Thursday, June 13, 2019

PFC Rumsey E. Dodson

PFC Rumsey E. Dodson was born in 1894 in Madison County, Virginia the 4th of 8 children born to Joseph Henry and Elizabeth (Burke) Dodson. His father did farm work for other people and in 1910 Rumsey was doing the same.

Rumsey still gave his occupation as "farmer" when he enlisted in B Company 2nd Virginia Infantry, Virginia National Guard for Federal service on the Mexican border.  After enlisting 29 Mar 1917, PVT Dodson served on the Mexican border, returned to Virginia and was recalled for the World War.  He trained with the unit re-organized as I Company 116th Infantry at Camp McClellan, Alabama.  Rumsey then sailed for France with the unit, departing Hoboken, New Jersey aboard the USS Finland on 15 Jun 1918.  He trained with I Company and went into battle with it all through to the Armistice on 11 Nov 1918. Then, after all that, he became ill, possibly the pandemic flu that killed so many, and was so sick that he couldn't travel home to the U.S. with his unit in May 1919.  PFC Dodson died in France of disease on 13 Jun 1919.

PFC Dodson was repatriated in 1922 and re-interred in the Culpeper National Cemetery in Culpeper, Virginia. While his stone indicates his rank is PVT, all other records correctly show his rank as PFC.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

PFC Alexander Rosenthal

PFC Alexander Rosenthal was born 15 Oct 1923 in Galien, Michigan. He was the 9th of 10 children born to Henry and Maria Katharine (Dauer) Rosenthal. His parents were both natives of Russia. His parents lived in Chicago, Illinois where is father worked as a brickmaker but by 1920 moved to Berrien County, Michigan where he first farmed near Weesaw then returned to working in a brickyard in Baroda. By 1940 many in the family worked at a local foundry providing the family a combined income of $2230 for 1939. The family now lived on Cleveland Avenue in Lincoln, Michigan. Alex only completed 1 year of high school and was working for Clark Equipment Company in Baroda in 1942.

It was in December 1942 when Alex was drafted. After completing his basic military training he was sent to England and assigned to H Company 116th Infantry. It was with that unit that he trained for the amphibious landing that was a planned part of the liberation of occupied France. PFC Rosenthal was with the unit during the landing on 6 Jun 1944 and killed in action on that day.

PFC Rosenthal was repatriated and re-interred in Ruggles Cemetery in Baroda, Michigan where he is with many family members. 

Brothers, Henry, Peter, Jacob, and Carl also served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Friday, May 17, 2019

PFC Michael Malko

courtesy of Doc Wilson
We do not know where PFC Michael Malko was born but he was drafted or enlisted in Passaic, New Jersey in 1918. 

Michael apparently shipped out for France from Hoboken, New Jersey in August 1918 aboard the USAT San Jacinto.  His next of kin or emergency contact was given as John Andrew Kofski of 194 Monrose Street, Passaic, New Jersey.  He was likely assigned to I Company 116th Infantry as a replacement sometime after that.  He survived combat only to die of an accident on 17 May 1919. 

Repatriated aboard the USAT Mercury in 1920, PFC Malko is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Although his unit is given as I Company 116th Infantry on the USAT Mercury manifest his unit is given as I Company 16th Infantry 1st Division on the internment record for Arlington. Since he did not go home with the 116th on 11 May he may have been reassigned perhaps because he enlisted in the regular army.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

SSG Elwood Romas Campbell

SSG Elwood Romas Campbell was born 16 May 1895 in Page County, Virginia.  Elwood was the 2nd of 9 children born to Romas and Susie Elizabeth (Moyer) Campbell. His father supported the family as a day laborer and farmer. Elwood was working as a chauffeur in 1916.

Elwood enlisted as a PVT in D Company 2nd Virginia Infantry on 26 Jun 1916. He was with the unit through the Mexican Border duty and the recall for service in Europe.  He trained with the unit at Camp McClellan, Alabama. On 15 Jun 1918 Elwood and the unit sailed for France aboard the USS Finland.  They arrived in the French port of Saint Nazaire on 28 Jun 1918. The entire 29th Division then began training in trench warfare after which they were put on the front lines in a "quiet" sector.  The unit was then part of a big offensive or "push" in the vicinity of Verdun which began on 8 Oct 1918.  Elwood served as the stable sergeant, managing unit mules and related equipment. He survived all that but after the armistice was declared on 11 Nov 1918 he became ill on 7 May 1919 and died of bronchial pneumonia on 11 May 1919 the same day that the rest of the unit sailed for home.

SSG Campbell was repatriated in 1919 returning to the U.S. aboard the SS Matsonia.  He was interred in Green Hill Cemetery in Luray, Virginia.

Brother, Julian Richard Campbell, served with Elwood in the Machine Gun Company but was wounded and died of his wound(s) on 12 Oct 1918.

Friday, April 19, 2019

PVT Harry Bloom

PVT Harry Bloom was born 23 Sep 1896 in Brooklyn, New York.  He was the 3rd of 7 children born to Abraham and Elizabeth Bloom.  Both parents were natives of what is now Poland, then Russia, his father being born in Bialystok, Poland. His father worked as a salesman among other things. When Harry registered for the draft in 1917 the family was living at 104 Orchard Street, New York, New York.

Harry was inducted on 28 Apr 1918. He was first assigned to the 4th Recruit Company of the General Service Infantry at Fort Slocum, New York. He was reassigned to the 6th Recruit Company at Camp McClellan, Alabama on 7 May 1918. PVT Bloom was finally assigned to Machine Gun Company 116th Infantry on 22 May 1918.  He was with that unit when it sailed for France aboard the USS Finland from Hoboken, New Jersey on 15 Jun 1918. The unit went through trench warfare training and was then moved into the front line in a "quiet" sector.  On 8 Oct 1918 the entire 29th Division was part of an offensive in the vicinity of Verdun.  PVT Bloom was apparently wounded at sometime in that effort. PVT Bloom died of his wound(s) on 19 Apr 1919.

PVT Bloom was repatriated and likely re-interred in the New York City area.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

PVT Eldar F. Jaekel

PVT Eldar F. Jaekel was born 31 Aug 1893 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the 3rd of 5 children born to Charles Frederick and Amelia (Schultz) Jaekel.  Sometimes the name is spelled Jackel and one will find some members of the family using that spelling.  Both parents were natives of Germany.  His father was a Chicago policeman and retired from that service.

When Eldar registered for the draft in 1917, he was working as a drill press operator for Aermotor Company. PVT Jaekel was serving in B Company 122nd Infantry when he sailed for France on board the Kroonland on 7 Oct 1918.  Sometime after arrival in France, he was re-assigned to M Company 116th Infantry.  PVT Jaekel died of other causes, most likely related to influenza, on 18 Apr 1919.

PVT Jaekel was repatriated in September 1920, returning aboard the Princess Matoika.  He was re-interred in Concordia Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

PFC Carl Lee Reedy

PFC Carl Lee Reedy was born 30 Aug 1898 in Shenandoah County, Virginia to William Harrison and Anna Mae (Hyde) Reedy.  His father worked as a hired hand and later the family farmed.

Carl was assigned to D Company 116th Infantry.  Carl died of other causes (likely influenza) on 30 Mar 1919. PFC Reedy is buried in Rosedale Cemetery in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

CPL Charles L. Taylor

courtesy of Michael Helms
CPL Charles L. Taylor was born 2 Jun 1897 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia to Robert Samuel and Eva Watkins (Evans) Taylor.  The family farmed.

After entering the Army, Charles was assigned to F Company 116th Infantry.  He boarded the Finland on 15 Jun 1918 with his unit and shipped out for France.  CPL Taylor survived all the fighting but died of disease (probably influenza) on 24 Mar 1919.

CPL Taylor was repatriated and is now buried with family in the Salem United Methodist Church Cemetery in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

PFC James (Vincenzo) Parisi

PFC James (Vincenzo) Parisi was born 22 May 1894 in Palomonte, Italy to Pietro and Maria Parisi.  The family followed his father and immigrated in 1906 settling in Jersey City, New Jersey.

James was inducted 7 Aug 1918.  He sailed for France from Newport News, Virginia aboard the Pastores on 23 Sep 1918.  At that time he was assigned to I Company 4th Pioneer Infantry.  On 28 Oct 1918 he was transferred to 29th Division. He was transferred to K Company 116th Infantry on 10 Nov 1918, the day before the Armistice! It is unknown if PFC Parisi ever saw combat but he would soon face another enemy and lose that fight to meningitis on 16 Mar 1919.

PFC Parisi was repatriated in May 1921.  He now rests in Holy Name Cemetery in Jersey City, New Jersey. 

PVT Lee Roy Taylor

PVT Lee Roy Taylor was born 29 Jan 1888 in Eliasville, Texas the youngest of 9 children born to Benjamin Franklin and Mary Jane (Madole) Taylor.

Lee's mention of a "rupture" on his draft card did not prevent his induction and he was assigned to I Company 116th Infantry.  He trained with M Company 133rd Infantry and was transported to France with that unit aboard the Achimedes.  At some point in time Lee was re-assigned to I Company 116th Infantry.  He finished the war and served until he became ill in March 1919.  PVT Taylor died of meningitis on 16 (or 15) Mar 1919. 

The following is a letter to the family of PVT Taylor's death:
Dear Sir:

You have probably received the War Department's cable notifying you of the sad death of your brother, Lee R. Taylor, who was a member of I Company, 116th Infantry. He was taken sick at Parnot, Haute Marne, and carried to the hospital at Bourbonne, near here, on March 10th. He received the best of attention from skilled doctors and nurses but in spite of all they could do, he passed away on the evening of the 15th. The diagnosis was meningitis.

We feel the loss very keenly, and sympathize with you in your sorrow. Lee's comrades say that he was a "fine fellow," and I know that you will be proud to know that his service record is marked "Excellent Character," the highest grade. His close friend was Robert Tibliletti, from Victoria, TX. He is a member of I Company, and will probably write to you.

I had the sad duty of burying your brother yesterday. A squad from his company formed an escort of honor, and marched to the American cemetery at Bourbonne with his body. The funeral was a simple and impressive ceremony. After the few words of scripture and a prayer, three volleys were fired over the grave, which was covered with "Old Glory," and a bugler sounded "Taps." Private Taylor made the supreme sacrifice for his country, and you must always be proud, as we are, of his fine and soldierly spirit.


s/William J. Alfriend, Chaplain 116th Inf., A.P.O. 765, A.E.F.
PVT Taylor was repatriated in 1921 and re-interred in San Antonio National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.

Monday, February 4, 2019

1SG Carroll Edwin Kay

1SG Carroll Edwin Kay was born 20 Dec 1892 in Caroline County, Virginia to Edgar B. and Lilly Gray (Ennis) Kay.  In 1910 Carroll was working on a locomotive or for the railroad. His father was appointed Postmaster for Delos, Virginia in 1891. On 4 Mar 1918, Carroll married Brooke Tignor in Richmond, Virginia.

1SG Kay was First Sergeant of B Company 116th Infantry when he died of other causes on 4 Feb 1919.  The unit was awaiting transportation back to the United States. He probably died of influenza.

1SG Kay was returned to the U.S. and he is buried in Lakewood Cemetery in Bowling Green, Virginia.

Monday, January 21, 2019

PFC Erwin R. Bane

PFC Erwin R. Bane was born to Eli L. and Laura B. (McMeans) Bane of Burkes Garden, Virginia sometime in October 1891.  Erwin was the first of 13 children born to the couple. The family farmed.

PFC Bane was a member of D Company 116th Infantry when wounded in October 1918.  He lingered in the hospital until 21 Jan 1919 when he died of his wounds.

PFC Bane is buried in Sugar Grove Cemetery in Wayne County, Indiana.

Friday, January 4, 2019

PFC Thomas Andrew Jackson

courtesy of SoilSister
PFC Thomas Andrew Jackson was born in February 1893 in Tazewell County, Virginia to James Henry and Margaret Ellen (Lowe) Jackson.  The family lived several places in Russell and Tazewell counties where the family farmed.

Although he was apparently known as Andrew in the family he enlisted as Thomas A. Jackson he enlisted in the 2nd Virginia Volunteer Infantry on 3 Jun 1917.  When the unit was reorganized with others to form the 116th Infantry he was assigned to F Company 116th Infantry.  He shipped with that unit for France aboard the Finland on 13 Jun 1918.  We do not know when he was wounded but it was most likely in the action at Molleville Farm sometime between 12 and 25 Oct 1918.  Evacuated to the hospital he remained there until dying of either his wound(s) or disease (possibly influenza) on 4 Jan 1919.

PFC Jackson was buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery.

You might note that the year of death on his marker is incorrect.  It is not the first or last time the Army has made a clerical error.