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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.

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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Samuel Isaac Runyon

Submitted by: James Hillyer {Grandson}

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Samuel Isaac Runyon born around 1898. Samuel Runyon served in World War 1 with the United States Navy. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service


New Sailors Honor the Fallen, 1918

By 1968 health challenges were making it difficult for my grandpa Samuel Isaac Runyon to continue his lifelong ministry as a pastor of churches, so he accepted the assignment of writing a series of Sunday school lessons and I became his sixteen-year-old scribe and assistant. During breaks from the writing he would sometimes tell me what life was like for him when he was not much older than me -a time when he was still in his teens and the whole world had gone to war. In particular, he remembered a breakfast announcement at the Washington Navy Yard in 1918, which I will try to report verbatim, with the understanding that he was remembering an event that took place fifty years in the past, and I am now remembering that conversation with him from fifty years ago.

That morning he'd been in uniform for a few months, but many of the men had just arrived from the Great Lakes Navy Recruit Training facility and were wearing brand-new uniforms. During breakfast an officer strode into the room and announced, "You men have volunteered to serve your country. Some of you may think you don't know how to do much yet except put on the uniform, come to attention, and salute. This morning you will have the opportunity to serve your country by doing nothing more than showing up in uniform, coming to attention, and saluting." With that he marched about thirty of them down to the Receiving Station and arranged them alongside the dock.

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Frank Clark Nicholas

Submitted by: Dorothy Eleanor Nicholas {Daughter}

Frank Clark NicholasFrank Clark Nicholas was born April 28, 1892. Frank Nicholas 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 One The Official Record

My father, Frank Clark Nicholas, was inducted into the army September 10, 1917 at Local Board 63 Brooklyn, NY. He was 25 years old. He was honorably discharged May 9, 1919.

Dad was a Private 1st Class in Company M, 308th Infantry, 77th Division, American Expeditionary Forces (the Metropolitan Division _ New York’s finest). He received training at Camp Upton Yaphank, NY. He sailed from New York for England April 7, 1918. From Brest, France he returned to New York on April 28, 1919 sailing on the SS America.

Dad’s ship leaving New York for England was probably the SS Statendam (the Statendam was torpedoed in July which corresponds to information in Dad’s letter dated July 23, 1918).

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Albert J. Lentz

Submitted by: Mark A. Snell and Eric Lindblade

Albert J LentzAlbert J. Lentz born around 1895. Albert Lentz served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1915 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Private Albert J. Lentz of Company D, 18th Infantry, 1st Division, was the first soldier from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to be killed-in-action during World War I. Lentz fell near Cantigny, France on April 26, 1918, a month before the seminal American offensive of the war.

Albert had moved to Chicago about three years earlier but his parents, Israel and Susannah, still resided in Gettysburg at the time of Albert’s death.

Ironically, Private Lentz spent part of his childhood living in the house that today is known as “General Lee’s Headquarters,” which in July 1863 was owned by the widow Mrs. Mary Thompson.

While working in Chicago, Albert enlisted in the Regular Army and served in the Mexican Punitive Expedition. His regiment was one of the first American units to sail for France in 1917.

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Early Blair Johnson, Sr.

Submitted by: Robin Doucette {granddaughter}

Early Blair Johnson SrPNGEarly Blair Johnson, Sr. was born around 1886. Early Johnson 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, Corporal Early Blair Johnson was born in Marion, Virginia on Oct.16, 1886. As a young man he was employed by Appalachian Power Company and he was subsequently transferred to work at the power plant at Switchback in McDowell County, West Virginia.

It was there that he met my grandmother, Mazie Trent. He proposed to her at Christmas of 1917 and gave her a beautiful diamond which she treasured all of her life. Their wedding was postponed when the US entered World War I as he did not want to leave his young bride as a widow “if something happened.”

Corporal Johnson trained at Camp Lee, Virginia before sailing for France from Norfolk, VA in May of 1918 aboard the USS Tenefores. He served in the Headquarters Detachment of the 155th Field Artillery Brigade of the famous 80th Division. His unit served in the Somme Offensive, the St. Miheil Offensive and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The 80th Division was the only A.E.F. Division called upon three times during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and it was ranked first of all National Army Divisions by the War Department.

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James Milo Miller

Submitted by: Myron M. Miller {Son}

James Milo Miller

James Milo Miller was born around 1893. Jamse Miller 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

The Service in World War I of James Milo Miller, 314th Field Artillery Regiment

February 1918 – March 1919

First, I would like to say that I have written a book about the experience of my father, James Milo Miller, in World War I based on all the letters he wrote to various members of his extended family during his time in that war, from the time of his being drafted in 1918 until he was discharged in March 1919. The book also describes the remarkable hospitality extended to the three regiments of the 155th Field Artillery Brigade (the 313rd, the 314th and 315th Field Artillery Regiments) during their two months of training on the French 75 in and near the city of Redon, Brittany, France.

The men of the 155th Field Artillery Brigade made such a favorable impact on the citizens of that city that there was a 100th year commemoration of the arrival of that brigade in Redon on June 9, 2018! The brigade entered Redon for their two months of training in the wee hours of June 13, 1918.

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Thomas Clay Carter, Jr.

Submitted by: S.W. Calhoun, Jr., Researcher, Lauderdale County Archives, Meridian, Mississippi

Thomas Clay Carter Jr

Thomas Clay Carter Jr. born around 1889. Thomas Carter 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

Meridian Soldier to Receive Posthumous Purple Heart

1st Lieutenant Thomas Clay Carter, Jr began his military service in August, 1917, by application and acceptance into Officer’s Candidate School at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. After graduating from Meridian High School, Thomas was a Cadet Officer at Marion Military Institute and an outstanding baseball player. His education was continued at the University of Virginia, where he was Captain of the baseball team.

Thomas Carter was well thought of by all who came in contact with him. Thomas graduated from Officer’s Candidate School in December, 1917, receiving a commission and being assigned to the 320th Machine Gun Battalion at Fort Gordon, Georgia. In April, 1918, the 320th Machine Gun Battalion and other American units were on the way “Over There” to join the American Expeditionary Force in France. Lieutenant Carter was excited about going to war and the part he would play in the eventual victory. He saw his duty and clearly understood why we were involved and why it was necessary for the Allied Cause to prevail.

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John Chester Foster

Submitted by: Mark Foster {grandson}

John Chester Foster 300

John Chester Foster born around 1885. John Foster 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

In December of 2010, I started going through a box of my father's, letters, newspaper articles and pictures. I started reading several regarding my grandfather who was killed in World War 1. I knew very little about this man except that he was buried at Arlington National cemetery. Our family rarely spoke of him; he had divorced my grandmother and abandoned his family. My father never mentioned him and speaking with cousins, my uncles never brought him up either.

One interesting newspaper article stated that his headstone at Arlington was incorrectly labeled. It was from the Illinois State Register dated March 8, 1936 and said “the tombstone on his grave had borne the inscription, John Chester Foster of Pittsburg, Kansas, killed in action, 27 April 1918”. It went on to say that the family had visited Arlington and had trouble finding the grave because it had Kansas instead of Illinois. Later it said that the family had requested the headstone be changed and the war department had authorized “that a properly inscribed tombstone would be installed without delay.”

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Harry Ford Beatty

Submitted by: Robert Kolar {Cousin}

no photo 300

Harry Ford Beatty born around 1894. Harry Beatty 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

About October 1st, 1918. Cpl. Beatty was out on a patrol in the Argonne Forest near hill 244 when he was wounded by a rifle bullet. He was shot through the hips, the bullet passing completely through his body. He was given 1st aid and later taken to the hospital where he died.

Harry's body did not come back to the states until 2 years later on September 11, 1920.

I recently visited the cemetery where Harry was buried and realized he did not have a headstone, and I worked with the VA and the local cemetery to get the appropriate military headstone.


Walter William Ratinski

Submitted by: Theresa Cobb, Research Volunteer, Polish American Congress

no photo 300

Walter William Ratinski born around 1888. Walter Ratinski 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

Walter William Ratinski served in World War I With the United States Marine Corps. His tour of duty with the U. S. Marine Corps lasted from his enlistment on December 15, 1917 in Rochester, New York, to his death in the trenches of France on June 6, 1918.

Walter Ratinski was born in Rochester, Monroe County, New York on June 7, 1888. He was one of thirteen children of Anthony and Josephine Borowiecka Ratinski. His parents emigrated from Posen Province, a partition of Poland, specifically from the area around Wagrowicz and Margonin, probably in the late1870’s. They settled in the city of Rochester, New York, and from records available, baptized most of their children in either St. Michael’s or St. Stanislaus Kostka Parishes.

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Cyrus Ross Chamberlain

Submitted by: Patrick Mosites Employee at Minneapolis International Airport-airfield named in his honor Wold-Chamberlain Field

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Cyrus Ross Chamberlain born around 1889. Cyrus Chamberlain served in World War 1 with the Lafayette Escadrille. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

A native of Minneapolis, where his father was Chairman of the First and Security National Bank, Chamberlain joined the French Lafayette Flying Corps in June of 1917. He attended French school and was posted to Lafayette Escadrille Squad 98. Slightly older than his squadron mates, he was often more reckless than the rest.

During the German offensive in the spring of 1918, his squadron flew air superiority missions over the front lines and on 13 June, his group dove from 12,000 feet on some German aircraft. They had been lured into a trap and other German fighters attacked. Chamberlain was killed by machine gun fire from an enemy ship. He was posthumously awarded the Croix de Guerre.

Wold-Chamberlain Field - Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport was dedicated in his honor in 1923.

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