Wednesday, March 7, 2012

21. Warrior Wednesday: Howard Druly in WW1

     Howard Druly O'Neill, youngest son of Thomas and Mary Catherine Wilson O'Neill, was born and raised in Summerfield, Ohio. In June of 1917 he had to register for the draft in World War One. On the draft registration card he stated that he was employed as an Iron Worker at the American Sheet and Tin Plate Co. of Cambridge. He was listed as tall and slender, with auburn hair and gray eyes
    On September 6th of that year he was inducted into the U. S. Army. At the time he was living with his sister Lena and her family at their Cambridge, Ohio, home at 611 Foster Avenue. On the 7th he left for Camp Sherman near Chillicothe, Ohio, for basic training and after that went overseas.
    Druly O’Neill, service number 1958209, served with the AEF in France from March 29, 1918, until March 21, 1919, when he returned to the U.S. and was discharged on April 14, 1919. 
    Most of his overseas service was with the 19th Engineers of the Transportation Corps. He was assigned to the Railroad Repair Depot at Nevers, France, about a hundred miles south of Paris in the Loire River valley. The unit consisted of 36 officers and 1,296 enlisted men. In August of 1918 Druly sent a postcard of the French barracks at Nevers to his niece Mable Curtis in Olathe, Colorado, and he mentioned how lonely he was there. He was promoted to Private 1st Class on June 1, 1918, his highest rank. The photo below shows Company D of the 19th, with Druly shown in the box.

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