WWI Vermonter Identified Photo – John D. Hamilton of Middlebury, VT – 301st Engineer Supply Train


As my followers will know, I’m a huge WWI Vermont collector who loves to uncover identified photos of First World War Vermont veterans.  In this case I was able to trade a series of photos to a fellow collector/friend who knew I search for identified Vermonters.  The photo itself has good composition and details with a visible pistol and holster as well as OS chevron and signet rings.  Mr. John D. Hamilton lived in Addison, VT and enlisted and inducted at Middlebury on April 29th, 1918.  He was set up with the 301st Engineers and was listed as a wagoneer.  He served overseas from July 10th, 1918 to June 13th, 1919.  Given that he is wearing a six month chevron on his left arm, this photo had to have been taken sometime between December 10th, 1918 and June 10th, 1919.  He has no visible insignia that give his rank, but he is wearing a brass whistle which indicates that he is likely an NCO.  All in all a great shot!

WWI RPPC Photo – 32nd Division, 127th Infantry Wounded Litter Bearers – Identified DSC Recipients!


It’s been months since I’ve picked up a really juicy WWI RPPC photo for my collection.  Last week I was able to win a small group of shots that looked promising.  I knew there was one shot of doughboys wearing helmets bending down on the ground.  When the photo arrived I was surprised to find that the card identified five litter bearers of  Co. F of the 127th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Division.  I quickly found that two of the identified doughboys received the Distinguished Service Cross in October of 1918 for saving wounded soldiers from the trenches during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  Another (second from right) is William Methier – he received the Silver Star.  I also identified two other men in the photo as being Edward Krawezyk and Albert Guernsey who both received Division Citations for their heroics.

A truly special photo with a lot of history!

Buckendahl, Emil
Private, U.S. Army
Company F, 127th Infantry Reg., 32d Div., A.E.F.
Date of Action:   October 5, 1918
Citation:
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Emil Buckendahl, Private, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Gesnes, France, October 5, 1918. Private Buckendahl, a litter bearer, on his own initiative, went out from a position of shelter to an exposed flank, under intense machine-gun fire, and carried back to safety a wounded soldier, who had been left in the field.
General Orders 66, W.D., 1919
Born:   at Pierce, Nebraska
Home Town:   Pierce, Nebraska

Curti, Mike
Private, U.S. Army
Company F, 127th Infantry Reg., 32d Div., A.E.F.
Date of Action:   October 4, 1918
Citation:
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Mike Curti, Private, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Gesnes, France, October 4, 1918. Private Curti, a litter bearer, went out alone in front of the lines several times under the severest of fire, and carried back wounded men from an exposed area, from which his company had been forced to withdraw.
General Orders 66, W.D., 1919
Born:   at Italy
Home Town:   Reno, Nebraska

William H. Methier

Silver Star Citation

Awarded for actions during the World War I

By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved July 9, 1918 (Bul. No. 43, W.D., 1918), Private William H. Methier (ASN: 3102759), United States Army, is cited by the Commanding General, American Expeditionary Forces, for gallantry in action and a silver star may be placed upon the ribbon of the Victory Medals awarded him. Private Methier distinguished himself by gallantry in action while serving with Company F, 127th Infantry Regiment, 32d Division, American Expeditionary Forces, in action near Tronsot Farm, France, 16 October 1918, while on duty as a litter bearer.

General Orders: GHQ, American Expeditionary Forces, Citation Orders No. 3 (June 3, 1919)

Action Date: October 16, 1918

Service: Army

Rank: Private

Company: Company F

Regiment: 127th Infantry Regiment

Division: 32d Division Expeditionary Forces

From FindaGrave.com:

Mike Curti

Emil Buckendahl's Grave

WWI Photo – New Jersey Hero Receives Croix de Guerre – Crashes Plane in the Marne River


 

I purchased a large WWI photo album last month that was compiled by a young girl following her brother’s exploits in France.  Apparently Franklin M. Martin (Jack) of East Orange, NJ was fluent in French and was assigned as an interpreter on Pershing’s staff.  He became interested in flying and joined the 803rd Aero Squadron where he was in charge of map making from the air.  He was awarded the Croix de Guerre after he was shot down and landed in the Marne River.  After swimming across he was able to deliver his maps!  A great series of interior studio shots capture Franklin wearing his newly awarded CDG.  His friend is wearing a Distinguished Service Cross and is sporting a wound chevron.  Note the leather arm brace and private purchase lace up boots.

 

WWI Photo Collection – 31st Railway Engineers in France


I love collecting WWI albums and named photo groupings.  They are much harder to come by compared with the relatively plentiful single photo purchases.  In this case, I was able to come across a wonderful grouping of photos from the grandson of a WWI 31st Engineer veteran.  I promised to post the photos on the site to help raise interest in this obscure unit and help bring this man’s photos to the digital world.  Digital preservation allows thousands of viewers to enjoy images that would otherwise be relegated to the corner of a dusty upstairs closet.  I will do my best to describe what I can about the unit and share a few biographical vignettes.

Pvt. Herbert Conner posed in France

Pvt. Conner

 

“My grandfather was born in 1892 in Fordsville, Kentucky later the family moved to Amity Oregon and later to St Helens, Oregon. As a young man he was a prizefighter(that what they called them in those days). He was a logger for awhile later he went to work in Portland, Oregon for the railroad before the war  and after the war he continued with the railroad for over forty years as a fireman and an engineer. He never owned a car and the station was about two blocks from his house and Kelly’s Bar and the grocery store were across the street from work  so I guess he felt he didn’t need one. He passed away in 1968.

Grandpa was very proud to have served in World War 1. I do not believe he was in combat. The 31st engineers provided supplies and transported troops. The only story I can remember when he was on guard duty in France and a soldier had gone awol for the night, apparently celebrating and didn’t know the password or had forgotten it and Grandpa felt sorry for him and let him back in the camp. It has been such a long time ago there were probably other things that happened that I can’t remember right now. He must have spent some time at the French Riviera and Monte Carlo because there was a lot of postcards from that area and one postcard to his brother had him on the Italian Riviera for awhile.”

Some Guys from A Company

SS Manchuria in Port (Not the return ship for the 31st)

Hospital Train

German Prisoners

Check back for updates…………….

WWI Real Photo Postcard – Portrait Photo and Autograph of J. Warner Reed – 59th Pioneer Infantry Commander


A new addition to my collection comes in the form of an autographed French RPPC of the 59th Pioneer Infantry Regiment commander.  J. Warner Reed was a colonel with the Delaware National Guard during the Mexican Border War and later went on to form the 59th Pioneer Infantry of the 2nd Army.  Units from this regiment were engaged in road building, bridge building, and front line construction and improvement projects.

 

For more info on the 59th Pioneers – check out this website from the Delaware National Guard: http://delawarenationalguard.com/aboutus/history/firstworldwar/

 

 

WWI 42nd Division Doughboy Sends Home a Real Photo Postcard


Ever wonder how doughboys sent their photo postcards home?  I actually don’t own a single example of a postmarked photo postcard from the war, but recently came across a grouping that contained an envelope and postcard sent home by a 42nd Division soldier.  A member of the 151st Field Artillery, Frank Svec sent home a studio portrait shot of himself.  Not incredibly rare, but a good example of how WWI photos were sent during the war.  The 42nd Division is one of my favorite divisions, so this is an addition “kicker”.

Rare WWI 2nd Cavalry Photo RPPC Taken in France – 2nd Dragoons Training Station


A particularly special photo acquisition comes in the form of a 2nd Cavalry RPPC (real photo postcard) taken somewhere near Tours, France during the war.  The 2nd Cav. trained only ten miles from my house in Vermont, at Fort Ethan Allen before their departure to Hoboken for transfer overseas to France.  Considered by many to be the only  true U.S. mounted cavalry units to serve during WWI, the 2nd Cav. was a unique unit that tends to be glossed over by WWI histories.  I’m proud to add this photo to my collection!

Interesting details of the photo include a mascot puppy, the use of spurs, and a raggedy pigeon perched on a shoulder.

For those interested in reading more on the history of the 2nd Cavalry, check out this website:  http://history.dragoons.org/category/world-war-i/

2nd Cav. Puppy Dog Mascot