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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.

Daniel R. Warvel and his brother Ira W. Warvel

Submitted by: Lana Lease-Johnston (Granddaughter and WWI Centennial Commission Volunteer!)

58acf0b4b1f98 iraandgrandpa1917

Daniel R. Warvel and his brother Ira W. Warvel served in World War 1 with the the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 10-1917 through 5-19-1919.


My Grandfather Daniel R. Warvel (right) served with his younger brother Ira (left) in WWI. Daniel served in the 128th Infantry, Company M. He served with the Red Arrow Division in the Aisne-Marne Offensive, Oise-Aisne Offensive, and the Muese-Argonne Offensive. The Red Arrow Division was the division known to finally break the last stronghold of the German forces, causing their ultimate surrender.

Not much is known of my grandfather's brother, Ira but he did return home after the war. My grandfather's history is very well known to me as I have his daily journal and letters written home and this is how I got to know him. What follows is a short story of how I became interested in my grandfather.

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Daniel Thomas Murie

Submitted by: Muriel Ellis Parrish

58ab5c689a22c IMG 2095 Murie WWI

Daniel Thomas Murie served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 26 Apr 1918 - 3 Jun 1919.


Daniel Thomas Murie aka Thomas Daniel Murie was a private in the 89th Inf Div, 177th Inf Brig, 354th Inf Reg, 3rd Inf Batt, Co I during combat and when the war ended he was a Corporal in Co C of the Army of the Occupation.

His enlistment record said he participated in the Lucey Sector engagement, St Mihiel Offensive, Euvezin Sector and Meuse Argonne Offensive. He knowledge was listed as mechanic, with excellent character and service remarks of honest and faithful with no AWOL or absence without leave.

He was gassed in the trenches while fighting Aug 7-8, 1918. He loved to tell war stories to Jack Ellis, his son in law and Robert Parrish the husband of his granddaughter. He wore tropical worsted wool pants and shirts from the army surplus stores the rest of his life. He said they kept you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. He always had Juicy Fruit gum to give to his grandchildren and a silver dollar was always a present on birthdays and at Christmas. He collected poems and had amassed a huge collection of them at his death.

He was born on 17 Feb 1893 in Sheridan, WY and died on 7 Nov 1975 in Reno, NV. He was married to Gladys Myrtle Jones on 9 Nov 1917 in Greeley, CO. He was one of 13 children born to John Murie, born in 1846 in Lanark, Scotland and Julia Kelly born in Clare County, Ireland. John Murie immigrated to America at the age of 6 weeks in 1846 with three other brothers under the age of four with his father, Peter Murie and mother Ann Allen. This family's contribution was significant to the opening of the west on the Overland Trails.


Martin Theodore Mathisen

Submitted by: Victoria L. Nilsen

Martin T Mathisen 300Martin Theodore Mathisen served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 05/28/1918-06-05/1919.


Martin Theodore Mathisen was born 5 November 1889 in Brooklyn, New York to Norwegian immigrants Edvard Mathisen and Amalia Cathrine Pedersen. At the time of his draft registration in June 1917, the 28-year-old was working as an investigator for the New York Railways Company in Manhattan.

Family lore described Martin as deeply patriotic but someone who also felt a conscientious objection to war. “Religion” was cited as the reason for exemption from service on his June 1917 draft registration card. Despite this request, he received induction papers to report to duty on May 28th, 1918 at the Local Board Division #43 in Brooklyn.

Some accommodation may have been made for his convictions. After spending a few weeks at Camp Upton, New York where he received vaccinations and some drill training, he was sent to Camp Meade, Maryland where he and was assigned to the 313th Infantry, Co. K of the 157th Brigade and the 79th Division commanded by Major General Joseph E Kuhn. Shortly after this assignment he was transferred to the 313th Sanitary Detachment to provide first aid to the wounded.

Martin endeavored to keep the memories of his time in France alive by keeping notes about his daily life. He transferred those notes into diaries where he detailed his activities. He also compiled a scrap book containing more notes, post cards, and pictures which he ordered from the war photographer M.C. Sparks. This compilation of memories provides a glimpse of his experiences as a medic during the Meuse-Argonne offensive.

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A Tradition of Service Logo 75Sgt Willard Tompkins

Submitted by: Leland E Tompkins (son)

Willard TompkinsSgt Willard Tompkins served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 21 Dec 1910 - 3 Oct 1919.


Willard Tompkins was my father and born in 1890 in England. He grew up in the state of Maine, U.S. He enlisted at Fort Wright, New York 21 Dec 1910. He was in the Coast Artillery and spent most of his time working on small boats for Harbor Defense around New York. He made Corporal in Oct 1912 and Sgt on 1 Aug 1917.

In 1917 he was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division with the Ammunition Train. He and his unit moved as the Division did maintaining a flow of all types of munitions to the units. NCO's on motorcycles lead trucks into the units where they delivered the munitions. Also, NCO's where in charge of movements without officers at times.

Sgt Tompkins had worked on engines on boats and vehicles so he worked on the vehicles often along with unit mechanics.

After 11 Nov 1918 Sgt Tompkins was transferred to the 13th Infantry and performed occupation duties with that unit until it returned to the U.S. in Sept 1919 . My father separated from the Army at Camp Dix, NJ 3 Oct 1919.

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Martin Booterbaugh

Submitted by: Raymond Schaffranek

5899315750c8f Martin Booterbaugh in WWI uniform (2)

Martin Booterbaugh served in World War 1 with the United States Marine Corps. The dates of service are: Known May 19, 1917 to June 20, 1919.


Martin Samuel Booterbaugh was born on January 31, 1895, in Mark Hanna, near the town of Ashville in Cambria County, Pennsylvania. He was the fourth of eleven children born to John Booterbaugh and Louisa McDermott. The Booterbaugh (aka Butterbaugh) family has a long history of military service dating back to the Civil War. Martin’s Grandfather Samuel Butterbaugh served two enlistments during the Civil War as a Pennsylvania volunteer in the Army of the Potomac, first with the 125th Infantry Regiment at the Battles of Antietam and Chancellorsville and then with the 208th Infantry Regiment in the siege of Petersburg and in the Appomattox Campaign. So it comes as no surprise that Martin would step forward to serve his country during WWI.

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Lt. Edward Cedric Harris

Submitted by: N. Larry Rozier

589b3b2fa58eb Lt. Cedric Harris

Lt. Edward Cedric Harris served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known April, 1917 - Nov. 11, 1918.


He served with a Machine Gun Company, 81st Div., 321st Inf. When his unit came under fire, he carried a machine gun through the wire and came under fire from 3 enemy machine guns. He was fatally wounded on Nov. 11, 1918. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and The Croix de Guerre from France.




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A Tradition of Service Logo 75John Schaffranek

Submitted by: Raymond Schaffranek (son) and Jeffrey Popchock (grandson)

5898a969179ee Pvt Schaffranek   Camp Lee picture 4x6

John Schaffranek served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known April 1, 1918 to June 4, 1919.


My father, John Schaffranek, was born in Rotthausen, Germany, on February 19, 1896. When he was nine years old, his mother Marie and father John emigrated from Germany with their five children. The family arrived in the United States on May 23, 1905, on board the SS Kroonland sailing within sight of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. The SS Kroonland would later serve as a troop transport ship for the US Army and Navy after the United States entered WWI.

Upon completion of immigration processing at Ellis Island, the family traveled to the small coal mining town of Portage in the central Allegheny Mountains of western Pennsylvania. John’s father found work in a local coal mine and, sometime thereafter, John was working in a coal mine as well, likely before the age of fourteen, as documented in the 1910 Federal Census.

On August 5, 1913, his father completed the naturalization process, renounced allegiance to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the family was granted full citizenship. With their income and future secured, the family was ultimately able to purchase a two-acre plot of land in the Portage Township, Cambria County, Pennsylvania. They built a small house and settled down in their new home and country.

At age 21, my father registered for the military draft on June 5, 1917, two months after the United States Congress voted to declare war on Germany. He was drafted into the US Army on April 1, 1918, and received basic training at Camp Lee, Virginia. During World War I, he served as a Private on French soil with the American Expeditionary Forces from May 31, 1918, to May 16, 1919. He departed for “Over There” on May 22, 1918, on board the USS Leviathan sailing within sight of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. The USS Leviathan dropped anchor in the Harbor of Brest, France, on May 30, 1918. Pvt. Schaffranek was assigned to “I” Company in the 3rd Battalion, known as the “Flying Squirrels,” of the 318th Infantry Regiment in the 80th Division. The 80th Division was referred to as the “Blue Ridge Division” since most of the troops came from Virginia, West Virginia, and western counties of Pennsylvania.

Read more: John Schaffranek

Ruben Ferdinand Martin

Submitted by: Douglas M. Frye

58bbefcd61b77 Ruben

Ruben Ferdinand Martin served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known Aug. 11, 1918 to Dec. 9, 1918.


First Lieutenant Dr. Ruben F. Martin
Medical Corps
Ft. Riley, Kansas

Dr. Ruben Ferdinand Martin (pictured in approximately 1893) served the United States during both World War I and World War II. He adjusted his birth date and first name to facilitate this service by mitigating any prejudice against age and German heritage. His grandparents had fled Prussia at a time when heightened conservative values were crushing individual freedoms. Ruben became a doctor to alleviate suffering, but found that his skill was used to send a family that included young children back to Germany during the final period of WWII when Germany was being destroyed.

King Frederick William IV of Prussia, (1795-1861) instituted conservative policies that helped spark the Revolution of 1848. In the aftermath of the failed revolution, Frederick William followed a reactionary course. Family legend has it that a clandestine political meeting was taking place in the Martin/Goettel household when soldiers entered the house. The group’s plans were stuffed into a baby’s diaper. Although the plans were not discovered, one family member was arrested and the rest of the family decided to emigrate to America in 1858.

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Shinichi Takenouchi

Submitted by: Michael Itamura (grandson)

5894208c7f071 Army47

Shinichi Takenouchi served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 24 May 1918 - 14 Jun 1920.


My grandfather was a cook during his almost two years of service in the Army. He was born on Maui, the first son born to Japanese Immigrants to Hawaii. He was living in Yuma, Arizona when the US entered WWI in 1917. He entered the Army at Fort McDowell on Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay on May 24, 1918. He was sent to the Presidio on May 28th and attached Company D of the 63rd infantry regiment. On August 11, 1918, the 63rd Infantry Regiment left California and was sent to Camp Meade, MD to undergo final training in anticipation of being shipped to Europe in the Fall. The Spanish flu swept through Camp Meade in mid-September which delayed their training and deployment. The unit was finally cleared for deployment in early November but Armistice happened on November 11th so they were not sent to Europe.

With the end of the war, the companies in the 63rd Regiment were sent to DC, NY, or other locations in Maryland. My grandfather’s Battalion was sent to the Curtis Bay Ordnance Depot on Jan 17, 1919 to guard the powder magazines. He was sent to Madison Barracks in Sackets Harbor, NY at the end of May 1919. He re-enlisted for another year on June 13, 1919. In June 1919, he saw the surrendered German U-Boat UC-97 when it toured the great lakes that summer.

On September 1, 1919, he was sent to Fort Ontario (Oswego, NY) and then returned to Madison Barracks on May 4, 1920. He was discharged from the Army on June 14, 1920.

Unit: 63rd Infantry Regiment Company D - Presidio (San Francisco, CA), 11th Division — Camp Meade (MD), 63rd Infantry Regiment Company D - Curtis Bay Ordnance Depot (Near Baltimore, MD), Madison Barracks (Sackets Harbor, NY), and finally Fort Ontario (Oswego, NY).

Read more: Shinichi Takenouchi 2

Private Roman Paterka C/131/33

Submitted by: Dennis Paterka (grandson)

Roman Paterka

Private Roman Paterka C/131/33 served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 7/1917 to 5/1919.


My grandfather, Roman Paterka (the first generation of Polish immigrants), was a private in the 131st Infantry Regiment, 33rd Division AEF during the Great War. While rated as a mechanic, once he arrived in France he was switched to infantryman. Roman died 20 years after the Great War at the age of 43 of heart failure. Having been gassed during the war, I have to wonder if the gassing contributed to his early demise.

Amazingly the full volume of his letters have survived. I've posted letters from my grandfather on this web site: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?/topic/80307-usa-131st-infantry-regiment-33rd-division-aef/&page=2 under the handle dpaterka. The letters are written to my grandmother at 919 Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, (now a bridge over an expressway).


Read more: Private Roman Paterka C/131/33

Frank C. Smith

Submitted by: Bob Ravener

58b5d61fa4cb7 Frank C. Smith Pvt NYNG 1916 Headshot 2

Frank C. Smith served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1916-1959.


Maybe it was the thought that eventually the United States would enter the war in Europe or maybe Frank was outraged that his beloved country was invaded several times with American fatalities that motivated him to serve. It also could have been little more than a young man seeking adventure and adding some excitement to his seemingly routine life as a twenty year old.

The newly minted private was immediately assigned to Battery C of the 2nd Field Artillery Regiment, part of the unit commanded by Colonel George A. Wingate, which would become the 105th Field Artillery Regiment and ultimately became part of the 52nd Field Artillery Brigade commanded by Wingate in WWI. He was promoted to private first class and his unit were federalized and sent to the Mexican border from July to December 1916.

Arriving home with the New York National Guard in early January, Frank was subsequently sent to officer training at Camp Wadsworth, SC. Promoted to sergeant on 01 June, 1917, and then an artillery gun chief, Frank was called up to the regular Army on 05 August 1917 and sent to Fort Niagara, NY in September to train others in artillery proficiency. He became engaged to Mathilde Putz of NY that month as well. Frank's regiment was converted to the 105th Field Artillery and he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on 01 June 1918, after completing his officer training.

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