World War I United States Military Records, 1917 to 1918

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In May 2011, the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) completed construction of its new facility in St. Louis, Mo.


The United States entered World War I in April 1917. Over 4.7 million men and women served in the regular U.S. forces, national guard units, and draft units. There were 53,402 killed in action, 63,114 deaths from disease and other causes, and about 205,000 wounded. New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio furnished the most soldiers.

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American Expeditionary Forces

Training Camps

Embarkation Service

Army Air Service

  • Army World War I Flight Training
  • The U.S. Air Service in World War I
  • Air University. Aerospace Studies Institute. Historical Research Division. U.S. Air Service Victory Credits, World War I. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Air University, 1969. FHL Digital Book
  • Norman L. R. Franks and Frank W. Bailey. Over the Front: a complete record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the United States and French Air Services, 1914-1918. London, England: Grub Street, 1992. FHL 973 M2frw
  • James J. Hudson. In Clouds of Glory: American Airmen who flew with the British during the Great War. Fayetteville, Arkansas: University of Arkansas Press, 1990. FHL 973 M2hj
  • Lowell A. Lawrence. New England Aviators, 1914-1918: their portraits and their records. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Pub., 1997. FHL 974 M2n v.1 and v. 2
  • James J. Sloan. Wings of Honor: American Airmen in World War I: a compilation of all United States, pilots, observers, gunners, and mechanics who flew against the enemy in the War of 1914-1918. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Pub., 1994. FHL 973 M2swh
  • Lucien H. Thayer, Donald Joseph McGee and Robert James Bender, ed. America’s First Eagles: the Official History of the U.S. Air Force, A.E. F., 1917-1918. San Jose, California: R. James Bender, Pub. Champlin Fighter Museum Press, 1983. FHL 973 M2taf

Naval

Marine Corps

American Field Service

Medical Department

Timeline


Date Event
3 February 1917 Diplomatic relations with Germany were severed
6 April 1917 Congress declares war on Germany
18 May 1917 Congress passes the Selective Service Act which allows for the registration of eligable men for military service
5 June 1917 The first registration included men age 21 to 31
20 July 1917 The lottery is held in Washington to determine the order of liability for military service is held. No. 258 was the first number drawn.
5 June 1918 The second registration included men who had become 21 since the first registration
12 Sept 1918 The third registration included the ages 18 to 45. 13,228,762 registered.
25 Jun 1918 U.S. troops took over Belleau Wood, France after two weeks of fighting.7870 Americans lost their lives in the battle.
18 Jul 1918 Aisne-Marne offensive or the 2nd battle of the Marne marked the turning point of the War.  The German line was driven back to Vesle.
26 Sept 1918 - 11 Nov 1918 The Meuse-Argonne Offensive involving over one million U.S. troops
31 Oct 1918 The 2nd million U.S. soldier reached France.
11 Nov 1918 The Armistice. World War I ends with the surrender of Germany


FamilySearch World War I Collections


Archives and Libraries

National WW I Museum and Memorial

U.S. Army Heritage and Education center

National Archives at St. Louis

Library of Congress

National Archives

National Park Service

Societies

American Legion


Cemeteries

American Casualties

American Battle Monuments Commission

World War I Cemeteries

World War I Monuments

Related Websites

National Archives World War I Dead, American Expeditionary Forces. 1917-1919

Compiled Data on Casualties of the American Expeditionary Forces by State of United States Possession, 1917-1919 NAID 1726747]

Soldiers Record Publishing Association

United States World War One Centennial

State Committees or Commissions

Unit Histories

Division Unit Histories

Regimental Histories

World War I Service Questionnaires

Gold Star Mothers

State World War I Records


The Family History Library has some indexes and records from county courthouses, state archives, and state offices of the adjutant general. For example, the library has the following:

Similar collections are described in the military sections for the various states under STATE NAME - MILITARY RECORDS.


Awards

Women

Soldier Diaries, Journals and Letters

Sources for Further Reading

  • Controvich, James T.  United States Army Unit Histories:  A Reference and Bibliography. Manhattan,  Kansas: Kansas State University, n.d.
  • Davis, Henry Blaine, Jr. Generals in Khaki. Raleigh, N.C.: Pentland Press, 1998. (Family History Library book 973 D3dav.) Contains biographical sketches of the generals in the United States army during World War I.
  • Enser, A.G.S. A Subject Bibliography of the First World War:  Books in English, 1914-1978. London: A. Deutsch, 1979.
  • Gutierrez, Edward A. Doughboys on the Great War. How American Soldiers Viewed Their Military Experiences. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2014.
  • Hart, Albert B. America at War:  A Handbook of Patriotic Education References. New York: George H. Doran Co., 1918.
  • Knapp, Michael G. “World War I Service Records.” Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives 22. (Fall 1990): 300–2. (Family History Library book 973 B2p.)
  • Knapp, Michael G., and Constance Potter. “Here Rests in Honored Glory: World War I Graves Registration.” Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives 23. (Summer 1991): 190–4. (Family History Library book 973 B2p.)
  • Leland, Waldo G. and Mereness, Newton D. Introduction to the American Official Sources for the Economic and Social History of the World War. London: Oxford University Press, 1926.
  • McKinley, Albert E.  Collected Material for the Study of the War.  Philadelphia: McKinley Publishing, 1918.
  • McMahon, M. M. Researching Your U.S. WWI Army Ancestors. Crownsville: CreateSpace, 2017.
  • New York Public Library.  Subject Catalog of the World War I Collection.  Boston: G.K. Hall, 1961.
  • Schaefer, Christina K. The Great War. A Guide to The Service Records of All The World’s Fighting Men and Volunteers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1998. (Family History Library 940.41 Sch13g.) The United States is covered on pages 123 to 156.
  • Yockelson, Mitchell. “They Answered the Call: Military Service in the United States Army during World War I, 1917–1919.” Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration 30. (Fall 1998): 228–34. (Family History Library book 973 B2p.)