M.A.C. World War I Casualties

4 09 2018
memorial grove plaque

Memorial Grove plaque located at the Beal Street entrance to campus, next to Sarah Williams Hall.

World War I took a toll on the small college known as Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University).  Many alumni lost their lives during the conflict.  Below is a list of our gold stars.

April 9, 1917: John Woodbridge (short course student, 1915) was believed to be the first person with a M.A.C. connection to die during the war.  He served with the 72d Highlanders, Canadian Infantry.  Woodbridge was killed at Vimy Ridge, France.

February 6, 1918: William R. Johnson (class of 1912) became the first alumnus to die during WWI, when the SS Tuscania sank off the coast of Scotland.  He served in Company F, 6th Battalion 20th Engineers.

William Johnson

from the 1918 Wolverine yearbook

March 8, 1918: Earl Halbert, class of 1920, died at 22 years old of “broncho pneumonia.” He was a private in Company A, 126th Infantry, U.S. Army.

March 16, 1918: Donald A. Miller, class of 1916, died from diphtheria at the Naval Rifle Range in Wakefield, Massachusetts. He was a Yeoman, 3rd class, U.S. Navy.  Miller was 24 years old.

March 29, 1918: Burrell F. Smith, class of 1919, was a private in Company G, 338th infantry, U.S. Army.  He died of broncho pneumonia at 22 years old.

Burrell F. Smith, class of 1919

Burrell F. Smith, class of 1919

April 21, 1918: Norman F. Hood, class of 1915, died at a field hospital from injuries received in action at Monthairon Le Petit. A member of Company G, 23rd Infantry, U.S. Army, he was “buried at [the] American Cemetery of Monthairon (Meuse) Grave 13.” Hood was 26 years old.

June 13, 1918: Gordon Webster Cooper, class of 1918, died of injuries sustained in an airplane crash at Barron Field, Texas. U.S. Army PFC Cooper had finished his 8-week training course with honors. The 23-year-old was the first M.A.C. aviator to die during WWI.

Gordon Cooper

June 15, 1918: LaVerne Thompson Perrottet, class of 1919, died at 22 years old when a shell made a direct hit on his front line trench. He was fighting in the Chateau Thierry sector of France and was buried in the Bois de Belleau.

L T Perrottet

LaVerne T. Perrottet, class of 1919 (portrait: Wolverine yearbook, grave photo: Find a Grave)

June 19, 1918: PFC Louis Kurm Hice, class of 1918, 23 years old, was wounded on June 16 and died on June 19, 1918. He served in Headquarters Co., 119th Field Artillery, U.S. Army.

louis hice

July 1, 1918: Leonard Crone, class of 1913, age 27, was killed in an airplane crash in England. He was a lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps.  He enlisted in the Canadian Flying Forces at Toronto, Canada.

Leonard Crone

The M.A.C. Record; vol.23, no.35; August 30, 1918

July 8, 1918: Thomas William Churchill, class of 1915, died from heart failure following an operation. The 27-year-old Alpha Psi member was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Veterinary Reserve Corps. He was buried at West Point.

Thomas Churchill

July 9, 1918: Lester P. Harris, class of 1917, died from wounds received during a German air raid near the village of Catenoy, France. A street in Johnson City, Tennessee is named in his honor.  For more information visit the East Tennessee Veterans Memorial Association (https://etvma.org/veterans/lester-p-harris-7073/)

harris

Lester P. Harris (Image source: East Tennessee Veterans Memorial Association)

August 1, 1918: U.S. Army 1st Lt. Donald C. McMillan, class of 1915, served with Company G, 126th Infantry.  He served overseas from February 17, 1918, until his death at age 27 from wounds received in action.  He was buried in cemetery 404 in Bezu-Saint-Germain, France.

Donald McMillan

August 5, 1918: Edwin Harold Ewing, class of 1917, died from wounds received in action during the Second Battle of Marne.  He served in Company G., 32nd Infantry of the Michigan National Guard from June 19, 1916 to September 23, 1917, and in Company I, 126th Infantry until his death.

August 10, 1918: U.S. Army Corporal William B. Lutz, class of 1920, Battery A, 119th Field Artillery, was killed in action at age 20. Lutz fought near Chery, Marne, France.

August 10, 1918: Cosmer Magnus Leveaux, class of 1917, died on August 10, 1918 at 21 years old. He was a corporal in Battery A. of the 119th Field Artillery. Leveaux was killed in action at Chateau Theirry.

Cosmer Leveaux

August 12, 1918: U.S. Army PFC Samuel Rottenberg, class of 1919, age 22, was killed in action. He served overseas in Company A, 1st Infantry, from May 22 until his death.

Samuel Rottenberg

Samuel Rottenberg (image source: Wolverine yearbook

August 19, 1918: Frank Huston Esselstyn, class of 1918, died from wounds received in action on August 11. He was a member of the National Guard 119th Field Artillery company and  fought in France.

frank esselstyn yearbook

August 22, 1918: 20 year old U.S. Army PFC George Smith Monroe, class of 1918 was killed in action.  He served overseas with Battery F, 119th Field Artillery from February 26 until his death.

August 31, 1918: U.S. Army Platoon Sergeant James Shrigley Palmer, class of 1918, was killed in action in Juvigny, France while leading his platoon to the attack. He was posthumously awarded the French Croix de Guerre and Silver Star Citation.

James S Palmer-text of citation-from The_City_of_Detroit_Michigan_1701_1922

Text of James S Palmer’s citation (source: The City of Detroit Michigan 1701-1922)

September 1, 1918: William H. Rust, class of 1918, died on September 1, 1918.  He was a 1st Lieutenant in Company K, 125th Infantry until his death.  He was wounded in action on August 29 while in battle Near Juvigny (Aisne).  Rust was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Silver Star.  The citation states “The only remaining officer of the company, he led it to the attack with bravery and remarkable energy.  Was killed near the objective which had been assigned to him.” Rust was 25 years old.

September 25, 1918: Olin C. Luther, class of 1919, was killed in action at age 24. He served in the Headquarters Co., 122 Field Artillery, U.S. Army. He participated in the St. Mihiel, defensive sector engagement.

September 27, 1918: Otto William Wissmann, class of 1920, was a Seaman 2nd Class with the U.S. Navy Reserve Force. He died at the Naval Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina, at 21 years old.

September 27, 1918: Ernest Elwin Peterson, class of 1915, died of lobar pneumonia at age 28. He was a corporal with the Medical Detachment Signal Corps.

Ernest Peterson

October 2, 1918: Hubert B. Wylie, class of 1917, died from Influenza lobar pneumonia at 23 years old. He was a private with the U.S. Army Motor Transport Corps, Company D, 307th Repair Unit.

H Wylie

October 7, 1918: Alanson Bartlett King, class of 1919, age 23, died from lobar pneumonia. He was a Master Engineer, Junior Grade with the Headquarters Company 107th Engineers, U.S. Army, and served overseas from January 30, 1918 until his death.

October 8, 1918: U.S. Army 1st Lt. Frank M. Stewart, class of 1918, died at 26 years old. He served with Company C, 111th Infantry. He participated in the Argonne Forest engagement and died of wounds at Bois de Chatel field hospital.

October 10, 1918: Herbert J. Sheldon, class of 1914, was killed in action at the age of 28. He was 1st lieutenant in Company G, 125th infantry and was acting as intelligence officer of his battalion. Sheldon served overseas from July 22, 1918 until his death.

Herbert Sheldon

October 10, 1918: Eugene E. Ewing, class of 1915, was killed in action at age 25.  He belonged to Company A, 18th Infantry at the time of his death. Ewing fought in the Battle of Verdun and the Metz advance.

Eugene Ewing

October 11, 1918: Samuel Robinson McNair, class of 1920, died from bronchial pneumonia on the hospital ship, the USS Mercy. He served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Alabama as a Seaman 2nd class. He was 21 years old

October 17, 1918: PFC Harold R. Siggins, class of 1917, died of pneumonia. He served with the U.S. Army 591st Ambulance Service. His illness was worsened because he had been gassed rescuing a damaged vehicle from a heavily shelled area. His lieutenant wrote; “He is missed by everyone of us. He was our brother.”

October 19, 1918: U.S. Army Private Erling F. Edwardson, class of 1913, died from pneumonia at 27 years old.  He was part of Battery C, 119th Regiment, training detachment.

October 19, 1918: U.S. Army Corporal Rudolph T. Lekstrum, class of 1917, died from wounds received in action. He served with Company A, 107th Field Signal Battalion and was involved in offensives in Chateau Thierry and Soissions sectors. He was 25 years old.

R Lekstrum

October 31, 1918: U.S. Army Major Ira D. MacLachlan, class of 1910, died of wounds received in action at the age of 31. He served with the 125th Infantry and was buried at the Military Cemetery Mars Sur Allier in Nievre, France.

October 31, 1918: Stevenson P. Lewis, class of 1916, age 25, was in killed in action in Romagne, France.  He served with Battery E, 124th Field Artillery, and the American Ambulance Field Service in France.  He was “Awarded [the] Silver Star….this officer was posthumously promoted to First Lieutenant of Field Artillery by the President”

November 5, 1918: U.S. Army Colonel Robert Sylvester Welsh, class of 1894, was killed in action. He was with the 314th Field Artillery and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious services. He was buried at grave 88 in Argonne American Cemetery, France.

Robert S Welch

November 13, 1918: Laurence J. Bauer, class of 1918, enlisted in the Reserve Corps at Chicago, Illinois on July 27, 1917, and was called into active service on June 1, 1918.  He died of wounds received in an airplane accident at a French hospital at Bar Le Duc.” He was buried at Central Cemetery 542, France.

L J Bauer

November 14, 1918: Garth J. Williams, class of 1919, was a U. S. Army private for Company C., 321st Machine Gun Battalion and served overseas from July 30, 1918 until his death.  He was severely wounded on September 15, 1918 and died from a perforated duodenal ulcer on November 14.

G J Williams

December 2, 1918: Farquhar L. Smith, class of 1920, was a U.S. Army private in Company I, 3rd Battalion, 160th Depot Brigade. He died of broncho pneumonia at 22 years old.

December 27, 1918: U.S. Army 1st Lt. William Thomas McNeil, class of 1913, died at 28 yrs old, from wounds received in action near Bois Belleau. He served overseas with Company I, 101st Infantry from January 23, 1918 until his death. He was buried at cemetery 290 Friodes (Meuse) Grave 293.

Wm Thomas McNeil

This list was compiled by Catharine Neely, who completed a joint internship with the MSU Archives & Historical Collections and the MSU Museum during the 2017-2018 academic year.  Please note that this list may not be complete. If you have information about additional M.A.C. alumni who died during World War I, please contact the University Archives (http://archives.msu.edu/about/contact.php?about_contact)

Below is a slide show of certificates from the State of Michigan Adjutant General’s Office with information about some of the M.A.C. alumni who died during World War I.  The certificates are part of the Frank S. Kedzie papers (http://archives.msu.edu/findaid/ua2-1-8.html).

 

 

 

 

Written by Megan Badgley Malone, collections & outreach archivist

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