Category Archives: Veteran Snapshot

WWI Snapshot: Wilton Vesper Hughes 1890-1976

Wilton Vesper Hughes was born in Ash, Brunswick County, NC, on January 28, 1890, according to his NC WWI Service Card (below).

This cropped photo is shown in Findagrave, circa 1911. Additional photos (below) are shared in Ancestry, including the wonderful family portrait which was used for the cropped photo. Each family member is labeled. (Click each photo to enlarge.)

NC WWI Service Card

Wilton was ordered to report for duty on July 30, 1918, and sent to Camp Hancock in Georgia. His service card indicates he was assigned to the 63rd Machine Gun Battalion on November 5, 1918. However, that battalion didn’t exist, and is likely meant to be 363rd Machine Gun Battalion. This assumption was made based on a fellow draftee, Newman Goodman Hewett, whose NC WWI Service Card shows he was serving at the Machine Gun Training Center at Camp Hancock, then assigned to the 363rd Machine Gun Battalion. The battalion was planned for the 96th Division. Because of the Armistice, the division was never fully formed.
Source: Historical Branch, War Plans Division (1921), A Brief History of Divisions, U.S. Army, 1917-1918

Besides Pvt Hughes and Pvt Newman Goodman Hewett, Pvt Joseph Sicero Smith, Pvt Walker Otis Smith, and Pvt Anthony Dewitt Stewart also trained at the Machine Gun Training Center at Camp Hancock.

Pvt Hughes was discharged on December 18, 1918.

Wilton Vesper Hughes passed away on January 21, 1976, and was laid to rest in McKeithan Cemetery in Ash. 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 Wilton Vesper Hughes 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: Adrian Leroy Willetts 1895-1973

NC WWI Service Card

Adrian Leroy Willetts was born in Winnabow, Brunswick County, NC.

His WWI Draft Registration in 1917 shows he had served in the Coast Guard Cutter Service. His NC WWI Service Card shows his enlistment date as April 29, 1914.

This photo dated 1916 is in Findagrave.

Adrian’s length of service in the Coast Guard is unclear, as well as whether he served in World War II. An article in the News and Observer in 1939 confirms he was in the Coast Guard at that time. He and three other members of the crew were hospitalized with food poisoning.
Sources: News and Observer [Raleigh, NC], 3 Dec. 1939, p. 12; “Poisoned.” State Port Pilot [Southport, NC], 6 Dec. 1939, p. 5.

In 1949, an article in the State Port Pilot mentioned that Adrian had retired from the Coast Guard and had been stationed on Bald Head Island “until a few years ago.”
Source: Keziah, W.B. “Our Rovin’ Reporter.” State Port Pilot [Southport, NC], 22 June 1949, pp. 1-2

Adrian’s brother Harry Lee Willetts also served in WWI. He was ordered to report for duty on August 25, 1918, serving stateside until his discharge on December 30, 1919. He was laid to rest in Willetts Cemetery after his death on February 1, 1970.

Adrian Leroy Willetts passed away on August 25, 1973, at Ocean Trails Rest Home in Southport, NC, at age 77. He was laid to rest in Lebanon Baptist Church Cemetery in Winnabow. 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 Adrian Leroy Willetts or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

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WWI Snapshot: Hildur Sorensen 1886-1960

Hildur Sorensen served in World War I and World War II.

NC WWI Service Card

Hildur Sorensen was born in Southport, NC. His parents Oscar and Mary had immigrated separately from Denmark, married, and by 1880 had settled in Southport.

Surfman Sorensen’s NC WWI Service Card shows he joined the Coast Guard in 1916, but a 1905 Register of Civil, Military, and Naval Service in Ancestry shows it may have been earlier. Earlier military service is not always included in the WWI Service Cards.

An article published in “Legion Notes” on page 2 of Annapolis Capital on September 17, 1942, lists his length of service in the Coast Guard at that time as 33 years. His obituary, shown below, includes that he served in both WWI and WWII and retired from the Coast Guard.

Hildur eventually moved to Fort Lauderdale, where he died on November 1, 1960.

Source: Fort Lauderdale News, 2 Nov. 1960, p.12
Hildur Sorensen

Services for Hildur Sorensen, 74, of 1405 SW 19th St., who died yesterday at Broward General Hospital, will be held in Baltimore, Md.

Born in Southport, N.C., he came here six years ago from Baltimore. A member of the Southwest Baptist Church, Ft. Lauderdale, F. & A.M. of Beaufort, S.C., he was retired from the Coast Guard and was a veteran of World Wars I and II.

Surviving is his widow, Olive; two sons, Bryan, Greensboro, N.C., Robert, Newport News, Va.; three daughters, Mrs. Charles Collinson, Ft. Lauderdale, Mrs. Rudy York, Mrs. Leonard Wade, both of Baltimore; one brother and 13 grandchildren.

Friends may call at the Fannin Funeral Home between 3-10 p.m. today.

Hildur Sorensen was laid to rest in Glen Burnie, MD.
Source of photo: 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 Hildur Sorensen or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

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WWI Snapshot: John Hilton Pigott 1895-1941

NC WWI Service Card

John Hilton Pigott was born in Shallotte, NC, on November 12, 1895.

He was called to duty and inducted into the US Army on July 22, 1918, and trained at Camp Hancock, GA, according to the local board military records.

This is one of the photos displayed in Findagrave, and described as taken at Camp Hancock during his training.

Pvt Pigott served with the 45th Machine Gun Battalion of the 15th Division. The men were undergoing intensive training at Camp Logan, TX, when the war ended. He was honorably discharged on January 29, 1919.

This photo is also displayed in Findagrave. No date or description is given.

John’s life came to a tragic end when he was involved in an automobile accident near Fort Bragg. His death certificate shows that several complications caused his death. On December 19, 1940, he had open reduction surgery on his fractured left leg. Ten days before his death, he suffered from influenza, then ultimately lost his life from a coronary occlusion. His obituary is shown below.

John H. Pigott
Funeral rites for John H. Pigott, 46, who died Thursday afternoon in the Fayetteville Veterans’ hospital of injuries received in an automobile accident two months ago, will be held from the home in the Guide section of the county Saturday afternoon at 1:30 o’clock.

The Rev. Phillip Parker will conduct the services. Burial will follow in the Old Zion cemetery.

Surviving are his widow, the former Miss Mollie Andrews, one son, Woodis Pigott, one daughter, Miss Pearline Pigott, all of Guide; two brothers, Lewis Pigott of Tabor City, and Lee Pigott of Shallotte.

The accident is said to have happened near Fort Bragg.
The Wilmington Morning Star [Wilmington, NC], 1 February 1941, p.2

He was laid to rest in Old Zion Cemetery in Columbus County, NC. No request for a military headstone was found and 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 John Hilton Pigott 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: Augustine Watchman Rieger 1885-1933

NC WWI Service Card

Augustine “Gus” Watchman Rieger was born in Southport, NC, on August 6, 1885. At the time of the 1900 Census, he and his family were living in Town Creek. His father was a lawyer and owned a rice farm.

Gus was appointed to the United States Naval Academy in 1905, graduating in 1909. This photo was printed in the 1909 yearbook Lucky Bag on page 188.

During WWI, he served as a Lieutenant commander at the Naval Academy.

His retirement was listed in the September 4, 1931, issue of the Evening Star of Washington D.C. on page 16.

Augustine Watchman Rieger died suddenly on April 23, 1933, as detailed below.

COMDR. RIEGER DIES IN PARKED AUTO

Heart Attack Fatal to Retired Naval Officer While in Machine

A heart attack suffered as he drove his automobile along Connecticut avenue late Saturday night was fatal to Comdr. Augustine W. Rieger, U.S.N., retired, 47, who was found dead in his automobile early yesterday.

Lights Still Burning
The car apparently had been hastily parked in a restricted zone just north of Taft Bridge, and the lights still were burning when the body was discovered by Sergt. W.P. Barnes of the eighth precinct, cruising in a police car. Dr. O.C. Foote, 5112 Connecticut avenue, the retired officer’s physician and close friend, said Comdr. Rieger had been under his care since his retirement because of heart trouble in 1931. He said he believed the officer had been dead at least six hours when found. A certificate of death from natural causes was issued by Acting Coroner A. Magruder MacDonald.

Comdr. Rieger was last seen Saturday night by relatives and an elevator boy at the Dupont Apartments, 1717 Twentieth street, where he lived.

Funeral services will be held at St. Alban’s Church at 2 p.m. tomorrow, with Rev. Charles T. Warner officiating. Burial, with full military honors, will be in Arlington National Cemetery.

Was Memphis Navigator
Comdr. Rieger’s last station was aboard the U.S.S. Memphis as navigator. Prior to that he had had an active sea career as well as of an executive ashore. During the World War he was stationed at the Naval Academy, from which he graduated in 1909. He was a North Carolina native.

He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Sarah T. Rieger; a sister, Miss Florence M. Rieger, both of the Twentieth street address, and another sister, Mrs. H.J. Stockum of Baltimore.
Source: Evening Star (Washington, D.C.) 24 April 1933, p. A-9

Source: Findagrave
Augustine Watchman Rieger was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. His headstone is shown here.

The family headstone may be found in Old Smithville Cemetery in Southport, where his parents and one sister were laid to rest.

His mother’s obituary in the Evening Star (Washington, D.C.) December 5, 1937, p. A-21, details the family’s history of military service. Click to enlarge.


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 Augustine Watchman Rieger or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

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WWI Snapshot: Albert Solon Russ 1895-1987

NC WWI Service Card

Albert Solon Russ was born in Makatoka, Brunswick County, NC, on August 23, 1895. He enlisted in the US Navy on March 30, 1915 in Charleston, SC.

Brothers Christopher Cleveland Russ and Burris Lee Russ also served in WWI.

Albert’s NC WWI Service Card shows he served on the USS Arizona during the war, reaching the rank of Electrician, First Class, before his honorable discharge on March 25, 1919.

On May 12, 1919, Albert requested a Seaman’s Certificate. This photo was included.

Albert’s wife, Retha Rose Russ, passed away in 1961. Her death certificate shows she was laid to rest in Riverside Cemetery in Riverside, CA. No findagrave entry was found. It appears that Albert and Retha had no children.

Albert Solon Russ passed away on February 3, 1987, at age 91. His death certificate shows he was laid to rest in Montecito Memorial Park in Riverside, CA. No findagrave entry was found.


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 Albert Solon Russ or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

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WWI Snapshot: Vane Lester Davis 1889-1946

NC WWI Service Card

NY WWI Service Card

Vane Lester Davis was born in Southport, NC, on April 5, 1889. He registered for the WWI draft on June 5, 1917. At the time, he was a Stationary Engineer employed by Columbia University, living in Queens.

The NY WWI Service Card shows he was appointed Lieutenant, junior grade, in the US Navy on November 21, 1917. His residence was listed as Southport. He was never mobilized. The NC WWI Service Card shows he enlisted in the Coast Guard on December 4, 1917. He served at Coast Guard Station 193 (Cape Fear) until his honorable discharge on December 3, 1918.

On January 11, 1919, Lester Davis requested a Seaman’s Certificate. This photo was included.

Vane Lester Davis passed away at age 57 on May 16, 1946. The following obituary was published on the front page of The State Port Pilot on May 22, 1946.

Lester Davis Is Buried Monday

Native of Southport, But Death Occurred Last Week in Brooklyn, N.Y., Where He Was Making His Home

Funeral services for Lester Davis, of Southport who died in Brooklyn, N.Y., were held Monday afternoon at 3 o’clock at St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church in Southport. The Rev. Alexander Miller, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal church, Wilmington, officiated and burial followed in the family cemetery.

Born in Southport, he was the son of Mrs. Fannie G. Davis and the late Captain Dumbar [Dunbar] Davis of this city.

Surviving in addition to his mother are a daughter, Mrs. R. R. Shellhammer [Shellhamer], Louisville, Ky., and her son, Robert Wesley; two sisters, Mrs. Mattie E. Aspinwall, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Mrs. S.L. Brinkman, Southport; and two brothers, J.M. Davis 404 South 17th St., Wilmington; and W.D. Davis, Southport.

Members of the American Legion, Brunswick County Post 195 were the active pallbearers.

Honorary pallbearers were E.R. Weeks, Price Furpless, J.L. Davis, J.P. Cranmer, P.I. Martz, W.G. Wells, C.A. Fox, J.T. Moore, B.J. Holden, F.G. Dosher, Harry Weeks, Clarence Onpon, C.E. Gause, A.C Sell.

Vane Lester Davis was laid to rest in Old Morse Cemetery in Brunswick County, NC. A military flat marker was requested by his mother on October 7, 1946, but is not 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 Vane Lester Davis 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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WWI Snapshot: William Barclay Smith 1880-1935

NC WWI Service Cards

William Barclay Smith was born in Brechin, Scotland, on February 16, 1880. According to his passport application, his family immigrated to the United States on January 4, 1888, when he was nearly 8 years old. He became a citizen of the United States on October 3, 1902.

The 1930 Census indicates he served in the Spanish-American War in 1898. Various enlistment registers in Ancestry indicate multiple enlistments in the early 1900s.

His NC WWI Service Records show he re-enlisted from the Regular Army at Fort Caswell on August 10, 1914, at age 34. His residence at the time was Southport, NC. He was initially a Sergeant First Class. Employment records from these years show he served in the Panama Canal Zone.

On September 6, 1918, he accepted a commission and was appointed as 1st Lt, serving at Newport News, VA. He was honorably discharged on December 5, 1918.

The 1920 Census lists him, his wife, and two children living in Panama as his passport application indicated. This photo is included in his passport application.

His wife’s parents were born in Norway. His children were born in Panama, and as the 1930 Census shows, an additional child was eventually born in Minnesota.

On July 7, 1935, William Barclay Smith passed away from pneumonia at age 55. He had been employed for two years as the assistant finance officer for the Minnesota district, Civilian Conservation corps, Fort Snelling. The following obituaries were found.

Source: The Winona Daily News, 8 July 1935, p. 3.

Source: Star Tribune [Minneapolis, MN], 8 July 1935, p. 7.
Captain W.B. Smith

Captain William B. Smith, 54, of 912 Thirtieth avenue north, assistant finance officer for the Minnesota district, Civilian Conservation corps, Fort Snelling, died Sunday morning at the Fort Snelling hospital after a week’s illness. Captain Smith had been in the finance department of the CCC since the corps was originated more than two years ago.

Prior to that, he had been an accountant at the Minneapolis post office for 12 years. He came to Minneapolis shortly after the close of the war, in which he served as a lieutenant in the quartermaster corps. Captain Smith had been in the army, either in active service or in the reserves for 27 years.

He was born in Scotland, but came to this country with his parents when young. His boyhood was spent in Massachusetts. He was a member of Minnesota lodge, No. 224, A.F and A.M., the Minneapolis Consistory of the Scottish Rite Masons, and of Zuhrah temple of the Shrine.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Lillian Bye Smith; three children, William B. Jr., Dorothy Elizabeth, and Robert Allan; and a sister, Mrs. George Tarbell, Revere, Vt.

Military funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Fort Snelling post chapel, following by Masonic services at the Lakewood chapel at 3.15 p.m. Burial will be in Lakewood cemetery.

According to his findagrave page, his ashes were scattered at the lake in the cemetery.


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 Barclay Smith or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

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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 William’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:

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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
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How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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