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Miltary Service Checklist

31st Balloon Company Baseball Team, Ft. Knox, KY

It’s help­ful to get a quick look at what mil­i­tary ser­vice records can or do exist for your ances­tors, as these records can pro­vide a wealth of information.

While I intend to take this list of ances­tors back to the French-and-Indian Wars, tonight, I will just go back to the first World War.

My father served in the US Navy dur­ing World War II, but never left the con­ti­nen­tal U.S. He spent most of his time in NAD Hastings, Nebraska and NAS Norfolk, Virginia. There was also a stint in the brig.

His father, Lawrence Lake Jones, fought over­seas in World War I, and served in the occu­pa­tion of Germany, or at least that is what the lore says. This is sup­ported by what appears on his military-issued grave­stone, as it lists him as hav­ing served in the 26th Infantry, which fought in France and occu­pied Germany.

Ernest Melvin Hill, my mater­nal grand­fa­ther, was in the 31st Balloon Company, Aviation Section, U. S. Signal Corps, sta­tioned at Fort Henry Knox, Kentucky. He was a chauf­feur 1st class and a mechanic.

I real­ized by look­ing at these folks that I had not pulled Ernie Hill’s mil­i­tary ser­vice record, which is prob­a­bly avail­able. I also know that some­times a record is recov­ered from the freeze-dried records of the St. Louis per­son­nel office. So I should ask about my grand­fa­ther Lawrence Lake Jones’s records … just in case.

No. 2: Carl Lawrence JONES (1927–2003)


Service record obtained. Seaman 2c. USN.
Enlisted: 26 Feb 1945, NRS Huntington, West Virginia.
Discharged: 11 May 1947, NAS Norfolk, Virginia.

Not eli­gi­ble.
No. 4: Lawrence Lake JONES (1895–1968)

ServiceWW IService record not obtained. Presumably lost in St. Louis Personnel Records fire.
Grave marker reads: “Pvt   Co H   26 Inf I Div / World War I“
Family lore is that Lawrence was a machine gun­ner in the bat­tle of Meuse-Argonne, and that he served in the Army of Occupation of Germany. The Wikipedia entry on the 26th Infantry says:

As part of the first American sol­diers to arrive in France, the reg­i­ment imme­di­ately left for the front. Along with its sis­ter reg­i­ments of the divi­sion, it earned more cam­paign stream­ers than any other reg­i­ments dur­ing theWorld War I However, they came at a ter­ri­ble cost. Over 900 Blue Spaders lost their lives in a six-month period. At Soissons alone, the reg­i­men­tal com­man­der, exec­u­tive offi­cer, two of three bat­tal­ion com­man­ders and the reg­i­men­tal sergeant major were killed in action; sixty-two offi­cers were killed or wounded; and out of 3,100 Blue Spaders that started the attack, over 1,500 had been killed or wounded. But the bat­tle was won and this turned the tide for the Allies at a cru­cial period dur­ing the sum­mer of 1918. By war’s end, the sol­diers earned seven bat­tle stream­ers and two for­eign awards. Following a brief occu­pa­tion duty in Germany, the reg­i­ment returned to the United States and served as a part of a smaller peace­time Army.”

26th Infantry Regiment (United States),” Wikipedia. : Accessed 23 Jun 2010

Not eli­gi­ble.
No. 6: Ernest Melvin HILL (1895–1933)

ServiceWW I-EraBased on fam­ily records, includ­ing the above photo (none of the peo­ple are iden­ti­fied), Ernie served in the 31st Balloon Company, Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps. However, I need to pull his ser­vice record.

Not eli­gi­ble.
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