Joseph Wishcop Native American Chippewa member of the 604th

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Prof. Prins writes...This was Joseph ("Joe") Wishcop of the Grand Portage Band of Chippewa Having attended Carlisle Indian School (1914-1917), he enlisted in the army and was assigned to the 604th Engineers Service Battalion, where he became Musician 1st Class (may be also a first-class musician, who knows!). After the war he returned to the Minnesota north shore and, it appears, made a living as a trapper, fisher and hunter. Sadly, this Anishinaabe Indian war veteran in your grandfather's old regiment died young, on 1 Sept 1927. ( we do not have a photo of Joseph but below is a photo of his brother, Frank (also a veteran)and Joseph's listing in unit roster) Fascinating-- thanks Dr Prins

Soldiers in Company B, 604 Engineers: John Edward Weber

Friday, December 22, 2017

Thanks to Jack Weber for these great photos of his grandfather and his staff.
Does anyone recognize these soldiers?

Soldiers in Company B, 604 Engineers: The photo on the right with two soldiers in front of a hospital are friends. The soldier on the right is my grandfather, John Edward Weber.(born April 1, 1893, died September 30, 1966). I do not know the friend. The photo in the middle with the single officer wearing leather boots in front of the American flag was my grandfather's sergeant. I do not know the man's name. The photo on the left, standing by a chair, not wearing a hat is another friend of my grandfather. I do not know his name either.

John E. Weber Birth 1893 Death 1966 Burial Saint Joseph Cemetery Bonne Terre, St. Francois County, Missouri, USA Memorial ID 90375871

Burlie J. Sigman uniform photos

Saturday, November 4, 2017

John send his grandfather Burlie J. Sigman uniform photos - thanks John

Linville Dooley Jatunn - 604th Engineers PFC company B

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Marylyn his great niece writes ...

Linville Dooley Jatunn was a PFC in Co B, 604th engineers. His father was Joseph Jatunn and his mother was Margaret Dooley. Linville was born 12 Mar 1887 in Fresno, California and died 14 Mar 1921 in San Mateo, California. He was a farmer and gold miner. Never married.   His service number was 525947. He was my 3rd great-aunt’s nephew by marriage.
He is listed on Find-a -grave

604th Engineers ship manifests and passenger lists

Saturday, April 15, 2017

These are 604th Engineers troop transport passenger lists and manifests

HQs 604ENG Newport Arrival

Co a 604 Eng Newport Arrival

CoB 604ENG Newport Arrival

CoC 604ENG Newport Arrival

604Eng Co B Carmania Ship Manifest

USS New Hampshire ShipSum Newport Arrival

Special thanks to Jim L for creating these files his Grandfather is Sgt Roy K. Petersen Co. C, 604 Engineers.
*My grandfather Frank L. Smith listed in image above #222 

Frank L Smith letter home to mom

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The tale of two Frank Smith's in WWI

This was very interesting to work on .. two Frank Smiths in the same area of France during WWI and one of them loses his dog tag ... hint it was NOT my Frank Smith

A WWI dog tag found in France brings a father into sharper focus for his daughter

— Photo by Michel Bahin
This World War I dog tag belonging to Frank L. Smith of Voorheesville turned up recently at a flea market in France.
VOORHEESVILLE — Nearly a hundred years later, a tangible reminder of Frank L. Smith’s service in France in World War I has turned up. His dog tag was recently purchased by a Frenchman at a flea market in a small village that Smith’s unit passed through.
Smith is well known locally as the founder of the popular tavern and pizzeria in Voorheesville that bears his name.
Michel Bahin of France is a retired banker who collects memorabilia from the local battles against Germany in the First World War, sometimes by buying it and in other cases finding it by searching in the woods near his home, located near Chateau Thierry. He wrote in an email to The Enterprise that, in June 1918, soldiers came within two kilometers (1.25 miles) of his property.
He noted that he has found several dog tags in the woods before.
Bahin wrote, “Usually it is not common to find U.S. dog tags, only if the soldier had lost this.”
After purchasing Smith’s tag at a flea market, Bahin reached out by email to Nancy Cunningham, a descendant of a different Frank L. Smith, who was also stationed in France during the First World War.
Cunningham, of Dallas, Texas, is a librarian and avid genealogist. She maintains a blog about her grandfather’s military service and the unit he served with. Through her blog, Bahin sent Cunningham photos of Frank L. Smith’s round metal dog tag. The tag shows only the name and, on the reverse, a six-digit service number.
Cunningham did some checking and found that the service number did not match her grandfather’s. But, rather than let the matter drop, she seized on the chance to solve a mystery.
She started to do some digging. She checked the database “U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963,” which she noted, for the sake of other genealogists, is available on or can be accessed for free at any local library.
This database, she explained, contains the cards filled out by relatives who wanted a headstone or marker for the grave of a family member who had been in the military. “Luckily, all the cards for these years,” she said, “have been scanned and are searchable.”
A search for “Frank Smith” turned up 2,100 possibilities, she said. So she narrowed the search, to “Frank L. Smith,” and came up with just “30 or 40.”
She started to look at them, and the third one she opened was Frank L. Smith of Voorheesville. The service number matched.
“We talk about serendipity in genealogy all the time,” she said by phone. “You go to a cemetery and are faced with thousands of gravestones, and you just start walking in one direction and pretty soon there’s the stone you were looking for.”
What are the chances, she asked, of the “third one you open being the right one?”
She then checked the 1940 census database, and this “gave me him and his wife, Elizabeth, so I knew I had the right one.”
At that point, she searched online for “Frank L. Smith” and “Voorheesville,” and “a wonderful scanned, transcribed diary came up, and then, all of a sudden, within minutes, we had connected all this stuff.”
Cunningham then contacted The Enterprise and also the archivist at the Voorheesville Public Library, James Corsaro, who had transcribed the diary and posted it online. “I want everybody to know how great it is,” she said, “that the library has this stuff and is making these connections for people who are doing research.”
What was really amazing, she said, was that the diary actually mentions Smith meeting his unit as it returned from Chateau Thierry. Bahin bought the tag at a local flea market in that area.

— Photo from Dottie Wright
Portrait of the soldier as a young man: Frank L. Smith in uniform.

The American Expeditionary Forces had arrived in France in the summer of 1918 to help the French fight the Germans and were in training before their first battle, on July 18, 1918, at Chateau Thierry.
Smith and his unit — the U.S. Army's 77th Field Artillery, Battery C — landed at Brest on the west coast of France on June 11, 1918. They traveled eastward and northward, toward the area of Chateau Thierry — where Bahin lives — and St. Mehiel, further east. Somewhere along the way, Smith may have lost his tag, since the diary notes that Smith went to a rest camp at a place he calls “Mazy,” where he says he “met the unit coming out of Chateau Thierry front.” They then went together to a rest camp, “but we did not get any rest. We had to drill eight hours a day; some rest camp.”
Importantly, Smith notes, in the next line of the diary (which is transcribed with his original misspellings), “The fellows got paid while we were there; I did not get any pay because my servis record had not come yet.”
If he had lost his dog tag between his arrival in France and his passage through the area where Bahin now lives, this could explain why he was waiting for his service record and was not paid. Perhaps, without his tag, he had no way to prove who he was.
The diary recounts that, on Sept. 11, the men reached St. Mehiel, a town a little further east, where they fought a fierce battle. “We went to sleep for about an hour that night,” Smith writes. “At twelve thirty we started firing; that was some barrage. We fired until about six the next morning and by that time there wasent any Germans left within ten miles of us.”
Fond of her father
Smith’s daughter, Dottie Wright, who is 73, was reached by phone in New Bern, North Carolina and said, “I think it’s amazing. You hear on the news about dog tags being found, but I never thought it would be my family.”
Her father died when she was just 12. Wright says that she was very close to him as a child. “He took me everyplace. He was a good man,” she said.
Her father and mother — who had owned and operated Smith’s Tavern in the village — had been “very much in love,” Wright said.
During the war, Elizabeth Smith, who was known as “Lil,” corresponded with local soldiers who were fighting in World War II. She sent them food, cigarettes, gum, and other supplies, and regularly sent letters and kept them up-to-date on hometown news with her “Lil’s Newsheet.” She later donated all of this correspondence to the Voorheesville library.
Her mother “fell apart after he passed away,” Wright says. Just two years later, she sold the tavern to one of Wright’s two older brothers, Frank L. Smith Jr. “And I sort of went along with the package,” she recalled. She went to live with her brother at that point, until she married.
Her brother put on an addition to the restaurant and started making pizza there, she said. “He made it famous.”
Her mother was never much of a nurturer, Wright said. She kept busy with the store. It was her father, she said, who “took care of me most of the time when I was little.”

— From Nancy Cunningham
This application was filled out by Frank L. Smith's wife, Elizabeth, for a military headstone for his grave.

The diary notes that Smith was in poor health by the time World War II broke out, and over the age of 40, and so did not fight in that conflict. Wright, who was born in 1944, also recalls her father as being sickly.
Wright’s daughter, Rhonda Flansburg, co-owner of Re-Nue Spa in Altamont, said, “I would have loved to have met him. I heard he was a really great guy.” Frank L. Smith died in 1956, before she was born. 
When The Enterprise mentioned the online diary to Wright and Flansburg, neither of them had heard of it. They did not know that their father and grandfather kept a diary of his wartime experiences.
In fact, Wright never knew that her father had fought overseas. Neither of her parents had ever mentioned it.
“My mother moved on [moving to Florida] when I was 14,” Wright said. “I don’t have much connection to the past.
“I have a watch that was my father’s,” she said. “That’s the only thing I have of his.”