Thursday, September 13, 2007

Leroy Thompson's Army Enlistment record

While I was in the Bay area visiting my brother-in-law and love-in-law, Deb provided a copy of the Enlistment Record for her grandfather, Leroy Thompson. It is an interesting document full of useful facts:

The content of this document includes (handwritten entries in red):
* Name: Leroy Thompson
* Grade: Private
* Enlisted: July 1st 1916 at Memphis, Tenn.
* Serving in First enlistment period at date of discharge.
* Prior service: None
* Noncommissioned officer: no
* Marksmanship: Qual as sharpshooter 1916
* Horsemanship: Not mounted
* Battles, engagements, skirmishes, expeditions: Ypris Belgium Aug. 2nd to 9th 1918; St. Quentin Canal France Sept. 29th 1918; St. Martin Lev. (?) France Oct 17th 1918.
* Knowledge of any vocation: Barber
* Wounds received in service: Gassed
* Physical condition when discharged: Very Good
* Typhoid prophylaxis completed: July 28th 1916
* Paratyphoid prophylaxis completed: Sept. 3rd 1917
* Married or single: Married
* Character: Excellent
* Remarks: No A.W.O.L. or absence under G.O. 45-14 or 31-12, served in Belgium and France. Left U.S. May 19th 1918 arrived in U.S. Apr. 2nd 1919, Co. "B" 1st Tenn. Inf. Sept 15th 1918, Co. "A" 113th M & Bn until date of discharge.
* Signature of soldier: Leroy Thompson
* Signed by: H.F. Roraker, Capt. Cav. USA
* Commanding: Co. "A" 113th M G Bn
A stamp next to the commanding officer's signature says: Paid in full $111 including $60 bonus as provided in Sec. 406, Revenue Act of 1918. approved Feb. 24th, 1919, Ft. Oglethorpe, Ga. Apr 12 1919, Geo. H. Chase [rest unclear].
This is Form 3-3164.
It appears that this document was filled out at the time of discharge, since it summarizes the soldier's service and condition.
By the way, someone (probaby a child) made some extraneous marks on this page - luckily it didn't obscure any useful data.
I posted this because it is the first time I have seen a document like this.
I wonder where I could find similar documents for my ancestors. From the National Archives? Directly from the military services? Will these records be available from FamilySearch or Footnote or another commercial service sometime in the future? I guess I should find out, so that I can order my father's and my grandfather's enlistment records.
UPDATED 9/16: I wondered about the cryptic initials M G Bn and found out they probably mean "Machine Gun Battalion." Makes sense to me. There are lots of references to MG Bn in the First World War records found on Google, but not before.


Anonymous said...

well I guess Deb would have never forgiven herself IF she did the doodling on THESE pages! So glad the doodler was not like ME and a coverer of the whole page with crayon LOL.

Miriam Robbins said...


These documents are identical to the ones my Great-grandfather Robbins had when he was discharged from his service in World War I. Many of these papers ended up either in family members hands, OR were filed with the county clerk at the veteran's home county. Check with the county clerk's office in the county where your WWI ancestor resided after the war, or with the genealogical or historical society in that county to find where these discharge papers have been ultimately archived.

WWI veterans records can be ordered from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Unfortunately, many of the WWI Army veterans records were lost in the 1973 fire at the NPRC. This would include the WWI Army Air Corps veterans records. Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard records for this era remain intact.

The NPRC attempts to use alternative sources to reconstruct those records destroyed by fire. See this page at the National Archives website to find more information on ordering these records from the NPRC.

Another idea is to contact the American Legion in the area of your ancestor's residence after the Great War. They may have further information on which unit your ancestor served in.

A third idea is to Google the name of the unit your ancestor served with (if you know it) to find out what might be available either online or in archives.

Happy Hunting!