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

Stories of Service

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

Russell Banks, Sr.

Submitted by: Mike Esposito {great grandson}

Russell Banks image

Russell -Banks, Sr. was born around 1895. Russell Banks 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

Chapter I -- The First Nine Years of My Life

By Russell Banks1

I was born September 25, 1895, at Elkatawa, Kentucky, the year the railroad was finished into Jackson, Kentucky2. My father, Samuel Henry Banks, made a living by cutting hickory timber and loading it in box cars to be shipped to Louisville, Kentucky to make wagons. Each car was supposed to have two wooden malls made and put in the car to split the timber at the factory.

I don’t know how long we lived at Elkatawa; the first recollection I have is living on Tira Creek3, a tributary of Frozen Creek. I remember my father was walking to the O & K4 Junction, five miles away, to help build the O & K railroad. While we lived here, I had my first pair of shoes. They were brogans with brass on the toes. There was no right or left, they were exactly the same so as to be changed back and forth if they started to run over. They were made of coarse stiff leather and the soles were put on with wooden pegs. They had to be greased with beef or mutton tallow to soften them up and keep out the water.

When I was three, we moved farther up the creek to a two-room log cabin. Here my father bought my mother her first cook stove. It was a 4-cap cast step stove known as a “rail burner.” It cost $12.50. While we were living here, Mother had a hen setting near the house and the hen was found dead on the nest from snake bite. Mother put the eggs in with an old cat and kittens and hatched every one.

Read more: Russell Banks, Sr.

Lee Jensen

Submitted by: K.C.Picard-Krone {World War 1 historian}

Lee Jensen image

Lee Jensen was born around 1895. Lee Jensen served in World War 1 with the United States Army Air Corps. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

 

With all the best intentions of serving his country in the Great War, twenty-two year old Lee Jensen, of Montpelier, Idaho enlisted in February 1918 with the Aviation section of the Army Signal Corps. He was ordered to take the train to Vancouver Barracks in Washington State to report for training.

Jensen came from a large farming family, like the rest of the residents in Montpelier. He was born in Brigham City, Utah on the 5th of December 1895 as the fifth son in a family of 15 and he was in pretty good health. Yet four and a half weeks after he had settled in with his bunk mates in April 1918, Jensen was running a fever. Over the course of four days it progressed to a dry hacking cough together with a runny nose and red splotches all over his body... all the symptoms of measles.

Read more: Lee Jensen

Lewis Lawrence Lacey

Submitted by: Laura Lacey Caldwell {Daughter}

Lewis Lawrence Lacey mugLewis Lawrence Lacey born around 1895. Lewis Lacey 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

 

CORPORAL LEWIS L LACEY

Military Biography

Corporal Lewis Lacey served in France during the Great War as a proud member of the 42nd Division of the American Expeditionary Forces. The eldest son of Dr. Lewis and Forney (Beaumont) Lacey, he was born in San Antonio, Texas, on March 27, 1895, and raised in Austin, Texas, where his father established his medical practice on Congress Avenue, a stone’s throw from the Texas state capitol building.

Lewis Lacey, like his three younger brothers, was educated in the Austin public schools and later attended the University of Texas in that city. During his youth, when the stifling heat of summer blanketed Austin, Lewis and his brothers would spend their school vacation camping, swimming, fishing and hunting at nearby Lake Austin. Those early camping experiences undoubtedly helped prepare him for the primitive living conditions in the hastily constructed military training camps both in the United States and in France, where sometimes his only shelter was the pup tent he carried in his backpack.

Read more: Lewis Lawrence Lacey

Stephen Jendraszak

Submitted by: Ches Wajda {Great Nephew}

Stephen Jendraszak image

Stephen Jendraszak was born around 1892. Stephen Jendraszak served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1914 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

 

Pvt. Stephen Jendraszak (Co. C, Regiment: Machine Gun Battalion, 3rd Brigade) was born on Dec. 14, 1892 in Trzemeszno, Poland. His family immigrated to US in 1901, when he was 9½ years old (the oldest of 4 children). The family eventually came to reside in Chicago, Ill. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1914, at age 21.

He was killed in action on day 2 of The Battle of Soissons in Ploisy, France – as result of an airplane bomb – on Friday, July 19, 1918. He was 25 years old.

The Battle of Soissons (July 18-22, 1918) was a battle fought on the Western Front during World War I. This battle marked the key turning point of the war, as the Germans would be on the defensive for the remainder of the conflict. The war ended 5 months later.

Stephen was a Polish immigrant who loved his adopted country of the United States. He made the ultimate sacrifice in a battle that turned the tide of World War I. I am proud to be his great nephew.

 

Thordur Thordarson

Submitted by: Stephen Thordarson {Grandson}

Thordur Thordarson image

Thordur Thordarson born was around 1897. Thordur Thordarson served in World War 1 with the United States Marine Corps. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1920.

Story of Service

 

My grandfather was born in Raudkollsstadir, Iceland and moved to America in 1899. He grew up in Upham, North Dakota and when America became involved in World War I, he joined the Marine Corps, his brother Oskar joined the Army.

My grandfather trained in Texas, California and finally at Quantico. He was part of the 5th Brigade and was sent to France.

I believe my grandfather was one of only 5 Icelanders who served in the US military during World War I.

Read more: Thordur Thordarson

Joel Talbot Arthur

Submitted by: Wanda Arthur {Great-great-niece}

Joel Talbot Arthur snipJoel Talbot Arthur born around 1891. Joel Arthur served in World War 1 with the United States Army . The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Joel Talbot Arthur was born June 17, 1891, in the Greshamville area of Greene County, Georgia. Named for both grandfathers, Joel Ruark (pronounced “Rooks” at the time) and Talbot Arthur, he was the fifth of seven children born to Seaborn Arthur and Mary Eugenia “Jennie” Ruark Arthur. Just three generations removed from a great-grandfather who had owned 900 acres in neighboring Oglethorpe County, Joel was born into the downtrodden, post- war South in which cotton was still king but little cash was in circulation. Sharecropping had evolved, whereby poor farmers, black and white, worked land owned by others in return for a place to live and a minor share of the harvested crop. Such was the plight of the Arthur family for several generations.

In 1900, the Arthurs lived on a rented farm in the Greshamville District. At that time, according to the census, nine-year-old Joel was not attending school and was unable to read or write. The cotton crop, a Georgia sharecropper’s sole means of survival, as well as other demands of the farm, rendered schooling an intermittent opportunity when there was nothing else to do. As with most sharecropping families, the Arthurs moved frequently, forever seeking to improve their lot in life. At some point during the time period 1901-1902, Seab Arthur moved his family north, crossing over into the adjacent county of Oconee and settling on a tenant farm near the town of Watkinsville. Seab died there, January 31, 1906, leaving Jennie with 19-year-old Lenora, 14-year-old Joel, 10-year-old Grady, and 5-year-old Gladys.

Read more: Joel Talbot Arthur

George Anthony Basel

Submitted by: Brian Basel {Grandfather}

George Basel image

George Anthony Basel was born around 1890. George Basel 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Forrest Reynolds

Submitted by: Christopher Reynolds {2nd Great Nephew)

James Reynolds image

James Forrest Reynolds was born around 1895. James Reynolds 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert J McClain

Submitted by: Dennis {Great Nephew)

Robert McClain image

Robert J McClain was born around 1903.  Robert McClain 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Felix Ferguson

Submitted by: Chelsy Proper {museum director}

Felix Ferguson image

Felix Ferguson was born around 1893. Felix Ferguson 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

 

Before the War, Felix Ferguson was a farmer in the Moss Grove area of Berkeley County, South Carolina.

Felix Ferguson enlisted in the US Army in Moncks Corner, South Carolina on December 18, 1917. Ferguson was assigned as a private to Company H of the 370th Infantry; this was an African-American regiment, one of only a few in the War. He served until February 24, 1919 and was honorably discharged in March, 1919.

Ferguson was awarded three citations for gallantry in action near Trieres Farm (France) in September 1918, continuing to fight though he had trench foot.

Unfortunately, Ferguson died in 1920, leaving behind a wife, Ella, and a daughter, Rosabell.

 

Saul Solomon

Submitted by: Bob Wolfson {Great Nephew}

Saul Solomon image

Saul Solomon was born around 1895. Saul Solomon 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

 

Saul Soloman

Born in Piatra-Neamt, Romania in 1895. Immigrated to England, South Africa and back to England. Came to the US in 1906. Saul was a naturalized citizen in 1917.

He was a college student when the war broke out. He served overseas from Apr 2 1918, until he was Killed in Action on Oct 19th 1918. He was engaged in 2 Battle of the Marne; Argonne. Saul was a Pvt serving with 11 Co 152 Dep Brigade and the HQ Co, 30th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division.

He received the Pendant La Grande Guerre, ( Certificate signed by the President of France and the Victory Medal. Saul is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery.

 

Subcategories

About Family Ties Button

Stories of Service Button 250

 

submitservice revise

Documenting Doughboys 260

donateartifact revise

RollofHonorSideButton

genealogicalresources revise

Navy Log Button 250

"Pershing" Donors

$5 Million +


Founding Sponsor
PritzkerMML Logo


Starr Foundation Logo


The Lilly Endowment