Dear Mr. Seeley,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
According to the publication Soldiers of the Great War. Vol. I-III. Washington, D.C.: Soldiers Record, 1920. that lists American soldiers who lost their lives in World War I, Private Alma Lewis was a resident of Victor, Colorado, USA.
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Lists of Outgoing Passengers, 1917 - 1938 in the Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General (Record Group 92) that includes the following listing:
8 Aug 1918
New York, New York
Allice B. Lewis
CO. "E" 157th Infantry, 40th Division
These passenger lists are also available through Ancestry.com as the data collection U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939. Accessing them through their website may require a paid subscription. Some libraries provide free access to their patrons.
The passenger lists indicates that when he first arrived in France, he was assigned to the 40th Division instead of 77th. This would be consistent with the fact that the 40th Division was composed of National Guard units from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah, but instead of fighting as a unit in France, after arriving the 40th was redesignated as the 6th Depot Division and was used to provide replacements to more experienced divisions. The American Battle Monuments Commission listing for his grave in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery confirms that he was with the 305th Infantry Regiment, 77th Division at the time of his death.
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located a series titled Records of Divisions, 1917 - 1920 in the Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I) (Record Group 120) that includes the 77th Division and files of the 305th Infantry Regiment in Entry P 1241-77, Boxes 24-29. It also includes records of the 40th Division in Entry P 1241-40. We also located Records of Infantry Brigade, 1917 - 1919 in Record Group 120 that includes records of the 153rd Infantry Brigade to which the 358th Infantry Regiment was assigned, as well as records of the 79th Infantry Brigade to which the 157th Infantry Regiment was assigned. In addition, 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 358th Infantry Regiment at well as the 157th Infantry Regiment. Records of lower echelon units such as companies sometimes were incorporated into the files of the regiment.
For more information about the division, brigade and regiment records, as well as the passenger lists, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next, we located the series titled Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 in the Records of the Selective Service System (World War I) (Record Group 163) but we were unable to locate a draft registration card for him. If he was already a member of the Army or the Army National Guard at the time that registration started, that may explain why there is no card for him.
Photographs of various US Army units and activities during World War I are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Pictures (RDSS). Please email RDSS at email@example.com to request a search for photographs of specific units. Please note that the Army did not photograph every soldier or every unit.
Burial case files for 1915 to 1939 are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL). Also, copies of most of the monthly rosters from November 1912 - 1943 and morning reports for Army units from November 1, 1912 to 1959 are in the custody of RL-SL. For more information about these records, please contact RL-SL via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
World War I rosters have been digitized and are available on FamilySearch at United States, World War I, military muster rolls and rosters, 1916-1939. These may be accessed with a free account.
Plus, 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 prior to 1958 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center 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. Use his date of death as the “Date Released.” If there is any information requested by the form that you do not know you may omit it or provide estimates, however the more information you provide, the easier it will be for NPRC staff to locate the correct file if it survived the fire. You may also attach a memo or letter with additional information such as his unit name, which can help if NPRC staff need to consult auxiliary files. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.
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 RDSS, RL-SL and RDT2. Also, the NPRC is currently only servicing emergency requests associated with medical treatments, burials, homeless veterans, VA Home loan guarantees, and employment opportunities. If this is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Further, we searched online and located the following resources regarding the 305th Infantry Regiment and/or the 77th Division:
- Various histories of Camp Upton, 77th Division, and subordinate units
- 77th Division, summary of operations in the World War. Prepared by the American Battle Monuments Commission
- A history of the 305th infantry, by Frank B. Tiebout, captain, 305th infantry, U.S.A.
- History of the Seventy Seventh Division, August 25th, 1917, November 11th, 1918.
- American Armies and Battlefields in Europe
- Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War, Volume 2 American Expeditionary Forces: Divisions
- Battle Participation of Organizations of the American Expeditionary Forces in France, Belgium and Italy 1917-1918
- Combat Service of Organizations of the United States Army in the World War
- Service of Major Organizations of U.S. Army Outside Continental Limits of the U.S. During the World War
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!