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Dear Ms. Fryer,
Thank you for posting your inquiry to the History Hub!
Personnel records for soldiers who served during the First World War are held by the National Personnel Records Center (Military), in St. Louis, MO. You can find out how to request copies of any surviving personnel records here: https://www.archives.gov/st-louis/archival-programs/military-personnel-archival/ompf-archival-requests.html.
We should note that there was a major fire at the National Personnel Records Center in July 1973 that tragically destroyed a large majority of the Army personnel records. Unfortunately, we’re unsure from your inquiry in which branch of the military he served.
Many returning veterans filed a copy of their discharge papers with the county recorder’s office in the county where they resided. You may wish to contact the office in the county where your grandfather lived following his service.
Since your grandfather later lived in the Soldiers and Sailors Home in Quincy, IL (which was a state-operated home now known as the Illinois Veterans Home), we also suggest you may wish to contact the Illinois State Archives in Springfield for any case files of veterans living at the home: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/.
Additionally, since your grandfather resided in the Soldiers and Sailors Home he may have received a pension in some form from the Veterans Administration. For any available records in their possession we suggest you submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), request to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: https://www.oprm.va.gov/foia/foia_howTo.aspx.
If you have not had the opportunity, you may also wish to search for your grandfather on some of the well-known genealogical websites such as Ancestry.com and FamilySearch. Ancestry.com is a site requiring a subscription. Your local public library may possibly offer complimentary access. You can view the Ancestry.com site here: https://www.ancestry.com/. FamilySearch is a free website. You can access FamilySearch from your computer here: https://www.familysearch.org/.
In 1998 the National Archives quarterly journal, Prologue, published an article by archivist Mitchell Yockelson called “They Answered the Call: Military Service in the United States Army During the World War I, 1917-1919” which you may find of value: https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1998/fall/military-service-in-world-war-one.html.
In recognition of the U.S. involvement in the First World War the National Archives currently is highlighting our holdings relating to the war. You can see a variety of select records relating to the American experience via our home page here: https://www.archives.gov/topics/wwi#event-/timeline/item/archduke-assassination.
We hope this information will be of assistance to you in your work.
Again, thank you for contacting the History Hub.