May 9, 2016 at 11:00 pm
Looking for information about my grandfather, William J Holbert, who was in Co H 306th infantry and at the Meuse-Argonne offensive.
On his discharge papers it says he got, “victory medal with clasps” and we had thought he also was awarded a citation for “service above and beyond the call of duty”.
Any help would be greatly appreciated,
May 14, 2016 at 11:55 am
Tim, I don’t have any particular information on him. Let me do a blog post on your seeking help; and let’s see what comes up. The 306th was part of the 77th Inf. Div. Starting with the basics, I would look at “American Armies and Battlefields in Europe” published by the American Battle Monuments Commission. They also published a “Summary of Operations” for each division that served overseas. There’s also a divisional history. All of these are quite easy to find either as electronic downloads or through sites such as abebooks.com. Fellow researcher Rob Laplander has done a lot of work on The Lost Battalion, so he might have some information as well. Randy
December 30, 2016 at 10:59 pm
My grandfather, Wiltz Gremillion, was in the US Army in the Meuse Argonne offensive- he spoke of it occasionally. On research I discovered that his military records were destroyed in a fire in the National Archives. Is there any way I can find out what unit he was in, where they were deployed, etc?
December 31, 2016 at 2:51 pm
Patrick, I have to re-write my response to reflect my age (53) and the reality of the internet. I would try Ancestry.com. I do not have a subscription to that service, but it is amazing what documents they can produce on people. My second alternative would be to contact ANY older relatives and friends of the family to see if they have any recollection of a unit. The third alternative–if you know where he lived–would be to look at the town / county newspapers of the time; assuming they exist. Once you get a regiment or division identified, the next step is to look at the histories written for that unit. That’s the easy part. Good luck in your search, and let me know if you need any more assistance. Randy Gaulke
December 31, 2016 at 4:11 pm
Thanks- I’m 61 myself, and while my grandfather spoke of being in the Argonne offensive, I don’t have any details thereof, and older relatives- parents, aunts, uncles, are mostly deceased.
I have a photo of him taken in Poitiers, France. The notation on the photo (by him) reads, “American students attending University of Poitier Spring & summer terms, 1919”. I have found this location- the Place d’ Arms, in Poitier- it’s still there. My family plans to visit the spot in 2019, and take our pictures in the same place.
He stayed in France for a year at the University of Poitier, living with a French family. He came back to Louisiana, got his degree, and became a teacher and eventually the superintendent of schools in our parish. I have looked at parish record archives, and haven’t found any detailed information. Being a history nerd, I can spend way too much time on the internet- thanks for your advice- I will continue my research. I don’t see how to attach the photo to this post, but will be glad to send it if you’d like.
December 31, 2016 at 5:11 pm
Patrick, you can email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Definitely talk to someone who has a subscription to Ancestry.com and see if they can find more details. Randy
January 13, 2017 at 7:35 pm
I’m looking for information about my Grandfather Orrin Williams who was in Company D, of the 356 Inf. A WW I historian thought he would have been in the 89th Division but I cannot find his name 89th Division history of death notices. He was from WI and died in Jan 1919 in France.
January 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm
Fred, My first recommendation is to be sure you have the correct details. What is your source for the company and regiment number? Assuming that is correct, he would have been in the 89th Division. Record keeping was imperfect; and with a post November 1918 death date his details could have fallen through the cracks. Second, I would try finding out more information on Ancestry.com. It’s amazing what details they have. Third, I would look in your local / county / state newspaper archives, if possible. Fourth, in addition to the divisional history, the American Battle Monuments Commission’s “Summary of Operations” for the 89th Infantry Division, published in the mid 1940s, provides a concise summary of operations, including maps. You can find digital versions at this University of Texas collection: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/ww1/. Good luck in your search. Please let me know how it turns out. Randy Gaulke
January 22, 2017 at 11:34 pm
Hi, Does anyone have any experience working with the Burial Case Records from WW1? Supposedly these are the records of all burials of men killed in the war. Here’s where I found out about them, https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/wwi/wwi.html but when I went to the NARA website I couldn’t really find much. I think these records have been moved from College Park to St. Louis. steve
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