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Author Topic: WWI 318th Engineer Regiment Grouping - French Made Uniform  (Read 164 times)

Offline Masonk

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WWI 318th Engineer Regiment Grouping - French Made Uniform
« on: October 31, 2017, 11:59:52 AM »
Picked up this uniform grouping Sunday from a local Antique Mall. Was browsing the military items in one stand, and the guy running it said I have a uniform out in the car you may be interested in. He said all of the items came fresh out of an estate.
 
Grouping is named to 1st Sgt Jordan Groff Fitzgerald (B. 2/23/1888, D. 5/6/1981). Sgt Fitzgerald enlisted in November 7th, 1913. From 1913-1917, he served with the 3rd Battalion of Engineers, later the 3rd Engineer Regiment. During his WWI service, he served with Co B. of the 318th Engineer Regiment, 6th Division. He served overseas with the regiment from May 1918-June 1919. Worn on his WWI Victory Medal is the Meuse-Argonne battle clasp.
 
Uniform is French made, including the Breeches. 6th Division SSI on his left sleeve, Engineer First Sergeant rank on right. A single Gold Service stripe near the lower left hand cuff.
 
Pinned to his uniform, from left to right, is the VFW Medal, Army Sharpshooter Qualification Badge, and WWI Victory Medal w/Meuse-Argonne clasp.
 
Also included is various paperwork related to his service.
 
Lastly, a studio portrait of the veteran. Oddly enough, he is wearing officers collar insignia. I can only guess this was added to his uniform for the photo for some reason, or he was given the jacket to wear for the photo? No indication that he was ever an officer, and no rank insignia in the portrait. Uniform in the photo has inaccuracies, which include no rank on the epaulets and collar brass being out of order (US should be sandwiched between the two engineer insignia). Add credence to the collar insignia being added, or not the wearers actual uniform.
 
Comments good and bad are welcome. Thanks for looking!
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 12:05:29 PM by Masonk »
Eric
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Offline Masonk

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Re: WWI 318th Engineer Regiment Grouping - French Made Uniform
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2017, 12:00:41 PM »
Insignia, medals and collar brass. Buttons made in France, which are blackened brass.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 12:06:42 PM by Masonk »
Eric
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Offline Masonk

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Re: WWI 318th Engineer Regiment Grouping - French Made Uniform
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2017, 12:02:13 PM »
Uniform details, and breeches
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Offline Masonk

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Re: WWI 318th Engineer Regiment Grouping - French Made Uniform
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2017, 12:02:36 PM »
Studio Portrait
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Offline Masonk

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Re: WWI 318th Engineer Regiment Grouping - French Made Uniform
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2017, 12:03:29 PM »
Paperwork that came with the grouping
Eric
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Offline Masonk

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Re: WWI 318th Engineer Regiment Grouping - French Made Uniform
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2017, 12:04:27 PM »
Additional paperwork found through research. Thought the WWI Victory Medal application was pretty cool.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 12:15:13 PM by Masonk »
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Online Rakkasan187

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Re: WWI 318th Engineer Regiment Grouping - French Made Uniform
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2017, 03:06:44 PM »
Eric,

A very nice complete grouping.. I would also speculate that the Soldier may have gone to a portrait studio and they had extra uniforms that Soldier's could be photographed in, very similar to the costume shops that we have today. Perhaps his uniform was damaged, torn, thrown out.. limitless possibilities.

But regardless this is a wonderful grouping, and considering this year and next are the centennial celebrations, not bad for a uniform/paperwork approaching 100 years old...

Smitty
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Offline ScottG

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Re: WWI 318th Engineer Regiment Grouping - French Made Uniform
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2017, 08:57:55 PM »
   Really a fine looking grouping Eric! Just last weekend I was in Marquette MI and their history museum has a small trench exhibit. In it was a beautiful 6th Div painted helmet. Congrats on a great find.   Scott
Always looking for 32nd Division items and 13th Armored Division items. Please keep me in mind if you have any.

Offline Masonk

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Re: WWI 318th Engineer Regiment Grouping - French Made Uniform
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2017, 05:47:38 AM »
Eric,

A very nice complete grouping.. I would also speculate that the Soldier may have gone to a portrait studio and they had extra uniforms that Soldier's could be photographed in, very similar to the costume shops that we have today. Perhaps his uniform was damaged, torn, thrown out.. limitless possibilities.

But regardless this is a wonderful grouping, and considering this year and next are the centennial celebrations, not bad for a uniform/paperwork approaching 100 years old...

Smitty

Thanks, Smitty! Yes, finding these types of groupings out of the woodwork is quickly fading, especially with the paperwork.

I'm hoping to locate a photo of the vet to confirm he is one in the same. Has anyone ever requested WWI Army service records from the Archives before, and if so, have you found at times a photo of the vet is attached to the file? Assuming of course Fitzgerald's file wasn't destroyed in the fire.
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Offline Masonk

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Re: WWI 318th Engineer Regiment Grouping - French Made Uniform
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2017, 05:48:34 AM »
   Really a fine looking grouping Eric! Just last weekend I was in Marquette MI and their history museum has a small trench exhibit. In it was a beautiful 6th Div painted helmet. Congrats on a great find.   Scott

Thanks, Scott! I appreciate the kind words.
Eric
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Re: WWI 318th Engineer Regiment Grouping - French Made Uniform
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2017, 06:16:28 AM »
Eric,

I never tried requesting records before, but on a related topic, I am prepping a WW1 exhibit here at the NCO Museum for the centennial and I brought in a set of dog tags from home. Never did research on them before and I did a quick ancestry.com search and I got lucky. Found his draft registration card, found his application for headstone and a few other items. Nice to put the information together to help add to telling the story.. Soldier was in the 345th Infantry, 87th Division.. Apparently the unit was sent overseas near the end of WW1 and was used as "Laborers".. No real campaign credits and on his application for headstone it indicates that he was not awarded any medals...

Maybe ancestry will have some items you are looking for...

Smitty
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Offline Masonk

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Re: WWI 318th Engineer Regiment Grouping - French Made Uniform
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2017, 07:01:35 AM »
Eric,

I never tried requesting records before, but on a related topic, I am prepping a WW1 exhibit here at the NCO Museum for the centennial and I brought in a set of dog tags from home. Never did research on them before and I did a quick ancestry.com search and I got lucky. Found his draft registration card, found his application for headstone and a few other items. Nice to put the information together to help add to telling the story.. Soldier was in the 345th Infantry, 87th Division.. Apparently the unit was sent overseas near the end of WW1 and was used as "Laborers".. No real campaign credits and on his application for headstone it indicates that he was not awarded any medals...

Maybe ancestry will have some items you are looking for...

Smitty

Thanks, Smitty. I've only ever requested WWI award cards. I did request a file before, but it was destroyed in the fire, and the only item available was the soldiers final pay stub.

I'm a pretty seasoned Ancestry and Fold3 user. The documents in my last post were the only pertinent items found through a search on both sites. Typically, photos are found through four sources on Ancestry; Family member uploaded one to their tree or on Findagrave, a yearbook photo from HS or College, a newspaper article, or if you're lucky, a passport photo. Sadly, no luck with Fitzgerald on all four.

I just did a search on eBay, as there was a regimental book. One just sold less than two weeks ago, but for $100. Too rich for my blood, especially when I can't even confirm if he is in the book.

But, in my search, I lucked out and found this photo of Co B, same company my guy was in. I'm thinking he is the fella in the top left corner. Photo sold for $9....would have jumped on it in a heartbeat, but it sold two months ago.

Just emailed the seller to see if he has high res scans of the photo, or if he could put me in touch with the buyer. Fingers crossed!

Eric
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Re: WWI 318th Engineer Regiment Grouping - French Made Uniform
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2017, 10:59:07 PM »
  Eric, I requested records for my Wife's Great Grandfather who was navy in WWI. I had to pay as they were considered archived but I received a good bit of info, so it was worth it. I also requested his awards and received his WWI victory medal without a clasp. The paperwork denoted the proper "France" clasp but I don't think they send them with the current re-strike medals. Good luck on your research!  Scott
Always looking for 32nd Division items and 13th Armored Division items. Please keep me in mind if you have any.

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Re: WWI 318th Engineer Regiment Grouping - French Made Uniform
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2017, 07:07:29 AM »
  Eric, I requested records for my Wife's Great Grandfather who was navy in WWI. I had to pay as they were considered archived but I received a good bit of info, so it was worth it. I also requested his awards and received his WWI victory medal without a clasp. The paperwork denoted the proper "France" clasp but I don't think they send them with the current re-strike medals. Good luck on your research!  Scott

Thanks, Scott. Do you recall if a photo of your wife's grandfather was included with the record? Not sure if they were included that early.

That would be my only real reason for requesting, as the documentation I have provides more than enough info on the vet. Also, I don't have high hopes that there will be much of a record available since Army files had an 80% loss due to the fire in the archives. Navy files were unaffected, which is why you were able to obtain a decent sized file. Awesome you were able to obtain that info and his replacement medals!
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Offline ScottG

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Re: WWI 318th Engineer Regiment Grouping - French Made Uniform
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2017, 10:42:21 PM »
  Eric, I requested records for my Wife's Great Grandfather who was navy in WWI. I had to pay as they were considered archived but I received a good bit of info, so it was worth it. I also requested his awards and received his WWI victory medal without a clasp. The paperwork denoted the proper "France" clasp but I don't think they send them with the current re-strike medals. Good luck on your research!  Scott

Thanks, Scott. Do you recall if a photo of your wife's grandfather was included with the record? Not sure if they were included that early.

That would be my only real reason for requesting, as the documentation I have provides more than enough info on the vet. Also, I don't have high hopes that there will be much of a record available since Army files had an 80% loss due to the fire in the archives. Navy files were unaffected, which is why you were able to obtain a decent sized file. Awesome you were able to obtain that info and his replacement medals!



    No photo was included Eric. Even with the WWII research I rarely get an army photo. I always seem to get navy, marines and coast guard though.   Scott
Always looking for 32nd Division items and 13th Armored Division items. Please keep me in mind if you have any.

 

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