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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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Lawrence Reynolds

Submitted by: Pamela Jean Follstaedt Adams {Granddaughter}

Lawrence ReynoldsLawrence Reynolds born around 1894. Lawrence Reynolds served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1914 and the service was completed in 1920.

Story of Service

Night was descending and all the soldiers around him had fallen one by one.  They were picked off like targets at a carnival shooting game as the enemy sent shells whistling through the air toward the 9-man company.  He steadied himself behind his machine gun and waited for the next German to dare show himself in the clearing in the trees.  BOOM!  A bomb explodes and sends him hurling through the air.  BOOM!  Another bomb explodes and returns him to the bunker he coveted for shelter.  Was there help?  Were there reinforcements?  Would he survive?

This was the long night of May 8, 1918, Lawrence Reynolds had in World War I that awarded him a purple heart and a silver star.  Lawrence held the German forces away through the evening, by himself, until his buddies came to look for the squad in the morning and rescued him.  By keeping the Germans away he held the field for the allies and prevented a full attack by the Germans.

Out of drinking water, Lawrence drank the only thing he could find, the water in the machine gun that was used to cool it.  For his bravery, he received lead poisoning and nearly died.  He was blown out of and back into the bunker several times which resulted in a back injury that plagued him the rest of his life.  But despite all of this, even after Lawrence had to shoot a German who managed to make it up the hill, he still left the safety of his bunker to help the wounded enemy only to find he was too late.

Read more: Lawrence Reynolds

Charles C. Peterson

Submitted by: Charles David Rawls {Grandson}

no photo 300

Charles C Peterson born around 1900. Charles Peterson served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1920.

Story of Service

 

This is a transcription of the World War I Diaries of Pvt. Charles C. Peterson, two have been donated to the Alabama State Archives, in Montgomery. The third is awaiting transfer to the new U . S. Army museum at Ft. Belvoir, VA.

Diary 1: black notebook, sewn binding, [inscription on front page]
Pvt Charles C. Peterson
Greenville
R #3 Alabama

[start of diary]


My Army Life

By Charles C. Peterson

On July 29th 1917 I intered the U.S.N.G. I was only a kid not old enough to belong to the Army, but I enlisted anyway in the 1st Ala. N.G. Co. D. from Fort Deposit Ala. Not knowing anything about the Army, I was put in a training camp at Camp Sheridan Montgomery, Ala. for 2 weeks training. After the 2 weeks training I was trained for a soldier and was then sent back to my company and was assigned to a squad of 7 pvts. And a corporal in charge. On Aug. 5 1917 the Ala. N.G. was mustered into the Federal service and about 75 men from Co. D. 1st Ala. N.G. was transferred to Co. D. of the 4th Ala. N.G. I happened to be one of the men in the 75 that were transferred. This made Co. D. 4th Ala. N.G. 250 war strength. The company was then divided into 4 Platoons. 1,2,3,4. Later the 4th Ala. N.G. was changed to the 167th Infantry and put in the 42nd Div. which was named the “Rainbow Division.”

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George Wiley Byrd

Submitted by: COL Victor H. Stephenson {Cousin}

George Wiley ByrdGeorge Wiley Byrd was born around 1893. George Byrd 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

 

PFC George Wiley Byrd (5/17/1893 - 7/15/1918) son of Samuel Randall Byrd and Mary Jane "Sissie" Roberts.

PFC George Wiley Byrd, 3rd Trench Mortar Battery, 3rd Artillery Brigade, 3rd Division. Killed in Action near Fossoy, France on July 15, 1918. He died in one of the most famous battles of WWI. The evening of July 14th found the 3rd Trench Mortar Battery with six mortars in position along south bank of Marne opposite Glands, with working party digging pits for remaining Mortars near Mezy.

At midnight on 14 July 1918, the 3rd Division earned lasting distinction. Engaged in the Aisne-Marne Offensive as a member of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) to Europe, the 3rd Division was protecting the French capital of Paris with a position on the banks of the Marne River.

The 7th Machine Gun Battalion of the 3rd Division rushed to Château-Thierry amid retreating French troops and held the Germans back at the Marne River. While surrounding units retreated, the 3rd Division remained steadfast throughout the Second Battle of the Marne, and their dogged defense earned the 3rd Division its nickname as the "Rock of the Marne".

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Private Harry Druckerman

Submitted by: Henry Druckerman {son}

no photo 300

Harry Druckerman was born around 1892. Harry Druckerman 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

 

Harry Druckerman # 2671056
Private Co. C, 106th Infantry Regiment,
27th Infantry Division, United States Army

On April 4, 1918, Harry Druckerman was inducted at the rank of Private, into Company C, 106th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division, a federalized division of the New York National Guard.

On May 10, 1918 he and his division departed Camp Wadsworth, near Spartanburg, SC and made the Atlantic crossing to Brest. They were then transported (in “40 and 8” boxcars of the French railroad) to training sites on the Somme River. There, the 27th Division (along with the US 30th Division) was assigned to the US II Corps, commanded by Major General George W. Read.

As a result of an agreement between General John Pershing, commanding the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) and General Sir Douglas Haig, commanding the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), the US II Corps would serve as part of the Fourth Army, BEF, commanded by General Sir Henry Rawlinson. Rawlinson assigned them to the Australian Corps, commanded by Lieutenant General Sir John Monash. It is one of the rare times in US Army history that a non-American general personally commanded American troops.

Read more: Private Harry Druckerman

Julian Sobieski

Submitted by: Anthony Sobieski {grandson}

Julian SobieskiJulian Sobieski was born around 1896. Julian Sobieski 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

 

Private Julian Sobieski was born in Plock, Poland, on September 16th, 1896, to Leon & Antonina Sobieski. He immigrated to the United States on July 21st, 1914 through the Port of Philadelphia, PA. Julian settled in Bridesburg, the Polish section of Philadelphia. By 1917, he worked at the Disston Saw Works in the Tacony section of Philadelphia.

Julian registered for the draft on June 5th, 1917. The block 4 question on his draft card asks about Citizenship Intention: He wrote in “Will be a citizen of the USA”. My grandfather wanted to serve his adoptive country to earn his U.S. citizenship.

Julian was drafted on July 5th, 1918 and assigned to the 53rd Pioneer Infantry Regiment (PIR), HQ Company. The 53rd PIR was the old 47th New York Infantry Regiment with lineage going back to the Civil War. The 53rd PIR HQ Company had 213 men assigned, the majority of which came from New York and Pennsylvania. The men of the company were a mix of German, Italian, and Irish backgrounds, with only a few Poles, my grandfather being one of them.

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Harry Druckerman

Submitted by: Henry Druckerman {Son}

no photo 300

Harry Druckerman born around 1892. Harry Druckerman served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1917.

Story of Service

 

NOTE: Pamela Druckerman, my daughter, is the granddaughter of my father, Harry Druckerman, who served and was wounded in France in World War I. Pamela wrote this story, My Grandfather's Last Battle, after visiting the sight of the action in which Harry was wounded on September 27, 1918.

My Grandfather’s Last Battle

By Pamela Druckerman
New York Times Op-Ed Writer

Published January 31, 2014

RONSSOY, France — ABOUT 95 years ago, my grandfather spent the night near here. I doubt he slept much. For starters, he was probably in a trench. And by 4:30 a.m., he and other members of the United States Army’s 106th Infantry were assembled along a strip of tape on the ground. They were facing the outer edge of the Hindenburg Line, one of the most fortified German positions on the Western Front of World War I.

Read more: Harry Druckerman

Wilfred Jesse Sage

Submitted by: Rebecca Lane Oesterle {granddaughter}

Wilfred Jesse SageWilfred Jesse Sage born around 1890. Wilfred Sage served in World War 1 with the United States Marine Corps. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1921.

Story of Service

 

He enlisted July 9, 1917, in Boston, Massachusetts, and was sent to Camp Syracuse, Syracuse, New York, as a private in Company E 23rd Infantry of the regular Army.

In August, he was made Corporal; Sept. 7, he left Hoboken, NJ for France, in the only division which had regiments of United States Marines.

He was wounded in action, October 8, 1918, and was in hospitals until after the armistice. In January, 1919, he returned to his company, which was with the Army of Occupation on the Rhine.

He was cited for bravery and his name is in a book issued by the Second Division Headquarters. "During the fighting at Blanc Mont., Corporal Sage showed extraordinary courage by taking command of his platoon after his leader and platoon Sergeants were wounded. Badly wounded, he continued to lead his men until they had successfully broken up the assault." For that he received the Silver Star.

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Charles Calvin Crow

Submitted by: Christopher Thomas Baughman {Great Nephew}

Charles Calvin CrowCharles Calvin Crow born around 1896, Charles Crow served in World War 1 with the the United States Army . The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1917.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Isaac P. Wright

Submitted by: Darin Collignon {Great-Grandson}

no photo 300Isaac P. Wright born around 1892. Isaac Wright 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

 

Corporal Isaac P. Wright served honorably with Company E, 22nd Engineers; he participated in the Battle of St. Mihiel ( the 100 Days Offensive ) and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

 

 

 

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Samuel Isaac Runyon

Submitted by: James Hillyer {Grandson}

no photo 300

Samuel Isaac Runyon born around 1898. Samuel Runyon served in World War 1 with the United States Navy. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

 

New Sailors Honor the Fallen, 1918

By 1968 health challenges were making it difficult for my grandpa Samuel Isaac Runyon to continue his lifelong ministry as a pastor of churches, so he accepted the assignment of writing a series of Sunday school lessons and I became his sixteen-year-old scribe and assistant. During breaks from the writing he would sometimes tell me what life was like for him when he was not much older than me -a time when he was still in his teens and the whole world had gone to war. In particular, he remembered a breakfast announcement at the Washington Navy Yard in 1918, which I will try to report verbatim, with the understanding that he was remembering an event that took place fifty years in the past, and I am now remembering that conversation with him from fifty years ago.

That morning he'd been in uniform for a few months, but many of the men had just arrived from the Great Lakes Navy Recruit Training facility and were wearing brand-new uniforms. During breakfast an officer strode into the room and announced, "You men have volunteered to serve your country. Some of you may think you don't know how to do much yet except put on the uniform, come to attention, and salute. This morning you will have the opportunity to serve your country by doing nothing more than showing up in uniform, coming to attention, and saluting." With that he marched about thirty of them down to the Receiving Station and arranged them alongside the dock.

Read more: Samuel Isaac Runyon

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