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Bert VanderLaan

Submitted by: Paul VanderLaan {Great Grandson}


Bert VanderLaan snipBert VanderLaan born around 1895. Bert VanderLaan served in World War 1 with the the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service


My Great Grandfather, Bert VanderLaan, enlisted in the US Army in 1918 at age 23, and was assigned to the 164th Depot Brigade at Camp Funston, KS.

While he never served in active combat, his assignment was of note for two reasons.

First, he was at Camp Funston in 1918, which was the epicenter of the pandemic influenza outbreak that killed so many recruits. Fortunately, he did not contract the influenza, and so was spared this illness.

Second, his Brigade posed in 1918 for a picture that became a famous National Archives poster. Several photos of him and of the Brigade picture are attached.

5bf5bc8e61539 1918 Bert VL WWI (2) 

5bf5bc8e61988 1918 Bert VL   WWI   boxing

Bert VanderLaan image

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