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Pvt Gus Austin

Submitted by: Johnette Brooks {ALA Post 523 Mem/WWI Colored Troops Genealogist}

no photo 300Pvt Gus Austin born around 1888. Pvt Gus Austin 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


Red Clay Hero Buried @ Arlington National Cemetery

Series Article #2 by Johnette Brooks

Pvt. Gus Austin (Serial # 2,710,430) was born on March 22, 1888 in Milledgeville, Georgia to Robert and Rose Austin. He was inducted in the Selective Service in Philadelphia, PA on 30 APR 1918. He was mustered at Camp Meade (Middleton PA) and entrained into the 154th Depot Brigade.

After a very short training period, he was assigned to the very first all-colored 92nd Infantry Division’s 184th Infantry Brigade; 368th Infantry aka the “Buffalo Division”. Gus sailed from Hoboken NJ on the USS Geo Washington on 15 June 1918 and arrived in France on 19 June 1918.

The American Army attached the all-black unit to the French to fold into French 4th Army on September 26th. The 368th was immediately sent into the Battle of the Argonne Forest. The troops were sent to the front lines with only a few weeks of basic training.

Gus was killed in action, 3 days later on September 29th. His body was returned from Antwerp, France via the USS Wheaton on 20 SEPT 1921. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

The first monument in Georgia to honor negro soldiers who died in WWI was erected by black brick masons in 1920. It honors Pvt Austin (KIA), Pvt. Alex Threatt (Pneumonia/buried Memory Hill Cem, MVL) and Pvt. Willie Warren (Tuberoulosis/burial site unknown). To three of the many Georgia’s Red Clay Heroes, Gus Austin; Alex Threatt and Willie Warren; thank you for the ultimate sacrifice of your lives. WE GIVE HONOR, ASHE!

5b86efc5ea6f7 1918 VA (WWI) HEASTONE AUSTIN, Gus 1888 1918 Arlington Cemetery