Tuesday, December 25, 2018

PVT Nicholas L. Keller

PVT Nicholas L. Keller was born 10 Feb 1887 in New Haven, Connecticut, the first of 5 children born to Nicholas J. and Nettie Elizabeth (Jacobs) Keller.  His father worked as a driver for a construction company.  In 1910, the younger Nicholas was working as a crane operator.  At some point in time Nicholas and his brothers would move to Norfolk, Virginia to work in the shipyards there. When drafted, Nicholas was working as a painter for Arthur McCloud in South Norfolk.

After entering the Army, Nicholas was assigned to I Company 116th Infantry and trained with the unit at Camp McClellan, Alabama.  On 15 Jun 1918, he and the rest of the regiment embarked on the USS Finland at Hoboken, New Jersey for the trip to France.  After the regiment received training in early July the unit moved into the line. PVT Keller received a serious gun shot wound in action near the Verdun Sector on 15 Sep 1918 and developed pneumonia on 16 Dec 1918 and died as a result on 25 Dec 1918.

PVT Keller rests forever in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery

Brother Theodore Roosevelt Keller served as a PVT in  E Company 31st Infantry serving in the American Expeditionary Force Siberia. PVT Theodore Keller is buried in the Hampton National Cemetery.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

PVT Walter Tenas Wissink

PVT Walter Tenas Wissink was born 20 Aug 1895 in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin, the youngest of 3 sons born to Garret and Janna Fredericka (Sikkink) Wissink.  Both parents were descended from natives of Holland (aka The Netherlands) who had survived the sinking of the Phoenix in 1847. The family farmed. Walter attended and graduated from the Wisconsin Memorial Academy in Cedar Grove. He then attended Hope College for one year and then Sheboygan Business College. When Walter registered for the draft in 1917, he was working as a clerk for Kohler Company.

Walter was drafted on 29 Mar 1918 and first reported to Camp Custer. Before leaving there he would marry Anna Cornelia Dees on 1 May 1918.  His wife would visit him at Camp Custer before he was transferred to Camp Gordon, Georgia and then to Camp McClellan, Alabama where he was assigned to K Company 116th Infantry. He traveled to France with that unit, departing Hoboken, New Jersey on 15 Jun 1918 aboard the USS Finland and arrived in France on 28 Jun 1918.  According to newspaper reports of his death, he was assigned to the intelligence section working in the Alsace sector for 2 months and then to the Meuse-Argonne sector, just north of Verdun, for 21-days.  He was then sent to the Lisle eu Regault where he became ill with the measles on 11 Nov 1918.  He was evacuated to Field Hospital 116 and from there to Base Hospital 83 where he died of meningitis.

PVT Wissink was repatriated in 1921 and re-interred in the Cedar Grove Cemetery in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin.

Anna and Walter had no children.  Anna re-married in 1921 and had several children with her second husband.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

PVT Conroy Gay

PVT Conroy Gay was born 3 Jul 1896 in Wendell, North Carolina. He was the 2nd of 3 sons born to Henry Herbert and Fannie Elizabeth (Ferrell) Gay. His father farmed but died in 1902. The boys were orphans when Fannie died in 1906. Conroy went by the name "Roy" most of his life. His older brother went to work for other farmers,  Roy was sent to live with a paternal uncle and their young brother was sent to an orphanage. Roy may have been "adopted" by his uncle John Gay who lived near Zebulon, North Carolina.

After entering the service, Roy was assigned to B Company 116th Infantry. He sailed for France with the unit aboard the USS Finland on 15 Jun 1918. It took the Finland only 13 days to cross the Atlantic from Hoboken, New Jersey to Saint Nazaire, France. After docking on 28 Jun 1918, the regiment received training in trench warfare and was then put into a "quiet" sector on the front lines. On 8 Oct 1918 a major offensive kicked off in the vicinity of Verdun of which the 116th was a part. The armistice was declared on 11 Nov 1918. Roy took ill, as did many others, and died on 11 Dec 1918.

PVT Gay was repatriated and re-interred in the Gay Family Cemetery in Wendell, North Carolina.

Both brothers served in military.  Older brother William Ivan Gay served in the Army as a Wagoner for the period 1918-1919. Younger brother Henry Herbert Gay served in the Philippines as an Army PVT 1916-1921.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

CPL Miles D. Sanger

CPL Miles D. Sanger was born in March 1900 in Frederick County, Virginia to John F. and Sarah Ann (Sine) Sanger.  His family farmed especially raising apples.  Miles was assigned to D Company 116th Infantry.  He died of wounds on 4 Dec 1918.

CPL Sanger was repatriated and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.