Miltary Service Checklist

31st Bal­loon Com­pa­ny Base­ball Team, Ft. Knox, KY

It’s help­ful to get a quick look at what mil­i­tary ser­vice records can or do exist for your ances­tors, as these records can pro­vide a wealth of infor­ma­tion.

While I intend to take this list of ances­tors back to the French-and-Indi­an Wars, tonight, I will just go back to the first World War.

My father served in the US Navy dur­ing World War II, but nev­er left the con­ti­nen­tal U.S. He spent most of his time in NAD Hast­ings, Nebras­ka and NAS Nor­folk, Vir­ginia. There was also a stint in the brig.

His father, Lawrence Lake Jones, fought over­seas in World War I, and served in the occu­pa­tion of Ger­many, or at least that is what the lore says. This is sup­port­ed by what appears on his mil­i­tary-issued grave­stone, as it lists him as hav­ing served in the 26th Infantry, which fought in France and occu­pied Ger­many.

Ernest Melvin Hill, my mater­nal grand­fa­ther, was in the 31st Bal­loon Com­pa­ny, Avi­a­tion Sec­tion, U. S. Sig­nal Corps, sta­tioned at Fort Hen­ry Knox, Ken­tucky. He was a chauf­feur 1st class and a mechan­ic.

I real­ized by look­ing at these folks that I had not pulled Ernie Hill’s mil­i­tary ser­vice record, which is prob­a­bly avail­able. I also know that some­times a record is recov­ered from the freeze-dried records of the St. Louis per­son­nel office. So I should ask about my grand­fa­ther Lawrence Lake Jones’s records … just in case.

No. 2: Carl Lawrence JONES (1927–2003)

Ser­vice WWII-era

Ser­vice record obtained. Sea­man 2c. USN.
Enlist­ed: 26 Feb 1945, NRS Hunt­ing­ton, West Vir­ginia.
Dis­charged: 11 May 1947, NAS Nor­folk, Vir­ginia.

Not eli­gi­ble.
No. 4: Lawrence Lake JONES (1895–1968)

Ser­vice WW I Ser­vice record not obtained. Pre­sum­ably lost in St. Louis Per­son­nel Records fire.
Grave mark­er reads: “Pvt   Co H   26 Inf I Div / World War I“
Fam­i­ly lore is that Lawrence was a machine gun­ner in the bat­tle of Meuse-Argonne, and that he served in the Army of Occu­pa­tion of Ger­many. The Wikipedia entry on the 26th Infantry says:

As part of the first Amer­i­can sol­diers to arrive in France, the reg­i­ment imme­di­ate­ly left for the front. Along with its sis­ter reg­i­ments of the divi­sion, it earned more cam­paign stream­ers than any oth­er reg­i­ments dur­ing theWorld War I How­ev­er, they came at a ter­ri­ble cost. Over 900 Blue Spaders lost their lives in a six-month peri­od. At Sois­sons alone, the reg­i­men­tal com­man­der, exec­u­tive offi­cer, two of three bat­tal­ion com­man­ders and the reg­i­men­tal sergeant major were killed in action; six­ty-two offi­cers were killed or wound­ed; and out of 3,100 Blue Spaders that start­ed the attack, over 1,500 had been killed or wound­ed. But the bat­tle was won and this turned the tide for the Allies at a cru­cial peri­od dur­ing the sum­mer of 1918. By war’s end, the sol­diers earned sev­en bat­tle stream­ers and two for­eign awards. Fol­low­ing a brief occu­pa­tion duty in Ger­many, the reg­i­ment returned to the Unit­ed States and served as a part of a small­er peace­time Army.”

“26th Infantry Reg­i­ment (Unit­ed States),” Wikipedia. : Accessed 23 Jun 2010

Not eli­gi­ble.
No. 6: Ernest Melvin HILL (1895–1933)

Ser­vice WW I‑Era Based on fam­i­ly records, includ­ing the above pho­to (none of the peo­ple are iden­ti­fied), Ernie served in the 31st Bal­loon Com­pa­ny, Avi­a­tion Sec­tion, U.S. Sig­nal Corps. How­ev­er, I need to pull his ser­vice record.

Not eli­gi­ble.