Monday, January 28, 2013

Military Monday -- Everett S. Carpenter

My January 20, 2013 post focused on the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 that killed millions of people world-wide just when the horrors of World War I were finally coming to a close.  My maternal grandfather, Everett Shearman Carpenter, survived the first wave of the 1918 flu in the spring of 1918. In my January 20th post, I provided a copy of the postcard he sent to his mother informing her he had been in the hospital with a fever of 103 degrees as a result of "the grippe."

Everett's WWI service continued a long line of Carpenter military service going back as far as Col. Thomas Carpenter who served in the Revolutionary War and continuing with Joseph Carpenter in the War of 1812 and Everett's grandfather, Samuel Carpenter, in the Civil War.

Everett Shearman Carpenter circa 1918-1919
Everett tried to enlist in the Army soon after the United States entered WWI, but he twice failed the physical exam.  Finally, on his third attempt, he was accepted into the Ordnance Department on January 1, 1918 and reported to Watervliet Arsenal near Albany, New York on February 6, 1918.  He later was transferred to Camp Merritt in New Jersey and embarked for France on May 26, 1918.

Camp Merritt 1919

Everett arrived at Bordeaux and obtained training at the Ordnance Armament School in St. Jean-des-Monts where he graduated with an A rating.  Everett saw various service in France during the last months of WWI and into 1919.  He was promoted to Sergeant during this time.  On July 1, 1919 he was ordered to Paris where he was given duty as a courier to Washington, DC.  He arrived back in the U.S. on July 13th and took an overnight train from New York to Washington where he delivered the reports he had carried across the Atlantic.  On July 17, 1919, Everett was honorably discharged at Camp Meigs in Washington and arrived back home in Lonsdale (Cumberland), Rhode Island on July 18, 1919.

Panoramic view of Camp Meigs, Washington, DC
 July 20, 1918 three days after Everett Carpenter's discharge there
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For more information on Camp Merritt see

Camp Meigs photo by H.M Brown of Washington, DC from the records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (165-PP-37-11)
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Copyright 2013, John D. Tew

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