WWI Profile: David Lafayette Dosher 1893-1919

To view this or an earlier profile 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.

Source: findagrave
David Lafayette Dosher
Toledo, OH
US Army

October 4, 1917 – February 9, 1919
August 26, 1918 – February 9, 1919
Died of Disease: February 9, 1919

David Lafayette Dosher was born and raised in Southport, Brunswick County, NC. One brother, Charles Edward Dosher also served in WWI.

David was listed in the 1916 Toledo City Directory. [Source: Ancestry]

David’s WWI Draft Registration from 1917 shows he was single, living in Toledo, OH, and working at The Doehler Die Casting Company, which had relocated from NYC to Toledo in 1914. (There is also a “David Dosher” listed in the 1914 Sandusky, Ohio, City Directory, but it is unknown whether this is the same David Dosher.)

David was ordered to report for duty and was inducted into the Army on October 4, 1917. On November 12, 1917, Private Dosher was assigned to Company M, 348th Infantry, 87th Division. He became Cook on December 18, 1917. [Source: Ohio WWI Service Cards, Ancestry]

He boarded Honorata in Brooklyn on August 26, 1918. [Source: Ancestry]

During the fall of 1918 the commander of the Services of Supply, Maj. Gen. James G. Harbord, requested personnel from three combat divisions for labor units in his command. On September 17, Pershing’s headquarters reassigned three divisions scheduled to arrive from the United States to Maj. General Harbord. One of these divisions was the 87th. It was broken up for laborers in the Services of Supply.

The division did not lose its identity as a combat unit. When the Armistice was signed, it was under orders for service at the front. However, the division never served in combat during the war.

Details of the 348th Infantry could not be found. What is known is that on February 9, 1919, David Lafayette Dosher died of influenza and broncho pneumonia. When his Company departed Bordeaux on February 25, 1919, his name was not typed and crossed out on the passenger list, which would provide more information on his last days.

On March 6, 1919, The Wilmington Morning Star published the following story on page 3:

Southport’s First Sacrifice in War
David L. Dosher So Far as Known Is Only Southport Man to Give His Life

Southport, March 5. — Cook David L. Dosher, whose name recently appeared in a casualty list as having died of disease in France, is a son of Jesse Dosher, of this place. As far as is known, he is the first Southport young man to have lost his life in the big adventure. Southport furnished Uncle Sam with a large number of sailors and soldiers, but they were fortunate in being spared.

In 1929, David’s mother, Mrs. W.J. (Margaret Ann) Dosher, was given the opportunity to take a Mother’s Pilgrimage to visit his gravesite. All three mothers listed from Brunswick County declined. More information can be found in Claudie Hall McCall’s WWI Profile.

Source: Sewell, Patricia and Cecilia Palin, eds.. U.S. World War I Mothers’ Pilgrimage, 1929 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.

David was laid to rest in Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial in France (no photo is available). A memorial flat marker is also in place at Toledo Memorial Park, as shown above.

Note: David’s Ohio WWI Service Card is not linked from this post but is available in Ancestry.

If you would like to help us honor David Lafayette Dosher 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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