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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.

Peter Alphonse Connelly

Submitted by: Chris Connelly

592b0cd432219 Peter Connelly BAR

Peter Alphonse Connelly served in World War 1 with the United States Marine Corps. The dates of service are: Known January 1918 to August 1919.


Peter Alphonse Connelly served with the United States Marine Corps 5th Regiment from January 8, 1918 through August 9, 1919.

Peter Connelly was born in the small Indiana hamlet of Oldenburg Indiana in 1896. The town settled by German immigrants and named after Oldenburg Germany, the birthplace of many of the settlers. While growing up living and working on a farm, Peter was an avid hunter and honed his marksmanship skills.

Soon after registering for the daft, Selective Services notified Peter he had been selected for service in the United States Marine Corps. Peter first reported to Paris Island, South Carolina in February 1918 for basic training. While there, Peter spent extra time on the rifle range sharpening his marksmanship skill and eventually qualifying as a Rifle Expert. In February, Peter’s regiment transferred to Quantico, Virginia for pre-deployment training and inoculations. On February 25 1918 he was deployed to France.

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John Martin Carrington

Submitted by: John R Carrington {son}

no photo 300

John Martin Carrington served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known August 14,1917 to 1919.


My father was a member of Motor Truck Company 10 of the 39th. Division US National Guard which was Federalized August 14th 1917 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He and his cousin, Van Carrington, enlisted together.

The unit embarked at Brest France in 1917 as an ammunition truck company. He would never talk about the experiences he had other than to tell me about using the protruding legs of German soldiers in the trenches, who had been buried by shell fire, to hang their "tin pots" on.

As many others who returned he suffered his entire life with what we now call PTSD. I have only the muster roster from the unit to remember his service by.


Charles R. Doe

Submitted by: Michael V. Grobbel

5928d132df10c Charles Rowley Doe WWI

Charles R. Doe served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known November 21, 1917 to March 10, 1920 .


Charles R. Doe was born on March 21, 1892 in Coffin Township, near Bruce Mines, Ontario, Canada. In 1897, his parents moved the family to Brimley, Michigan and Charles became a U.S. citizen in 1905.

Charles was drafted into the U.S. Army on November 21, 1917 and was sent for basic training to Camp Custer, near Battle Creek, Michigan, where he was assigned to Company A, 310th Engineers, 85th Division.
Camp Custer was the training cantonment for the 85th Division, which was also nicknamed the Custer Division.

In July 1918, the entire 85th Division shipped out for England, where they continued to drill and train in preparation for deployment to the Western Front in France. However, once they arrived in England, the 339th Infantry Regiment, the 1st Battalion of the 310th Engineers and the 337th Field Hospital and Ambulance Companies were given orders to prepare for deployment to Archangel, Russia. General John Pershing had assigned them to the American North Russia Expeditionary Force pursuant to orders he had received from President Wilson to support the British and French armies in the Allied Intervention in the Russian Civil War. Upon arriving in Archangel, the American troops were placed under British command and given orders to chase the retreating Bolshevik troops.

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William E. Votruba

Submitted by: David C. Votruba {grandson}


William E. Votruba served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known April, 1917 - June, 1919.


William E. (“Bill”) Votruba was a 25-year-old sophomore at the University of Michigan when the United States declared war on April 6, 1917. He knew without question that he should—and would—willingly enter the service, but wrestled with how best to proceed.

Thinking first to apply for training as an officer, he was dissuaded by flat feet. Then, hearing a new unit was forming at the University of Chicago to augment and/or replace volunteers providing ambulance services at the fronts, he thought this might be a good fit. He jumped a train to get there as fast as possible but, on arrival, learned the recruitment quota for the unit was already filled. His disappointment was short, though, as he was informed by the recruiting officer that a companion unit was being raised at that very moment back at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. He rushed there in time to enlist in that unit. As it happens, the Ann Arbor unit (Section 591, U.S. Army Ambulance Corps) was one of the very few USAAC units to make it to the war.

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Linda Konover Meirs

Submitted by: Ann Meirs Honadle Van Hise

Linda Konover MeirsLinda Konover Meirs served in World War 1 with the Red Cross. The dates of service are: Known 1916-1919.


Linda Konover Meirs (1884-1972) grew up in Allentown, NJ and obtained her nursing education at the Philadelphia General Hospital School of Nursing and the Mayo Clinic. As a member of the American Red Cross Nurse Corps, she rode with General John Pershing in pursuit of Pancho Villa.

In August of 1916 she was sent with the first American Red Cross Relief Delegation on the USS Mercy Hospital Ship to the European War Zone.

In 1917 she was given a commission to Romania, where she spent a brutal winter. June of the next year, she was assigned chief nurse of Hospital #23, Jouy-sur-Morin, France, where, according to a report from the front, Nurse Meirs "won conspicuous recognition for bravery under fire." She had an old chateau converted into a field hospital, where they received wounded soldiers directly from the front. This was the first of her hospitals to be bombed by air.

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Robert Kynoch

Submitted by: Hal Pratt

no photo 300

Robert Kynoch served in World War 1 with the the United States Navy. The dates of service are: Known 1917 to 1918.


Robert served as a Ship Fitter, Second Class, on the U.S.S. Prometheus AR-3. He contracted pneumonia due to the Spanish flu and died at Navy Base Hospital #5 in Brest, France in October 1918. He was buried at Kerfautras Cemetery in Brest. His body was returned to the family in 1922.






Harold Pratt

Submitted by: Hal Pratt {grandson}

Harold PrattHarold Pratt served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1917 to 1919.


My grandfather came to the U.S. from England as a child in 1907. He was naturalized while serving in the Army in Georgia in 1918.

Harold served as a drill sergeant, one of the shortest men in his company at five foot tall. A photograph shows him standing next to the tallest man in the company.




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James Widner

Submitted by: Madonna Jervis Wise {granddaughter}

James WidnerJames Widner served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known June 16, 1917 to May 9, 1919.


My Extraordinary Grandfather…James Widner

My Grandfather, James Widner, was a man’s man, and as a young girl, I admired his demeanor and no-nonsense manner without question! He was also an enigma because he had an impenetrable exterior to the world but a warmth and kindness to his grandchildren that included story-telling, harmonica playing, wrestling, and a tone of unconditional acceptance.

Even in 2017, my cousin, Marlyn and I love to reminisce about our grandfather and share stories of his tough-talking escapades in Delphi, Indiana. By occupation after the return from World War I, James leased the Perlman Brothers Junk Yard in Delphi; he traded hides, furs, and mussel shells in addition to junk. With several employees, James was a wheeler-dealer who did a great deal of the heavy lifting of his trade. In the early 20th century, it was what it was, simply authentic like my grandfather. My cousin reminded me recently of his charity. Each year he had a list of needy families in the community that he delivered Christmas presents to. She recalled, “If he saw a child who needed shoes, they suddenly appeared on the doorstep the next morning.”

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Owen J. Ambs

Submitted by: Kevin JC Gonzalez {grandson}

Owen J Ambs

Owen J Ambs served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known April 29, 1918 to May 9, 1919.


Entered service Michigan, trained in the 85th Custer Division, 329th Machine Gun Battalion, Company D. 85th Custer became thee 4 Depot Battalion, he became a replacement troop and entered into front line service in the 42nd Rainbow division, 151st Machine Gun Battalion, Co B. Arrived at front on September 1, 1918 in time for St. Mehiel and Argonne Forrest.

My grandfather.




Edwin Riley Bennett

Submitted by: Kevin Gonzalez

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Edwin Riley Bennett served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1917 to August 5, 1918.


Bennett was in the band, HQ of the of the 39th. On night of August 3-4, 1918 they relieved the 42nd Rainbow (my grandfather's division - yes, they knew each other- small farming town and all).

Morning of the 4th the 39th advanced on St. Thibaut and PC was established at 0800 in town. Bennett was in HQ Company, PC location.

"During the day of August 4th and the night of August 4-5th the area occupied in and around St. Thibaut was subjected to a heavy hostile artillery, minenwerfer and machine-gun fire." (Ref: 39th Inf. History)

The night of August 4/5, Edwin Riley Bennett 19 years of age was Killed In Action (KIA).

He was an only child. From Sherwood MI., engaged to my grandmother at the time of death.


Hyman C. Block

Submitted by: Carol Levarek {granddaughter}

591cff8e5719f LtHCBlockFrance1918

Hyman C Block served in World War 1 with the United States Army Air Corps. The dates of service are: Known 8/27/1917 - 4/1/1919.


Below is the description of my grandfather's experience in WWI, written by him in the mid 1960's.

I Flew with the 89th Aero Squadron
by Hyman C. Block

I was born December 18, 1896 in New York City. My family moved to Hartford, Connecticut in July 1897, so I spent practically my whole life in the Hartford area. I went through Hartford public schools, graduated Hartford Public High School in 1913 and worked for a couple of years before going to New York to attend Cooper Union School of Engineering.

While in New York, World War I broke out, as far as the United States was concerned.About June I decided to enlist in the Air Service. So I enlisted in the Signal Corps branch of the Army at Mineola, Long Island and was sworn in there on August 27, 1917. I was assigned to the Princeton University School of Military Aeronautics and started there October1, 1917 and graduated November 24m 1917. I was then assigned with four other graduates to North Island --San Diego, California -- for flying training.

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