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Ms. Van Ham,
Here is some information below. (click on image to make larger).
The purpose of military band was to provide entertainment during R&R and at many of the ceremonial events and medal ceremonies, as well as playing at hospitals for the wounded. Many band members received the same training as regular solders in military code and weapons. Sometimes they would be asked to help in security of prisoner of war captures, displaced persons, base security,
Dear Ms. Van Ham,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located titled Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (Microfilm Publication M1509) and Lists of Men Ordered to Report to Local Board for Military Duty, 1917-1918 in the Records of Selective Service System (World War I) (Record Group 163) that might contain information on your grandfather. For access to these records, please contact the National Archives at Atlanta (RE-AT) via email at email@example.com.
M1509 has been digitized by Ancestry. There may be a fee for using this service. Instead, check for access at your local library as many library systems subscribe to these sites, making them free for their patrons.
We suggest that you begin your research of World War I bands by reviewing records located in the series titled Records of the 1st, 2nd, and 7th Bands, 1918-1919 in the Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I) (Record Group 120). Further, there may be some records filed under War Department Decimal Classification Numbers 322.94 - Bands (for ceremonial bands) and 353.86 - Amusements (for bands that entertained the troops) in the following series of records General Correspondence, 8/1918-9/1919 in Record Group 120; the Records of Divisions, ca. 1918-1942 in Record Group 120, and Central Decimal Files, 1917-1925 in the Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1917 - 1985 (Record Group 407). Plus, there might be some records of interest to you in the series titled Records Relating to the History of the War Department, 1918-1941 in the Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (Record Group 165). Given Gen. John J. Pershing’s interest in bands, we suggest that you search the records located in the series titled General Correspondence, 1917-1920 in Record Group 120. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RE-AT & RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
- History of Bands in World War I available on the website of Taps Bugler: Jari Villanueva
- Music in the Great War: Military Bands available on bbc.com
- Five WWI Army African American Bands That Changed Music Forever available on the website of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission
- A History of U.S. Army Bands available on the website of the Federation of American Scientists
Lastly, the Public Affairs Office of the Army Bands, the Education Section of the National Museum of the United States Army, and the National WWI Museum and Memorial may have some information relevant to your research.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!