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William E. Votruba

Submitted by: David C. Votruba {grandson}

Votruba

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.

The following are excerpts from a 1980 U.S. Army Military History Institute questionnaire completed by my father, then age 88. It is substantially in his own words:
http://www.votrubicon.org/the-votrubicon-llc/2017/4/27/world-war-i

 PFC W Votruba 1917

 

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