Corps Program (forerunner to the ROTC) and was officially recognized as an officer in the U.S. Army National Guard. Upon completing his studied on 5 June 1911, he received promotion to 1st Lieutenant.

Following graduation, Ned briefly relocated to Thief River Falls where he worked on his elder brother's newspaper. Due to the distances involved, Ned considered resigning his commission but no record of it exists and it is believed his Commanding Officer, Major Arthur Caswell, found an alternative solution.

Read more: Edward Babb Cutter

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