WWI Profile: Commodore Clarence Chinnis 1899-1960

NC WWI Service Card
Commodore Clarence Chinnis was born in Northwest, Brunswick County, the son of Augustus Marion Chinnis and Nellie Brew.

A previous post introduced the multiple draft registrations which occurred in 1917 and 1918, and the Students’ Army Training Corps.

Commodore did not become eligible for the draft until the registration of September 12, 1918. His draft registration was actually dated September 7, 1918, and shows he had already started his SATC training at Plattsburgh Barracks, NY. But the SATC program did not officially begin until October 1, 1918.

To determine the reason behind this discrepancy, college yearbooks were used. The North Carolina University at Chapel Hill (now known as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) yearbook Yackety-Yack provides the sequence of events.

The UNC Department of Military Science training and the Students’ Army Training Corps at UNC were two different programs. Commodore participated in the military training in 1917 when it first became available, then volunteered for the SATC in 1918 when it became available. The following shows Commodore’s activities in chronological order.

According to The Wilmington Dispatch (1916, May 27; p. 5), Commodore graduated from Wilmington High School on May 26, 1916.

He was a freshman in the 1916-1917 year at UNC Chapel Hill, according to the 1917 yearbook, Yackety-Yack, p. 147.

The 1918 yearbook, page 262, indicates that Commodore was in the Class of 1920. He is included in the list of sophomores on page 92.

Page 168 begins with the description of the formation of the Department of Military Science at the school and the enthusiasm in which the students responded. Several excerpts are shown below.

“It is not the nature of the North Carolinian to remain neutral when a ‘first-class scrap’ is in progress nearby. …his blood seethes with a desire to take part in the conflict.”

 

“When the suggestion was made, in the fall of nineteen-fifteen, that a course in military training be introduced in the University of North Carolina, it met with little favor among either Faculty or students. War was not regarded as imminent, and in our ignorance we failed to realize the importance of making ready for its coming.”

 

“…the sudden severance of diplomatic relations with Germany swept away all remaining opposition.”

 

“The total number of students registered in the University for the [1917] fall term was 820. Of these, 565 have been taking the course, devoting twelve hours a week to the work.”

Photos of the military training in Chapel Hill are located in the 1918 yearbook. Pvt Commodore served in Company B, which begins on page 176.

A diagram of the trenches that were created on campus is shown here.

The following summer (1918), 125 students, including Commodore, trained at the camp at Plattsburgh Barracks, NY. This explains why Commodore registered for the draft on September 7, 1918, from Plattsburgh Barracks.

Commodore Clarence Chinnis’ signature on his draft registration:

Photos from the summer of 1918 at Plattsburgh are shown in the 1919 Yearbook. This section of the yearbook is also located online at https://docsouth.unc.edu/wwi/yack1919/yack1919.html. Commodore has not been identified in the photo below, but he was described as a “likeable giant” in the local newspaper and stood at 6’1″, according to his WWI Draft Registration.

When the SATC became active in October 1918, Commodore, along with William Asbury Rourk, Jr, met the physical and educational admission requirements and volunteered. Both were accepted and ordered to report for duty on October 5, 1918, at the University of North Carolina, a Collegiate Section from 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 are graduates of standard four-year secondary schools or have equivalent educational qualifications are eligible for Collegiate Sections and will be inducted at the institutions to which they secure admission. The admission requirements into the colleges, and hence into the Students Army Training Corps, have been left substantially as they were. Young men seeking information as to how to join a Collegiate Unit of the Corps should apply not to the War Department, but to the Dean or Registrar of the college of their choice.

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

These excerpts are taken from the description of the Students’ Army Training Corps at Carolina on page 183.

From the first days in October, when the system was started, it seemed that fate was against a speedy organization of the units into efficient, spirited bodies. Equipment was hard to secure, personnel of the staffs were slow in assembling, and upon everything that scourge of scourges, the “flu” descended. The men were compelled to keep a strict quarantine, pleasures and freedoms were cut off. Sickness is a breeder of slow inertia and lack of spirit. Morale was hard to maintain, on the campus, when the atmosphere was full of dread.

Just as the training went into full swing, the November 11, 1918, Armistice ended it.

In the days of disappointment that followed the signing of the armistice, when the urge of the desire for service overseas was suddenly removed, every student soldier felt that the Students’ Army Training Corps was of no value.

The SATC was demobilized. Pvt Chinnis was honorably discharged on December 9, 1918.

The government did a very wise thing when it created this Students’ Army Training Corps, and could the experiment have been carried out its benefits would by now have been too obvious to point out.

Commodore did not complete his junior year in college. He is not listed among the juniors in the 1919 yearbook. This is confirmed by the 1940 Census which shows he had completed two years of college education.

The 1920 Census shows that he was living at home in Northwest. He and his sister Lila were clerks at a bank. His father was a merchant of groceries. The family home was on Wilmington and Charlotte Road, near Leland Road.

Commodore married and was the father of two sons who served in WWII, Carter Cabell Chinnis, whose findagrave entry includes an impressive obituary, and Hobson D Chinnis.

Commodore Clarence Chinnis passed away on July 8, 1960. He was laid to rest in New Hope Baptist Church Cemetery in Leland. No military marker is shown.


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 Commodore Clarence Chinnis 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
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How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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WWI Profile: John Rivers Smith 1898-1956

John Rivers Smith lies in an unmarked grave in Smith Cemetery in Southport, NC. Census records including him with his wife and children have not been located. As a result, more details and historical records than usual are presented below in order to link him to his descendants and preserve the details of his WWI service.

NC WWI Service Card
John Rivers Smith was born in Southport, son of Robert Calvin Smith and Eliza Jane Galloway. In the 1900 Census, his father is listed as a carpenter.

The 1910 Census shows that his family lived at 318 Rhett St. Another WWI veteran, Robert Leroy Stratmon, was his neighbor. Robert Leroy Stratmon died while serving in WWII.

John’s parents are listed as “baker” and “assistant baker.” Attempts to discover if they operated a bakery inside their home were unsuccessful.

Previous posts introduced the Students’ Army Training Corps and his fellow corps members from Southport, Oliver Banks and Elmer Davis.

Like Oliver and Elmer, John did not become eligible for the draft until the registration of September 12, 1918. His draft registration shows he was employed as a cook in Southport.

John Rivers Smith’s signature on his draft registration:

Oliver, Elmer, and John met the physical and educational requirements of the SATC, volunteered, and were accepted. All three served in the SATC at Negro Agricultural and Technical College (now NC A&T State University) in Greensboro. Read the previous posts linked above for details.

John was honorably discharged on December 12, 1918.

No additional census records could be located for John. However, his family’s 1930 Census record shows his sister Marion Jane Smith had married William L. Davis in Southport and was living in Chadbourn, Columbus County, NC. Their sister Katy Ruth and mother Eliza lived with them. William Davis worked as a fireman at a railroad and Marion ran a filling station. Marion was described as attending school. As the 1940 Census shows, she eventually completed four years of college.

William Lee Davis was also a WWI veteran. His service card from Georgia is shown at right. Click to enlarge. He was born in Tennessee and was a resident of Savannah, Georgia (at least one son from a previous marriage was born there). Corporal Davis served stateside in the 425 Labor Battalion.

The 1940 Census indicates that William continued working for the railroad as a fireman. As mentioned, Marion’s educational level is shown as 4 years of college. Marion’s and John’s mother Eliza was still living with them. Katy Ruth was not and efforts to find records for her were unsuccessful.

Nephew John Robert Smith, age 8, also lived with Marion and William. Quite a few records exist that indicate this is John Rivers’ son. These include not only John Robert’s records listed in the paragraph below, but John Rivers’ son Charles Fredrick Smith‘s records and his wife Bernice McBride Smith Gore‘s records.

John Robert Smith’s birth record lists his father as John Smith. His Social Security Application and Claims [Source: Ancestry] shows his father as “John R Smith” and mother “Bernice McBride” and birth date and place as August 23, 1931, and Chadbourn, NC.

[Note: The 1930 Census indicates William L Davis was born in Tennessee. The 1940 Census shows him born in North Carolina but shows that John Roberts Smith was born in Tennessee. John Roberts Smith’s birth record verifies that he was born in Chadbourn, NC. The assumption is a transcription error on the 1940 Census: William L Davis was born in Tennessee (see his WWI Service Card above) and John Roberts Smith was born in Chadbourn, NC (see his birth record above).]

John Rivers Smith’s WWII Draft Registration of February 16, 1942, shows he was living in Chadbourn, Columbus County, employed by Columbus Manufacturing Company. His wife Bernice Smith was listed as his nearest living relative.

He was described as 5’7″, 148 pounds, with a scar in front of his right ear.

On November 7, 1943, John’s and Bernice’s son, Charles Fredrick Smith, was born. His death certificate from 1993 lists his parents as John Rivers Smith and Bernice Smith Gore, which shows Bernice remarried after John’s death. Her obituary found on her findagrave page shows there were additional children with John Rivers Smith as well as stepchildren from her second marriage. A complete list is unavailable.

John’s and Marion’s mother Eliza passed away on July 30, 1943, and is buried in Smith Cemetery. The specific location of her gravesite is unknown.

John Rivers Smith passed away on September 30, 1956, of stomach cancer in the VA Hospital in Fayetteville. His death certificate lists his father and mother as Robert C. Smith and Eliza Gallaway, and his wife as Bernice Smith. He was laid to rest in Smith Cemetery in Southport. The exact location of his gravesite is unknown.

His sister, Marion Jane Smith Davis, passed away in 1969 and was also buried in Smith Cemetery. Her death certificate lists her former occupation as teacher. The exact location of her gravesite is also unknown.

John’s sons and wife were laid to rest in Belvue Cemetery in Columbus County, NC. His son William David Smith passed away after 9 days in 1938. Charles Fredrick Smith passed away in 1993. His son 2nd Lt John Robert Smith served in the Korean War and passed away in 2001. His wife, Bernice McBride Smith Gore passed away in 2012 at age 96.


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 John Rivers Smith 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
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How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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WWI Profile: Elmer Davis 1898-1970

NC WWI Service Card
Elmer Davis was born in Southport, the son of Reverend John Richard Davis and Mary Swain.

Previous posts introduced the Students’ Army Training Corps and his fellow corps member from Southport, Oliver Banks.

Like Oliver Banks, Elmer did not become eligible for the draft until the registration of September 12, 1918. His draft registration shows he was living in Southport, employed as a fisherman for a fishery based in Jacksonville, FL.

Elmer Davis’ signature on his draft registration:

Elmer met the physical and educational requirements of the SATC, volunteered, and was accepted. Oliver, Elmer, and John Rivers Smith served in the SATC at Negro Agricultural and Technical College (now NC A&T State University) in Greensboro. Read the previous posts for details.

Elmer was honorably discharged on December 12, 1918.

The 1920 Census shows that he had returned to Southport to live with his parents and resume fishing.

In 1930, he was living in Fernadina Beach, FL, with his wife and children, again employed as a fisherman. His employer was a fertilizer plant.

This photo is from 1938, courtesy of the Southport Historical Society. “Menhaden workers playing checkers – Nehi Gore, Elmer Davis, Frank Jackson, Joe Reaves, Joseph Parker, Rapael Parker, Capt. John Erikson C. 1938”

John Eriksen is also a WWI veteran from Brunswick County.

Elmer had returned to Southport when the 1940 Census was taken, living on St. George Street with his family.

He passed away on July 17, 1970. He is described on his death certificate as a retired storekeeper. Details such as this allow more specific searches to be performed. Several references to him were found.

In a March 16, 2001 article on the online State Port Pilot, an Elmer Davis’ Cafe was mentioned, located at the corner of St. George and Caswell streets in Southport. This is apparently the cafe of Elmer Davis, WWI veteran. Excerpt shown below.

The [McKenzie’s] confectionery was the oldest venture in the heart of what once was Southport’s district of black-owned, black-operated businesses, around the intersection of Howe and St. George streets, in the early 1900s.

Twenty-five of them — grocery stores, cafés, dance halls, dry cleaners, a mortuary and more — thrived into the mid-20th century or later with as much success as their white counterparts.

Today, each is listed by name on a marker the Southport Historical Society installed outside LeClerc’s Ladies Boutique, whose building is the former site of McKenzie’s Confectionery. The building — and the ice shaver — remains in Adams’s possession.

The Southport Historical Society has a map available to locate the black businesses during that time period. A small section is shown here. Elmer Davis’ Cafe is marked as #14. To see the full map and description, click on the link.

On March 12, 1941, State Port Pilot included this sentence in the Not Exactly News section on page 4. “Elmer Davis, colored fisherman, has opened up a Cafe and we can bear witness that his wife’s cooking is swell.”

He was chosen as an air raid warden in Southport during WWII, according to this article in the December 17, 1941, edition of the State Port Pilot.

In February 10, 1943, the State Port Pilot article, “Raise Funds for New Sterilizer” lists Elmer and wife Maverick as donors for the new sterilizer at Dosher Memorial Hospital.

And finally, according to Liz Fuller from the Southport Historical Society, he served on the executive board of the Southport Colored Citizens League in the 1940s, working for justice and equality in the schools.

Elmer Davis was laid to rest in Smith Cemetery in Southport. A small flat marker is located there. However, there is no indication of his military service or his many contributions and leadership in the Southport community.


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 Elmer Davis 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
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How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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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
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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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WWI Snapshot: Ernest Denning Cavenaugh 1896-1969

Ernest Denning Cavenaugh enlisted in the Regular Army soon after the US joined WWI. He lived in Wilmington, NC, many years. He is included in the list of Brunswick County WWI veterans because while being transported to France in 1918, he reported his next of kin as his father with an address of Southport.

One of Ernest’s brothers, Charles Irving Cavenaugh, served in WWI and WWII, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, according to his Findagrave entry.

NC WWI Service Card
Ernest Denning Cavenaugh was born in Newberry, SC. His parents were born in NC and by the time of the 1910 US Census, they had moved their family to Wilmington, NC, where they remained until their deaths.

Newspaper stories from the time indicate Ernest was admired for his piano playing.

Ernest was a freshman in Trinity College (now Duke University) in 1916-1917. But on June 6, 1917, two months after the US entered WWI, Ernest left college and enlisted in the Regular Army in Greensboro, NC. He served in the Surgeon’s Office of the 30th “Old Hickory” Division, serving overseas from May 11, 1918, until September 7, 1919. The US Army Transport Passenger List shows he was scheduled to return on March 17, 1919, with the HQ Detachment but was transferred to the Medical Detachment and returned at the later date. He also had reached the rank of Sergeant First Class earlier that year.

This photograph was found on page 48 in the 1921 Trinity College yearbook when Ernest was a senior, and was copied into his Findagrave entry.

According to the obituary below, Ernest Denning Cavenaugh passed away on October 4, 1969 in Boston. The Social Security Death Index shows October 15, 1969, which is obviously incorrect, given the obituary was published on October 6.

Ernest D. Cavenaugh
Services for Ernest D. Cavenaugh of 3082 Argonne Drive NW will be Tuesday in Wilmington, N.C. Born in Wilmington, Mr. Cavenaugh was a rating specialist for the Veterans Administration. He was graduated from Duke University and Georgetown University Law School. He died Saturday in Boston. Survivors include three sisters and two brothers.
The Atlanta Constitution, 6 October 1969, p. 30

He was laid to rest in Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington. Along with a family headstone, this military flat marker is located at his grave site. The date of death displayed is October 5, 1969.

Source: 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 Ernest Denning Cavenaugh or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

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Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
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How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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WWI Snapshot: Paul Mazyck Barnwell 1897-1991

NC WWI Service Card
Paul Mazyck Barnwell was 20 years old and living in Southport, NC, when he enlisted in the US Navy at the Recruiting Station in Charleston, SC, on April 30, 1918. He served as a Machinist Mate 2nd Class, then was promoted to 1st Class until his discharge on January 2, 1920.

He came to the Southport/Wilmington area with his parents from the city where he was born, Sumter, SC. According to accounts in local newspapers, his father, Reverend William Habersham Barnwell, traveled to churches throughout the South. Both parents and two of his sisters passed away in Wilmington and were laid to rest in Oakdale Cemetery.

One brother, St. Julien Mazyck Barnwell, also served in the US Navy in WWI, serving on many ships from May 1, 1917 – April 25, 1919. He is a veteran from the state of South Carolina.

This photo is from Paul’s Application for Seaman’s Certificate of American Citizenship, February 1921. [Source: Ancestry]

His address at that time was Wilmington, NC.

The Wilmington Morning Star printed this in the Society News on March 4, 1921, on page 6.

Has Interesting Position
His many friends in Wilmington and Southport will be interested to learn that Paul M. Barnwell, who has been living in New York since October, has left for the Pacific coast on the steamship [unreadable] R. Luckenback, on which he has the responsible position as mechanic in charge of an all American crew. The cruise, on which Mr. Barnwell recently started will take three or four months and his headquarters will be the Luckenback Steamship company, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Paul Mazyck died in Florida on December 11, 1991. His obituary is shown below. The location of his gravesite is unknown.

Source: The Tampa Tribune, North Pinellas, 13 Dec 1991, p.2
Paul M. Barnwell, 94, of St. Petersburg died Wednesday in St. Petersburg. A native of Sumter, S.C., he moved to the area in 1984 from Sea Cliff, N.Y. He retired in 1971 from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in Mineola, N.Y. He was a veteran of World War I, serving in the U.S. Navy, and a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Sea Cliff. He is survived by a son, Paul Jr, of East Brentwood, N.Y.; a daughter, Barbara Berry of St. Petersburg; two grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Mathews-Palms Memorial Funeral Directors, St. Petersburg.


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 Paul Mazyck Barwell 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
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How to Honor a Brunswick County Worl

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WWI Snapshot: Hiram Jerome Formyduval 1896-1948

NC WWI Service Card
Hiram Jerome Formyduval was ordered to report for duty on August 7, 1918, in Southport, NC. He served with the 4th Pioneer Infantry, serving overseas from September 23, 1918 until January 21, 1919.

Pvt Formyduval returned to the United States on USS George Washington from Brest, France, on January 11, 1919. The passenger list shows he was “Class B: Walking patients requiring no dressings.”
[Source: Ancestry]

He could have been recovering from influenza, like many soldiers at the time. No records were found that offer any clues.

He was honorably discharged on April 25, 1919, indicating he required four months to recover.

This photo is available in Findagrave. It appears to be a photo of him in his uniform during his service.

Hiram Jerome Formyduval passed away in 1948 at age 51. His obituary is shown below.

Source: The State Port Pilot, 12 May 1948, p.1

Waccamaw Man Dies Wednesday

Hiram Jerome Formyduval Died at Home Following Cerebral Hemorrhage; Funeral Services Thursday

Stricken with cerebral hemorrhage Tuesday night of last week, Hiram Jerome Formyduval, veteran of World War I, died at his home near Freeland shortly after noon last Wednesday.

He was born and reared in Brunswick county, one of the sons of the late Tobias and Armacie [sic] Formyduval of Waccamaw township.

Burial was held at the family cemetery at 2 o’clock Thursday afternoon, following services at the home.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. P. M. Williamson Formyduval, three daughters, Mrs. Teva Sellers of Wilmington, Mrs. Helene Hill of Myrtle Beach, and Miss Hazel Formyduval of Freeland; three brothers, A.B., O.P., and P.D. Formyduval of Freeland; two sisters, Mrs. S.K. Babson of Ash and Mrs. Lum Wright of Freeland, and three grandchildren.

He  was laid to rest at Wright Cemetery, in Ash. His wife applied for a military headstone which is pictured here from 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 Hiram Jerome Formyduval 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
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How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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