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world war 1 military records of caost and geodetic survey personnel


Frederick E. Joekel, First Lieutenant C.A.R.C., U.S. Army,

On Sept. 24, 1917, by Executive Order 2707 he was transferred to the service and jurisdiction of the War Department. Previous to his transfer he was a commissioned officer in the Coast and Geodetic Survey with the rank of Aid.

Effective Sept. 24, 1917, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps, U.S. Army. On Oct. 2, 1917, he was ordered to the Coast Artillery School at Fort Monroe, Va., for training, where he remained until Nov. 27, when he was ordered to Hoboken, N.J., for transportation to France, where he arrived on Dec. 24, 1917.

On Jan. 14, 1918, he was ordered to Mailly-le-camp and was assigned to Separate Brigade, C.A.C. American Expeditionary Forces for duty at the Heavy Artillery School, where he remained until Feb. 8, when he was detailed for a course of instruction as Aerial Observer with
the French Escadrille Brequet 210, after the completion of which he took a course at a French Gunnery School.

On April 22, 1918, he was directed to report at the French Aviation Headquarters and soon thereafter was assigned to Escadrille S. A. L., 203, for duty at the front. He flew over the lines with a French Aviation Squadron which was successful in destroying a German battery position. He remained with the French on the active front, as aviation observer until June 12, 1918, when he met with an accident due to a collision of two automobiles in one of which he was being transported for a change of base at the front, which resulted in serious injury, causing concussion of the brain, and his being placed into a hospital. In the same accident two chauffeurs were killed and two French officers were seriously injured.

He remained attached to several hospitals in France until Sept. 6, 1918, when he was again ordered to the front, and after various temporary details he was, on Sept. 18, assigned to the 168th Aero Squadron of Air Service, American Expeditionary Force, but after it became known that he had served with the French he was detailed and made a liaison officer at the Headquarters of the French Colonial Army at St. Mihiel where he remained until the close of war activities.

On Dec. 3, 1918, he received a communication from the Major General, N.A., Chief of Air Service (See copy in Appendix I) commending him for the exceptional meritorious service which he had rendered with the American Expeditionary Force and informing him that he had been recommended for promotion.

On Feb. 20, 1919, he was honorably discharged at Camp Dix, N.J., with the rank of First Lieutenant and on the following day was returned to the Coast and Geodetic Survey.


Rudolph J. Joers, Lieutenant, U.S.N.R.F.,

Served as Geodetic Computer in the Coast and Geodetic Survey until April 10, 1917, when he resigned on account of having been commissioned in the U.S. Naval Reserve Force.

He was commissioned as Ensign in the Fleet Naval Reserve on January 16, 1917, was promoted to Lieutenant (j.g.) on October 1, 1917, and to Lieutenant in February, 1918.

He was originally assigned to duty at the Communication Office of the Navy Department on April 10, 1917.

On August 5, 1918, he was ordered to duty as Watch and Division Officer of the troop transport U.S.S. PRINCESS MATOIKA, where he remained until Nov. 1918, when he was ordered to the Armored Cruiser, U.S.S. SEATTLE and assigned to duty as First Lieutenant.

In January, 1919, he was transferred to the U.S.S. MASSACHUSETTS and in April, 1919, he was transferred to the U.S.S. PRINZ FREDERICK WILHELM.

During the period of the war he had service in the United States and France.

On June 30, 1919, he was relieved from all active service in the U.S. Navy and on August 30, 1919, he was reinstated as Computer in the Coast and Geodetic Survey.


William Johanson, Warrant Boatswain, U.S.N.R.F.,

On Sept. 24, 1917, by Executive Order 2707, he was transferred with the Coast and Geodetic Survey Steamer BACHE, to the service and jurisdiction of the Navy Department. Previous to his transfer he was a boatswain on the BACHE.

Effective Sept. 24, 1917, he was enrolled as Warrant Boatswain in the U.S. Naval Reserve Force and he served on the U.S.S. BACHE from that date to June 24, 1919, when he was returned to the Coast and Geodetic Survey.


Berkeley Johnson, U. S. Army (rank unknown),

Served as a hand with one of the field parties operated under the Division of Geodesy of the Coast and Geodetic Survey until Sept. 10, 1917, when he separated from the party and entered the U.S. Army.


B. L. Johnson, Fireman, first class, U.S.N.R.F.,

On Sept. 24, 1917, by Executive Order 2707, he was transferred with the Coast and Geodetic Survey Steamer SURVEYOR to the service and jurisdiction of the Navy Department. Previous to his transfer he was a fireman on the SURVEYOR.

Effective Sept. 24, 1917, he was enrolled as Fireman, first class in the U.S. Naval Reserve Force and he served on the U.S.S. SURVEYOR, but the length of his service is unknown at this office as he did not return to the Coast and Geodetic Survey.


W. R. Johnston, U.S. Army (rank unknown),

Served as Ship’s Cook on the Coast and Geodetic Survey Steamer HYDROGRAPHER until July 31, 1918, when he separated from the vessel and entered the U.S. Army.


Lester E. Jones, Colonel, Air Service, Division of Military Aeronautics, U.S. Army,

Previous to his entrance into the U.S. Army, he was Superintendent of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey; he was also Major in the District of Columbia Militia and Acting Adjutant General, U.S.A., representing the War Department in the District of Columbia Militia.

Soon after the declaration of war he volunteered his services for military duty, and at the request of the Secretary of War, the President of the United States granted his leave of absence from his duties as Superintendent of the Coast and Geodetic Survey in order that he might enter the Army.

On February 28, 1918, he was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel in the regular Army, temporary, Signal Corps, and later was assigned to the Air Service, Division of Aeronautics.

His services in the United States were at Washington, D.C., and at various flying fields throughout the United States, under Major General William L. Kenly, Chief, Division of Military Aeronautics.

On October 5, 1918, he was promoted to Colonel, Air Services, Division of Military Aeronautics, and on October 8 he sailed for France. Upon arrival he was assigned to special and highly confidential duty with various units at battle zones and later under Brigadier General William Mitchell, Chief of First Army, Air Services, and served on the Meuse, Argonne Offensive, Defensive Sector, and also served in Italy.

While on duty in the war zone, in November, 1918, he was recommended by his Commanding General in the United States for the Distinguished Service Medal and by the Commanding Officer of the French Air Service for the French Croix de Guerre.

On November 26, 1918, his MAJESTY THE KING OF ITALY, on the proposal of his Royal Highness, the Lieutenant General conferred on Colonel E. Lester Jones the high honor of making him an officer of the Order of Saints Maurizio and Lazzaro. He was also awarded the Italian Medal of War Service.
On December 14, 1918, he was commended in person by General Pershing, Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in France, at his Headquarters in Paris.

On July 9, 1919, he was awarded the Certificate of Honor, Aerial League of America

Copies of letters of commendation and of citations appear in Appendix 1 of this report.

On December 23, 1918, Colonel Jones returned to the United States and on January 15, 1919, he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, at Washington, D.C. On the following day he resumed his duties as Superintendent of the Coast and Geodetic Survey.


Peter Kates, Mechanist, U.S.N.R.F.,

On Sept. 24, 1917, by Executive Order 2707, he was transferred with the Coast and Geodetic Survey Steamer ISIS to the service and jurisdiction of the Navy Department. Previous to his transfer he was Assistant to Engineer on the ISIS. Effective Sept. 24, 1917, he was enrolled as Machinist in the U.S. Naval Reserve Force and he served on the U.S.S. ISIS, but the length of his service is unknown at this office as he did not return to the Coast and Geodetic Survey.


Harry T. Kelsh, First Lieutenant S.R.C.A.S., U.S. Army,

On Sept. 24, 1917, by Executive Order 2707, he was transferred to the service and jurisdiction of the War Department. Previous to his transfer he was a commissioned Junior Hydrographic and Geodetic Engineer in the Coast and Geodetic Survey.

Effective Sept. 24, 1917, he was commissioned First Lieutenant and was assigned to the Signal Reserve Corps of the Army.

Little information relating to the war activities of Lieutenant Kelsh was placed on file in this office before he resigned from the Service on Dec. 23, 1918, and communications mailed to him after that date remained unanswered.

In April, 1918, he was at Southern Field, Americus, Ga., and had been transferred to the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps of the Army. On Nov. 18, he was at Langley Field, Va., serving as Personnel Officer of the School at that place.

He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, and returned to the Coast and Geodetic Survey by Executive order 3026, effective Dec. 23, 1918, but he resigned from the Coast and Geodetic Survey, effective the same date.


James I. Kerns, Fireman, first class, U.S.N.R.F.,

On Sept. 24, 1917, by Executive Order 2707, he was transferred with the Coast and Geodetic Survey Steamer ISIS to the service and jurisdiction of the Navy Department. Previous to his transfer he was a fireman on the ISIS.

Effective Sept. 24, 1917, by Executive Order 2707, he was enrolled as Fireman, first class in the U.S. Naval Reserve Force and he served on the U.S.S. ISIS, but the length of his service is unknown at this office.


William S. P. Keyes, Lieutenant Commander, U.S.N.R.F.,

On Feb. 18, 1918, he resigned his position as Mate in the Coast and Geodetic Survey and enrolled in the U.S. Naval Reserve Corps. Previous to his resignation he was Mate on the Steamer PATTERSON.

On August 20, 1918, a letter was received from him stating that he was Lieutenant Commander, in the U.S. Naval Reserve Corps. Previous to his resignation he was Mate on the Steamer PATTERSON.

On August 20, 1918, a letter was received from him stating that he was Lieutenant Commander, in the U.S. Naval Reserve Force and was in Command of the U.S.S. VEENDYK, a former Holland-American Liner of 14,550 tons displacement, 435 feet long, 54 feet beam and carrying between 8,000 and 9,000 tons, with a crew of 110.


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