Camp Sherman look back: A proud Chillicothe story
By Tim Vollet
via the Chillicothe Gazette newspaper web site
Austin P. Story must have been puzzled when he checked the mailbox at his Caldwell Street home in early November 1975. Peeking out of the top was a large manila envelope addressed to him from Col. James B. Agnew of the Military History Institute in Carlisle, Pa. Tucked away inside was a lengthy 44 question survey inquiring about his experiences in World War I. The 84 year-old veteran had been discharged nearly 60 years earlier.
The Institute had sent out a similar survey in 1967 to 8000 veterans of the Spanish-American War, Philippine Insurrection and Boxer Rebellion. Unsure of what kind of response it would receive, the Institute was surprised when it received back some 800 completed surveys. It was ecstatic, however, because the old veterans also sent in boxes of photographs, letters, uniforms and countless other items they had kept over the years as personal remembrances.
“What the staff at the Military History Institute had failed to realize,” one historian suggested, “was what these surveys meant to the veterans of a forgotten war; men who were now in the sunset years of life. To them, someone finally cared about their experiences.”
Perhaps that’s what the white-haired Austin P. Story was thinking on that day in 1975 when he sat down and neatly printed answers to questions about his service in the 332nd Regiment during WWI.
Before America joined the war, Story detailed, he was a salesman for the Mead Pulp and Paper Company, but had long believed America “should get into the war.” After Congress finally declared war on April 6, 1917, therefore, the 26 year-old enlisted instead of waiting to be drafted. A graduate of Chillicothe High School and Cornell University, he applied for and was accepted to Officer’s training camp at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis for what he recorded as “very intensive training for 90 days.”
After successfully completing officer’s training, Story returned to Chillicothe a first lieutenant and was ordered to the newly constructed Camp Sherman and assigned to the 332nd Regiment. By January 1918, the Chillicothe native was promoted to Captain and put in charge of the 250 men who made up Company I of that regiment.
Read the entire article on the Chillicothe Gazette web site here:
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