Ray County Genealogy

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Roster of Ray County Soldiers
World War I 1917-1918

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Ray County - Military Records

World War I, 1917-1918

In April 1917, the United States entered World War I. Over 1300 Missourians joined the regular Army by April 24, 1917. More than 2400 men volunteered as seamen and naval gunners, rapidly meeting the state's quota. The Selective Service Act, passed by Congress on May 18, 1917, required the nationwide registration of all men between the ages of twenty-one and thirty-one. In Missouri, over 760,000 men registered; many did not pass the physical examination, while others were exempted for work in vital war industries.

Among the first Missourians to head to the front lines were those who traveled to France to set up base hospitals, such as the Base Hospital Unit No. 21 staffed by St. Louis' Barnes Hospital, or joined the American Ambulance Field Service. There was also at least one engineering regiment comprised primarily of St. Louis railroad and construction workers who labored to build and repair French railways.

Before the armistice was signed, 30,780 Missourians volunteered in the regular Army; 14,132 enlisted in the Navy; and 3721 joined the Marines. General John J. Pershing, a native of Linn County, served as commander of the American Expeditionary Force.

The first draftees from Missouri joined with six other mid-western and southwestern states to form the "Fighting 89 th Division." In addition, Missouri African-Americans served in black infantry units in France, particularly the 92 nd and the 93 rd divisions. Over 9000 black Missourians were inducted into the armed forces.

The Missouri National Guard was mustered into federal service on August 15, 1917. After two months training at Camp Clark, south of Nevada, Missouri, more than 14,000 men combined with the Kansas guard unit to form the "Brave 35th Division," of which Harry Truman was part. The "Brave 35th" arrived in France on May 17, 1918. Missourians were also part of the Forty-second (Rainbow) Division, which included National Guard units from twenty-six states; it arrived in France in November 1917.

By the war's end, over 156,000 Missourians had served in the armed forces; about half of these men served overseas. There were 11,172 casualties. Five Missouri soldiers received the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Source: Soldiers Database: War of 1812 - World War I

Ray County Soldiers in the World War I

Last Name First Name Unit Serial Number Dates of Service comments
Moyer Allen Benjamin CO G 6 INFANTRY MISSOURI NG CO G 140 INFANTRY 1,461,093 Served overseas from 4/25/1918 to 7/25/1918 died of Turberculosis July 25, 1918; father, John William Moyer, Richmond, Missouri, notified


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Last Updated 7/4/2008