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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.

John Wesley Sorey

Submitted by: Chris Mulholland

no photo 300John Wesley Sorey served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1917-1918.


John Wesley Sorey was born in the Fentress section of Chesapeake on December 28th, 1896 and was working as a “Mate” on the Albermarle & Chesapeake Canal in 1918.

He joined the Army in 1917 and was assigned as a Private with Company D, 35th Engineers. Engineers were among the first US forces to arrive in France in 1917.

In December of that year, he caught measles and was hospitalized in Base Hospital #101 in St. Nazaire, France where he then developed pneumonia and died on January 13th, 1918.

Many years later, his father, Howard, applied for a veteran’s stone memorial which was approved and is located in Chesapeake Memorial Gardens.

Read more: John Wesley Sorey

Christopher Vernon Parr

Submitted by: Chris Mulholland

58e2aedd1c122 Parr Vernon C

Christopher Vernon Parr served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1917-1918.


Vernon Christopher Parr was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio on February 6th, 1890. He worked as fireman on a locomotive before enlisting in the US Army on April 27th, 1917. He apparently lived in the Berkeley section of Chesapeake during this period.

He was sent to Fort Thomas, Kentucky for training and was assigned to the 19th Cavalry. The 19th Cav was transferred to Camp Ethan Allen in Vermont where it was converted and redesignated as the 77th Field Artillery Regiment. Vernon was by now a Sergeant assigned to Battery D.

The 77th was assigned to the 4th Division and deployed overseas in May 1918. Vernon’s unit was supporting the attack across the Meuse River in Lorraine, France when he was hit with a “bursting shell” on September 27th, 1918 and died from his wounds.

After the war, his body was disinterred and returned to the US where he was buried on July 24th, 1921 in Decatur, Indiana although there are also records which indicate that he was buried in the Berkeley section of Chesapeake.


Read more: Christopher Vernon Parr

Nicholas L. Keller

Submitted by: Chris Mulholland

no photo 300Nicholas L. Keller served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1918-1918.


Nicholas L. Keller was born on February 10th, 1887 in Derby, Connecticut, just outside New Haven. In 1918 he was living in South Norfolk where he worked as a painter for an “Arthur McCloud.” He joined the Army as a Private and was assigned to the 116th Infantry Regiment in the 29th Division.

On September 15th, 1918, he received a serious gunshot wound near the Verdun Sector and developed pneumonia on December 16th, passing away on Christmas Day, December 25th, 1918. He is buried in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in Fere-en-Tardenois, France



Read more: Nicholas L. Keller

Howard Lonnie Johnson

Submitted by: Chris Mulholland

58e2ae057d08a Johnson HL headstone

Howard Lonnie Johnson served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1918-1918.


Howard Lonnie Johnson was born on November 24th, 1897 in the Berkley section of Chesapeake as the fourth of eight children. He was working as a painter in South Norfolk in 1918 when he registered for the draft and was sent to Camp Lee for training as a Private with Company D, 19th Battalion, Infantry Reserve Training Center (IRTC). He died there on October 5th, 1918 of influenza and is buried in Riverside Memorial Park in Norfolk.

The inscription on his tombstone reads, “Our Soldier Boy”



Read more: Howard Lonnie Johnson

John Wespe

A Tradition of Service Logo 75Submitted by: MCPO Michael J. Norrod, USN (Ret.) {grandson}

John WespeJohn Wespe served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known WWI 1917 to 1919.


My grandfather, John Wespe, served in the U.S. Army in WWI.

He was born 1887 in Louisville, Kentucky, orphaned and raised in a Catholic Orphanage.

He worked as a candy maker at the National Candy Company in Louisville from 1900 to 1917.

He went from Private to 1stLt by the end of the war.

He enlisted May 8th, 1917 at Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Subsequently serving in Company M of the 30th Infantry Regiment. Initially at Camp Syracuse, New York and then at Camp Greene, North Carolina. He departed for Europe February 27, 1918 and was attached to the 359th Infantry Regiment. Serving in Europe from then until June 7, 1919. His company commander was Capt. Mark Clark, later to gain fame as a four star general in WWII and the Korean War. They remained life long friends and my mother remembered meeting him several times as a young girl.

Read more: John Wespe

Simpson Hunter

Submitted by: Chris Mulholland

Simpson Hunter served in World War 1 with the no photo 300United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1917-1918.


Simpson Hunter was born on December 23rd, 1896 in Camden, South Carolina and was working as a “laborer” with the NS Wood Preserving Company in “Buell, Virginia” when he filled out his draft registration card in 1917. Buell is the industrial area of Money Point just west of route 464 in Chesapeake, along the Elizabeth River.

Simpson was assigned to the 511th Engineer Battalion (Colored) as a Private. The regiment was formed at Camp Lee in January 1918 before being deployed overseas in March. The 511th was responsible for “general construction”.

Simpson died on April 16th, 1918 in France and is buried in the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial in Île-de-France just outside Paris along with 1541 of his countrymen.


Read more: Simpson Hunter

James Francis Curry

Submitted by: Mary C. Curry

5915d0c20f440 JFC   PVT   WWI

James Francis Curry served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 27 May 1918 - 13 May 1919.


Private James Francis Curry, 2659635, Altoona, Blair County, Pennsylvania. Inducted at Akron, Ohio, 27 May 1918. Infantry training at Camp Gordon, Georgia, May 1918 – July 1918.

Served overseas with the AEF, U.S. 42nd “Rainbow” Division, 165th Infantry, Company “L”. Engagements: St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, Advance on Sedan, July 1918 – April 1919. 2nd Co., Ist. Tr. Btn., 158th Depot Brigade, May 1919.

Honorably discharged at Camp Sherman, Ohio, 13 May 1919.



William Jerome Gill

Submitted by: Jill Pender {granddaughter}

no photo 300

William Jerome Gill served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Unknown .


My grandfather (William J. Gill) and his identical twin brother, George Vincent Gill were both drafted out of NYC early in the war and served in France. My grandfather was a noncombatant but George was seriously wounded, shell-shocked and gassed and never fully recovered.

Twins were not as typical in those days, but the brothers were very close. When George was wounded and MIA, my grandfather could not believe he was dead. This was confirmed on a street in Paris when another soldier ran up to him and yelled: "GEORGE you look great! Last time I saw you in the hospital, I did not know if you would make it."

George and my grandfather left service and both received free Taxi Medallions based on their service, and started up a small taxi service on the West Side of NYC near what is now Lincoln Center. George later joined the Bonus Marchers, not because he had an economic need, but to support the other "fellows."

George sadly died in 1960 after falling off the Staten Island Ferry, but my grandfather lived into his 70's. They are both buried at the veterans cemetery in NY.


Dan Holley

Submitted by: Chris Mulholland

no photo 300Dan Holley served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1918-1919.


Dan Holley was born in 1893 and lived near the North Carolina border when he joined the Army late in the war.

He was a Private with Company E, 543rd Engineer Service Battalion (Colored) in December 1918 when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and he died less than two months later, on February 9th, 1919, in the Embarkation Hospital at Camp Stuart, in Newport News.


He is buried in a family cemetery in Moyock, North Carolina

Read more: Dan Holley

Norman Albert Hempel

Submitted by: Chris Mulholland

no photo 300Norman Albert Hempel served in World War 1 with the United States Navy. The dates of service are: Known 1917-1918.


Norman Albert Hempel was born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 3rd, 1901. His father was a German immigrant who worked as an officer with the Salvation Army.

On his draft registration card, Norman listed himself as a Christian and a member of the fraternal order, Modern Woodmen of America (WMA). He made his home at 41 B Street, South Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia, where his mother, Rose, moved after his death.

Norman enlisted in the US Naval Reserve Force in Norfolk on May 16th, 1917 and was assigned to the Navy collier (coal carrier), Cyclops, as a coxswain when he too caught pneumonia and died on June 14th, 1918. He was buried at sea.

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John P. Gorman

Submitted by: Chris Mulholland

no photo 300John P. Gorman served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1918-1918.


John P. Gorman was born on November 6th, 1890 and living in South Norfolk in 1917.

He was training at Camp Lee (now known as Fort Lee) as a Private with Company L, 317th Infantry Regiment when he caught pneumonia. He died at the Base Hospital on April 22nd, 1918 at the age of 27. His sister, Mrs. H.R. Cherry is the only relative listed on his death certificate.

He is buried at Magnolia Cemetery in Norfolk


Read more: John P. Gorman


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