Riveters African American Soldiers 1 pilots in dress uniforms doughboys with mules African American Officers The pilots gas masks Mule Rearing

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.

Read more: William Anderson

John B. Kane

Submitted by: Gus and LaWanda Zimmerman {Grandson}

John B Kane

John B. Kane born around 1893. John Kane 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


The Khaki Road

My grandfather, John B. Kane, an architect who lived in the Philadelphia area, died when I was twelve years old. He never discussed his time in the service during WWI.

When my mother was an adult, she discovered a book he wrote to her when she was ten years old. The "little story" was typed on fragile onion skin paper, written as though he were telling his young daughter stories about his military service. We speculate that he wrote the book because WWII was just starting, and he couldn’t imagine how the leaders would allow such monumental sacrifice to occur again.

WWI was the first time Americans fought overseas, consequently resulting in the formation of the Graves Registration Service. His drafting experience was put to good use by designing and plotting the first of many American cemeteries in France.

Read more: John B Kane

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 1922.

Story of Service


Transcription: World War I Diaries of Pvt. Charles C. Peterson

Diary 1: black notebook, sewn binding
[inscription on front page]
Pvt Charles C. Peterson
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.”

Read more: Charles C. Peterson

John August Kiecker

John August KieckerSubmitted by: Janet L. Rajala {Grand Niece}

John August Kiecker born around 1890. John Kiecker 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


John August Kiecker served as a corporal in the American Expeditionary Force of the U.S. Army under General John J. Pershing. Although I have few records of his service, the following is an excerpt from a letter he wrote to his nephew, John Lietzau, (my uncle) on April 20, 1919 from Quernignyrot, France.

"Well, John, I am still in France but soon will leave for Germany where we'll enter the occupation troops and therefore have to hold our end down until everything is settled. The first peace treaty is supposed to be signed by the 25th. Inst. probably the soldiers will be lessened according to peace negotiations. Just think today it is Easter sunday and no eggs for today. Eggs, milk and sweet deserts you don't get in the army. Yesterday we had a beautiful day, sunshine all day, mind you. This occurs not often in France. I must tell you that I am teaching school here in the army and therefore am not drilling at present. Four boys from our company got a discharge from the Army and now be home or on their way home."

" I am feeling hale and hearty and would be ok if they send us back to the states. "

"The frogs are shearing their sheep now consequently they are looking for warmer weather in the near future. By frogs, I mean the french people. You can rest assured it will be a great day for us boys when they turn us loose with a honorable discharge from the services of the U.S."

Read more: John August Kiecker

Frank William Taylor

Frank William TaylorSubmitted by: Janet L. Rajala {Granddaughter}

Frank William Taylor born around 1892. Frank Taylor 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


My grandfather never discussed his experiences in WWI. Further, all his military records were destroyed in a fire in Washington D.C. in the 1970s. However, I have his pocket Bible given to him before he was sent overseas. It indicates he was going to France.

He entered the Army in August 1917, soon after he married my grandmother. His picture of him in uniform displays an insignia that gave us a clue as to his service. Researching the insignia, we believe he was part of the 89th Infantry Division. Another insignia on his collar appears to denote his relationship to the artillery. If so, he most likely served with the 164th Artillery Regiment.

Further research indicates the 89th Infantry Division was sent to France in June of 1918. They were part of the campaigns at St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne. The 89th was given a Battle Honor for their major operations in these two battles.

Read more: Frank William Taylor

Albert B. Replogle

Submitted by: Ramona Replogle {Daughter}

no photo 300

Albert B. Replogle born around 1893. Albert Replogle 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


Sgt. Albert B. Replogle

“L” Company, 362nd Infantry 91st Division “The Wild West Division”
Grass Range, Montana

We arrived in Tacoma in September, conscripts and a few enlisted men from,the nine Western states and Alaska territory. Montana had more recruits per capita than any other state.

Camp Lewis was prepared for us and we started drilling immediately. My division, the Wild West Division but officially known as the 91st, was given an insignia inspired by the Wild West: a green fir tree circled in red with a red 91 on center. We were proud to be the first American Army division formed in America and the first to be shooting in France.

We boys from Montana and Wyoming made up the 362nd Infantry Regiment, and we excelled at everything, We were the best in the mock trench battles, open warfare training, rifle fixed bayonets and hand to hand combat, and of course we were all expert marksmen and experienced shooters.

We needed some good Western passwords. We choose “Powder River”—a broad and dangerous looking stretch of wide water and coal-blackened sand running through Eastern Montana and Northern Wyoming. Not as formidable as believed at first sight, being actually only a few inches deep. A fitting thought while facing the Hun. It became our battle cry and we coupled it with “let ‘er buck”....the universal command of every ready-mounted Bro co Buster from corral to rodeo chute: Powder River - Let ‘er Buck became our war Whoop, our battle cry, our motto, our cheer. The motto of the French Army was, “they shall not pass”. We replaced that three year old watch word with our Wild West equivalent of let’s go...."Let’er Buck”


Read more: Albert B. Replogle

Thomas J. Quayle

Submitted by: Tish Wells {Distant cousin}

no photo 300

Thomas J. Quayle born around 1886. Thomas Quayle 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


Some stories aren't about the soldier but who they leave behind. Lieutenant Thomas Quayle married 23 year old Sarah Webster in July 1917, and they moved from base to base as the U.S. went to war. Then he was sent to fight in Europe.

Sarah Webster, widow of World War I

By Tish Wells

On July 3, 1917, a tall brunette of 23 married a military officer named Thomas J. Quayle, 31, a 1st Lieutenant, U.S. Army.

Three months before, on April 6, the U. S. had declared war on Germany.

Out of a mass of family owned, dimly-penciled letters and stationary inscribed with sputtering ink, yellowing telegrams, worn scrapbooks of photos, and official documents, came her story told in letters to her close friend, Mildred Chapman, who had kept the correspondence, most in their original envelopes, for a century.

Sarah and Mildred had sung in the choir at Hiram College in Ohio. After Sarah graduated, she went to work at fashionable Halle Brothers department store in Cleveland. A year later, in 1914, she helped Mildred get her first job there as a telephone orders clerk.

Then, Sarah’s life went a different way. Her father died, and she went home.

Read more: Thomas J Quayle

George H. Ratterman

George RattermanSubmitted by: John L. Nolan {Great Nephew}

George H. Ratterman born around 1898. George Ratterman served in World War 1 with the United States Army Air Corps. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

George H Ratterman joined the US Air Service and on 6/12/18 was assigned to the newly formed 96th Bombardment Squadron in the 1st Day Bombarment Group. This Squadron operated over the American Sector of the Front starting in mid May 1918.

When the St. Mihiel offensive began, the German railhead at Conflans was a frequent target for the 96th. On July 10th, 1918, the entire 1st Day Group was to make bombing attacks behind the German lines. The 96th’s target was Conflans. Due to very poor weather conditions, all units except the 96th decided not to fly. Six Breguet 14’s, each with their crew of two headed towards their target. Lt George Ratterman was in one of those bombers.

With no way to see the ground and primitive instrumentation they had no way to realize how strong the tail wind became, pushing them deeper into Germany than expected. Eventually the Squadron Commander, Major Brown realized they were not going to see their target and signaled for the Squad to turn back. Now the wind was in their face, slowing their progress back to the safety of France. One by one the Breguet’s began to run out of fuel. Each was forced to land. Each crew was unhurt, but all were captured.

Read more: George H. Ratterman

George Warren Schantz

Submitted by: Tim Schantz {great nephew}

no photo 300

George Warren Schantz born around July 4th 1896. George Schantz 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


Corporal George Warren Schantz

Our great uncle George was born on Independence Day, 1896 and grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania with our great grandparents, Adam and Lizzie, and his younger brother, Edwin, my grandfather (two other brothers, Llewellyn and William passed away as children). Family lore suggests that he also introduced brother Edwin to my grandmother, Carrie Stahley.

George enlisted at 21 on July 25th, 1917 with Company D, 4th Infantry of the Pennsylvania National Guard. This unit was reorganized at Camp Hancock, Georgia, and George became part of Company C, 109th Machine Gun Battalion of the 28th (Keystone) Battalion.

On May 7th, 1918, he left Camp Upton on Long Island for England, ultimately embarking from Folkstone for the British sector of the Western Front near Boulogne-sur-Mer. Company C and the 109th MGB went into direct action in France on George’s 22nd birthday to the south and west of Reims.

Read more: George Warren Schantz

A Tradition of Service Logo 75George 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".

Read more: George Wiley Byrd

Otto C. Hardtke

Submitted by: Roy W Kessmann (Great Nephew)

no photo 300

Otto C Hardtke born around 1 Oct 1892. Otto Hardtke 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


Story of Otto C Hardtke, 1 OCT 1892—2 NOV 1918, Military ID 2833359

When I was five or six years old, I was sitting next to my Grandmother Sielaff in Oak Park while she was reading her German Bible. A news clipping fell out and landed on the floor. I picked it up and saw that it had a photo of a soldier in a uniform. I asked her who it was and with tears in her eyes she said that it was her Brother and he was killed in the war.

I asked her for some details and she said she had none. I asked my Mother if she knew anything about it but she said all she knew was what she overheard from her Uncle and Otto's Father. So I went through my entire life wondering what could have happened. Finally, six years ago I decided to begin researching the details. My findings so far are documented here.

Otto C Hardtke was born in Chicago, IL on 1 Oct 1892 to German immigrant parents Wilhem and Wilhelmina Jennerich Hardtke. Wilhem and Wilhelmina arrived in the United States separately from Prussia in the early 1880's. Wilhem arrived in 1882 and Wilhelmina in 1884. They met in Chicago, and were married on 1 January 1888. They lived in Ward 15 then 14 in Chicago.


Read more: Otto C Hardtke


About Family Ties Button

Stories of Service Button 250


submitservice revise

Documenting Doughboys 260

donateartifact revise


genealogicalresources revise

Navy Log Button 250

"Pershing" Donors

Founding Sponsor
PritzkerMML Logo

Starr Foundation Logo