10 Replies Latest reply on Mar 4, 2021 8:54 AM by Dorothy Butler

    Seeking what units my uncle served with

    Dorothy Butler Newbie

      When my great uncle left the US for France (WWI) it was stated that he was with  315th Supply Company, Quartermaster Corps, National Army. On the Army Transport sheet for his return to the US it stated: St. Aignan QMC Casual Company, Number 5401 (Region Mixed)  Note: the 5 is almost illegible, so that number could be different). Then on his discharge papers it has written: Private, Sales Commissary #24, Montigny-le-Roi Haute Marne Casual Detachment, Demobilization Group. Also on discharge papers it has written:  Served with Supply Co. 315, Quartermaster Corps,  Casual Detachment Demobilization Group. Was he with the Services of Supply (SOS) Advanced Section? In what division??  Is a Supply Train the same as Supply Company? Unable to find any information on the 27 or 28 commissaries in France during WWI. Unable to find any information on 315th in the Quartermaster Corps.  Thank you,  any help will be appreciated as this has been very confusing to me!

        • Re: Seeking what units my uncle served with
          Elliot Schneider Ranger

          Dorthy,

           

          Can you give anymore information of the individual?

          • Re: Seeking what units my uncle served with
            Jason Atkinson Ranger

            Dear Ms. Butler,

             

            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

             

            Based on the information you provided, he was in several different units over the course of his service, which was not unusual.  Casual companies or casual detachments were generally holding units which fulfilled no purpose other than to assign soldiers who were being deployed to theaters for further assignment to specific operational units, or to which soldiers were assigned to while they were in the process of being demobilized and sent back to America, often to be discharged shortly after arriving in the States if they were draftees rather than career soldiers.

             

            A Supply Train is not the same as a Supply Company. The American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) divisional table of organization included a single Supply Train. Between May 1917 and the end of the war, the personnel strength of a Supply Train increased from 309 to 501 (see https://history.army.mil/html/books/023/23-2/CMH_Pub_23-2.pdf, page 447, Item 47).

             

            Divisional Supply Trains were numbered similarly to other units in AEF divisions. That is, the "regular" division Supply Trains were numbered identically to the divisions (e.g., 1st Division, 1st Supply Train). Those numbers jumped up if a division was a National Guard or National Army unit. In keeping with that pattern, the 315th Supply Train was part of the 90th Division, but this was not the same unit as the 315th Supply Company.


            Unfortunately, there's little documentation on the activities of individual supply companies. We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Card File of European Cities and Towns in Which American Military Units Were Stationed and Offices Were Located, ca. 1917 - ca. 1919 in the Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I) (Record Group 120) that may include a record where 315th Supply Company's headquarters was located while it was in Europe.  We also located World War I Strength Returns, ca. 1917 - 1939 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917 - 1985 (Record Group 407).  If the company submitted returns and the cognizant officer actually completed the "record of events" portion on each, then there would likely be more informative data there. Unfortunately, there are numerous gaps in those records, and those gaps seem to be particularly prevalent while the AEF was most heavily engaged from September through November 1918. Additionally, we located Records of the Sales Commissary Units, 1918 - 1923 in (Record Group 120). For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at Archives2reference@nara.gov.

             

            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 RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

             

            We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

             

              • Re: Seeking what units my uncle served with
                Dorothy Butler Newbie

                Jason-  Thank you very much for all that information!  Now, I know that a Supply Train is not the same as a Supply Company.  Would the 315th Supply Company QMC be with the SOS (Services of Supply)? 

                 

                I appreciate all the research you did and giving me more links/contacts to check out.

                 

                Dorothy Bruggeman Butler

                  • Re: Seeking what units my uncle served with
                    Jason Atkinson Ranger

                    Dear Ms. Butler,

                     

                    Thank you for posting your follow-up request on History Hub!

                     

                    QMC stands for Quartermaster Corps. All supply companies were considered part of the Quartermaster Corps, just as engineer units were part of the Corps of Engineers, infantry units were part of the Infantry Branch, etc. The Services of Supply (SOS) provided logistical support to the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I.  We do not have a readily available and complete list of units that were assigned to the Services of Supply.

                     

                    We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Station Lists Showing the Location of Units, 1918 - 1919 and the Station Lists and Rosters of Units and Personnel, 1917 - 1919 in the Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I) (Record Group 120) that may indicate what units were assigned to the SOS. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at Archives2reference@nara.gov.

                     

                    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 RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

                     

                    We also suggest that you contact the U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum for further information about supply companies during World War I.

                     

                    We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!