WWI Snapshot: Calvin Peel Willetts 1895-1967

Calvin Peel Willetts was born in Winnabow, Brunswick County, NC, on August 1, 1896, according to his WWI Draft Registration.

This photo is shown in Findagrave, date unknown.

Soon after he registered for the draft, he married. Sadly, he lost his wife and child.

Calvin was ordered to report for duty on July 6, 1918, then sent to Camp Greenleaf in Georgia, as shown on the county draft board list at right.

Source: Library of Congress

Camp Greenleaf, GA

In only 18 months of operation, Camp Greenleaf trained 6,640 officers and 31,138 enlisted men.
Source: WWI Centennial Commission

Two of the three men ordered to report for duty with Calvin from the list above were also trained for medical duties.

Claudie Lafyette Stanley served overseas in the Sanitary Detachment for the 13th Field Artillery. (Findagrave listing)

John Duren Reynolds also served overseas in the Medical Department. Some interesting details were found regarding his service and are shared in his WWI Snapshot. (Findagrave listing)

Samuel William Lehew does not appear to have served. Perhaps his employment as printer at the Southport News, reported on his WWI Draft Registration, was more valuable to the country than military service. No confirmation was found.

NC WWI Service Card

Pvt Willetts was promoted to private first class in December 1918, then corporal in March 1919. His service card does not include details beyond MD (Medical Department), and no overseas travel. (This is confirmed by the lack of his name on any US Army Transport Passenger Lists.) His VA Index was used to discover that he served in the B&S Det D G at the end of his service.

What is B&S Det D G?

The National Archives VA Master Index Key to Codes and Prefixes is not for deciphering service information. The NC Archives List of Authorized Abbreviations for WWI Service Discharge Records, another very useful document, did not include anything other than the standard “Det” for “Detachment.”

Some research and luck uncovered the answer.

A simple internet search found many occurrences of the abbreviated phrase. Systematically using each veteran’s name who also served in that unit finally led to an Application for Headstone or Marker which included the details. The application is for Corporal Alexander Sprunt Wortham at the VA Center in Mountain Home, TN. The front and back of this record is shown below. (Click to enlarge.)

Billeting and Supply Detachment, Demobilization Group

Corporal Willetts was honorably discharged on July 9, 1919. The 1920 US Census shows he returned home, helping on the farm. He later remarried and raised a son.

Calvin Peel Willetts passed away on January 22, 1967, and was laid to rest in Willetts Cemetery in Mill Creek. No military honors are 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 Calvin Peel Willetts 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

Comments Off on WWI Snapshot: Calvin Peel Willetts 1895-1967

Filed under Honor a Veteran, Veteran Snapshot

Comments are closed.