WWI Nurse Photo Identified – Massachusetts Female Veteran in France, 1918 Base Hospital #6


I’ve been lucky in the past few weeks to pick up some fun WWI shots of US female nurses and auxiliary service members.  US women in France were outnumbered by the men, and to be able to positively identify a nurse is a fun way to learn about female service roles during the war.  In this case, I was able to purchase a small group of photos and a Thanksgiving menu from a woman in Base Hospital #6 stationed in Bordeaux, France during the war.  The standing studio portrait was identified on the reverse as HK Judd of Base Hospital 6.  On a whim I searched for Helen K. Judd (thinking that Helen was a likely candidate for H) and came up with a positive hit on a woman named Helen K. Judd from Southhampton, Mass.  I cross referenced with the digitized passport records from 1917 and 1918 and had a positive match.  Luckily the passport applications come with little snapshots of the applicants.   The amount of material available to identify WWI photos is incredible.

 

basehospital037a

J. Sereni Studio Portrait of Helen

J. Sereni Studio Portrait of Helen

 

1917 Passport Photo of Helen

1917 Passport Photo of Helen

1918 Passport Photo of Helen

1918 Passport Photo of Helen

 

Physical Description

Physical Description

Passport Application Info

Passport Application Info

nurse066 nurse067

Base Hospital #6 Thanksgiving Menu

Base Hospital #6 Thanksgiving Menu

WWI RPPC Photo – African-American Infantry Doughboy William M. Richardson of Washington, D.C. Posed in France


williamrichardson420a

Reverse Side

Reverse Side

The hidden treasures of the eBay world still turn up genealogical treasures with a bit of background research.  A recent auction listing provided me with a solid base for some in-depth research.  I actually timed myself on this one – it took me exactly 1 hour and 32 minutes to research this piece from beginning to end.

Mr. William Maccihammer Richardson of 814 Michigan Ave, Washington D.C. enlisted for the draft on June 5th, 1917 at the age of 24.  He had a dependent mother and presumably a deceased /absent father.  William, according to his draft registration card, was already in the service of the War Department and was likely added to the roster of the 93rd Division.  The 93rd was comprised of National Guard units from New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Cleveland, and Massachusetts.  I’m assuming he was in the 93rd Division given the presence of his infantry regiment crossed rifle cap insignia and his military service in D.C.  He was a messenger before the war while working for the War Department in Washington, so it’s an easy jump assume he served in a similar role with an infantry regiment of the 93rd.  William was one of over 1,000,000 African-American men to register for the draft and one of only 370,000 to be inducted into the army.

SigComparison

CSI Style Signature Comparison

Those familiar with WWI draft cards will notice the clipped corners.  This was required of men of color in order to easily pick them out during draft board review.  It was apparently  a common practice that I was not aware of until researching this image.

Richardson Draft Card

1917 Draft Card

The next definite genealogical entry I found for William puts him in District 221 of Washington, D.C. in the census of 1930.  His entry is easily misread as a William N. Richardson.  He is shown as being married to a Mary E. Richardson.  His profession is listed as being a Chauffeur with the U.S. Government – another link to his prewar position.

1930 Census Record

1930 Census Record

In the 1940 census record, William is listed as being a chauffeur for a private family.  His yearly income is $1,700 – almost exactly the average annual income of $1,900 in 1940.  He lived in an apartment building in Block No. 18 of Washington and had two “lodgers” living with him and his wife.  June and Cleo Adams were sisters to Mary E. Richardson.

1940census

The last and final genealogical reference to Mr. Richardson comes in the form of a death registration.  William died at the ripe age of 81 on June 3rd, 1973.  The trail ends with his death, but the possibilities for future research lay wide open.  Which unit did he serve with?  Did he see direct combat?  How did he meet Ms. Adams?

death

WWI Photo Identification – Charles H. Maasberg of Milwaukee, WI Poses in France 1918


Charles H. Maasberg was born on July 2nd, 1894 in Wisconsin and enlisted for the draft on June 5th, 1917.  Although I can’t be sure when he was sent overseas, I can deduce that he was assigned to an ordnance handling unit.  He rose to the rank of Sergeant by 1919, and returned home to the US soon thereafter.  This wonderful outdoor posed shot was taken in France in 1918, and shows Charles posing in a hand-knit sweater complete with tie.  I can only imagine that it was taken in the backyard of a rural French home given the broken flower pots and creeping vines on the wall.  The lack of foliage may help us date the photo to the fall or winter months.  This would date the photo to the September-November of 1918 period.

1917 Draft Card