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Edward H. Willis American Field Service WWI


Chris
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I am going to be acquiring some items soon that belonged to Edward H. Willis, a member of the A.F.S. in WWI. I will post pics as soon as I can. But does anyone have the ability to provide any information about Willis and his service? I would be very grateful. I have reason to believe he earned a Spanish War service medal too, if that little detail helps at all.

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mhalstead1950

post-164755-0-96801600-1570149775.png

post-164755-0-60209600-1570149168.png

 

The second one is a big article with a lot of interesting info, if you don't have a newspapers.com subscription just PM me your email and I can send the clipping to you that way as it would take six posts and a dozen screenshots to upload it all.

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CHRIS, Im looking forward to seeing the group. However, from the records on FOLD3, Willis served with the US Army Ambulance Service not American Field Service.

 

USAAS was similar to AFS, but was officially part of the US Army. Willis served with Section 629. The history of SSU 629 can be found here. http://www.ourstory.info/library/2-ww1/Smucker/usaac12.html

 

Edit: SSU 629 was originally SSU 9, which WAS part of the AFS. Willis may have been part of the original members of the Section that enlisted into the US Army after the US entered the war.However the article states that he sailed for France in August 1917, which makes it more likely he didnt serve with the AFS.

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You guys are awesome...as usual. Interestingly, in the lot is a 1923 document from the French embassy stating that, as a former member of the American Field Service, he is entitled to wear the French commemorative WWI service medal. So, that would suggest he was with the AFS at some point. Also in the lot is a bullion "rooster" patch. The way the AFS and Army blurred during the war makes these a challenging to sort out sometimes! I will post pics upon arrival. Thanks to all!

Chris

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He was definitely in the American Field Service as evidenced by his Passport Application as well as what you have from the French Embassy.

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I am a little confused by the Veterans Bureau card above. I t seems to show service as: Pvt 1c, 38 Co. 9 Btry, 153 DB. How does that fit in with his service with AFS? This is such an interesting story! You folks have been amazing. But I am not sure how to interpret some of this info.

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I am a little confused by the Veterans Bureau card above. I t seems to show service as: Pvt 1c, 38 Co. 9 Btry, 153 DB.

 

I was confused by that Veterans Bureau card as well when I saw it. It's showing Private 1st Class, 38th Company, 9th Battery, 153rd Depot Brigade. Why? I don't know. Could it be a mistake? Not sure.

 

But I did find this while trying to search some more.

 

Source: https://archive.org/stream/rosterofvermontm00herb/rosterofvermontm00herb_djvu.txt

 

 

 

g1.jpg

g2.jpg

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When Edward Willis returned to the states from overseas, he went to Camp Dix (according to the returning WWI U.S. Army Transport Record) which is in New Jersey. The 153rd Depot Brigade was located at Camp Dix. Perhaps the Veterans Bureau Card on him only indicates that he was discharged out of the 38th Company, 9th Battery, 153rd Depot Brigade, which was at Camp Dix. Just a theory but a possibility.

 

I found this regarding Depot Brigades.

 

The role of depot brigades was to receive and organize recruits, provide them with uniforms, equipment and initial military training, and then send them to France to fight on the front lines. The depot brigades also received soldiers returning home at the end of the war and completed their out processing and discharges. Depot brigades were often organized, reorganized, and inactivated as requirements to receive and train troops rose and fell, and later ebbed and flowed during post-war demobilization.

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