Wisconsin Gold Star List

Discover your
family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

choose a state:
Start Now
Liberty Bond
Liberty Bond

Wisconsin’s Gold Star List Soldiers, sailors, marines and nurses casualties for WWI

This extensive list of casualties from Wisconsin provides details of the hometown, age, unit, location of death, and cause of death, for those soldiers, sailors, marines, and nurses who all gave their life in World War 1.

The first installment of source material used in the compilation of the data here presented was supplied by the War Department at Washington, which gathered information from original official reports and records. This material comprised lists-necessarily imperfect-of officers and enlisted men from Wisconsin who died while serving with the American Expeditionary Force during the World War. A letter from the Adjutant General of the Army to the Adjutant General of Wisconsin which accompanied a set of these lists requested that they be checked against casualty cards previously transmitted, and that discrepancies noted be reported. This course was carefully followed in the office of the Adjutant General of Wisconsin, which collated the data received from Washington with statistics of its own relating to Wisconsin soldiers, and constructed a card index that was of value to the Service Recognition Board in administering the Wisconsin bonus law, and has afforded great help in the prosecution of the present task.

In the lists from Washington the soldiers’ names are arranged with reference to the branch of the service to which respective individuals belonged, whether Regular Army, National Guard, Enlisted Reserve Corps, or National Army; and the National Army list is subdivided to show whether entry was by enlistment or induction. In the card-index roster at the office of the Adjutant General of Wisconsin the names are grouped by counties. A card index showing the names of applicants for the Wisconsin bonus, and the action on such applications taken by the Board in each case, has also aided the preparation of the present list, which has been compared with numerous honor rolls made up by patriotic associations, and with other local compilations.

At the office of the Adjutant General of Wisconsin there are separate official returns from Washington relating to the Marine Corps, to sailors, and to nurses who served in the war. These, it would appear, approximate completeness less nearly than those relating to the Army, but full use has been made of the information which they contain bearing on the subject of this list.

Many men from Wisconsin who lost their lives in the World War were not in the service of the United States, or not identified as from Wisconsin. Some of these were enrolled in Canadian units or in the service of Great Britain or France. There were numerous instances of residents of Wisconsin with Polish or Italian antecedents enlisting in the Polish Legion or the Italian Army. Men from Wisconsin who were in other states of the Union when the army was raised frequently enlisted or were drafted as from the localities where they happened to be at the time. The names of the men in these various categories rarely or never appear in this list. Neither do those of men who were in the service and were discharged at different times after the cessation of hostilities, but who have died since.

While the compilation of the list here presented has been to a large extent merely a matter of selection and transcription, there have arisen instances in which the gathering of data involved research and considerable expenditure of time. It was not always easy to procure reliable information pertaining to soldiers who during the war had become separated from the units with which they entered the service. Many a man remembered by comrades as having been seen badly wounded, on his way to a hospital, and supposed to have perished, lived to return to the front with another organization, performing valiant service, and coming home in good physical condition ; while many a man missing from his company without arousing serious misgivings met death under circumstances that until long afterward prevented knowledge of the fact from reaching those by whom he was known.

Corporal Paul Harder, of the 127th Infantry, believed to have died of wounds, was so reported in the History of the Thirty-Second Division compiled by its officers, but is still living at Fort Atkinson. Other missing men mourned as dead were found to have been held in German prisons and subsequently released. On the other hand, more than two hundred bodies of American soldiers were found in recesses of the Argonne Forest as long as two years after the war. There always will remain mystery as to some whose names slipped out of the records.

At Cantigny, in May, 1918, Lieutenant Oliver Julian Kendall advanced with a scouting party to investigate the cause of strange noises. Later he was reported missing in action, and after the war his grave was discovered by workers for the Red Cross, inquiry revealing that he had been captured by the enemy and called upon to furnish information which he steadfastly withheld, whereupon he was shot as a spy. By his refusal to comply with the demands Of his captors, Lieutenant Kendall was greatly helpful to the success Of the first All-American drive, for which reason he has been designated the Nathan Hale Of the World War. A resident Of Fond du Lac while employed in civil engineering work for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, he is not listed with Wisconsin’s soldiers, because he entered the service from another state. His story is cited as illustrative Of One of the various ways in which soldiers’ names that might be looked for have escaped inclusion in the record.

Sergeant Roy F. Lee, Headquarters Company, Tenth Field Artillery, enlisted at Fond du Lac. He participated in the fighting at the Second Marne, at St. Mihiel, and On the Meuse. February 11, 1919, he died Of pneumonia. Later his comrades discovered that the name under which they had known him was assumed-that in reality he was Roy Puffer, and that previous to the war he had been a school teacher at Sturgeon Bay.

Private Frank John Schmidt, Twenty-Eighth Infantry, was killed in action, May 21, 1918. After the war his bonus was paid to his mother, living in Milwaukee, his Old home, and known not as Mrs. Schmidt, but as Mrs. Dobrovnik. The name Of the dead soldier in reality was Paul Dobrovnik, but at times he called himself Frank Dobrovnik, and he had taken the name Of Frank Smith when he entered the army.

Captain A. E. Gaartz, stated by the Milwaukee newspapers to be the highest-ranking Officer from that city killed in the World War, was long identified with TOmah, and in the lists made up at that place is enrolled as One Of MOnrOe County’s soldier dead. His remains repose in a Milwaukee cemetery, and in the present list his name will be found in the section devoted to Milwaukee County. This does not settle the question as to his legal residence, but it avoids duplication.

Almost innumerable instances Occurred in which men were claimed by more than One locality in Wisconsin. In compiling this list, the aim has been to overlook none and to avoid entering any name more than Once, though probably in neither Of these efforts has it been possible to achieve perfection.

JOHN G. GREGORY

Army Abbreviations

Note: The figures immediately following the name of a soldier indicate his age.

b, born
m, married
d, died
dd, died of disease
append, appendicitis
bronch, bronchitis
diph, diphtheria
dys, dysentery
endocard, endocarditis
erysip, erysipelas
hem, hemorrhage
inflam rheum, inflammatory rheumatism
influ, influenza
mastoid, mastoiditis
meas, measles
bglr, bugler
bkr, baker
bndldr, bandleader
capt, captain
cfr, chauffeur
ck, cook
clk, clerk
Col, Colonel
corp, corporal
gem, general
wag, wagoner
AA, Anti-aircraft
AAS, Anti-aircraft Service
AEF, American Expeditionary Force
aerconstrsq, aerial construction squad
dw, died of wounds
k, killed
kia, killed in action
w, wounded
mening, meningitis
myocard, myocarditis
neph, nephritis
neur, neuritis
pericard, pericarditis
perito, peritonitis
pleur, pleurisy
pneu, pneumonia
pulmon, pulmonary
sc fev, scarlet fever
tuberc, tuberculosis
typh, typhoid
hs, horseshoer
Lt, Lieutenant
maj, major
mec, mechanic
mstr elec, master electrician
mus, musician
pvt, private
rct, recruit
sdlr, saddler
sgt, sergeant

aersq, aero squadron
AGD, Adjutant General’s Department
Am, American
amb, ambulance
amtn, ammunition train
A&N, Army and Navy
arty, artillery
AS, Air Service
ASC, Air Service Corps
ASTS, Air Service Flying School
asst, assistant
atchd, attached
aut, automatic
auto, automobile
aux, auxiliary
av, aviation
bcks, barracks
bdr, border
be, between
BH, Base Hospital
bkry, bakery
bln, balloon
bn, battalion
butch, butchery
brig, brigade
by, battery
c, corps
CAC, Coast Artillery Corps
cand, candidates
cas, casual
cav, cavalry
CH, Camp Hospital
cl, class
cmdg, commanding
cmp, camp
cntr, center
constr, construction
co, company
COTS, Central Officers’ Training School
def, defense
defnsve, defensive
dent, dental
dep, depot
dept, department
det, detachment
div, division
drft, draft
DSC,Distinguished Service Cross
DSM, Distinguished Service Medal
dvlpmtbn, development battalion
EH, Evacuation Hospital
engnrs, engineers
enlstd, enlisted
ERC, Enlisted Reserve Corps
evac, evacuation
fa, field artillery
fbn, field battalion
FH, Field Hospital
fremsq, field remount squad
fsbn, field signal battalion
gd, guard
GFCo, Guard and Fire Company
GH, General Hospital
gr, group
gremsq, guard remount squad
grnds, grounds
hq, headquarters
hospco, hospital company
hvfa, heavy field artillery
inf, infantry
infrc, infantry reserve corps
instn, instruction
lab,labor
launco, laundry company
ltd, limited
Mar, Marines
MC, Medical Corps
MD, Medical Department
medco, medical company
Mex, Mexican
mg, machine gun
mgtngc, machine gun training corps
MM, Motor Mechanics
mob, mobile
MOTC, Medical Officers’ Training Camp
MP, Military Police
msuptn, motor supply train
MT, Motor Transport
MTC, Motor Transport Corps
mtrk, motor truck
NA, National Army
NG, National Guard
NOS, Noncommissioned Officers’ School
obsn, observation
offnsve, offensive
offcrs, officers
opus, operations
Ord Dept, Ordnance Department
Ord Maint&Rep Schl, Ordnance Maintenance and Repair School
OTC, Officers’ Training Corps
pioninf, pioneer infantry
pk, pack
provogd, provost guard
prsnr, prisoner
prvnl, provisional
QMC, Quartermaster Corps
rdregt, road regiment
reg, regular
refit, regiment
regtl, regimental
reinfcmt, reinforcement
rem, remount
rep, repair
res, reserve
ROTC, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps
rpl, replacement
rr, railroad
ry, railway
salv&repco, salvage and repair company
SATC, Student Army Training Corps
sbn, signal battalion
schl, school
sec, sector
sect, section
serv, service
sh, shop
SigC, Signal Corps
SigRC, Signal Reserve Corps
snc, sanitary corps
sndet, sanitary detachment
snsq, sanitary squad
sntn, sanitary train
Sp, Spanish
sq, squad
ss, steamship
sup, supply
TC, Transportation Corps
td, transportation detachment
tech, technical
telbn, telegraph battalion
tk, tank
tmbn, trench mortar battalion
tmby, trench mortar battery
tn, train
tug, training
tr, troop
trans, transportation
trk, truck
unasgnd, unassigned
USA, United States Army
USG, United States Guards
UW, University of Wisconsin
VC, Veterinary Corps
vet, veterinary
VH, Veterinary Hospital
VTS, Veterinary Training School
WNG, Wisconsin National Guard

Navy Abbreviations

app, apprentice
asst, assistant
av, aviation
bndmstr, bandmaster
capt, captain
CG, Coast Guard
CGA, Coast Guard Artillery
chf, chief
chfbnm, chief boatswain’s
ck, cook
cl, class
cm, carpenter’s mate
Com, Commander
CQM, Chief Quartermaster
d, died
dd, died of disease
diph, diphtheria
elec, electricity
elecn, electrician
engnr, engineer
hosp, hospital
influ, influenza
jg, junior grade
k, killed
ldsm, landsman
Lt, Lieutenant
mach, machinist’s
meas, measles
mening, meningitis
mus, musician
pneu, pneumonia
SS, steamship
USN, United States Navy
USNTS, United States Naval Training Station
USS, United States ship
wtdr, water tender

 

Marine Abbreviations

AEF, American Expeditionary Force
append, appendicitis
av, aviation
bcks, barracks
brig, brigade
Centl Rec Div, Central Receiving Division
chf, chief
co, company
corp, corporal
d, died
dd, died of disease
defnsve, defensive
dept, department
det, detachment
div, division
DSM, Distinguished Service Medal
dw, died of wounds
GO, General Order gy, gunnery
hq, headquarters
influ, influenza
kia, killed in action
Lt, Lieutenant pharm, pharmacist’s
MAF, Marine Aviation Field
MB, Marine Barracks
MC, Marine Corps
MCR, Marine Corps Reserve
mgbn, machine-gun battalion
pneu, pneumonia
QM, Quartermaster
regt, regiment
rplbn, replacement battalion
sgt, sergeant
SOS, the letters signified by the signal of distress prescribed by the International Radiotele graphic Convention of 1912 for use by ships calling for help
sq, squad
supco, supply company
USMC, United States Marine Corps
w, wounded

Note: The names of ships are italicized. The figures immediately following the name of a marine or sailor indicate his age.

Unknown County

Theiss, Emil; capt; d Naval Hospital, Washington, D. C., Sept 24, ’17.



MLA Source Citation:

Gregory, John Goadby. Wisconsin's gold star list; soldiers, sailors, marines, and nurses from the Badger state who died in the federal service during the world war. State Historical Society of Wisconsin. 1925. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 24 July 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/wisconsin/wisconsin-gold-star-list.htm - Last updated on Sep 24th, 2013


Categories: , ,
Topics:

Contribute to the Conversation!

Our "rules" are simple. Keep the conversation on subject and mind your manners! If this is your first time posting, we do moderate comments before we let them appear... so give us a while to get to them. Once we get to know you here, we'll remove that requirement.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Newsletter Signup

We currently provide two newsletters. Why not take both for a run?

Genealogy Update: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new, or significantly updated, collection or database on our website.

Circle of Nations: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new (or significantly updated) Native American collection or database on our website.

Once you've clicked on the Subscribe button above you'll receive an email from us requesting confirmation. You must confirm the email before you will be able to receive any newsletter.