Posted in Friday Finds, Military, World War 1

Part 2: Allen Lee Millard Gooch WWI Personnel File (Military Service Record)

Here are a few more pages from the World War I Military Service Record for Allen Lee Millard Gooch, my grandfather. This page gives the exact dates of his overseas service, battles he fought in (Meuse-Argonne , and St. Mihiel) and the dates he completed “gas” training, among other things:

Allen Lee Millard Gooch – Application for adjusted compensation for service in Army; Military Service Records; Records of the National Personnel Records Center; National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis.

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.

Allen Lee Millard Gooch – Application for adjusted compensation for service in Army; Military Service Records; Records of the National Personnel Records Center; National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis.

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.

Allen Lee Millard Gooch – Application for adjusted compensation for service in Army; Military Service Records; Records of the National Personnel Records Center; National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis.
Posted in Military, Photos, World War 1, World War 2

Franklin Ivan Pomeroy’s military career

[taken from his autobiographical sketch but is written in third person]:

He was a good student and in high school [and] was in a group of four boys who were at the head of their class and whose grades were above 95% for the four years. A teacher in High School kindled his ambition to become an architect and so he entered Kansas State College in Manhattan, Kansas. He completed one year and returned home to work for a year to save money for further college. He joined a company of the Arizona National Guard and went to camp that summer at Fort Huachuca. This started a military career that was to last over 38 years. That next spring his company was ordered into active duty on the Mexican border following the raid on Columbus, New Mexico by Pancho Villa and his _______.  His regiment, the 1st Arizona Infantry, was not in Pershing’s Expeditionary force but was one of several units guarding the border. There was a lot of unrest among the Mexican people along the border many of whom looked at Pancho Villa as a hero and liberator and by the same token resented the expedition into Mexico that ended his threat against the U.S. By this time he had been promoted thru he enlisted ranks to the grade of platoon sergeant and when the 1st World War started in April 1917 his regiment was moved to Camp Kearney in California and became a member of the 40th NG ___. After a winter of training recruits he applied for and was accepted in Officers Training School where he earned a commission as 2nd Lieutenant Inf. U.S. Army. He was transferred to Camp P___, Ark. Briefly then thru a small arms school where he qualified as an instructor at Camp Perry, Ohio and then to Camp Taylor, Kentucky where he was in command of a company in a regiment of draftees training for overseas.
In Camp Taylor the 1918 flu epidemic struck with widespread effect as there were over 2000 deaths in the camp ____ he did not by some quirk of fate, get the flu.

He was recommended for promotion to 1st Lieutenant about Sept 1 and took physical exam-when October 15 came some of the officers were promoted but he was not included. A check was made and several sets of papers were discovered to have been lost in Brigade Surgeons Office by mistake. These were sent in but on Nov 11th all promotions were stopped. After the Armistice Nov 11 he was given three options: To remain in the regular army, to remain temporarily, and be discharged at once. He was a little disgusted with the promotion mix-up and elected to be discharged at once. He was separated on Dec 18, 1918 and returned to his home in Arizona.

A few months later he was offered an appointment to the U.S. Army Reserve as a 1st Lieutenant and accepted. A few months later the Arizona National Guard was authorized to be reactivated and   he was active in the organization of a National Guard Battery of French 75 guns which was federally recognized in April 1920 at Mesa as the 1st Arizona Field Artillery Battery A in which he was a 1st Lieutenant…

…He was promoted to Captain and Battery Commander of the National Guard unit and ordered to attend the Field Artillery School at Fort Sill Oklahoma in 1926. Following this he was offered a commission in the Regular Army, but did not accept preferring to raise their family in a different atmosphere than the nomadic life of the army…

…In 1932 he was employed by the Military Department of Arizona as a member of the Adjutant General’s staff of the National Guard. He was also transferred to the Infantry regiment as a battalion commander of 1st Brigade 158 Infantry. In 1934 he was ordered into active duty with a NG detachment and sent up to Parker where a large dam was being projected on the Colorado River. Arizona was quarreling with California about the allocation of water for irrigation and could not agree on this so the Governor of Arizona decided to not permit construction of the dam on Arizona soil until the matter was settled. This resulted about six months later in the mobilizing of two NG units under the command of Pomeroy to prevent any further encroachment and this in turn caused the state of California taking the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court for settlement, which was the intent of the Governor of Arizona. This matter was not settled until years later when the Central Arizona Project was authorized by Congress. Maj. Pomeroy was again promoted to Lt. Col and attended the Staff and Command Course for NG Officers at Fort Sam Houston. In 1940 the Arizona National Guard was mobilized and ordered to Fort Sill Oklahoma for training as the 2nd World War was about to begin and it was certain the U.S. would be drawn into it. They had built a much larger home in Mesa and had only lived in it a few months when this event occurred. The family accompanied him to Lawton, Oklahoma and had barely settled down to the new life when he was ordered to the Reg and Staff Officers Advanced Infantry Officers school in Fort Benning, Georgia. His family took this in stride and moved with him to Columbus, Georgia for three months while he finished the school, after which he rejoined the 45 Div. of which his regiment was a part, which had moved to a Division Camp Barkley near Abilene, Texas. There ensued. [?] The family found suitable house in Abilene and the next 9 months were spent in a succession ofmaneuvers and training exercises during which the troops became proficient in their training and the use of motor vehicles which had just been issued. On Dec 7, 1940 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the U.S. was in WWII. As a result of reorganization the 45th Division from a “Square” Division to a Triangular Division, the 158 Infantry and one battalion of the 158 Field Artillery became surplus and were organized into a combat team and ordered to Panama to protect the Panama Canal which had become an important link in the route to the far east. So the combat team was shipped via New Orleans to Panama in January 1942, where they became part of the Mobile Force. The 158th Infantry was spread across from the Atlantic to the Pacific in several battalion sized groups and went into intensive training in jungle warfare…

…Ann and the children remained in Abilene until the end of school and then drove back to Mesa. Gasoline, tires, and many food articles were now scarce and rationed. …this was a very bad time indeed for Ann to be alone but she was equal to the occasion. In fact she was a tower of strength to the younger wives of the 158 Infantry whose husbands were away and they often came to her with their problems and worries.

His battalion was rotated to several posts in turn on both sides of the Isthmus and I was assigned as Regt Ex Officer and Second in Command of the regiment after about 6 months. The Regiment had become a most efficient and well trained unit and participated in extensive jungle operations. In the latter part of the year a new organization table was received and the regiment brought up to full war strength. He was picked to command Fort Clayton, a large area post on the Pacific side and promoted to Full Colonel. The Regiment was ordered to the far East and departed for Australia in a convoy. He was very busy in the new duties which included the administration of and supply of twenty or more smaller posts scattered thru the area. The next year was occupied in improvements to the post including the creation of a new Commissioned Officers’ Club and an Enlisted Men’s Club to provide rest and recreation to the personnel of the post. He was permitted to return to the U.S. on leave twice during the next three years which was by air flight and in August 1945 the war having ended, families were allowed to return to Panama and Ann and his two younger children who were teenagers came to Panama to stay until his transfer back to the U.S. He was assigned to a replacement officer’s pool in Camp Pike Arkansas and remained there three months until he requested and received relief from active duty in April 1946 and returned to Arizona. He helped reorganized the Arizona Nation a Guard regiment and was employed as an Adm. Assistant to the U.S. Property and Disbursing Officer and also assigned as a staff member of the State Adjutant Gen. a position which he occupied as a Colonel until his retirement (at age 60) in Feb 1954. He continued as administrative assistant to the USPXDO until 1961 when he reached mandatory retirement age. [Note:  He was later promoted to Brigadier General]

Posted in Artifacts, Military

Letter from Franklin Ivan Pomeroy to his brother Karl Pomeroy, 13 Jul 1918

Franklin Ivan Pomeroy (26 Jan 1894 – 13 Feb 1982) was my grandfather.  He joined the Arizona National Guard in 1915.  In April of 1917  his regiment was moved to Camp Kearney in California and became a member of the 40th NG.   After a winter of training recruits he applied for and was accepted in Officers Training School where he earned a commission as 2nd Lieutenant Inf. U.S. Army.  At the end of World War I he was discharged 18 Dec 1918.

Here is a  letter he wrote to his younger brother Karl 13 Jul 1918—advice from a big brother as Karl entered the Army.  The letter gives us a glimpse into Ivan’s character, and also an idea of some of the things he had faced in the Army.  The letter was found folded and tucked into a scrapbook which was compiled by his mother, Dora Morris Pomeroy and given to Ivan as an adult.  I will post more about Ivan’s military career in a few days.

Camp Perry, Ohio, July 13th 1918

Dear Karl,

Allow me to congratulate you on your, at last, getting into this great game.  I am proud to be your brother, and am indeed more than glad of your enlistment.

Now as I know, how the average man-young men-looks at advice and how few of them take any of it even if they do listen to it.  I am not going to give you a long bunch of talk, but I do want to put you wise to a few little things which will help you a lot.  So don’t consider this as advice, but rather as some things that I have run up against in my hitch in the army.

To begin with, always OBEY, OBEY, OBEY, whatever anyone in authority tells you to do.  And don’t ‘beef’ about it either.  Do it willingly and cheerfuully.  I know there will be times, when you will be nearly all in, and some non-com will come along and tell you to do something, and you will feel like telling him to go far, far away, but don’t do it. Get up promptly and do as he tells you.  You will probably think some of them have swelled heads, and more than like  they will have, but the point for you to remember is, that it is your business to obey, and not to make suggestions.  If you do this it won’t be so very long until all of the non-coms will know you for a willing man who will be recommended for it. Now being obedient doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a slave. Far from it. You can be obedient and [?] sacrifice none of your personal rights, of manliness.  There must be somebody in command.  So rule One is settle for.

Secondly, be careful what kind of friends you select.  I don’t mean by this that you have to go around with a sneer on your face for the slouch and sinner.  But if you find men who try to ditch duty, and drill, why don’t make chums of them.  A man is always known by the company he keeps.  You will find out things about men, that you never before imagined could exist.  You will find men so low that you can’t comprehend why such men are let live.  But you don’t have to make friends of them.  Let them alone.  Now I have been through a lot of army life, and I know about the attitude, morally.  He hasn’t any. His idea of a good time, is to get drunk, mingle with bad women, and then come back and brag of it, until next pay day, when he is off on another so-called celebration.  But I have been able to steer clear of most of those things.  you will have all kinds of arguments put up to you.  ‘Life being short’ and all of that stuff.  And there may be times, when you don’t care what happens to you, and during which it is awfully easy to drift along in a downward direction–but those moods always pass away.  And if you ever succumb to any of them you will suffer more afterwards than you will during these spells.

I hope you will find out, as I did, that I was a little different in some respects from other boys.  I had that peculiar prompting which kept me clean.  Now I am not boasting, and neither am I exagerating conditions a bit.  But I am simply telling you what I found in the army.

When you first get away from home you will feel that you are free and able to do anything y0u want to, and to ‘hell’ with the consequences.  But don’t let this feeling fool you.  You are no freer than you ever were, and anything you do will have an effect on you and your folks just as much as before.

And while you are making new friends, beware of the women friends you make.  There is a class of women, who follow soldiers around. Who smile at them on the street.  Who han[g] around cheap dance halls, looking for soldiers and sailors.  But they only want your money.  You and I have been brought up to consider any woman or girl as something sacred and good.  But you will find that women sink just as low as men.  And when you do you will be so disgusted and horrified that for a time you may lose faith in all women, as I did almost.  But by and bye, you will get a proper perspective back again and realize that some women are angels, and some are devils, and the great bulk is somewhere between.  But you will also learn to appreciate virtue in women in a way you never have before.  And you will also realize that some day you want one of those kind for your own.  And then how sorry you will feel if you are not as good as she.

Now I have preached quite a little sermon.  And I didn’t intend to at all.  But as I said before I experienced all of this over and over again, and I have always been thankful that I have acted as I have done.  You will be called a fool, and a ‘nut’ and laughed at by a great many men, but don’t let that bother you, for the opinion of such men don’t amount to very much.  Be what you yourself approve of.  That is all I ask, for I know you about as well as one brother can know another, and I am going to be proud of you.  So much for that.

Now one more little speel and I am done.  In the service nothing is so dispised as a man who continually makes excuses or alibis for everything.  Now remember this.  NEVER make an excuse.  Nothing in the world makes an officer or no-c0m, so mad as a continuous excuse.  If you do something wrong, don’t be ashamed to admit it, and if need be take punishment for doing it, but for heaven sake don[t try to excuse yourself.  Don’t be a ‘snitch’.  If you are discovered giving information, on any of your friends or comrad[e]s, voluntarily, you will be universally hated.  Both by your comrad[e]s and the men you gave the information to.  And it is a good plan never to borrow money.  And also be careful to whom you lend.  For you will find all types of men in the service, who have no sense of honor.  I suppose it is rather needless to tell you all of this, for each man must find out for himself. But I only want you to get along well.

Again I say I am proud of you as a brother and also as a fellow citizen.  Be sure an write to me how you get along.

Your Brother,


Franklin Ivan Pomeroy as a young soldier, between 1917-1918
Posted in History, Mexican War, Military

Today in our Family History: February 23, 1847, Thomas Gooch and the Battle of Buena Vista

Today marks the 165th anniversary of the Battle of Buena Vista in the Mexican-American War.  Thomas Gooch’s Mexican War pension file reveals he fought in the Battle of Buena Vista.  His pension application, dated 6 Feb 1882, states that he “was a corporal in…the 1st Regiment of Arkansas Volunteers in the War of 1846…That while in the service aforesaid…near a place called Saltillo Republic of Mexico, on the 23rd of February 1847, from hardships and exposure contracted chronic diarrhea.  Also at Battle of Buena Vista in a charge made by lancers, suffered loss of finger of left hand. Said disabilities still continue and greatly disable him for manual labor, he now asks a pension.”

An account of the Battle of Buena Vista is found at:

and the official report of the battle is found here:

Posted in Mexican War, Military, Military pension, Research tips

Thomas Gooch Mexican War Pension File

Thomas Gooch (widow Verlinda), WC #5820; Mexican War Pension Files; National Archives and Records Administration; Documents dated 1882-1883. Widow’s documents dated 1888.  Copy of original file in possession of Dayna Jacobs.

These are abstracts and extracts of key documents in the file:

On 1 July 1846 he enrolled in Co. G Mounted Regiment, Arkansas Volunteers (Capt. Edward Hunter’s Co., Colonel Yell’s Regiment) at Pariclifta, Sevier Co, AR. They rendevouzed at Washington, Hempstead Co, AR and were mustered into service for the Mexican War. Thomas was 3rd Corporal, while John Hall was 4th Corporal, and A.L. McAfee was first Lt. He says he incurred chronic diarrhea on 23 Feb 1847. Records show that his company was in action at Buena Vista on this date. He also says he lost a finger on his left hand in a charge made by lancers at the battle of Buena Vista. Jan/Feb rollcall records show him absent sick at Saltillo from 9 Feb 1847. He says he was in the hospital about 6 weeks under the care of an Army surgeon. On 27 May he was discharged from Saltillo and reenlisted as a private in Capt. Gaston Meare’s Co. of the Ark Mounted Vols. MOR dated 24 Jun 1848 reports him as deserted at Buena Vista 22 Jan 1848.

Since leaving the service he resided mostly in Llano Co and was a stock raiser.

6 Feb 1882… affidavit signed by A. V. Chism and David Fowler (mark). Witnesses R. A. McInnis and J.S. Atchison.

7 May 1883…affidavit signed by W.M. Owen, M.D. attesting to Thomas’ disability, and saying he treated him in 1850. His P.O. address is Round Rock, Williamson Co, TX.

9 May 1883…affidavit signed by W.A. Blackburn of Burnet, Burnet Co, TX, who was a lawyer and judge in the Llano area, and knew Thomas very well. He states, “I know of no man whose character for truth, honesty and integrity, and love of law and order, and peace in a community, is any better.”

9 May 1883…affidavit signed by W.W. Brooks, personal friend of Thomas. Brooks “resided in the county of Burnet and Sate of Texas and that Burnet in said county and state was his post office address from January 1st 1861 to May 9th 1865 and that he was personally acqainted with Thomas Gooch during all of that period and before and since, and knew him to be an outspoken Union man, and that he did not serve in the Confederate army, did not hold office under, pay taxes to willingly, or in any other manner aid or abetted the Confederate Gov….and that he has good reasons to believe that Thomas Gooch did not vote for secession for the reason that he knows that Thomas Gooch was very bitter against secession and very outspoken against the Confederacy, and that his life was in great danger on account of his Union principles during the above mentioned period, and that he was himself a Union man and loyal to the United States…”

9 May 1883…affidavit signed by G. McFarland… similar to Brooks’ statement.

11 May 1883…affidavit signed by Thomas Gooch says he has been farming on a small scale with the assistance of his children, and working some at the gunsmith trade.

23 May 1883…Court, Llano County.  State of Texas, County of Llano:  “…Personally appeared before the undersigned authority, Thomas Gooch, who being duly sworn upon his oath, declares and says that he was born on the 30th day of August A.D. 1826 in the town of Lexington, County of Fayette (sic), State of Missouri…”   signed E.R. Beeson, County Clerk

7 Nov 1888…Indian Territory, County of Chickasaw Nation:  “…On this 7th day of November 1888, personally appeared before me, a U.S. Commissioner for the West Dist. of Ark, Mrs. Verlinda Gooch, a resident of Paul’s Valley, in the county of Chickasaw Nation, Indian Ty., who, being by me first duly sworn according to law, deposes and says:  I am the widow of Thomas Gooch…that I was married under my name of Verlinda Jennings to my said husband by Parson Miller, on or about the 7th day of March 1851 at Georgetown, WIlliamson Co., in the state of Texas, and lived with my said husband from the date of my said marriage until the day of his death, to wit, the 2nd day of March, 1885, when my said husband died at Llano Co., in the state of Texas, and I have not since married…”  signed Verlinder Gooch, witnesses Martin V. Shults, and William P. Croft

30 Nov 1898 “…Verlinda Gooch, who was a pensioner…under certificate No. 5820.. has been dropped because of her death… Died 5 Nov, 1898”