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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.

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.

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George Warren Schantz

Submitted by: Tim Schantz {great nephew}

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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.

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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".

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Otto C. Hardtke

Submitted by: Roy W Kessmann (Great Nephew)

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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.

 

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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

Private Harry Druckerman

Submitted by: Henry Druckerman {son}

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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}

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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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