Family History Research

Military Monday – James Everett Shannon

In my continued quest to locate information on a family for a friend and his Shannon family, I’d like to honor a World War II Soldier, James Everett Shannon from Marshfield, Webster County, Missouri.

Memorial Service notice 5 July 1945

To Hold Memorial Service Here for Pfc. Everett Shannon
Memorial services for Pfc. Everett Shannon, only son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Shannon of this city, who was killed on Luzon March 28 of this year, will be held at the Marshfield Christian church, of which he was a member, at the Sunday morning services, July 8.

Everett entered the service in June 1941, and went overseas first to New Guinea in September 1943. He had been slightly wounded on the island of Luzon February 3rd, but had returned to active duty when he was killed in action.

He was a graduate of Marshfield High school and played on the basketball, baseball and track teams. He was 29 years of age at the time of his death. 

(Source: The Marshfield Mail 5 July 1945, Volume LIV, Number 4, page 1 column 2.)

Body of James Everett Shannon Laid to Final Rest
The body of James Everett Shannon was returned to Marshfield July 6, and funeral services were held at the Christian church July 7. James Everett was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Shannon of Marshfield. He was well known here being a star athlete in the local high school, and a favorite buddy of his many friends. He was killed in service on Luzon in 1945. In as much as possible his friends had part in the funeral service. A quartet, Warren Johnson, Bill Evans, Neil Evans, Stanley Dawson Jr., sang “Sweet hour of Prayer,” and “Church in the Wildwood.” Dr. George [unreadable] sang a solo……..[article cut off]

(Source: The Marshfield Mail 22 July 1948, )

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The IDPF of James Privoznik

I took my oldest son to Springfield, IL to research at the State Archives and see the Lincoln sites. We had a great time and he learned a lot. We toured the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and after seeing the show “The Ghost in the Library”, Drew had a greater appreciation and understanding of why I love history and researching our family. I think he’s hooked.

When we returned home I found a package from the National Archives. I received the Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF) for my cousin James Privoznik. If you have read my post about Frank Winkler and his IDPF or Michael Kokoska and his WWI Burial File, you know each person’s file contains different pieces of information. Some is the same and other information is different.

In James’s IDPF there are several letters between his mother Mary and the government asking about the return of his personal effects. Apparently they were never returned. It is possible there was nothing left to find to return. This IDPF does not tell me exactly how James was killed (as Michael’s Burial File described his death) but lists in the Report of Burial that the cause of death was HE Shell Lower Trunk and Thigh Mangled. The Report of Burial goes on to say he was temporarily buried in a US Military Cemetery in Hamm Luxembourg. Grave 265 Row 11. To his right was buried a man named SAKSVIG, Serial #36006616, Rank of CPL, 358th Infantry 90th Div Grave 264. To his left a man named CHANDLER, Serial #38282774, Rank of PVT, 358th Infantry 90th Div Grave 266.

As was the process and I believe still is the process, the government asks the family if they wish to have their loved ones remains returned to the US or buried in a permanent US Cemetery overseas. Mary indicated she wanted James buried in Luxembourg.  Family story says he wished to be buried where he fell. There is a Disinterment Directive to move his remains to the Luxembourg American Cemetery Plot E Row 15 Grave 75, reburied 15 December 1948. James died January 1945.  The Directive give information to confirm it is his body they are moving, gives a condition of the remains which seem to indicate his body was very badly damaged upon death. They buried him in his uniform and also indicate a flag was sent to his mother. A flag she would have received had the burial taken place in the US.

I did not know much about James until I received his IDPF. I now have a little more of an idea about who he was. Because the report contains his serial number I will now try to obtain records, if they still exist, at the NPRC in St. Louis. I will also start researching his unit for histories and information on him. And last, since I discovered the Chicago Tribune posted lists of men heading out for Army service for WWI, I will search the WWII time period to see if the same is true.

If you would like to see James’s grave, go to the American Battle Monuments Commission website and search the Cemeteries for Privoznik. There is a beautiful photo of his grave there. Take some time to look around and pay your respects to the other men and women who have given their lives for our country.

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Follow-up to Chicago Tribune posting WWI lists

With more creative search terms yesterday on ProQuest for the Historical Chicago Tribune, I not only found lists of men who were deemed physically fit to be inducted into the Army, but also lists by District (Local Draft Board) number of which men were being sent to Rockford, Ft. Sheridan, Texas, etc. and some of those lists included what unit the men were being assigned to.

My search terms included: District 26, Board 26, Rockford, Ft. Sheridan, Texas, Army, New Army, Men Accepted, etc. I also searched Districts 25 and 27 just in case one of my Kokoska’s was put on another list by accident. I was unable to find when Michael shipped out of Chicago, but according to the 32nd Division Unit Histories, they trained in Camp MacArthur, Waco, Texas. No search I came up with showed him on a list going south. I was also unable to find two of his brothers on a list.

I’m not finished searching yet. Maybe I’ll stumble upon a better search term this week and find everyone I’m looking for.

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World War I Draftees Accepted Lists

Well this is very exciting! I am working on my Narrative Lineage for my BCG certification and was looking through my files for an article on Michael Kokoska where it lists his brothers in the service.  I cannot locate the file so I went to ProQuest, Historical Chicago Tribune, looking for the article I and came across articles about WWI Draftees being accepting into the new army!  I had no idea the Trib published lists of Draftees and Enlisted men after their examinations. I stumbled upon the first article quite by accident and I’m so excited to have found this!

If you know what Draft Board your Chicago ancestor registered with, you can look through the lists, which say District rather than Draft Board. Michael registered with the draft board 5 June 1917. He is listed in the paper 15 August 1917 as being accepted as physically fit for service. I searched from 6 June 1917 – 1 October 1917 for District 26 and then started reading each entry that popped up. I now plan to do the same for his brothers. I know three of them, from that article I cannot locate at the moment, were either drafted or enlisted and served/trained stateside. The brothers never saw action overseas, only Michael.

What an exciting find!

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