Martin Theodore Mathisen
Submitted by: Victoria L. Nilsen
Martin 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.