Sons of Men - Evansville's War Record
Gold Star Biographies
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Pvt. Dan Cheaney
Co. F, 111th Engineers, 36th Division.
June 1, 1891 - November 9, 1918

     The spirit of military service was not new to Dan Cheaney
when America entered the war. Long before the true significance of
Prussian militarism was realized by the world, he entered the navy.
When the call for men came in 1917 he again entered the service and
followed the American flag to France.

     He was born in this city June 1, 1891. He received his education
in the Harlan Avenue School and graduated at the age of fifteen.
In 1909, at the age of seventeen, he joined the navy, and was assigned
to the battleship Connecticut. In October 1911 he was transferred
to U.S.S. Massachusetts. During his career as a bluejacket he had
the opportunity of seeing different parts of the world, including the
countries of the Caribbean Sea, France and Germany.

    He liked life in the navy so well, that when he was discharged
in 1912, he thought of re-enlisting. However, after spending a short
time with his mother in Evansville, he went to Oklahoma City, and
obtained employment on the staff of the "Oklahoma News."

    When Cheaney was in the navy he said that if he had a chance to
see Europe once more, he would make the most of the opportunity.
This opportunity was offered him when America called for men to
serve across the sea. In October, 1917, he enlisted in Co. F, 111th
Engineers, Thirty-sixth Division, at Fort Worth, Texas. There he
remained until July 17, 1918, when he sailed for France. During the
several months of his service in France, he sent but few letters which
gave practically no information of his activities and experiences. As
he recalled beautiful France basking in rays of sunshine and peace, he
could scarcely recognize the desolate, battle torn country, "where
man's red folly has been purged in fire."

    The circumstances of his death have been recorded in a letter
from Capt. O. L. Welch of Co. F. 111th Engineers, Thirty-sixth
Division. The Captain said that Cheaney was killed on or about
November 9, 1918.  In part the letter stated: "He and another man from
my company went up towards the front lines on a souvenir hunting
expedition and according to the story of Corporal Kuper, who was
the man who went with him, they went "over the top" with some infan-
trymen.  Cheaney was killed and Kuper was wounded and taken
prisoner." Investigation has revealed that Kuper's knee was broken
by a machine-gun bullet. He was captured by the Germans and taken
to a hospital in Kaiserslsutern, Germany. However, on December 5, 1918,
he was released. A report said that Corporal Kuper who probably
has more information about Cheaney has been sent to a Chicago
hospital, but an attempt to find him in the various hospitals of
Chicago, has proved futile.

Sons of Men: Evansville's War Record,
Compiled by Heiman Blatt,
Published by Abe P. Madison, 1920
April 15, 1998