Here is a photo of my grandfather, Allen Lee Millard Gooch. He served in the 89th Division, Military Police company in France. He was inducted on 25 Apr 1918 and discharged 11 Jun 1919. Below is a picture of him on his motorcycle–his job was to paint signs and ride to the front (or close to it) to post them. I don’t know the nature of the signs, but I do have letters he wrote home which describe the bullets whizzing by his head as he was riding back to his unit. I will post some of his letters sometime. They are amazing!
A few pages from his Military Service Record are posted here.
Here we see a mention of his stay in an evacuation hospital for “influenza” from 19 Dec 1918 to 21 Jan 1919. This flu pandemic spread from Jan 1918 to Dec 1920, and killed 50-130 million people worldwide. It was particularly dangerous to the military because of the close quarters of an under-nourished soldier population. Allen Lee Gooch received the Purple Heart medal, and I think it was for this hospitalization. I am glad that after living to see the end of the war on 11 Nov 1918 he was not killed by the Spanish flu the next month.
Other interesting tidbits on these pages are the name of his brother, Frank Gooch, and a physical description of Allen Lee Gooch Brown hair and eyes, fair complexion, 5 ft 4 1/2 inches tall.
These pages give us his parents’ names, Jack H. Gooch and Victoria F. Gooch, his birthplace (Purcell, Oklahoma), his occupation (Barber), age at enlistment (25 years 3 months), and his signature. Throughout the file he is identified as “Allen Lee Willard Gooch”, but his middle name is actually “Millard”. Looking at his signature it is easy to see why somebody thought it was Willard. The “M” has a tail on it that makes it appear to be a “W”. This record is only the second place where I have seen his father’s middle initial of “H” in an actual record, and it is the only place I have seen his birthplace of Purcell given. Previously, all unofficial family records gave his birthplace as Shawnee, Oklahoma.