Almost five million American families sent their fathers, mothers, sons and daughters to serve in the Armed Forces during World War I. Countless other families had members who supported the war effort in industry, farming, shipping, and many other fields. Although those who served are now gone, they must never be forgotten. “Stories of Service” is a World War I Centennial Commission initiative to make a permanent and comprehensive record of how and where those family members served, and what they did for the country, before the succeeding generations’ memories of that service are lost forever.
The time is now for family members to capture this precious information. Learn more about your World War I connection and submit your story below.
Anthony McKinley Sletten was born on his father’s homestead near Parker, South Dakota, on February 16, 1898. He was the youngest child of Ingvold and Isabelle Sletten. He grew up both there and in Nebraska for a short time before the family moved to Canton South Dakota in 1906. He was in France for training about a month. On September 12, 1918, he was among the troops who were involved in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel. He died on January 7, 1919, from kidney failure due to mustard gas.
Submitted by Mary Mayer, his great niece
William Anderson was born around 1894 in South Carolina. When America declared war on Germany, he enlisted in the military and served as a machine gunner in the 371st Regiment. The 371st was an all-black regiment that fought with French soldiers against the Germans. For his bravery in combat, he was awarded the Croix de Guerre, a distinguished honor bestowed by the French military. He was not the kind of man to wear his medal around his neck, instead keeping it in a Sucrets tin on a shelf in his bedroom.