This is the continuation of a series of stories about men who died in World War 1, and whose photographs appeared in a publication called “Our Nation’s Roll of Honor.” The original post and explanation can be found at this link. There will also be a complete listing of all the names researched at that same blog post.
LOST FACES OF WORLD WAR ONE: Our Nation’s Roll of Honor — Part Twelve
Joseph Kaczor was born about 1882 in Austria, of Polish descent. He died in France May 14, 1918, of wounds received in battle, while serving in the American Army, 1st Brigade Machine Gun Battalion, 1st Division.
The Gazette (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) 5 June 1918
KIN DIES IN FRANCE– Brother of Junction City Business Man Meets Death Serving Under American Flag. “A brother of John Kaczor, who moved from Milwaukee to Junction City, this county, two months and a half ago, and started a meat market there, died on May 14 in France from injuries received while fighting for the American cause, according to the following telegram from the office of the adjutant general at Washington under date of May 31: “Deeply regret to inform you that it is officially reported that Sergeant Joseph Kaczor, machine gun battalion, died May 14 from wounds received in action.” The telegraph was directed to John Kaczor at Milwaukee and was forwarded to him by mail. He was in the city today and interviewed A.E. Bourn, secretary of the local exemption board, regarding what action to take to obtain further information. Mr. Bourn wrote a letter for him to the adjutant general’s office. The dead soldier was 36 years of age, a native of Austria and of Polish descent. He was living in this country 20 years and was serving his second enlistment in the regular army when killed. He was with Gen. Pershing in the Mexican campaign and was one of the first members of the American Expeditionary Forces to be sent to France. Surviving are his brother John, of Junction City, another brother, Ignatz, who joined the American army last May and is now in France, and a sister Mrs. Victoria Kazmieczak, of Milwaukee.”
Sergeant Joseph Kaczor is buried at Somme American Cemetery, Bony France, in Plot C, Row 12, Grave 4.
He was born 29 Aug 1891 in Erie, Pennsylvania, son of son of Rear Admiral Gustav (USN) & Effie (Barnhurst) Kaemmerling. He had one sibling, a brother Gustav Kaemmerling. A detailed biography can be found here.
New York Abstracts of World War I, Military Service 1917-1919
Birth Place: Erie Pennyslvania
Birth Date: 29 Aug 1891
Service start Date: 1917
Served Start Age: 26
Residence: New York City
Called into Active Service as 2nd Lt. Inf, Aug 15, 1917 from C.L.
Promotions: Prov. 2nd Lt March 29, 1918; Temp 1 Lt April 27, 1918
Assignment: 23rd Infantry to Death, Company G. [2nd Division]
Engagements: Lorraine: Aisne, Ile de France
Served Overseas: Sept 7, 1917 to death
Killed in Action June 6, 1918 at Chateau Thierry
Buried at Le Thiolet France, Grave #2 Cemetery #751
Person notified (mother) Effie B. Kaemmerling, 542 E. 79th Street, NYC NY
Remarks: Awarded M.C.C.
His father, Rear Admiral Gustav Kaemmerling, U.S.N., wrote a letter stating: “It was only my desire not to be premature that prevented my taking action sooner with a view to obtaining the Department’s sanction that the remains of my son, Gordon Kaemmerling, First Lieutenant, 23rd Infantry, who fell in action at Chateau Thierry on June 6th, be allowed to rest where they were placed in the immediate vicinity of where he fell. Now that the armistice has been declared, it would seem proper to acquaint you with the earnest wishes of both the mother and father. he like other truly patriotic Americans, loved France so dearly and had such a reverence for her bravery and the soul of her people, the we feel he would have chosen to lie where he fell. There could surely be no spot more sacred and fitting for his splendid young body to rest–far more than any burial ground that might be selected in his native country. In fact, it seems like sacrilege to remove the bodies from their sacred resting place.” — Memorial Day, by Frederic J. Haskin, as printed in Augusta Chronicle (Augusta Georgia) 30 May 1919.
George’s WW1 Draft Registration shows his information as: George Kay, residing at 115 Tipton, Seymour Indiana. He lists his date of birth as March 18, 1887 in Billings, Montana. At the time of his filling out of the form, he was working as a Clerk at J.H. Eaton Coalman Co., he was single, and he had been accepted in Co. K, Indiana National Guard. Now this is where the story starts to get a bit murky.
The New York Abstracts of World War I, Military Service 1917-1919 seems to confirm what he wrote on his WW1 Registration form:
Kay, George Army serial Number 1,552,962
1066 Central Ave Dunkirk NY
Enlisted at Seymour Indiana on June 16, 1917
Place of birth: Billings Montana
Age or date of birth: 30-3/12 years
Organizations served in: Co K 2 Inf Ind NG (Co K 152 Inf) to Dec 11/17; 313 Auxiliary Remount Depot to Aug 1/18; Field Remount Sq 327 to death
Grades with dates of appointment: Pvt June 16/17; Corp Dec 3/17; Sgt Mch 29/18; QM Sgt QMC Oct 1/18
Served oversea Sept 8/18 to Jan 29/19
Died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds Jan 29, 1919
Person notified of death: Mrs. Carrie M. Wise, Mother,
1066 Central Avenue, Dunkirk NY
In looking at the census records, of 1910 and 1915 when George Kay is living in Dunkirk, NY, in both cases George Kay is listed as a boarder of Carrie Wise, not a son, and to make it even more confusing, he is listed as being born in England. I realize that sometimes the census information was way off, but….
1910 US Census > NY > Chatauqua > Dunkirk
Wise, Carrie Head F W 36 widow 2 ch 2 living Wisconsin NY Sweden Baking
Wise, Karl son M W 16 single NY NY Wisconsin salesman retail jewery
Wise, Otis son M W 15 single NY NY Wisconsin
Kay, George Boarder M W 24 single England England England alien immigrated 1896 City Delivery
1915 US Census > NY > Chatauqua > Dunkirk
Wise Carrie M Head
Wise Otis son M US Lithographer
Kay George W Lodger W M 26 England 16 Alien Salesman (seed)
At any rate, I’m not sure we will ever know if George Kay was from England or Billings, Montana, or why he died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. No where does it mention suicide, so possibly it was an accident discharge of his own weapon. It happens. At any rate, he served as Quartermaster Sergeant in the U.S. Army, 327th Field Remount Squadron during WW1, and managed to survive past the end of it before his life ended on 29 January 1919. He should be remembered for his service.
George Kay is buried in the Oise-Aine American Cemetery, Plot C, Row 17, Grave 21.
World War I
James Bernard Kellum was b. Oct 1897 Kentucky, the son of John A. & Kate (Ryan) Kellum. By 1900 his mother was a widow, living with her family in Maysville, Mason, Co., Kentucky.
This is another WW1 hero whose records are scarce and conflicting. The Register of the KY Historical Society, in Those who died in WW1 from Kentucky shows the following:
Name / Rank / Co. / Regiment / Death, Cause, Date
Kellum, James Bernard Pvt. 49 5 DW 6-5-18 [June 5, 1918]
NOK: Mrs. Katie Kellum (mother)
219 Lee Street, Maysville KY
[49th Co. [Bravo Company], 5th Regiment Marine Corps]
He probably fell at Belleau Woods-Chateau Thierry where the 49th Company was fighting at that time. He died 5 June 1918, killed in action. His burial place is unknown, though I suspect a location which I have not been able to confirm. A date is shown in the Kentucky records of a James Kellum who died in France, with the date being 29 June 1921, which was much after the war ended, and during the time that some American remains were being returned to the United States. I believe this is not a death date, but instead, his reburial date.
The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio) 27 June 1962 Wednesday
MRS. KELLUM–MAYSVILLE, KY June 26 (Special)–
Mrs. Kate Kellum, 90, died last night at the Gettes nursing home, Maysville. For a period of 25 years she made her home on Limestone Street.
A son James Kellum, was the first Maysvillian to die in World War.
She was a member of St. Patrick’s Church and Altar Society.
Requiem High Mass will be offered at St. Patrick’s Church here Thursday at 9 am . Burial will follow in St. Patrick’s Cemetery. Higgins Funeral Home, Maysville in Charge, where friends may call after 3 pm Wednesday.
James’ mother lived until 1962, and she was buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Maysville, KY. Her obituary mentions her son, James, and I suspect that he is buried there too, probably in or near her plot.
Martin Paul Kennedy was born 1 November 1888 in Holyoke, Hampden Co., Massachusetts, the son of Martin & Barbara (Kelly) Kennedy. He died on 27 May 1918 at Bony, Aisne, Picardie, France.
His obituary appeared on Saturday, June 8, 1918 in the Springfield Republican (Springfield MA).
Private Martin Kennedy of 1st Infantry Killed in Action–Was Employed in Springfield
“A government telegraph was received in Holyoke last evening announcing the death in France of Private Martin Kennedy, 25, brother of former School Commiteeman John F. Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy left for Camp Devens in April and later was transferred to the 3d company 1st infantry as cook, and he sailed for France with his regiment.A letter received recently from him stated that he was about to go into the trenches, and the dispatch received last evening said that he was killed in action. He was well known in Holyoke and had many friends there. He was employed as a wire weaver by the Cheney Bigelow company in Springfield. He leaves three sisters, Mary and Rose in Holyoe, and Sister Rosalie of the order of St. Joseph. He also leaves three brothers, John F., William and Thomas, all of Holyoke. “
Martin P. Kennedy held the rank of Private, U.S. Army, serving in the 28th Infantry Regiment, 1st Division. He was killed in action on May 27, 1918, and is buried in Plot C Row 10 Grave 4, at the Somme American Cemetery.