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 Twenty
PRIVATE FRED JOHN SCHATZ
St. Mary’s Pennsylvania
Killed in Action
Fred John Schatz was born on Jan 31, 1894 in St. Mary’s, Elk Co. PA, eldest son of George B. & Kunigunda (Funk) Schatz. They lived at 326 Walnut Street in St. Mary’s PA, and Fred’s father George worked as a “leather pounder” in the local tannery. In 1910, at the age of 16 Fred was already working full time as a “battery cleaner” in a dry battery works. His siblings included John, Vitus, George Henry, Bernard, Mary, Carrie, Annie, Leo, Herman, Theresa and Charles.
The newspapers originally reported Fred as missing in action on December 18, 1918, and as killed in action on April 11, 1919. He was inducted into the regular army on 29 May 1918, and was in boot camp at Camp Lee, VA to August 21, 1918. At that time he was assigned to Co. B. 161st Infantry. He was sent overseas July 31, 1918, and in September 21, 1918 he was part of Company I, 165th Infantry. He served in engagements at St. Mihiel, and at Meuse-Argonne.
He was killed in action during the battle of Meuse-Argonne on 15 October 1918. He is buried at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial at Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, Lorraine, France
PRIVATE AUGUST SCHUSTER
Killed in Action
August Schuster was born January 23, 1894 in Erie, Erie Co., PA, the son of Henry & Helen Schuster. Both of his parents died before he entered the military (his father from tuberculosis, his mother from diabetes). He had siblings Harry and Arthur.
He did not enlist, but was called to serve as part of the local quota. His boot camp was at Camp Lee, in the 49th Co., 13th Training Battalion. On March 25, 1918 he was moved to Co A 153rd Infantry, and then on 6 April 1918 to Co. B 168th Infantry. He served overseas in France from 27 February 1918 to his death, 3 months later.
He was killed in action on May 27, 1918. At the time of his death, his listed next of kin was an aunt, Mrs. Herman Bieler, 403 Raspberry St, Erie PA. His burial place is unknown.
In June of 1918 a newspaper printed a brief story about him. The Oil City Derrick, Oil City PA 6 June 1918. THE SUPREME SACRIFICE. Private August Schuster, Erie Selective, Died on Battle Field in France. Erie Pa., June 5–Private August Schuster, 23 years old, formerly a valued employee of the Erie Specialty Co., and a long member of the household of Mr. and Mrs. Elliot Getty, 312 East Avenue, died on the field of battle somewhere in France, according to messages that came to Mr. and Mrs. Getty yesterday. Private Schuster leaves many warm friends in Erie. He left this city October 5, 1917 for Camp Lee, Petersburg, VA, with an Erie quota. There he trained for the front and came back in February for a short visit with friends before departing for the battle zone. He had lived at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Getty for upwards of three years and was highly regarded by the family.
SGT. STEPHEN GEORGE SHERMAN
Killed in Action
Stephen George Sherman was born 10 Dec 1895 in Minneapolis, Hennepin Co., MN, son of George C. & Laura (Palm) Sherman. His father was a fruit dealer. His siblings included Fred W., Ralph H. Lloyd P., Everett B., and Mary A.
He served as a Sergeant, 20th Co., 5th Regiment United States Marine Corp. The Distinguished Service Cross was awarded posthumously per WWI military cable. “Killed in action at Chateau Thierry, France, June 6, 1918, they gave the supreme proof of that extraordinary heroism which will serve as an example to hiterto untried troops.”
He is buried at Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis MN. A cenotaph engraved with his name can be found at Victory Memorial Drive. [see this latter link for more biography].
PRIVATE EMMET C. SMITH
Killed in Action
Emmet Clark Smith was born November 10, 1893 in Butler, Bates Co., Missouri, son of William R. & Sallie B. (Craig) Smith. His siblings include
Clifford L., Ruby, Winnie M. and Harry.
Emmet C. Smith served as a Private in the United States regular Army, 2nd Machine Gun Battalion, 1st Division.
He was killed in action on May 28, 1918, and is buried in Somme American Cemetery, Plot C Row 17 Grave 5.
LIEUTENANT GEORGE SQUIRES
St. Paul, Minnesota
Killed in Airplane Accident
George Clarke Squires was born born March 31, 1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota, son of George Clarke & Mary (Smyth) Squires.
He entered officer’s training school, graduating at Fort Meyer. He was a 1st Lieutenant in the Aviation Corps, U.S. Army, and was illed near Kirkoswald, Scotland on 18 May 1918 when his airplane crashed in a farmer’s field near his stationed aerodome.
Lieut. George Squires is buried in Doune Cemetery, Girvan, South Ayrshire, Scotland. His mother provided a monument for his resting place. The town of Girvan has a web page about his service, including letters sent to his mother.
LIEUTENANT JOE G. TREES
Killed, Airplane Accident
Joseph G. “Joe” Trees was born Aug 5, 1896 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny Co. PA, son of Joe C. & Claudine V. (Willison) Trees. They lived at 1452 N. Highland Ave, Pittsburgh PA. He had only one sibling, a brother Myrle who died in 1909, hit and killed by an automobile.
Joe G. Trees was first called into active service, as 1 LT AS July 19, 1917. He was a member of 37th Sq BS 3 L of C. His principal Stations: Ft Sam Houston Tex; Kelly Fld Tex; AEF.
Lieut. Joe G. Trees served overseas from Aug 23, 1917 to death. He died June 13, 1918, Aeroplane Accident; Upavon Wilts England. Findagrave shows a burial site for him at Gr 19 Upavon Cem England., though there is also a burial card for him in Plum Creek, Plum Twp PA, (where his parents are buried) the VWF Mausoleum, Section 2, Lot 60. Possibly the latter is a cenotaph.
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I was touched by the story of PFC Schatz who died at Meuse Argonne, as that is where my cousin Francis Oestreicher served (and fortunately survived). How random is war—that one young man is killed and the other survived and lived to be 96 years old. I will be posting Frank’s letters home written between September and December 1918 later this week. He also had spent time at Camp Lee. Perhaps he even knew Mr. Schatz.
Amy, I believe we are all connected, we are all cousins, and history repeats itself. There are so many philosophies and beliefs about why things happen to one and not to another in the same location. Though I write a great deal about military men and women, it is not because I believe that war is good, but rather that those who faced such horrible situations as the soldiers did in WWI deserve to be remembered by someone. I’ll remember them even if they have no family. By writing about them, I feel that I give any relatives a chance to connect with them. Thank you for being a regular reader here. I always enjoy your comments and questions.
You know that I agree and am motivated by the same values. And in the case of these young soldiers, most probably had no children and thus no descendants to remember them now 100 years later.
August Schuster was my great-grandmothers cousin. When I was a young boy (and always a lover of history) she had a book showing all the soldiers from Erie County who were killed in The Great War, his picture was the very first one. I would go there for lunch and read that book from cover to cover.
Dana, thank you for reading and commenting. Your relative, August Schuster, was an American hero. You have much to be proud of. Several states printed books of their war dead, and a very few with photographs to accompany them. The photograph I used came from the New York Times. Best wishes.