2 Replies Latest reply on Feb 10, 2022 11:07 AM by Antonino Pisana

    Seeking detailed Military information about Carmelo Pisano

    Antonino Pisana Newbie

      I'm Italian and looking for more detailed information about my uncle Carmelo Pisano, who served in the US Army during WWI. His real name was Carmelo Pisana (final "a"), but due to misspelling he was registered as "Pisano" and sometimes also his name was written as Carmello" (double "l"). Using Family Search and other sources, I've so far gotten the following information: Born on July 15, 1891 in Modica (Italy); Emigrated to US (New York City) on 1904 (with his father Antonino Pisana, his mother Grazia Vanton and his sisters Carmela and Maria Stella) - All these names are sometimes misspelled in the documents I've found; Home address: 339 East 12th Street, New York City; Enlisted on Sep 20, 2017; Serial: 1705619; Trained in Camp Upton; Rank: Private; Assigned to E Company, 307th Inf, 77th Div.; Killed in action in France (Meuse-Argonne battle) on Oct 13, 1918 (few days after the Lost Battalion events); and Buried initially in Binarville, then re-buried at the American Cemetery in Romagne-sous-Montfaucon. What I'm looking for is: (1) The exact place of his death, (2) The circumstances of his death, (3) Photos of my uncle, and (4) Any other document or information regarding his military service or his life in the US.


      On the first two points, having tried to identify the deployment and the actions of his regiment between beginning and mid-October 1918, my personal conclusions are that he probably died during the battle for Grandpré, in particular while trying to pass the Aire river, but this interpretation would not explain why he was buried approx. 15 kilometers South. Thanks in advance for any help in getting the above information.

        • Re: Seeking detailed Military information about Carmelo Pisano
          Jason Atkinson Guide

          Dear Mr. Pisana,

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for enlisted men of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after October 1912 and before 1959 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis. In many cases where personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued. Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002. Please use his death date as the “Date Released”. It is not necessary to include a Social Security Number as these were not in use during World War I. For “Purpose” check “Genealogy.” We suggest specifying that you want a copy of his entire file. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.


          The "official" photograph of an individual is not considered to be permanent federal records by the respective military services and is not retained in a separate collection by the service. If the photograph you are seeking still exists, it will most likely be found in the individual's Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). However, there is no guarantee the photograph will be present.


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Correspondence, Reports, Telegrams, Applications, and Other Papers Relating to Burials of Service Personnel, 1/1/1915 - 12/31/1939 (Burial Case Files) in the Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General (Record Group 92) that should include a file for him. While some burial case files have been digitized, his file has not been digitized yet. We also located the Veterans Administration Master Index, 1917 - 9/16/1940 in the Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs (Record Group 15) that includes an index card for him. We are attaching the card to the end of our reply.  The codes for the VA Master Index are explained in the handout VA Master Index Codes. The card indicates that there should be a claims file for him in one of 4 records series of Deceased Veterans Claims (XC Files) in Record Group 15. Plus, we located Morning Reports, ca. 1912 - 1946 in the Records of the National Archives and Records Administration (Record Group 64) that may include morning reports of the 307th Infantry Regiment. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL) at stl.archives@nara.gov. When emailing RL-SL, please attach a copy of the index card that we are providing..


          Next, we located Records of Divisions, ca. 1918 - 1942 in the Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I) (Record Group 120) that includes records of the 307th Infantry Regiment, 77th Division in Boxes 32 - 36 (P 1241-77). Records relating to burials are located in Box 305 and casualty telegrams are located in Box 309 (P 1241-77). Additionally, we located Records of the 1st Through 338th and the 559th Infantry Regiment, 1916-1921 in the Records of U.S. Regular Army Mobile Units (Record Group 391) that includes records of the 307th Infantry Regiment; and Records of Infantry Brigade, 1917 - 1919 in Record Group 120 that includes records of the 154th Infantry Brigade to which the 307th Infantry Regiment was assigned. These records have not been digitized and are not available online. Please note that unit records typically do NOT include a narrative about the exact circumstances and location of each casualty. However, they may provide information about the general location and activities of his unit on the day of his death. For more information about these non-digitized unit records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at Archives2reference@nara.gov. We were unable to locate specific records of Company E.  Records of lower echelon units sometimes were incorporated into the files of the regiment.


          Photographs of various U.S. Army activities and subjects during WWI are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Picture (RDSS). Please contact RDSS via email at stillpix@nara.gov to request a search for photographs of specific units.


          Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RL-SL, RDT2, and RDSS.  Please check NARA’s web page about COVID-19 updates for the latest information.  Also, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter, and those involving the VA Home Loan program. If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until NPRC returns to pre-COVID staffing levels.  Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          We also searched online and located the following resources relating to Camp Upton, the 77th Division, and the 307th Infantry:



          Finally, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, the National Museum of the American Army, the US Army Center of Military History, and the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center may have relevant holdings.


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

            • Re: Seeking detailed Military information about Carmelo Pisano
              Antonino Pisana Newbie

              Dear Mr Atkinsons,


              thank you very much for your extended and detailed response.


              Actually, after sending my request, I've already made some progress in my research by using the burial locator provided by AEF that I discovered by reading your answers to other questions.


              In that way I've found the exact place of initial burial in the Forest of Argonne near Binarville and, considering the development of the offensive in those days (the 307th inf. was already near Grandpre) I concluded that Carmelo was killed probably while mopping up the forest after the ennemy retreat.

              A very courious fact is that in the same place and same day it was killed another private of Italian origin (John Manfredi) which home address in New York (taken from the burial card) was in the same street as my uncle: I guess they were friend also before the war and died together. I tried by the way to look for additional information on him, but without success.


              Another courious fact is that my father (who died in 1996) has been conviced all his life that his brother died during the war due to the Spanish flu, but the documents are insetad saying that he was killed in action: this was probably due to two circumstances: his mother died on Spanish flu in New York 5 days after my uncle's death (my father was 6 y.o. at that time) and that they were illeterate, so it's likely that they were unable to read by themselves the communications received.


              I've already had the veteran card you enclosed, but the handout you provided allowed me to understand that after my uncle's death, his father (i.e. my grandfather) got the insurance refund and a war pension and this is in compliance to what my father told me years ago: having lost a son and his wife, he returned to Italy (and that's why I'm ltalian) and spent his remaining life without working.


              I will follow all the hints you kindly provided and in case of further progress I will inform the community.

              In case anyone is interested, my family tree is availble on Family Search by typing my name or Carmelo's name.


              Thanks again and best regards,


              Antonino Pisana