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.

United States Gotoarrow.png U.S. Military Gotoarrow.png World War I

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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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:

  • Michigan. State Library. World War I Card Index. (Family History Library films 1001930–66.) Contains name, address, and county: some have the soldier’s parents’ names and residence if the soldier is deceased. This is a card file at the Michigan State Archives.

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


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.
31 Aug 1918 Congress passed an amendment to the Draft.  Act which changed the age limits to range from 18 to 45.  All eligible men had to register on September 12th.  A total of 24,234,k021 men registered for the draft during the War.
26 Sep 1918 The Battle of Meuse-Argonne involved 1,200,000 U.S. troops.  The purpose of the offensive was to cut off the German supply trains.
31 Oct 1918 The 2nd million U.S. soldier reached France.
3 Nov 1918 The Austrian Army surrendered to Italy and began to demobilize.
9 Nov 1918 German Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated.
11 Nov 1918 Germany surrendered to Allied forces.
4 Dec 1918 President Woodrow Wilson and a delegation left the United States for the Paris peace conference.
18 Jan 1919 The peace conference convened in Paris, France.
14 Feb 1919 The Draft Covenant of the League of Nations was completed.  President Wilson returned to the United States.  On March 4th, The U.S. Senate rejected the Covenant.
19 Nov 1919 The U.S. Senate failed to ratify the Versailles Treaty by a vote of 55 to 39.
10 Jan 1920 The treaty of Versailles went into effect.
19 Mar 1920 The U.S. Senate again rejected the Versailles Treaty.
24 Aug 1921 The United States and Austria signed a separate peace treaty at Vienna.
25 Aug 1921 The United States and Germany signed a separate treaty of peace at Berlin.
29 Aug 1921 The United States signed a separate peace treaty with Hungary at Budapest.



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.
  • 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.
  • 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.” Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration 30. (Fall 1998): 228–34. (Family History Library book 973 B2p.)

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