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.
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!
Michael’s remains were brought back to Chicago late May 1921. His body was laid to rest in Bohemian National Cemetery. Below are photos of a couple documents and the funeral.
These are a few pages of Michael’s Burial File, including another letter from his parents to the Quartermaster.