I'm trying to find out whether any death benefits were paid to the parents of Morris Simon Leaf (born LIpshitz) when he was wounded in combat in France during WWI. He died 20 Aug. 1918. I believe he passed away in a hospital from infection. I don't know whether this was overseas or in the US. Was there a law in place to give death benefits? How might I find the records? Would there be records of his hospitalization? Would there be records of his being transported from Europe back to the US? I have found a transport list where he was sent to Europe.
So far I've found this info:
-- He completed a draft card in New York City in 1917
-- He was inducted into the National Guard in New York City 5 April 1918. At that time the National Guard had been "federalized"; I think that means the men served as part of the regular US Army.
-- He was initially assigned to the 2nd Provisional Battalion of the 252nd Brigade, as a Private
-- He was transferred to the 107th Infantry 18 Apr 1918
-- He served overseas from 9 May 1918 "to his death 20 Aug 1918"
-- Service number 2672696
-- He was born in Minsk, Russia (in the town of Rechitsa)
-- He was unmarried; his father Louis Leaf was notified of his death at 43 W. 110th St., New York CIty
Main Source: New York, U.S., Abstracts of National Guard Service in WWI , 1917-1919, Vol 20: 107th Infantry (7th Inf NYNG) H-L
Just to make things more complicated:
-- There are records for a Morris Leaf and a Morris Lipshitz. Not yet certain if these are the same person but I think so.
-- There is a record card in the name of Morris Lipshitz copied for the PMGO (Provost Marshal General Office) which indicates that he is a Russian Jew (which was true, although he had been naturalized) and says "B.E.F.(Jewish Unit) N.Y. to Windsor 31 May 1918". BEF is British Expeditionary Forces and he may have served with them.
-------- Would this affect the death benefits?
-------- What was the relationship between the BEF and the US Army?
-- There is a Book called "U.S., World War I American Expeditionary Forces Deaths, 1917-1919" which includes Morris S. Leaf with the same serial number, rank, unit and date of death. But the name is crossed out. Any idea what it means? Could it have been because he served with the BEF?
---[this resource is at NARA, group record number 407, NAID 1726747, but I found it on Family Search]
Any leads or information you can share with me would be most welcome!