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

Stories of Service

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

Morrison Hayes

Submitted by: Scott Spillane {American Legion Post 702 Adjutant}

Morrison Hayes image

Morrison Hayes born around 1895. Morrison Hayes 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


Our Post Morrison Hayes Post #702 in Wellsville, NY. was named after Cpl. Morrison Hayes. He was killed in action on July 19, 1918 after wounds received in combat.

Corporal Hayes is buried overseas in France. Cpl. Hayes was a member of B Company 10th Machine Gun Battalion.

Our Post is 100 years old this year with 100% goal in membership in Legion, Auxiliary and Sons. This post is one of the cornerstones of Wellsville, New York.




J. Arthur Mayer

Submitted by: John A Mayer {Son}

J. Arthur Mayer mugJ. Arthur J. Arthur Mayer born around 1893. J. Mayer 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


Veterans Day has always seemed special to me. My Dad, J. Arthur Mayer, was a WW I veteran and I grew up hearing his reminiscences. On this one hundredth anniversary of Armistice Day I just feel compelled to record some of those “rememberies.” Our once close-knit family has spread to the four corners and there is no one left in the immediate family who seems much interested, so I’ll post it here in his memory FWIW. (Yeah, we skipped a generation. Dad was born in 1893, and was 50 before I was born in 1944. I’m the age of my second cousins. Many of my first cousins were WW II veterans.)

Dad was 24 when he was drafted off the farm. He entered active duty in July 1918, and was sent to Camp Pike, Arkansas for basic training, I think for 4-5 weeks. He was one of the older men in his group, and was offered NCO Academy training. But he said it was so hot and humid and generally miserable there that when his group was given the opportunity to “go to Brest”- the debarkation point for the American Expeditionary Force in France – that he volunteered for that. He said it was to escape the misery of Arkansas, but I suspect he also felt some duty to go in place of his older married brothers who were starting families and other married men.

Read more: J. Arthur Mayer

A Tradition of Service Logo 75Harold William Jenkins

Submitted by: Thomas H Jenkins (Son}


Harold William Jenkins was born around 1896. Harold William Jenkins 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


The story of my dad really is the story of 2 generations overlapping 3 wars.

Firstly my dad was a farmer from Missouri born 1896, and drafted in 1917 into the Army. He was initially stationed in Texas. It was later that he was shipped to France as a Sgt. that his tour ended.

Much of his stories were never told, for I was only a minor, born 1949 and my mother was born 1927, so big age difference. He begin to relay stories as I as growing, spending much of the summers with him on the street cars, the "LA RED CARS".

My dad passed in 1965 at LA County Hospital, after many visits to the Veterans hospital. Which to me, I was 14, was an time of seeing much suffering of that generation. I myself and my brother served in the Marines in Viet Nam era, being draft inducted. I now started to understand what it meant to be up on duty during a War.

Thanks to all those that served in all wars to end the previous wars, and Happy Birthday Dad.

Your son, Thomas H Jenkins USMC 1968-1979 27th Marines


William Leo Greenaway

Submitted by: William Greenaway {Son}

William Greenaway image

William Leo Greenaway was born around 1901. William Greenaway served in World War 1 with the United States Marine Corps. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service


Enlisted 7 JUL 1918 at 17 years old.


Company ''E'' Marine Barracks,

Paris Island, SC & Overseas Depot,

Marine Barracks, Quantico, VA;

Company ''L'', 13th Regiment, AEF France/USS Henderson/Rest Camp Brest, France/Camp Saint Sulpice, Gironde, France/USS Siboney. Discharged 1919.


Alexander J O'Hanlon

Submitted by: Jacquelyn Sweigart {Great-Granddaughter}

Alexander J. OHanlonAlexander J O'Hanlon born around 1881. Alexander O'Hanlon served in World War 1 with the United States Merchant Marine . The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service





Read more: Alexander J. O'Hanlon

Henry Elise Lambert

Submitted by: Donna Blews {Granddaughter}

5cbf61067a9ff Henry Lambert small picHenry Elise Lambert born around 1896. Henry Lambert 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


Henry was not his real name! The Army shortened his name from Joseph Eteinne Remi Elise Lambert, when he enlisted in the National Guard April 2, 1917. Henry was born in Canada, but lived in Berlin, New Hampshire.

Henry was part of Co L,1st infantry NH National Guard(Co L 103rd infantry)...he was part of Co K 103 infrantry, 26th Yankee Division ti his discharge. He earned Private first Class C1 on January 13/1919. Henry was stationed at Camp Keyes, in Concord,NH, and then moved to Camp Bartlett, on the Hampden Plains, in Westfield,Massachusetts and was shipped off to France from there. Henry fought in the following campaigns: Champagne-Marne,Aisne-Marne,St.Mihiel,Meuse-Argone,Defensive Sector.

On September 27,1918, he was severely gassed, and reported to the Base Hospital on October 4th ,he was complaining of conjestion and chest pain,they prescribed best rest and RX.On October 16, he was tested and sent back to duty. he was again in the hospital for observation for the gas attach. He was suffering from gas absorption of deleterious chlorine and mustered gas inhalation while in action.This injury was received in the Champlon,St.Mihiel Sector.

Read more: Henry Elise Lambert

William J Anderson

Submitted by: Donna Blews {Granddaughter}

William J AndersonWilliam J Anderson born around 1899. William Anderson 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


William Anderson was born in New Britain, Ct. Grew up in New Britain,Ct.,and joined the Connecticut National Guard ...he was E.Pvt.,Co.I,1st Regt.Conn.Inf.,N.G. Feb 22, 1917...he was called to service March 26, 1917 and then drafted into the U.S. Service August 5,1917.

He was transfered to Co.I,102nd Infantry., R.S.O.152, 26th Yankee division...he served in France and fought at St.Mihiel, Verdun, Chateau Theirry, Siechwprey and was wounded in action twice, severely on July 22, 1918  in the right leg and loosing his left index finger. He became part of the AEF September 16, 1917 to March 25, 1918.

He was honorably discharged April 4th, 1919.

Read more: William J Anderson

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.

Roy William Billingsley

Submitted by: Deborah Billingsley Cavalcante {Grandniece}

Roy William BillingsleyRoy William Billingsley was born around 1901. Roy Billingsley served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1921.

Story of Service


My great-uncle, Roy William Billingsley, was born on 20 July 1901. He had lost his mother in January of 1913. Shortly after his mother's death, his father put him and his younger brother, James Stanley, in the Louisville Industrial School for Boys, to finish their education. He gave their youngest sister, Alice Rose, to a family in Oklahoma and then he skipped town, never to be heard from again.

Roy enlisted in the Army, at age 15, on 9 Apr 1917 (Regiment 30th Inf. Company “A”) and was stationed at Camp Merritt, NJ. According to his Roll of Honor entries he was in the Aisne defensive June 1918, the Chateau-Thierry July 1918, and the Champagne Marne defensive July 1918 when he was captured by the Germans 18 July 1918 and spent time in a prisoner of war camp, Camp Rastatt. He was released Dec 9, 1918. But in the interim, he was reported dead in the Louisville Courier Journal in August 1918. When he returned home about a year later, his sister Pearl fainted when she saw him standing at the door. He was honorably discharged 23 Jul 1921.

Uncle Roy later enlisted in World War II 19 Sep 1942. He was honorably discharged 11 Mar 1943. After World War II, he married but never had children of his own. But after the death of his niece, in 1960, he helped raise her 5 young children. I was one of those children and even though I was his grand-niece, he was a real grandfather to me.

Read more: Roy William Billingsley

Matthew Thomas Cleary

Submitted by: Mel Keenan {American Legion Post 255 Commander}

Matthew Cleary image

Matthew Thomas Cleary was born around 1893. Matthew Cleary served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1916 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service


Matthew Thomas Cleary, Born September 24, 1893, at Lima, NY. He grew up in Caledonia but attended school in Avon, which was closer. Father, James B. Cleary, and Mother, Margaret Hayes Cleary, moved to Avon, NY when Matt was in the military. Siblings included John J. Cleary and Raymond J. Cleary of Caledonia, Marie A. Cleary, Avon.

 Citizenship, native, educated at Cathedral School, St. Agnes Grammar School, Avon, NY, Avon High School, June 21, 1910, and Rochester Business Institute, March 16, 1915. Civilian occupation as farmer on James B. Cleary farm on Route 5 in Caledonia.

Previous military experience, saw service on the Mexican border at McAllen, Texas with Troop M, 1st NY Cavalry during 1916 and 1917. Date of entry into the service, February 8, 1916. At the time of death he was Sergeant in company D, 105th Machine Gun Battalion, 27th Division.
Matthew T. Cleary enlisted in Troop M, 1st NY Cavalry, February 6, 1916. The following June his regiment with the entire National Guard was ordered to the Mexican Border owing to the serious border trouble.

Read more: Matthew Thomas Cleary

Larry Dean Donbeck

Submitted by: Madonna Jervis Wise community member

no photo 300Larry Dean Donbeck born around 16 January 1897, Larry Donbeck served in World War 1 with the the United States Navy . The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service


Lovely article in local newspaper..."The Delphi Journal," Delphi, Indiana, November 7, 1918


Somewhere in France, October 7, 1918

My Dearest Sister,

I must write you now, for it has been so long since I have written to you. I expect you are wondering just what your big brother is doing. Well, he has been very busy for the last three weeks. You see I was in the drive! We drove the Germans away back. They retreated at first without showing much opposition. Many prisoners were taken. We captured a big bunch the first day of the attack. They were mostly older men and boys. It sure looked good as we went into action to pass big lines of these prisoners on their way back to the camp.

Read more: Larry Dean Donbeck


About Family Ties Button

Stories of Service Button 250


submitservice revise

Documenting Doughboys 260

donateartifact revise


genealogicalresources revise

Navy Log Button 250

"Pershing" Donors

$5 Million +

Founding Sponsor
PritzkerMML Logo

Starr Foundation Logo

The Lilly Endowment