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Andrew A. Capets

Submitted by: Andrew J. Capets {grandson}

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Andrew A. Capets served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known April 1918 to June 1919.

 

How do you write a 'Story of Service' about a young Doughboy and make it stand out among the millions of men and women who served in the Great War? Do you tell the story about this Private being so cold during a night in France that he had to sleep on top of a manure pile just to keep warm? Do you talk about his pride after returning home from the war, and that he routinely attended Battalion reunions in Erie, PA to commemorate his service with friends?

The answer is yes, you document as much as you know, and write down any story you were told to ensure that the experiences of this young Doughboy will be known 100 years from now.

I went a whole lot farther and released a book in September 2017 called "Good War, Great Men. The 313th Machine Gun Battalion of World War I." The book was written for the same reason this portion of the WW1CC website was created, "The stories of the service of all these Americans should not be forgotten." I wrote the book to commemorate my grandfather's service during the Great War, as well as wanting to help other family members that have descendants of the 313th Machine Gun Battalion read about their own soldier's experiences through the writings of over a dozen men that served together in World War I.

Good War Great Men. The 313th Machine Gun Battalion of World War IAndrew Albert Capets (1895-1976) was born in Tyrone, Pennsylvania, to Slavic immigrant parents Andrej Kapec and Anna Petrovic. In 1917, my grandfather was a laborer in a small town just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; a town then called Trafford City. He lived in a boarding house across from his employer, the Wynn & Starr Brick Company. Trafford City was a relatively new community founded in 1904 by industrialist George Westinghouse. The industrial age of the time drew thousands of immigrant families to Pittsburgh and its surrounding communities. The Nation eventually drew upon these men to fill the ranks of its Army.

Andrew A. Capets was inducted into the Army at age 22 on April 5, 1918. He served as a Private in the 80th Division, 313th Machine Gun Battalion, Company C. His Battalion boarded the USS Mercury on May 24, 1918 and arrived overseas June 9, 1918. His discharge papers state the following battle engagements:

  • Artois Sector Jul 23 - Aug 18, 1918
  • Saint Mihiel Offensive Corps Reserve Sept 12-16
  • Meuse Argonne Offensive on Sept 26, Oct 12, and Nov 1-7, 1918

He survived the war and boarded the USS New Jersey on May 21, 1919, sailing back to the United States where he was discharged from the Army in June 1919.

While this ‘Story of Service’ about Andrew A. Capets is condensed, my hope is that as a permanent record for the United States World War One Centennial Commission, it will be rediscovered in the future by a descendant of Andrew A. Capets, and that should that individual be searching for the military history of Private Capets, he/she will also discover the book "Good War, Great Men. The 313th Machine Gun Battalion of World War I." In this book, the reader will find detailed accounts of the places he slept, the battles he fought, and stories of friends that he served with who were killed during the Great War.

The efforts currently underway by the World War One Centennial Commission are admirable, and as the grandson of Andrew A. Capets, I am proud to have this opportunity to share the history of my grandfather in this historic commemoration.

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