81st Infantry Division

I had an interesting experience while researching the 81st Infantry Division last week. The unit, which was formed during World War I, was made up of recruits from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. Training was held at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, near Wildcat Creek. During training, it was decided that patches could make it easier for the soldiers to identify one another in battle. So the patches were made; naturally, the wildcat was the emblem used. The 81st infantry division’s patches were deemed such a success that the Army implemented them for all units.

If that wasn’t interesting enough, I stumbled across this nugget of information the very same day: former North Carolina Governor William B. Umstead was a member of the 81st Infantry Division–the very same Wildcats! I rarely remember details when it comes to military ranks and divisions, so I was quite surprised (and pleased) to put together those two pieces of information. Serendipitous, you might say.

82 thoughts on “81st Infantry Division”

  1. My father was with the 81st, 321St RCT during WW2. The 81st was reconstituted at Camp Rucker in Alabama. He was part of the invasion of the Palau Islands in 1944. The 81st invaded the island of Anguar and later reinforced the 1st Marine Division on Peleliu. There is book being published by the University of Oklahoma press. One of the authors is Bob Blair.
    As for North Carolina military history, this past October a monument was dedicted on Ocracoke Island to remember the US Navy Beach Jumpers. I am the current Vice-President of the Association. Chek out our website for more information.

  2. I am researching a man from Madison Fl, KIA on 25 September 44. His name was James Riley Newman and he served with the 321st RCT. Any ionformation or how I can locate information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  3. I have been researching the WW1 81st Division. My grandfather served in France and was in the battle of the Meuse River-Argonne Forest. Information on the various Infantry Regiments that made up the 81st has been hard to find. Does anyone out there have any ideas where I could find out more info?

  4. My grandfather was George R Evans, Lapine AL 81st Regiment 322nd Infantry Division WW1 awarded DSC for action near Grimaucourt France Nov 10, 1918.
    I want to learn as much as i can regarding him and his regiment and division.

    Please contact me with any info.

    Thanks

  5. My grandfather, Irvin E. Brooks, was in Company G, 322nd Infantry, 81st Division during World War I. I have written to the National Archives and they told me there are almost 2000 pages of operational reports available in RG 120 – Records of the AEF relating to the 322nd’s activities. I suspect this is true for all the regiments. There’s a place on their web site where you can request information. They recommended I come in or hire a researcher because the files are so big (they cannot copy a request that large and had nothing specifically related to Company G). Maybe one day… Give it a try. It’s free. Good luck to you all in your hunt!

  6. My Grandfather Perry Billy Boyd Flynn was all over the Pacific and on Anguar With the 81st infantry. He was a runner. Anyone who recocnizes him please reply.

  7. My grandfather was also in the 81st. His name was Arthur Burns Thomas.
    My brother and I came into possesion of some of his personal effects. His diary, some company correspondance, pictures of the family he sayed with in France, and many wwI era post cards.

  8. My father served in Company E, 322 Infantry, 81 Infantry Div. during WWII. He fought on Anguar. Returned home to Monroe, Lousiana, married and raised 3 children. He passed away in 1977. Does anyone remember him. I have very little information on other battles and awards he recieved. He didn’t like to talk about it.
    Thanks
    Dennis

  9. One of the soldiers from the 81st infantry has passed away. Just saw his obituary in today’s Burlington paper. Tom Glascock(97y/o). I did not know of his involvement. Salute..

  10. Private, U.S. Army Weedall Lewis Henry
    317th Field Artillery Regiment, 81st Division
    Entered the Service from: South Carolina

    Died: September 29, 1918

    Buried at: Plot H Row 41 Grave 29

    Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery

    Romagne, France

    Dear sir or Madam.

    I am currently researching the family history of Lewis Henry Weedall who left England on or around 1915 he lived in Illinois for a while and eventually joined the 317th Field Artillery Regiment, 81st Division and went to France with his Battalion but unfortunately was killed in action on September the 29th 1918 and is buried at: Plot H Row 41 Grave 29 in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery.

    Living in England information about (Weedall Lewis Henry) isnt readily available so I am hoping that in some way you can help me, or direct me which way I should go

    Is it possible at all to find a photograph of this very brave soldier off his passport or identity papers or indeed anything to e mail me as no such likeness exists within the family at all.

    Any documentation of either a social nature or military information of his war record or service would complete our very long search todate.

    We would like in our hearts to try and to bring our lost but never forgotten relative back to life as no one in our extended family from all over the United Kingdom has ever seen a photograph of him at all or knows of his background.

    We as a family went to France this year to the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery with a poppy wreath from the British Legion and Poppies of course to remember him by we have taken photos of his resting place and if anyone related would like a copy we would willingly send one.

    He may be buried in a foreign field through the course of his duties for 92 years but he has never been forgotten if you can help in any way we as a family would be eternally grateful and finally as a family we can at least close the sad loss in our family circle.

    Thanking you in anticipation

    R E Weedall (relative)

  11. I am a family historian trying to piece together the military history of my grandfather, George Alvis Lokey, who was with the 81st in France. He bacame very sick after the war and died in 1933 supposedly from complications caused by being gassed (mustard) during his tour in France. If anyone has any records of the 81st fighting in a chemical environment, I ‘d love to here about it. Thnaks in advance.
    Joe Lokey
    Woodbridge, VA

  12. The 81st Infantry Division participated in the third of seven large-scale U.S. Army maneuvers conducted in Tennessee during the World War II years. The 81st was involved in simulated combat across 22 counties of middle Tennessee from April 26 to June 20, 1943. Other units in this particular maneuver include VII Corps, the 5th Armored Division, the 79th Infantry Divsion and the 101st Airborne Division. I spent two years researching and writing a book on the WWII Tennessee maneuvers and I am delighted to share info and talk with vets and their family members. My email is woodyair@comcast.net; my phone is 615-353-1890. The name of the book is “In The Presence Of Soldiers,” and it has very detailed information about every exercise in each maneuver, including composition of opposing forces, when/where simulated combat occurred, objectives, umpiring, air support and other information. There are also details about recreation centers and interaction with civilians.

  13. My grandfather was Clifton J. Knowles of Wallace, N.C.
    He was born January 25,1894 in the town of Long Creek, Pender County ,North Carolina. His parents were Bryant B. and Lula Underwood Knowles.
    When WWI broke out , he enlisted in the U.S.Army on December 17,1917 at Warsaw,N.C. and was in the first group to leave from Duplin Co.. They sent him to Camp Jackson,S.C.near Columbia, for basic training and then assigned him to Battery “B” ,317th Field Artillery Regiment,156 Brigade , 81st (Wildcat) Division. This group sailed from New York on August,7,1918 for Liverpool , England .After 12 days at sea and 5 days in England ,they finally reached LeHarve, France .A few days later, they arrive at the Meuse-Argone forest area .Since he was a sergeant, he was responsible for one of the 75mm cannons. Mules were widely used to position these cannons. One day one of those recalcitrant beast decide to kick him which resulted in a broken shin bone. He was sent to a hospital in England thus ending his active participation in the actual fighting. After several months of convalesce, he returned to Camp Jackson to be honorably discharged on May 10 ,1919. His commanding officer wrote on his discharge the word EXCELLENT to describe his character. They paid him a bonus of $157.62.

  14. My grandfather was also a member of the 81st Div. His records indicate he was in Co. I, 324 Inf until Oct 14, 1917. He served in France from Oct 1918 until April 1919. His name was Caulie Hendricks and he was from Jacksonville, Florida.

  15. My father, Paul Durdovic, was in Company H of the 321st RCT in World War II. He died in 1962 at age 46. I was 13 at the time and never had an opportunity to talk with him about his war experience. I would be very grateful to hear from anyone who may have known him. Or from the sons or daughters of those who served with him.

  16. I found what appears to be a military issued pocket bible with the name Marion F. Wyatt,% Headquarters Company, 322nd Regiment, 81st Division-1917 in a box of books from my parents estate. I do not recognize the name, but would like to find out if their was a connection to my family.

  17. My Grandfather, William C. Myrick, Sr. was a veteran of WWI. His tombstone indicates he was a Corporal and a member of the 324th Infantry, 81st Infantry Division. However, I had been told by my uncles, his sons, that he volunteered as an ambulance driver and made his own way over sometime in early 1917.

    The campaign bars on his Victory Medal are: Montdidier-Noyon, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, and Defensive Sector.

    I know that he was gassed in one battle and wounded by shrapnel in another. My understanding is that after his second wounding, he met some friends from his hometown of Laurel, MS that were in the 81st and he got himself moved there as a replacement.

    I was given his military momentos which included his uniform with all patches and ribbons intact and the following 5 medals: Distinguished Service Medal, Purple Heart, WWI Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal and French Croix DeGuerre with a Star on the ribbon.

    My uncles told me that the DSM and Purple Heart were presented to him sometime in the 1930’s by a Mississippi Congressman.

    Does anyone have any idea how I can sort through this mess and get some accurate information?

    Thanks,
    Brad Henderson

  18. Hello! I have the honor of being the historian for the 81st Regional Support Command — today’s Wildcats. We still host a reunion for the 81st WWI and WWII families, veterans and friends. Look us up at 81stwildcatassociation.com for information. We will meet in Nashville 8-11 August 2013 this year. Please join us. Thanks !!! Dr. J. Boyd

  19. My father James Robert Terry served with the 81st in WWII. I have a book “The 81st Infantry Wildcat Division in WWII” that gives a very good overview of the divisions activities during the war.
    I see there is a youtube video now that talks about the division in WWII, a short look at the campaign mostly on Angaur. Is there a place where I can look up what RCT and company he was in?

  20. My grandfather, George Abt was in PVT COA 322INF 81 Division ww1… I never met him for he passed when my dad was 13… I just want to know if there are any pictures of him and where I can find them… Thank you in advance.

  21. I have no connection with the 81st Division or its regiments–I’m a Vietnam vet, clash of ’68. I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this list, however, and add that the 81st, the WW II outfit, is given great credit for its accomplishments/ordeals in the Pacific in an episode of the classic documentary “Victory at Sea.” The episode is called “Two if By Land,” and it’s about 2/3 of the way into the series.

    It’s notable because it shows what those clearing out operations were really like, close up and nasty. The Signal Corpsmen who took the footage were right up in there, and deserved any medals they got. The series is still available on DVD; the Mill Creek version is pretty good.

  22. My grandfather John Russell was a bugler in Co I of the 322 Infantry 81st Division. He was from Illinois and fought in the Meuse Argonne offensive in 1918. I have his paybook and a helmet and a journal. He talked about starvation, mud, marching, shelling and getting gased with blister agent ie mustard gas. He said the gas was yellow and clung to the low ground forcing them to get out of the trenches exposed to shelling. He survived the war and went on to have a family in W.Frankfort Illionois. I am doing our family history, any connections to him is appreciated. Former Cpt Mark Breckenridge USAR Armor.

  23. My grandfather John Huggins was a private in the 323rd in the 81st division. He was from Alabama. He passed away in 1976 a month before his 81st birthday. I never heard him speak of his time in service during World War so I don’t really have any information or photographs from that time. His oldest son was killed in France in October 1944 at the age of 23 years, and I believe it was all just too painful to discuss. If anyone has any photos of the 323rd regiment or information, I would appreciate copies.

  24. (Continued from the previous post)

    John Huggins’ served during World War I in France. His death records from the VA indicate his discharge was July of 1919.

    His records were destroyed by the fire in 1973 that destroyed many veteran’s records.

  25. I believe my grandfather, Joseph Reid Jones of King, NC, served in the 322nd Infantry Reg as a sgt in a machine gun company. But I am having trouble verifying.

    Can someone point me to regimental rosters and such? The National Archives do not have his service record due to the fire.

  26. My great uncle,Cleveland Warren from N.C.served incompany B,322,of the 81st in WW1.He was gassed in the Argonne Forest campaing.I recently found his insignia pins.Where should I go to find his war records?Thanks

  27. Hello everyone,

    I inivite you to consider attending the upcoming reunion of the 81st Wildcat Association — during which we will review the history of the 81st Infantry Division, have a banquet, and enjoy a vacation-like atmosphere in Savannah GA.

    Consult our website: 81stWildcatAssociation.com for upcoming dates and details.

    Warm Regards,

    Dr J.
    81st RSC CMD Historian

  28. My grandfather, Julian Hamilton, served with the Company G, 322 of the 81st in WWI. We recently discovered letters he wrote to his mother to comfort her during the height of the war. They are amazing family letters. Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Bissey la Pierre, France, to see the village that was so kind to him and so many of our soldiers. It was a trip of a life-time. I am in the process of writing a “family” book of his letters and pictures of this French village. I wanted to dedicate the book to James Huff who was killed in action. James is one of the few 322nd solders that are buried in the American WWI Saint Mihiel cemetery in France. Does anyone know anything about him? I would love to send his family some pictures. Thanks, Dr. K

  29. My grandfather, 1st. Sgt.Leslie James Dickey, 18th Div. 322 INfantry, AEF, WW1, received Distinquished Service Cross for actions on 11/10/1918 in France. His father was in INdiana, but his wife (my grandmother) is from NC. My mother was born 1927 and he died around 1932. Have no more information. Anyone that recognizes his name, please contact me.

  30. Hello,

    I am French and while researching info about my great-great-uncle who served in the (French) 47e R.I. and was killed on September 24, 1918, I found short mentions of the 324th US Infantry Rgt.

    The diaries of French regiments are online on a French gvt website. That same week the French officer writing the regimental diary mentions that the “324 R.I. US” is in support of the 47e R.I., that American officers and soldiers join the French for reco, patrol, and ambushes, that companies of this American regiment replace French companies in their positions, and that the colonel of the 324th takes command of the area on October 2.

    At this time the 47e R.I. was in position near the “col de la Chapelotte”.

    I have the references if you are interested.

  31. My Grandfather Herman C. Davis served under Co E 323rd Inf 1919. His Capt was William Cordes. I found a pamplet on line by R.D.Hildebrand a former commander of this unit. It has a duty roster of those serving and a dairy of where they were in France.It was listed under the No. Carolina records but I have lost the web site

  32. CA Rhodes, NC 81st Infantry, Wildcat Division, was wounded in France in one of the last battles of the war (part of the Meuse-Argonne Campaign) at approximately 10am on November 11, 1918 just one hour before the armistice was signed. He received the Purple Heart for his wound, and a battlefield commission for rescuing another soldier by carrying him off the battlefield under heavy fire while wounded himself. Pretty amazing to think that an hour after sustaining these injuries the war was over! He suffered from PTSD the rest of his life. My brother has his uniform. and I cherish all his WWI postcards.
    On September 15, 1918, less than four weeks before the day the Versailles Treaty was signed, and my grandfather wounded, a young American soldier from California named Leland Duncan who was also involved in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign found a bombed out dog kennel outside of Miehl, France.
    Inside the kennel were dead German Shepherd military canines left behind by the German soldiers in their hasty retreat to the east. Among all the dead dogs, and pushed well to the back of the kennel was a beautiful female German Shepherd dog and and her litter of newborn puppies. Lee could hear the puppies whimpering in the darkness. Eyes squinting against the blackness he carefully worked his way through the debris to the back of the bombed out kennel. The puppies eyes were still closed and they were nursing. The mother and her puppies were buried in the rubble, and Lee worked to free him. He loved dogs, and could not leave them there trapped in the rubble to die. Lee had been a lonely child and dogs held a special place in his heart.
    When Lee found the puppies the allies were in the middle of the 47 day long Meuse-Argonne Operation. There was still a lot of fighting to take place before November 11, 1918 would arrive. Lee Duncan saved that mother dog and her puppies that day. He brought two of the puppies back home to California with him after the war. Sadly, the little girl puppy died soon after they got home, and Lee was heartbroken. The male puppy lived a long and fruitful life and came to be adored throughout the world.
    His name was Rin Tin Tin.

  33. My grandfather Hugh Forsyth served in France and was gassed I think. Anyone who could tell me anything bout his unit would be much appreciated. I believe he was in supply co 322 infantry reg 81st div ww1

  34. Wonderful story, Elizabeth, leading to Rin Tin Tin.

    My grandfather, Louis Lewis, served with Company C of the 323rd, 81st Division.

  35. MY FATHER SALVADOR G VELA SERVED WITH THE 81ST WILDCAT DIV CO-D 323 INF DURING WWII. I HAVE A COPY OF THE CONDENSED HISTORY OF COMPANY ‘D’ 323 INFANTRY WHICH INCLUDES REGIMENTAL ROSTER. HE WAS AWARDED A PURPLE HEART, COMBAT AWARDS, BRONZE STAR.

  36. My great grandfather served in the 81st, E company, 322 or 323 I think, if I remember the insignia correctly. According to my father, he never talked about his combat experiences, if any. Does anyone have any information on combat seen by the battalion or company then? Please email me directly at kevin.estes@gmail.com

  37. My great grandfather, James O. Huff, served in the 81st, 323rd Division. He died on 17 September 1918. My family is currently stationed in Italy and will be visiting his grave at Meusse-Argonne in April 2015. We are very interested in any pictures, history, stories, etc. (I would really like the condensed history that Salvador Vela mentions above.)

    I would appreciate anyone with information (or looking for the same info — I can send you whatever I get) to send it to me at tjowensjag@gmail.com or I am on Facebook: Travis Owens

  38. I am researching TWO WWI Veterans for recognition at our Round Rock, Texas Veterans Monument. Pvt. Louis C. 1. Warren 81 Depot Brigade 10/3/1918 reported KIA.
    2. Doyle Barnes 8/24/1942 listed as MIA.
    3. William Dale us Army 165 Depot Brigade
    Corp KIA? 4/19/1936

    Can you help with any secure information?

  39. Looking for a roster of Company K, 324th Inf Regiment, 81st Division in WWI. There is a photo of the company posted
    in the N. Carolina State Archives, but no names listed. Even a roster without photos would be helpful.

  40. My Da, William Lavelle Fuller, served in Meuse-Argonne battle Oct 7-15, 1918. He was gassed & wounded. His Captain was Capt Cordes. His higher commander was Hickman & Gen Alexander. Dad was in 81st Di, 330 Inft, Co M.
    Am looking for rosters of units, wounded, etc as well as any official Army narrative of campaign. Dad suffered “shell shock” until he died in 1971. His record indicates he received the French Croir de Gurre as well as other combat medals for bravery. Dad never told me much about his WW1 experiences. He was hospitalized in San Francisco after discharge & received 100% Disability from the VA all his life.
    Thanks
    P. S. We have a family reunion in June 2015. Would love to receive info so I can share with my 8 siblings & grands.
    Larry Fuller
    Email. laryjani@wildblue.net
    306 Rabb Rd
    Monticello, AR
    Tel 870-367-9686
    Am on Facebook

  41. My paternal granfather, Alexander Hawkins Graham, was a member of the 81st “Wildcat” division and saw action in the Vosges area of NE France. His training took place at Fort Jackson, SC and Camp Oglethorpe, GA. He was an attorney before the war and served mostly as an adjutant (general’s aid) during active duty. He mustered out as a Captain in 1919.

  42. My paternal grandfather was attached to the 81st, 322nd Infantry, Company G. He went in May 1918, and was discharged June 1919. He died before I was born, and my Grandmother said he never talked about his experience in the war. His name was Daniel Edgar (Ed) Green(e). He was born in Upstate SC in the Spartanburg area, but grew up just across the state line in Polk County, NC. If anyone has any info on his company or the 322nd I would love to see it. Maybe someone out there remembers their grandfather mentioning Ed.

    Best Wishes,

    Terry Greene

  43. I am researchingj a great great uncle Rufus Mike Williams from Nash County NC..He served in Co C, 324 th Infantry, 81 st Division. I have a letter and post cards he sent to his Aunt. ( Aunt Sallie Stallings… who was my great Aunt ,never married but raised many of her bro/sisters children…) before his death in Oct of 1918 in France.
    Does anyone have any info on the 324th or Co C…..

  44. For all you looking for 81st information: While researching the WWI casualties of Orange County (NC) years ago, I used this helpful book:
    Johnson, Clarence W. “The History of the 321st Infantry, with a Brief Historical Sketch of the 81st Division.” Columbia, SC: R.L. Bryan Company, 1919.

    Other than that, I’d say contact and/or visit the State archives in Raleigh, NC and/or the Southern Historical Collection at UNC, as they both have a lot of state information on the war.

  45. My grandfather is Ralph Powell. He was a machine gunner with the 81st infantry. He saw war in Palau and I’ve heard snip-its of stories of combat on Peleliu.

  46. Hello, my father served in the 81st Wildcats in WWII. I know very little about his history there. His name is Jake Hendrix. I would like to know where to find info. Thank you

  47. My grandfather, Oney C Moody, was in 81st Div, Co I of the 324th infantry at Camp Sevier. It states that he was a Provost Guard and served from 5/24/1918 until 3/21/1919 (official discarge date, 7/14/1919). He was from Wilmer, AL. It also mentions he was under a M.F. Fitzpatrick (captain infantry). My mother, his daughter, was unaware that he ever served in the military…..that he never spoke of it. He did not enter service until right before his 26th birthday. He was born June 6,1892 and died May 2, 1951.Any photos of his unit would be wonderful to see.

  48. My father was 81st Infantry Division, 322nd Infantry Regiment, HQ. Co, radio operator. His name was Herman Wright Cox from Collierville, Tennessee. He trained at Camp Rucker, AL. He survived the war and died Dec 3, 2003. He never spoke of the war. I have his map of Angur. If anyone has information about HQ. Co, please contact me. I do have photos of him in the Pacifc but no other names are written on the back. I also have his Philco Radio with the name of every place he went written on it. I would love to know more about his company and if there are any veterans from the 322nd still living. I have been told by the government that all his records were burned in the St. Louis fire. Thank you!

  49. I just inherited a magnificent, very large (36″ x 7 3/4″) group photo of WWI soldiers that includes, in it, my grandfather, who was born and lived his life in North Carolina.

    Across the bottom of the photo it’s scribed “Co C 322nd Infantry AEF France 1919”. There are about 200 men pictured, faces are bright and the picture is beautiful. I’d love to know more about it. I’m looking in to getting it scanned, but hate to tear it apart in order to do so.

    My grandfather (Lloyd Cilvester Smith) died when I was 10, but my father and his siblings say he would never speak about the war. Never. Yet this picture hung in his house every day.

    One interesting tidbit he did speak about concerning the photo is on the far left hand side there two uniformed men standing together and if you look at the last two men on the far right side of the photo they seem to be there as well, standing, yet in a slightly different repose. Grandpa said they had to take several frames to get all the men in so the two men got in the left hand frame shot, then snuck and ran behind the group to get into the last frame shot on the right.

    The picture is beautiful.

  50. My great uncle was in the 322nd he was a medic his name was Pvt Joe Taylor. He was killed on Anguar on September 18th 1944. If anyone knows any info on him or anything else I would love to hear about it.

  51. June 5, 2016–
    Ms. Johnson–My grandfather (Dunn, NC) also served in the 81 st Division, 322nd Infantry, in WWI, I have just learned–not sure which company, as all I have is his muster-out payroll slip from the National Archives (St. Louis). He was mustered out June 1919 at Camp Lee, VA (the page they sent me included only Jones to Phillips, so no chance to locate your grandfather). I found this website that may be useful in scanning the large photograph:

    Also, I am certain the N.C. Archives (Raleigh) would love to see the photo and could probably scan it for you if you ask. Would love to see it! Ben Justesen, Alexandria, VA

  52. My great uncle John Sullivan from Kerry, Ireland born 1891 fought for 322nd infantry 81st division I company. We knew he fought in world war 1 but surprised at the division as the rest of our family emigrated to Massachusetts. Like many others we know he was gassed as he had lung problems after the war and died in 1930 around 30 years of age. My grandfather got to meet his brother once before he died and apparently could only live in hot areas. He is buried in Springfield Massachusetts. I see some has a journal for a relative who was also in this co. If anyone comes across info of an Irishman I’d love to hear. My email is aoibheann_o@hotmail.com

  53. For Logan Jones:
    My grandfather, Sgt. Vernon Howell Massengill of Dunn, N.C., was in the same machine gun company as your grandfather (322nd regiment, 81st division). They are listed on the same “Final Pay Roll” sheet at Camp Lee, VA. Sgt. Joseph R. Jones of King, NC, entered 9/20/17, army serial no. 1865315. They all left U.S. 7/31/1918, arrived back in U.S. 6/18/1919. I ordered the pay record from NARA, Saint Louis, for my mother, and we received it in late May–solving a nearly century old mystery for us; we had never known exactly when he served or where. I have Grandpa’s helmet and gas mask, and now, information …

  54. I am researching a ancestor who served during WWI. He was a 2nd LT in HQ Co 321 Inf 81 Div. Can anyone tell me about what that was? What he did? His name was CHarles L Black of MO.

  55. Am searching for any information of loyal (pete) david Anderson who landed on pellilieu in 321 regiment . He was awarded two bronze stars. he was one of the first to land on pellilieu because size -6’2″, 235 lbs.

    He went by the name of Pete because he did not like the name of “Loyal”.
    thank you

    Mike Anderson, step son

  56. Hello there,

    I am doing an extensive research on Italians who died in ww1 while serving with the American Army. I have 6 names in my list serving in the 81st and I wondered if someone has further information on them:

    – Agostino Bosa, 322nd Infantry, KIA Nov. 9
    – Paolo (Paul) Gerbino, 317th MG Battalion, KIA Nov. 10
    – Nicomede (Nick) Bruzzese, 323rd Infantry, KIA Nov. 11 (!!)
    – Nicola (Nicholas) Testa (Testo), 321st Infantry, DW Dec. 9
    – Michele (Michael) Loconte (Logto), 324th Infantry, KIA Nov. 9
    – Giuseppe (Joseph) Corsentino, 324th Infantry, DD Jan 8, 1919

    I am struggling in finding regimental histories, especially for the 324th. If someone can help I would surely appreciate, you can contact me at luca_rsna@yahoo.it

    Thank you!!!

    Luca

  57. I have a photo that shows two WWI soldiers, one an enlisted man and one an officer. On the reverse side, though difficult to read since the photo was removed from an album and some of the black paper remains stuck to the photo material, the words appear (might be Lieutenant) Charles Reese, Purchasing Dept, Utilities Q.M.C., Camp Jackson, South Carolina. Since the 81st Wildcat division was stationed at Camp Jackson prior to heading for France, perhaps these two are from that regiment.

  58. My father, Private Floyd Alvin Morris (Kenly/Fremont NC) served in the 81st Div., 322nd Infantry. We have a (poor quality) 45 min audio tape of his experiences. Would love to know more.

  59. My grandfather, Jesse W. Rhyne, served in the 81st, trained at Fort Jackson and fought in the Meuse-Argonne offensive. He was in the 317th Machine Gun Battalion. I would appreciate any information related to this unit and its history.

  60. My wife’s grandfather was in the 306th Sanitary Train attached
    to the 324th Field Hospital of the 81th Inf. Division. He was, Zimery j. Burleson, from Albemarle, N.C.

  61. My name is Gray Marion. My Grandfather, Willie M. Marion served in Company M, 323rd Infantry Regiment of the 81st Division in WWI. I have spent the past three years attempting to re-create his military service and have had some degree is success including obtaining the charred remains of his service record from the Veteran’s record center in St. Louis. I am scheduled to spend four days at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland next week.

    I have been greatly surprised and disappointed by the seeming lack of material that remains related to the WWI service of the 81st generally and the 323rd Infantry in particular. If there is anyone out there that can lend a hand to my efforts in this regard, I will be delighted to hear from you.

    Thank you in advance. My contact info appears below.

    Gray Marion
    304-546-2212
    gmarion1@frontier.com

  62. The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office in N.C. CSI Unit is attempting to find a next of kin for the following person grave that a tombstone was found and belongs to.The death was after WWII concluded in 1945.

    Julius Paten Petteway
    PVT
    323 INF, 81 DIV
    11/06/1892 to 01/25/1946

    Please contact: Lt. Davis Evans at 910-989-4010

    Lets help this veterans property by finding his family.

    God Bless,
    Pete Danza
    JCSO

  63. My great-uncle, Jacob Jacobsen, served in the 81st Division, 162nd Brigade, 318th Machine Gun Battalion during World War I. I have his dog tags, a medallion with the information above and the wildcat emblem, and a US medallion “The Great War For Civilization” listing all the allied countries.

    My great-uncle was born in Norway in 1891 and immigrated in 1900 with his parents and brother. His sister, my grandmother, was born in Brooklyn in 1903. He was one of the rare New Yorkers in the division. I don’t remember him talking about his WWI service; my uncle remembered playing with his gas mask in the 1930s. I remember in the early 1960s that he always had a bandage wrapped around his neck. The story was that he had contracted some sort of trench fungal disease; there were no antibiotics but the up-to-date treatment was to put radium on the afflicted area. The treatment left him with radiation burns and an open wound for 50 years. He finally had surgery in his 70s that closed the wound. He died in the fall of 1975.

  64. Hi so my great uncle John Sullivan was born in Ireland but was in ww1. He was in the 322nd 81st div company I. He died aged 39, yet to find a death cert but my family in Ireland were told his lungs suffered due to gas in the war, he had moved from Massachusetts to a warmer state to help his lungs. I see others also said relatives had suffered gas effects too so must be true.

  65. Enjoyed reading these comments today. My dad was in Company D, 323rd Infantry Regiment and served in WWII. He never spoke about being on Peleilu, but he had a few photographs in his sock drawer when he died. I researched it and found out his history in the war. It helped me understand my dad.

  66. Good morning all. My name is Allen Skinner, and I am an Army historian. I maintain the official history of the 81st Division, 81st Infantry Division and lineal units. I have an extensive collection of primary sources and can possibly help in some of your questions. In return, I am looking to collect copies of documents, photos and artifacts for inclusion in our archives. Under certain conditions, I can also accept donations of items.

    Also, check out the 81st Regional Support Command’s Facebook page. I do a weekly history blog, and you may find some good photos and history tidbits about the 81st. https://www.facebook.com/pg/81stwildcats/photos/?ref=page_internal

    Email is Harold.a.skinner.civ@mail.mil if you are interested. Thanks for the consideration!

  67. My Wife’s father Fletcher Elmer Brown was 17 in 1917 when he and his two HS buddies volunteered ahead of the draft in the Greensboro 321st volunteer Regiment being formed August 1917 from Asheboro, NC. W. T. Fisher and Walter Brown (no relation). Fletcher Elmer Brown was like a Father to me because my father died when I was 3 years old.
    I had lunch twice with Fletcher and W.T. during 10 years and they had very little to say about France except where they landed and they hauled artillery shells to Argonne in Mack Trucks and “boy I wish I knew then what I know now.”
    I think their reluctance to talk was because I had just finished service in the Korean War after being drafted in 1953 at it’s height of artillery duels slightly bigger than Argaonne at the Hindenberg line between Germany and France stalemated in 1918 that lasted over a year.
    We still have Fletcher’s steel helmet, gas masked he shared with Walter and leggings we would like to donate to a NC Museum soon. I am 87 -Vernon Holt

    .
    t

  68. My grandfather, William Doyle Dacus, served in WWI as an ambulance driver in the 323d Ambulance Company of the 81st Div. Also an ambulance driver in the same unit was his best friend, Grady Webb. My grandfather brought home 2 books of postcards which he bought in Paris while part of occupation troops immediately after the war. I now have those in my possession, as well as a souvenir picture book of Camp Seveir, SC (Greenville) which he purchased while stationed there for a short time before leaving for Camp Jackson, SC. His children said that he did not talk much about the war, other than to always mention that he was one of those marching in the Victory parade through Paris.

  69. Hello, I am the grandson of Virgil Gray Conrad, WW2 silver star recipient from Company K, 81st, 321st. He has passed but I would enjoy talking with anyone who knows someone in that company.

  70. My grandfather was a machine gunner in the Wildcat Division 81st infantry during WW!. His name was Dominick Cesarini. he was an Italian immigrant from New York who was sent to South Carolina after volunteering for the army. I would love any information or pictures anyone may have. My email is cesariniac1966@aol.com.

  71. My grandfather, John T. Nichols, was in the 322nd of the 81st “Wildcat” Division. He was a native of Ashland, Alabama. I have his uniform, complete with the wildcat patch. It also includes an HQ button on the collar. I’m not sure what that means. (Any help on that??) My memories are that he said he was either a machine gunner or an artillery gunner. I’m not sure of it. He was definitely involved in the heavy fighting just before the armistice on November 11. He never spoke of the war, and his personality changed a bit after returning home. He was reluctant to attend church after returning. Once he told my uncle that he had killed too many Fritz. That makes me think he was a machine gunner. He was, however, a member of the VFW and a proud veteran. During WW2 he served on the draft board in our county– which he dutifully served, but did not enjoy. Obviously, he knew the horrors of war. He died of natural causes in 1966. Any help would be appreciated.

  72. My grandfather, Sgt Edwin B Pfaff, was in 321st of 81st. Still remember stories of trench war, not coming out of freezing water for two weeks!

  73. I have a helmet with the 81st Division insignia on the front. It has the unusual camouflage(green, yellow, red, black) that is often seen on Brodie helmets. It is in pristine condition, not sure if the paint was redone, but I’ve had it for 50 years. I’d be
    interested to find out if this camouflage was used by the 81st.

  74. My grandfather, James W. Weeks, served in the 81st Division. He was in the 317th Machine Gun Battalion. I would appreciate any information related to this unit and its history. If anyone has a website that could provide information please let me know.

  75. My Grandfather William Washington Forrister served in World War 1. He died in 1956 when I was only around 2 months old. He was in Co. D 322 Inf. untill Aug. 26,1918 and then Co.E 166th Inf. to discharge 6-7-1919. He was inducted in Heflin, Ala.on May 25, 1918. He was born in Borden Springs Ala. 2-29-1896. If anyone has any information about him or any of these company’s I would greatly appreciate it.

  76. My name is Scott Rogers, grandson of Jackson Monroe Rogers who served in WWI with the 323rd Regt. of the 81st Division. He was from Buncombe County, North Carolina, and died in 1954. I never met him, but my Dad told me grandpa fought in WWI as a heavy machine gunner in France, and was gassed while there. His grave marker request was filled out by my grandma in 1954, and I cannot tell if she wrote down his Company as either “D” or “H”. If anyone can tell me which company was the heavy machine gun company, that would help me piece together grandad’s story, as he refused to talk about his wartime service. Also, if anyone has heard of or has photos of Jackson Monroe Rogers in the 323rd, 81st in WWI, please shoot me an email. Thank you.

  77. My Father in Law Willie S. Francisco served in the 81st Infantry Division in WWII. He said he never got above the rank of PFC or as he put it Praying for Civilian! He was a squad B. A. R. man & served the entire war in the 81st & was with the Division when it was inactivated in Japan in 1946.

  78. My grandfather: Eugene Woodruff Mears, served in the 81st Infantry Division, 316th Field Artillery, Company “E”. He was from St. Louis, Missouri.

    I was given a box of family pictures after his funeral in 1977. Among the photographs and memorabilia, there was a postcard of when he was in the War, some pictures of him in uniform when he was boarding the ship to leave for the War, a few photos of when he was at Camp Jackson, SC and then when he was in the War in France.

    I thought I would never find his enlistment and his Honorable Discharge documents or even recover them (the great fire of 1973 destroyed WW1 files in St. Louis) ..until years later I went back to the funeral home and asked their office about what “extra” papers about him would be in their files…and as we opened his file and uncovered his obituary newspaper clippings, and there was his military papers (Enlistment & Honorable Discharge papers)!!! I asked them why they had them? They said he had requested a military funeral and they needed to verify his papers and keep them on file. I attended his funeral but there was no military funeral because his oldest daughter, Jeanie was against any war history, so she did not honor his wishes or tell her siblings of their father’s request. I am very grateful to the funeral home to take the time and make a copy of his priceless military papers for me. It was a happy day for me to give copies of these to my Dad about his father’s missing papers. My father, Walter G. Mears was very proud of his father’s WW1 service and was inspired to join the Marines before his 18th birthday serving at the end of WW2 and Korean War.

    My grandfather was very proud of his War service as a 81st Wildcat and told me many stories of what it was like being in the Paris trenches. He used to have a long narrow rectangle framed panoramic photograph of his 81st Division and would point to his picture among the hundreds of soldiers and hold his magnifying glass positioned for me to see his picture. We went over and over again this process for many years. Before he died, that photo disappeared! Now my journey is to find a copy of that same panoramic photograph, copy of his medals, ribbons and patches and his history.

    You know what would be nice? If all of us could together add to a place and rebuild this great 81st regiment back together with our stories and photographs. We all each have pieces to this great puzzle.

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