52ancestors

52 Ancestors: Lucky

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On 6 April 1917, the United States declared war on Germany. My great-grandfather, Chester Crowe, had just turned 22. I doubt the war had little impact on him at first.

On 16 February 1918, Chester married Myrtle Crowe in Vancouver, Washington.

chester and myrtle marriage
The marriage certificate of Chester Crowe and Myrtle Sanford.

(I love looking up where my ancestors lived. The Morgan Hotel no longer exists, and Myrtle’s address is now a Walgreens.)

However, on the 24 June 1918, Chester enlisted in the United States army.

Chester Crowe, WW1
Chester Crowe, 1918

He was sent to France, where he fought in the Argonne offensive, the final battle of the war.

Enlistment Record_back of Discharge papers
The back of his discharge papers, which list his service.

Private Chester Crowe left France on 24 June 1919 from Brest, arriving in Hoboken, New Jersey on 5 June aboard the USS Patricia.

travel 1919 chester
Passenger list featuring Chester Crowe on his return to the U.S.

Chester is lucky. He went to fight in France and was not wounded. Over 26,000 U.S. soldiers were killed and nearly 96,000 wounded, and he was not among them. Over 1.2 million American soldiers fought in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, and Chester returned home unscathed.

Chester and Myrtle went on to have two children, son Merle and daughter Veva (my paternal grandmother). He lived a long life, dying on 2 December 1972 at the age of 77.

This story is one of the ones on my tree that amaze me. Had something gone wrong, I may not be here. Thanks for allowing me to share it!

You can find all my 52 Ancestors post through the tag below.

As always, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can also email me: familyhistoryfood [at] gmail.com.

I also have a vintage site: familyhistoryfood.etsy.com.

Until next time,

Meredith

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