Monthly Archives: February 2020

WWI Profile: Oliver Banks 1898-1964

NC WWI Service Card
Oliver Banks was born in Southport, the son of Ada Gardner.

The previous post introduced the Students’ Army Training Corps and the multiple draft registrations in 1917 and 1918.

Oliver did not become eligible for the draft until the registration of September 12, 1918. His draft registration shows he was employed as a Porter by a dry goods store, HW Hood & Sons, in Southport.

Oliver’s brother, James Banks, was called to duty on April 30, 1918, but was one of three men of the eleven called who were not accepted into service that day. No details are available.

Oliver Banks’ signature on his draft registration:

When the SATC became active in October 1918, Oliver, along with Elmer Davis and John Rivers Smith, met the physical and educational admission requirements and volunteered. All three were accepted and ordered to report for duty on October 30, 1918, at the Negro Agricultural & Technical College (now NC A&T State University) in Greensboro, the only Vocational Section of the SATC in NC. Click image at right to enlarge.

Source: Ancestry.com. U.S., Lists of Men Ordered to Report to Local Board for Military Duty, 1917–1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: Registrants who have a grammar school education or equivalent trade experience are eligible for Vocational Sections.

Members of Vocational Sections will ordinarily remain at the institution for two months and will then be assigned to various branches of the service in which technicians are needed.

Members of Vocational Sections will pursue such subjects as auto-driving, auto-repair, bench woodwork, sheet metal work and electrical work, etc., in addition to 15 1/2 hours per week of military training.

Members of both sections will attend courses on the Issues of the War.

The November 11 Armistice ended their training and the SATC was demobilized. Oliver was honorably discharged on December 12, 1918.

The 1920 Census shows him living in Southport with his widowed mother. Oliver and his brother James are listed as fishermen.

No additional census records could be located. However, his WWII Draft Registration of February 16, 1942, shows he was unemployed and living in Southport. His brother James, also in Southport, was listed as his nearest living relative.

Oliver Banks passed away on June 15, 1964. He was laid to rest in Smith Cemetery in Southport. The specific location of his and his family’s gravesite are unknown. According to his death certificate, he never married.


To view this or an earlier profile or snapshot at any time, click on the veteran’s name on the WWI Brunswick County Veteran list, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

If you would like to help us honor Oliver Banks or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement:
Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran:
How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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Students’ Army Training Corps (SATC)

On May 18, 1917, Congress approved what was commonly known as the Selective Service Act, authorizing the President to increase the military to prepare for entrance into WWI. All men between the ages of 21 and 30 were required to register on June 5, 1917.

On June 5, 1918, those men who had reached age 21 since the previous registration were required to register. This occurred again on August 24, 1918.

A final registration was set for September 12, 1918, increasing the age range to include men between the ages of 18 and 45. This meant that for the first time, any man enrolled or about to be enrolled in college would be eligible for the draft. The Students’ Army Training Corps was a solution to allow men to remain or enroll in college but also begin preparation for military service. The men became privates in the US Army. Tuition, room and board, and possible uniforms and supplies were paid for by the government. The men received $30 each month.

The Students’ Army Training Corps was volunteer only, for men who met requirements. More details will be included in the following weeks.

“The President directs that for the period of the existing emergency there shall be raised and maintained by voluntary induction and draft a Students’ Army Training Corps. Units of this corps will be authorized by the Secretary of War at educational institutions that meet the requirements laid down in special regulations.”

“The primary purpose of the Students Army Training Corps is to utilize the executive and teaching personnel and the physical equipment of the educational institutions to assist in the training of our new armies.”

The training was available in about 600 colleges, universities, professional, technical, and trade schools of the country. There were four sections: Collegiate, Vocational, and limited Marine and Naval sections.

“Students of authorized institutions join the Students Army Training Corps by voluntary induction into the service. They then become members of the Army on active duty, receiving pay and subsistence, subject to military orders, and living in barracks under military discipline in exactly the same manner as any other soldier.”

These 12 institutions in North Carolina were authorized to create the corps.

Institution Name Location Section
Atlantic Christian College
(now Barton College)
Wilson Collegiate
Biddle University
(now Johnson C. Smith University)
Charlotte Collegiate
Catawba College Newton Collegiate
Davidson College Davidson Collegiate
Elon College Elon Collegiate
Lenoir College Hickory Collegiate
Negro Agricultural & Technical College
(now NC A&T State University)
Greensboro Vocational
NC State College of Agriculture and Engineering Raleigh Collegiate, Naval
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Collegiate, Naval, Marine
Shaw University Raleigh Collegiate
Trinity College
(now Duke University)
Durham Collegiate
Wake Forest College Wake Forest Collegiate

 

The following Brunswick County men volunteered and were accepted into the Students’ Army Training Corps. It is assumed that they felt the same excitement at their acceptance as the young women and men of today feel when receiving full college scholarships. Those serving in the SATC were also more likely to serve in leadership positions in the military.

These men had to meet educational as well as physical requirements; all were literate. This was not always the case.

It is estimated that 25% of the WWI draftees in this country were found to be illiterate. The percentage in Brunswick County is unknown. While inspecting the WWI Draft Registrations of Brunswick County veterans, it is rewarding when they include an actual signature. Many men could sign only with an “X.” The WWI Profile for David Elton Lewis includes details of him learning to read and write in order to improve his employment prospects.

According to historical documents, one goal of the Army was to teach the men to sign their names when receiving their pay.

More information will be shared in their WWI Snapshots, which will be posted in the coming weeks.

Name Institution
Oliver Banks Negro Agricultural & Technical College
Commodore Clarence Chinnis University of North Carolina
Harry Churchhill Corlette, Jr Davidson College
Elmer Davis Negro Agricultural & Technical College
Joseph Clyde Knox Trinity College
Francis Dillard Price Clemson College
Andrew Jackson Robbins, Jr Davidson College
William Asbury Rourk, Jr University of North Carolina
John Rivers Smith Negro Agricultural & Technical College

 

The Armistice of November 11, 1918 ended their training. The SATC was demobilized in December.

Sources:
Students Army Training Corps, Descriptive Circular, October 18, 1918.

United States. War Dept. (1918). Students’ army training corps regulations, 1918. Washington: Govt. print. off..

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WWI Snapshot: William Lafayette Inman 1897-1940

NC WWI Service Card
William Lafayette Inman was born in Freeland in Brunswick County, NC. His WWI Draft Registration on June 5, 1918, at age 21, listed his occupation as farmer. He was not required to register for the 1917 draft due to his age, which was under 21 at that time.

One of Luther’s brothers, Luther James Inman, also served in WWI and has his own WWI Snapshot.

Will was ordered to report for duty on August 7, 1918. Read the WWI Profile of Kendrick Whiteleaf Outlaw for an overview of the group of men from Brunswick County reporting for duty that day. Will joined 11 other men from Brunswick County who were assigned to the 55th Pioneer Infantry. They traveled overseas on September 15, 1918. Pvt Outlaw died of disease soon after arriving in France.

As Elijah Milliken’s WWI Profile states, many of these men were transferred to the 81st Division on November 1, 1918, as replacements. Pvt Inman did not join the 81st Division, but was transferred to the 147th Infantry in the 37th Division, which had initially been formed from National Guard troops from Ohio. There he took part in the Ypres-Lys Offensive in Belgium until the Armistice on November 11.

Pvt Inman debarked in New Jersey on March 19, 1919, completing just over 6 months of overseas service. This qualified him for a service chevron. He was then honorably discharged on April 3, 1919.

This high quality photograph was shared within Ancestry. His six month overseas chevron can be seen on the lower half of the left sleeve. He has an insignia on his left shoulder. Although the insignia isn’t visible, it should be a red circle with a white border, the insignia of the 37th Division. The insignias can be seen at the top of the World War I Army/Marine Division Roster webpage.

William Lafayette Inman died from a stroke on December 1, 1940, at the age of 42. He was laid to rest in New Britton Church Cemetery in Ash, NC. The following obituary was published in The State Port Pilot on December 4, 1940, page 6.

Freeland Man Is Called To Reward
Funeral Services For W.L. Inman, 42, Are Being Held This Afternoon From The Home At Freeland

W.L. Inman, of Freeland, aged 42, died at his home there Sunday morning following a short illness. Funeral services are being held this afternoon at 1 o’clock, with Rev. Anson Smith in charge of the service. Burial will follow in the New Britton cemetery.

Surviving are his widow, the former Miss Margaret Babson, of Freeland. The deceased was twice married. Surviving are two children by his first marriage, William Inman, Jr., and Miss Lillie Pearl Inman, both of Freeland, and two children by the second marriage: Misses Helen Rose and Willa Bell Inman; one brother, Dozier Inman, of Freeland, and one sister, Mrs. Isaac Benton, of Longwood.


To view this or an earlier profile or snapshot at any time, click on the veteran’s name on the WWI Brunswick County Veteran list, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

If you would like to help us honor William Lafayette Inman or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement:
Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran:
How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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WWI Snapshot: Luther James Inman 1896-1937

NC WWI Service Card
Luther James Inman was born in Freeland in Brunswick County, NC. His WWI Draft Registration on June 5, 1917, at age 21, shows his occupation as farmer, employed by his father.

One of Luther’s brothers, William Lafayette Inman, also served in WWI and has his own WWI Snapshot.

Source: Ancestry.com. U.S., Lists of Men Ordered to Report to Local Board for Military Duty, 1917–1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

Luther was ordered to report for duty on October 15, 1917, along with six other Brunswick County men. At left is the list from the Local Board, indicating dates and acceptances of the seven men. Click image to enlarge.

This photo, courtesy of Gwen Clemmons Causey, was taken of the seven men as they reported for duty. Gwen’s grandfather Henry Lindon Clemmons is standing in the center. Beside him (order unknown) are Luther, Owen R. Mintz, Willie H. Hewett, Robert W. Holden, Mack Leonard, and Isaac Fred Edge.

All seven Brunswick County men were sent to Camp Jackson, SC, and officially accepted on October 26, then assigned to Company F, 322nd Infantry, 81st “Wildcat” Division. (Robert Holden and Owen Mintz would be reassigned before leaving for Europe, while Isaac Edge was honorably discharged with a disability in Dec 1917.)

The WWI Division Rosters webpage shows that Sgt Henry Clemmons, Bugler Willie H Hewett, Cpl Luther J Inman, and Pvt Mack Leonard served in the same Company F throughout WWI. To read more about the 81st Division, begin at the first WWI Profile post, Richard Herbert Gray and cycle through each post following it. They are also listed in order on this page.

From his NC WWI Service Card, we know that Luther attained the rank of Corporal. His Service Card does not show any details about his ascent to that rank. According to the US Army Transport Service Passenger Lists in Ancestry, he was a private when he embarked from Brooklyn, NY, on July 31, 1918.

This high quality photograph was shared within Ancestry. Luther Inman is identified as the soldier on the left. His rank insignia indicates he was a corporal at that time. He does not have the wildcat insignia on his left shoulder which was officially approved on October 19, 1918. Neither soldier appears to have a chevron on the lower half of the left sleeve, indicating six months overseas. This may help determine the approximate time the photo was taken. To learn more about WWI insignias, see the WWI Profile of Richard Herbert Gray.

Luther served overseas until June 18, 1919 and was honorably discharged on June 25, 1919.

Following the war, he married Flossie Leah Simmons. The 1930 Census shows three children. Luther was employed at a lumber mill. The family lived in Brunswick County.

On July 24, 1935, the State Port Pilot reported a Luther Inman left Freeland two days earlier for Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) employment.

According to his death certificate, Luther Inman passed away on October 24, 1937, at the young age of 41 from influenza. The 1940 Census shows his widowed wife with four daughters and a son, living near her father in Brunswick County. His wife never remarried, living to age 91.

His wife applied for and was shipped a military headstone [Source: Ancestry], but none is shown in Findagrave.

 


To view this or an earlier profile or snapshot at any time, click on the veteran’s name on the WWI Brunswick County Veteran list, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

If you would like to help us honor Luther James Inman or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement:
Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran:
How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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Filed under Honor a Veteran, Veteran Snapshot