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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.

A Tradition of Service Logo 75

Henry A. Falk

Submitted by: Jeffrey Falk {Grandson}

Henry A FalkHenry A. Falk was born around 1887. Henry Falk 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

The information I have about my grandfather was told to me by my father, since my grandfather died when I was 2 years old.

He enlisted when he was 30 years old. A farmer by trade, he signed up for infantry. Basic training was at Camp Funston, part of Ft. Riley in Kansas. He was in company i, 353rd infantry, 89th division. He was involved in the battle of St. Mihiel, and Meuse-Argonne. He was a corporal and was responsible for ensuring that everyone got "over the top".

One time he turned to help another soldier out of the trench and as he stood up he said it felt like he was hit in the back with a sledgehammer, throwing him into the trench. The mess kit in his pack had stopped a bullet.

There was also mention of the fierce hand to hand combat he experienced, but he never went into too much detail. Having grown up on a farm, he said one of the saddest things was seeing the wounded horses. He said that men understood what could happen to them, even expect it, but the animals had no idea what was going on.

Read more: Henry A Falk

Abbas Alee

Submitted by: Tanveer Kalo

no photo 300Abbas Alee born around 1888. Abbas Alee 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

Abbas Alee was born on June 4, 1888 in Calcutta, British India to Amed Alee and Sheburne Beybi. His parents were from Persia.

He immigrated to the United States on March 15, 1910. Alee settled in California after his arrival.

By 1917, Abbas was living in Los Angeles. On June 5, 1917, Alee registered for the draft. His draft registration card recorded his race as Hindu, birth of place as India, and occupation as a moving picture actor at Keystone Studios.

Abbas Alee married Maria or Mary Llampallas on September 25, 1918 in Los Angeles, California.

On November 14, 1918, Alee petitioned for U.S. naturalization as a soldier at Camp Kearny, California.

Read more: Abbas Alee

Francis Sherry

Submitted by: Francis Thomas Sherry {Son}

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Francis Sherry born around October 9, 1889. Francis Sherry 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

On September 15, 1917, at 27 years old, my father, Francis Sherry, from Taunton, Massachusetts, received his draft notice. By September 20, 1917, he began his service in the U.S. Army at Camp Devens, Massachusetts.

According to his military papers he stood at 5 feet 6 inches tall, had blue eyes, brown hair, and a medium complexion. He listed his civilian occupation as a driver. By June 4, 1918 he was promoted, becoming Corporal Francis Sherry #1638058 of Company A 153rd Division.

On July 5, 1918 he was sent overseas to France as part of the American Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.). He service there spanned both warfare and the November 11, 1918 Armistice. He later returned to the United States and was honorably discharged on January 28, 1919, at Fort Dix, New Jersey.

Although little is known of what he experienced in France, because like many military personnel my father seldom spoke of his wartime service, the timing of his duty in France at the height of A.E.F. offenses and a reading of one of the few pieces of correspondence to him that survived from that era, strongly suggest that he saw combat.

Read more: Francis Sherry

Anna Otiker

Submitted by: Mary Rohrer Dexter, Local County History Project

no photo women 300Anna Otiker born around 1862. Anna Otiker served in World War 1 with the Red Cross. The service started in 1917 and the service was completed around 1919.

Story of Service

Anna Otiker was born in Ohio in 1862 to a Swedish immigrant father and an Irish immigrant mother. Her father, Henry H. Otiker, was a farmer who served in the Civil War. By 1870 the family, consisting of Anna, her father and mother along with her sister Sophia and brother Henry,was living in Miami County on a farm in Richland Township.

In 1874 her father was elected to the school board. In 1880 the family had expanded to add sisters Elizabeth, Margaret and Zoe along with brothers Alexander and Ralph. They lived in Paw Paw which, although prosperous in the late 1840s, would have been a mere ghost town by 1880.

During the period 1917-1919, Anna Otiker served as a Red Cross Nurse (see article below).

After spending time as a substitute mail carrier and a dry goods store clerk, Anna settled down into the skill set of a dressmaker by 1920. She grew up as a childhood friend of Indiana author Ross Lockridge, Sr. They exchanged letters throughout their lives, and in fact, he sent her a beautiful lavender silk scarf from Paris.

Read more: Anna Otiker

Emmett George Hoyt

Submitted by: Joe Davis {Nephew}

Emmett George HoytEmmett George Hoyt was  born around 1895. Emmett Hoyt 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

Emmett George Hoyt was inducted into the army on May 31, 1917 and was a Private in Company M, 110th Infantry, 28th Division, Pennsylvania National Guard. His company sailed to France on the transport ship Ansonia on May 3, 1918. He saw action in France at Cierges hill 212 and two major offensives.

He spent 57 days in the Argonne, and on June 30, he was sent to Aisne Marne, where, on July 30, he was “moderately” wounded when he was peppered with shrapnel. mostly in his legs. He was carrying a tin of tobacco in his breast pocket over his heart and credited "Prince Albert" with saving his life.

Six months after being wounded, Emmett was assigned to a Military Police unit in Cologne, Germany, for a short time before returning to France. He departed St. Nazaire, on 29 April 1919 on the transport ship Santa Olivia with the remaining members of Company M.

Read more: Emmett George Hoyt

Charles Benjamin Mead

Submitted by: Lola {granddaughter-in-law}

Charles Benjamin MeadCharles Benjamin Mead 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

MILITARY: Register of Deeds, Wessington Springs, Jerauld County, South Dakota.

Honorable Discharge from the United States Army #5859.

Charles B. Mead 3131541 – Mech Casual Det 324-163 DB Co K 157th Inf.

Said Charles B. Mead was born in Blair, in the State of Nebraska. When enlisted he was 22 7/12 years of age by occupation a carpenter. He had blue eyes, brown, hair, medium complexion, and was 5 feet 9 inches in height.

Enlistment Record:
Grade: Mechanic
Enlisted or inducted May 24th, 1918, at Wessington Springs, SD
Battles, engagements, skirmishes, expeditions A.E. F.
Knowledge of any vocation: carpenter
Wounds received in service: none
Physical condition when discharged: good
Triple typhoid prophylaxis completed June 11th 1918
Paratyphoid prophylasis completed June 11th, 1918
Married
Character: Excellent
Remarks: no AWOL, no absence
Entitled to travel pay
Left US Aug 11th 1918
Returned to US April 11th 1919

Following is a production of the handwritten journal Charles Benjamin Mead kept with regard to his military life. The small notebook is in the possession of his daughter, Theone Mead Whitlock, Kalama, WA.

Read more: Charles Benjamin Mead

Samuel L. Derby

Submitted by: Stephen Nelson

s.derby close up a3

Samuel L. Derby born around 9/7/1891, Samuel Derby served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Samuel L. Derby was Killed in Action in the Battle of Argonne Forest, France 1918. The Battle of Argonne was deemed the largest battle in the United States history. The battle lasted 47 days and involved 1.2 million American soldiers and over 26 thousand died.

Born on September 7, 1891. He was one of seven children of Silas and Celia (Burch) Derby. Samuel L. Derby grew up on Institute Street, Frewsburg, New York. Called Sammy, he was active in the normal activity of the time, camping, fishing and canoeing on the Conewango Creek. during Winter months he and friends would ice skate on the Conewango flats or coast on the nearby snow-covered hills.

The coming year of 1917, America entered the World War and for the boys, the carefree days were at an end. All through that summer, fall and following winter the boys of Frewsburg were leaving for army camps. Sammy had graduated from Frewsburg Schools and worked at a local furniture factory until he joined the Army.

By April 1st, 1918 he had packed up his belongings in boxes his mother had told him not to do that, “You'll be back” she said. Samuel Derby, Harry Bowles, and Charles Austin walked the Frewsburg Railroad station, only two would return. The school children knew the men were leaving. The school was closed while the children marched down Institute Street waving American flags and saying goodbye. The train left for Fort Dix, New Jersey. On April 1st, 1918 “Sammy” left Frewsburg for Fort Dix, New Jersey, where he entered the service with the 309th Infantry, 78th Infantry Division.

Read more: Samuel L. Derby

Herbert James

Submitted by: Harry L. James {Great Nephew}

Herbert JamesHerbert James born around 1895. Herbert James 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

Herbert James was born on January 13th, 1895 in Bethlehem, Kentucky. In September of 1917 he was drafted into the Army at Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky.

From September of 1917 to July of 1918 he passed through a series of training units starting at Camp Taylor then Camp Shelby in Mississippi as part of a Regular Army round out of a National Guard Division. At Camp Shelby Herbert along with 1000 other soldiers were then formed into Replacement Companies and transferred to Camp Merritt, New Jersey where they departed for France on the 11th of June, 1917 on the SS Corsican.

The Corsican docked in Liverpool, England on the 24th of June. From there Herbert and his fellow soldiers were sent on a troop train to Southhampton and finally to combat training at the Depot Division, St. Aignan France. Once he completed his final training he was assigned to the 4th Infantry Regiment, 5th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division on the 26th of July, 1918.

His introduction to the war was as part of the Corps Reserve for the US IV Corps in the battle to reduce the St. Mihiel Salient. From August 29th to September 17th, 1918 his unit marched over 100 miles but did not directly participate in any combat operations. With the end of the St. Mihiel operation his Division was made part of the concentration of forces for the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

Read more: Herbert James

Marcus Alexander Campbell

Submitted by: Beverly Hector-Smith {3rd cousin}

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Marcus Alexander Campbell born around 12/30/1890, Marcus Campbell 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

Marcus was my paternal grandmother's first cousin. who I remember was very shy and withdrawn. He seemed always working in the vegetable garden when visited—this was in the 1940's when I was a child. He never married and lived with his sister in the family home which was across the street.

When my grandmother died she was buried there, and I happened to notice another grave when I was there, and it was Marcus'. His gravestone read: " For his combat success and bravery on Nov.1918, the French awarded the Croix de Guerre to the First Battalion 367 Infantry Regiment." I have no written verification, no family stories survived. I would have thought there would be a military record but I was told the U.S. did not keep a record of awards given by other countries.

Since WW1 regiments were segregated so many regiments were attached to others. I have found 3 regiments the 369, 371, and the 372 received awards. There is no mention of the 367th, could it have been attached to one of the others?

In any case I began to see that quiet unassuming man in a new light.

Charles Wesley Darrow

Submitted by: Tracy Tomaselli {historian}

Charles Wesley DarrowCharles Wesley Darrow born around 1898. Charles Darrow 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

Charles Wesley Darrow was born on 6 July 1898 in the Yalesville section of Wallingford, CT. He was the son of Nelson Edward Darrow and Florence Estella Calhoun. Charles was raised by his grandmother (Alice Rebina Spencer) and step-grandfather (Franklin Pierce Calhoun) who resided on Whitfield Street, Guilford, CT.

Charles Darrow joined Company D, 2nd Infantry Regiment, National Guard, on 19 June 1916 in New Haven, CT, at the age of 17, and served patrolling the Mexican border against raids. (service #64386)

The Connecticut 1st and 2nd Infantry Regiments, having been federalized on 28 March 1917 to serve in the First World War, were combined into one Regiment to form the 102nd Inf. Regt. (CTANG). Training with this regiment for Charles began at Camp Yale on 6 July 1917. The camp was located in the vicinity of the Yale Bowl.

During this time, Charles, who was a plumber at the Acme Wire Mills in New Haven, CT, married Katherine O'Connor (29 July 1917) in New Haven, CT. Katherine (O'Connor) Darrow had an affair which led Charles to tell his uncle, Albert F. Calhoun, that he was "not coming back from France and didn't want to live."

Read more: Charles Wesley Darrow

Clifton Flagler

Submitted by: Bradley W. Flagler {Grandnephew}

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Clifton Flagler born around 1895. Clifton Flagler 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

Private Clifton Flagler, United States Marine Corps, 55th Company and his Gold Star mothers quest for information about the death of her son.

Clifton Flagler was the sixth son of James Enos & Irene (Salisbury) Flagler. The eighth of ten children, he was born on October 28, 1895 and grew up on his parents farm in Reidsville, Albany County New York.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps on July 18, 1917 in Albany for "the duration of war". On his entrance physical he was noted as being 69 1/2 inches in height, weighing 152 Lbs, having blue eyes with 20/20 vision, light brown hair and a ruddy complexion. At the time of his enlistment he was 21 years, 8 months, 20 days of age and his occupation was listed as that of a teamster. Being that blue stone quarrying was a significant business in Reidsville at the time and there were some connections through his mothers side of the family to this enterprise,his work likely engaged him in transporting heavy loads of stone down steep, winding roads by horse and wagon from the Heldebergs of western Albany County to the city.

Read more: Clifton Flagler

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