WWI Remembrance – First Lieut. Harry A. Williams

First Lieut. Harry A. Williams. Photo courtesy Lynne Williams Miller.


     Harry Williams was born on a farm in Cooks, Michigan, February 7, 1887 and was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Milton Williams. For six years prior to entering the service he was employed as a government clerk in Washington, D.C. In the fall of 1917, he entered an officers’ training camp near Chattanooga, TN., and was sent overseas in the spring of 1918.

     First Lieutenant Harry A. Williams, 7th Infantry, was posthumously issued a Silver Star Citation for action near Fossoy, France, on July 15, 1918. During an intense artillery preparation by the enemy, Lieutenant Williams voluntarily took command of a platoon of the company to which he was attached for the purpose of liaison. Through absolute disregard of personal danger and high qualities of leadership these men were safely conducted from their support position, through Fossoy, under terrific shell fire, arriving at the front line in time to assist in stopping the enemy’s advance. Read More...

WWI Remembrance – Paul & Charles Redeker

Charles Redeker (left) with his older brother Paul who is shown wearing the Distinguished Service Cross and the French Croix de Guerre. Photo Courtesy Don’a Nelson.


     Paul W. Redeker was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Redeker of Manistique. He was born in Manistique in March of 1897 and attended area schools.  In May of 1917, Redeker enlisted in the 33rd Michigan Infantry which was later federalized and became part of  Company M, 125th United States Infantry. The Distinguished Service Cross was awarded to Paul W. Redeker, Corporal, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Sergy, northeast of Chateau-Thierry, France, July 31, 1918. Corporal Redeker twice volunteered to carry messages from company headquarters to the battalion post of command through heavy machine gun fire and artillery barrage. He assisted in gathering the elements of the company together after the assault. He volunteered for every dangerous duty and in broad daylight, in full sight of the enemy, dragged wounded to places of shelter. The French government also honored Redeker with the Croix de Guerre medal. Redeker survived the war and graduated from the Michigan College of Mining and Technology in Houghton in 1926. He passed away in July of 1956 at age 59 and is buried in Fairview Cemetery. Read More...

WWI – Cpl. Vern E. Swingle, U.S.M.C.

Left to Right: Eugene Swingle (brother), Vern Swingle, Walter Burkowitz (uncle) and George Swingle, (brother), Circa 1910.  Photo Courtesy Don Linderoth

   Vern Erwin Swingle was born in Manistique on May 10, 1896 to Charles and Lena Swingle of 128 South Houghton Avenue. He grew up in Manistique and graduated from Manistique High School. After graduation, he worked in this city until obtaining employment in an automobile factory in Pontiac, Michigan.

     Swingle enlisted in the United States Marine Corp in Detroit the day after America’s entry into the war in April of 1917. He was the first Manistique soldier to go overseas and the first to lay down his life for his country. Swingle was killed in action in France on June 11, 1918. He served in the 6th USMC Regiment, 2nd Division. A few weeks before his death, Swingle wrote to a friend in Manistique about the horrors of war. “A fellow doesn’t know what war means until he gets up at the front line and sees a village ripped to pieces by big gun fire—all in the space of a few minutes.” Read More...