The Lost Faces of World War One — Part Eleven

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 Eleven

Brooklyn NY
Killed in Action

BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE, dated 14 Aug 1918
*Private George Johnson 486-A Seventeenth Street, 165th Infantry

George Johnson was born March 4, 1899 in Brooklyn NY, son of Joseph Johnson. The day following publication of his death, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle published more information, as follows:
“Private George H. Johnson of Company D, 165th Infantry, was killed in action on July 29, according to a telegraph received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Johnson of 486A Seventeenth street. He is supposed to have met his death about the same time as Major James A. McKenna Jr. of the same unit, who was killed as he was leading his batallion over the Ourcq River, on the Soissons-Rheims front. Private Johnson was 19 years old on March 4 last. He enlisted in the Fourteenth Regiment in March 1917, and was transferred to the Sixty-ninth, which later became the 165th Infantry. He was at Camp Mills, from where he sailed for France on October 25 last. The regiment received its initial training with the French Alpine Chasseurs (Blue Devils) in the Alsace-Lorraine sector. According to special dispatches Major McKenna’s battalion crossed the stream on a single plank in squad columns in the face of a withering fire, charged up the heights on the other side and bayoneted the German machine gunners. Private Johnson was born in Brooklyn and graduated from Public School No. 10. Before entering he was studying machinery with Witzel & Son. He is survived by his parents and a sister Ruth.”

JOHNSON, George - military cardThe NY Abstracts of WW1 Military Service
Johnson, George
#89,900 Colored
486 A 17th Street Brooklyn NY
Enlisted Brooklyn NH 26 April 1917
Born Brooklyn NY, 18 years old
Assigned to Co F 14th Infantry to Aug 25, 1917;
Company D 165 Inf to death
Appointment: Pvt Apr 26, 1917; Pvt 1 Class Sept 24, 1917, Private Dec 8, 1917
Engagements: Chateau Thierry, Foret de Vere; Villers; SurFere; Ourcq
Served oversea from Oct 26, 1917 to death
Killed in Action: July 29, 1918
Person notified: Joseph Johnson, father
486a 17th Street Brooklyn NY

Apparently buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn NY (with the same person just using my story graphics without permission).

The history of black American involvement during WW1 is one of great discrimination, but also one of promise. Watch an important video about the Harlem Hell-fightersPlease read this Essay on Black Americans in World War 1.  This photograph is one of the very rare ones published in the newspaper, and perhaps included because he was a local boy.  Also SEE interesting web sites on New York City’s WW1 monuments.  | 2nd web site about NYC WW1 monuments.

Eau Claire Wis
Killed in Action

William Campbell “Will” Johnson, was the son of Matthew J. & Ida F. (Adkinson) Johnson, born November 28, 1889 in Superior, Wisconsin. He served in Company D, 23rd Infantry, Second Division. Killed in action near Chateau Thierry on Jun 6, 1918. He had a younger sister Dorothy, born about 1897 in Wisconsin.

He was educated in the public schools of St. Paul Minn, and the University of Minnesota.  He worked for the Northwest Motor Company of Eau Claire, Wis., rising to the position of treasurer. At the outbreak of the war, he applied for and was admitted to the Second Officers’ Training Camp at Fort Sheridan. Upon receipt of his commission he received orders to go overseas, sailing on January 15, 1918. Upon arrival in France he was sent to an A.E.F. school for further instruction and then assigned to the 96th Company of the 6th Marines, remaining three months, and then being transferred to the 23rd Infantry, with which regiment he met death while leading an attack on a German machine gun nest. Lieutenant Johnson was unmarried. Besides his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Matt J. Johnson, he is survived by one sister, Miss Dorothy F. Johnson, all of whom reside in Eau Claire, Wis.

In 1919 the WILLIAM C. JOHNSON POST, AMERICAN LEGION was named in his honor.  From the Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) 28 January 1919, page 4″
Tribute at Annual Meeting of Elks by Judge James Wickham
“William Campbell Johnson is one of our departed brothers whose name we today record on the roll of our honored dead and for whose memory we meet to pay our last tribute of respect. He was born at Superior, Wis., on November 28, 1889. At the age of about two years he moved to St. Paul Minn with his parents Matthew J. Johnson and Ida Atkinson Johnson. He was educated in the common schools and high school of that city and in the university of the State of Minnesota. For about one year he was employed as draftsman by the Minneapolis Bridge Company. Afterwards, for a number of years, he was engaged in mining operations in the state of Idaho. Later he was employed as a traveling salesman in the Dominion of Canada. In the year 1914 he came to Eau Claire, Wis., and became associated as a stockholder and officer with the Northwestern Motor Co. He was then qualified by education and experience to enter the business world and he took an active part in the affairs of the company until the summer of 1917….. He … entered the officers training camp at Ft Sheridan, on August 27, 1917, and later, received a commission as second lieutenant. On January 15, 1918 Lieut Johnson sailed for France where he entered active service with Company 96 of the Sixth Regiment of United States Marines. Later he transferred to Company D of the 23rd Infantry of the regular army. In May and early June he was engaged in active fighting on the western front at and near Chateau Thierry, first with the marines and then with the regular army…. On June 6, Lieut Johnson went with his company “over the top.” A platoon leader was killed by enemy fire. Lieut. Johnson volunteering, took command of the platoon and heroically carried it forward in the engagement. While maneuvering to flank an enemy machine gun nest, he was struck and killed by machine gun fire. He died in action as a soldier, while his company comrades carried the battle on to victory. He was one of the first soldiers from Eau Claire to lay down his life in the great world war. He is survived by his father, Matthew J. Johnson and his sister Dorothy Johnson, both of Eau Claire…..

This American Legion post is now called the Johnson-Nicoles-Kuhlman-Olson, WI Post 53.  Lieut. William C. Johnson is buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin.


Arlington, Washington
Killed in Action

Lieut. Malcolm Maclaren Johnstone was the son of Robert Lorimer & Isabelle (Henderson) Johnstone, born 3 September 1892 at Savannah, Dawson Co., Georgia.  He had siblings: Henrietta, Colin, Edwin Dykes, Norman Stewart, Allen J., and Robert V.

He attended schools in Washington State, and graduated from Stadium High School, Tacoma Washington in 1912.  This followed by attending both the University of Oregon, and Columbia University in New York.

He enlisted in the Army August 15, 1917. In November 1917 he received a commission at Fort Oglethorpe, and was assigned to Camp Greene. He was sent to Europe, serving in Co. D, 2d Engineers, 2d Division.  On 3 June 1918 he was killed in action, killed by a fragment of a high explosive shell on the Chateau-Thierry front. The book, Sonomish County in the War states that his commanding officer, Captain Chisholm said: “No officer of our splendid regiment was more popular with both officers and men.”  A plaque in Arlington, Washington’s City Hall remembers his (and others) WW1 service.

He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 3, Grave: 3992-WH
1st LT
JUNE 3, 1918

Kaufman, Tex.,
Killed in Action

He was born December 29 1893 in Texas, son of William Elvis & Mary E. (Blythe) Jones. He had siblings: Ethel V. [Mrs. John B. Templeton], Pearl N. [Mrs. Clyde Rice], and Robbie Lena [Mrs. Norman Stewart].

The local newspaper reported the tragedy: The Houston Post (Houston TX) 9 June 1918 Sunday
Lieutenant Hamlet P. Jones, Company D, 1st Division, 1st regiment, of American forces in France, whose home was at Kaufman, and who graduated at A. and M. College in 1913 [now Texas A & M University], was killed in action May 28 [1918] according to telegraphic advices received here. He took the engineering course and attended the officers training camp at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

He had been killed at the Battle of Cantigny. As was common in World War 1, at first he was buried near the battlefield.  In 1921 the newspaper reported on his remains being returned to the United States, in the March 27, 1921 issue of the Arkansas Gazette (Little Rock, Arkansas). Three former officers whose bodies were being returned from Europe, including Hamlet S. Jones, former first lieutenant with Company D, First Engineeers. “The bodies will be accompanied to their destinations by commissioned and enlisted attendants selected from the personnel of the local command.” [Texas. Hamlet P. Jones, first lieutenant, Company D, First Engineers, Kaufman].

The Hamlet P. Jones Post of the American Legion, Kaufman, Texas was named after him. He is buried in the family plot in Kaufman Cemetery, Kaufman Texas.


Trimble, Tenn.
Killed in Action

Ira H. Justice was born September 11 1895 in Tennessee, [according to Find-a-Grave] son of William H. Justice & Virginia Ann “Jennie” (Graves) Noonan Justice Kelley.  She had m3d) Kenneth O. Kelley, as shown in the 1900 US Census.

His half Siblings include: Evva B. Kelley, William B. Kelley, Opal L. Kelley; Step-siblings: Sallie G. Kelley, Fannie O. Kelley.

His death was reported in local newspapers on June 9 & 15, 1918. He died 6 June 1918 in France, probably at the Battle of Belleau Wood (June 1-26 1918) also known as the Battle of Chateau-Thierry.  He is buried in Bethpage Cemetery, Gibson Co. TN.

More information on Tennessee in World War I can be found at Tennessee Great War Commission.

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3 Responses to The Lost Faces of World War One — Part Eleven

  1. Pingback: Not New Hampshire: The Lost Faces of World War One | Cow Hampshire

  2. Michael Dyer says:

    The New York Abstract of WWI Military Service for Private George Johnson is a mighty helpful resource. Given that so many military records were destroyed in the 1973 fire at the St. Louis branch of the National Archives, it’s a godsend to have this alternate resource detailing his military service.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Agreed Michael. Even with the lean records due to the 1973 fire, as you can see there are secondary records out there — newspaper clippings, burial stone requests, monument listing if they are buried in Europe. Persistence is my best tool. Thanks for commenting. Perhaps when I have finished all my Lost Faces I should write a post about the tools I used to research WW1 military.

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