John Duren Reynolds was born in Southport, Brunswick County, NC, according to his NC WWI Service Card.
John’s brother David Reynolds also served in WWI. He enlisted in the US Navy on April 23, 1918, as a machinist’s mate second class. He was honorably discharged on February 18, 1919. He was laid to rest in Salisbury National Cemetery in NC after his death on September 8, 1957.
Source of photo: Findagrave
John was ordered to report for duty on July 6, 1918, then sent to Camp Greenleaf in Georgia. He reported for duty along with three Brunswick County men, as shown in Calvin Peel Willetts’ WWI Snapshot. Three, including John, were trained for the Medical Department.
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
John Duren Reynolds served overseas, first in Evacuation Hospital No. 25 in Vichy, France, as shown on his Army Transport Passenger List – outgoing, shown at right. Notice that his NC WWI Service Card above incorrectly shows “Base Hospital 25.” The correct name, Evacuation Hospital No. 25, was confirmed with the 1928 US Army Medical Department volume (first source at bottom).
The source volume also included some interesting details about Vichy and the evacuation hospital.
“Vichy had many advantages as a hospital center. The location, although apparently somewhat distant from the battle lines, was well chosen owing to favorable railroad connections. Patients were received in some instances within 24 to 36 hours after receipt of injuries, and frequently they arrived with their original dressings, although a very large proportion of the patients had passed through evacuation or base hospitals.
“Vichy, being a famous watering resort, established for many years, was a well-developed small city. The streets were well paved and well lighted, thus greatly facilitating the handling of patients arriving on trains at night. There also was an excellent water supply; gas and electric current were obtainable in abundance.”
On February 11, 1919, Private Reynolds was transferred to Base Hospital No. 214 in Savenay, France (see second source at bottom). The hospital treated patients with mental and neurological conditions.
“Base Hospital No. 214 came into existence November 6, 1918, at Savenay, Department Loire Inferieure, in the base section No. 1, when the neuro-psychiatric service of Base Hospital No. 8 was organized into an independent unit, and designated Base Hospital No. 214. This hospital functioned as a special hospital for mental and neurological patients and occupied a plant consisting of 10 wooden, knock-down type of barracks. In January, 1919, when the admission rate increased, the unit was assigned to a type A, 1,000-
bed hospital, the construction of which was not completed; and as special construction was necessary, this was done chiefly by the patients.
“The personnel of the institution changed a great deal, as it furnished officers and enlisted men to supervise transportation of convoys of patients to the United States, and exercised supervision until patients were delivered to their destination there. The convoys consisted as a rule of from 50 to 200 cases, occasionally more. From November 1, 1918, to February 28, 1919, this hospital admitted 6,093 cases; the greatest number treated at one time was 700, including 40 officers.
“Base Hospital No. 214 ceased to function June 21, 1919.”
As mentioned in the excerpt above, Private Reynolds did actually serve as an attendant for casualties at the base hospital who were returning to the United States. This can be seen in the Army Transport Passenger List – incoming, shown at left.
Click on the passenger lists to enlarge. It may be necessary to download the images and zoom onto areas to view the details.
Pvt Reynolds debarked USS Leviathan on June 12 or 14, 1919, presumably accompanying his patients to Camp Merritt, NJ. He was honorably discharged on June 27, 1919.
The 1920 US Census shows that John returned home to Southport. He later married and raised several children in Brunswick County, where he lived throughout his life.
Base and evacuation hospitals formed at Camp Greenleaf:
US Govt Printing Office (1928) The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War, Volume VII, Training. Washington D.C.: US Govt Printing Office. p. 31, 56.
Base hospital information:
US Govt Printing Office (1928) The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War, Volume II, Administration American Expeditionary Forces. Washington D.C.: US Govt Printing Office. p. 618, 744.
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 Duren Reynolds 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