Sons of Men - Evansville's War Record
Gold Star Biographies
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|Pvt. John Webster
Medical Department, 1st Corps Artillery Park
December 9, 1889 - November 3, 1918
The Spanish Influenza proved more dangerous to John Webster than the great variety of Hun missiles, which he escaped on the battlefield. He was born December 9, 1889, in Evansville. His education was received at the Centennial School, and in the local high school which, however, he did not complete. While he was still in school he worked in a tin shop in the evening and on Saturday. When he left school he was a sheet metal worker, but he attended night school to learn pattern making. The day of his enlistment was February 28, 1918. He remained but two days at Ft. Oglethorpe, Ga., where he was in the Medical Corps. Then he was transferred to Columbus, S. C. On May 20, 1918. he left for France and on Decoration Day he landed at Brest. The exposure to inclement weather lowered his power of resistance so that he was afflicted with the Spanish Influenza. He died November 3, 1918. A letter which appeared in the Evansville Courier, January 22, 1919, tells of the experiences of John Webster and several other 'Evansville soldiers. The letter follows: "But all the real fighting divisions are here, including 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 26, 32, 42, 89 and 90, so you may know we will make some excitement when we do get home. Here's hoping it won't be long. "We get our Couriers regularly, but a little late. We sure enjoy every line of them. "JOHN E. SITZMAN, LOUIS R. BOHRER, EDWARD J. MENTZEL, 0. VERNON WELDEN, FRED A. HEEGER, E. W. JANDE. BEAUR, AND A. S. MOUTICHKA. James W. Mellon, first sergeant of the Medical Detachment, writing to John Webster's mother from Pfaffendorf, Germany, May 11, 1919, describes his courageous service, and good influence on All who came in contact with him. "John was a good comrade and soldier." the letter said, "and although I know you can but feel a deep sense of loss; yet, you can be proud your son never failed in his ideals, and met the supreme test in the true spirit of a soldier, faithful to the last. "The influence of his life upon the lives of his comrades will always live, and there will always be a tender spot in the heart of all of us who were privileged to serve beside him. We can be consoled in the thought that his life has not been lived in vain, and look for- ward to that day when comes that happy reunion in that fairer world where there are no wars, but eternal peace and happiness." _____ Sons of Men: Evansville's War Record, Compiled by Heiman Blatt, Published by Abe P. Madison, 1920 pp183-184.
October 25, 1998