This story starts with a 23 year old Earl F. Lavalle scribbling his name on the back of a photo to pass along to a friend during WWI and ends with a full identification of Mr. Lavallee’s life experience. The main goal of PortraitsofWar is to research and seek out every possible lead to identify an early 20th century photograph; recent digitization efforts have enhanced our ability to complete genealogical research from the confines of a remote desktop.
Our first accounts of Earl show him being born on November 29th 1894 to Fred Lavallee of Canada and Emma Pollinger of (my current hometown!) Colchester. Earl worked his entire life as a laborer in the American Woolen Co. in Winooski, VT, located along the Winooski/Onion River near Burlington,VT. He lived at various locations during his tenure at the woolen mill including 36 Hood Street, Winooski, 102 Mallets Bay Ave, 22 Park Street and many more.
Earl enlisted on February 11th, 1918 at Camp Green, North Carolina. He served with Company G, 58th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division until August 21st, 1918 when he was transferred to Supply Co, same regiment. He was overseas from May 7th, 1918 to August 1st, 1919.
Earl was wounded in action on September 30th, 1918. This photograph depicts Earl after his wounding evidenced by his right-hand wound stripe. Earl was discharged on August 7th, 1919.
Lavallee Family Story
The 1900 US Census from Colchester, VT shows the Lavallee family as a solid unit with five family members comprised of Earl’s dad Fred Lavallee, his mother Emma, brother Charles, sister Florence and himself (Earl).