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US Military

Postby coopernicola » Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:06 pm

Having found a headstone for an ancestor at Arlington Cemetery (using their online database) I'm am intrigued to know what branch of the service he was in. It reads "Captain SN Corps". Can anyone shed light on this?
He was born 1879 in the UK, emigrated to the US between 1891 & 1911, and was drafted during WWII in San Pedro, CA in 1942 (found on familysearch). I'm guessing that he was unlikely to see active service in WWII due to his age, but who knows?
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Re: US Military

Postby Sylcec » Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:34 pm

Bit of a mystery! Have you tried using the link on the Arlington site http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Explore-the-Cemetery/Find-a-Grave to contact the US Dept Veterans Affairs for information about your ancestor? On the other hand, maybe try contacting Arlington itself - am sure they will have the answer to your question.
Sylvia
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Re: US Military

Postby MoVidger » Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:20 pm

That only thing that springs to mind for SN Corps is the Sanitary Corps, which the US Army established in 1917. Officers of the Sanitary Corps served in medical logistics, hospital administration, patient administration, resource management, x-ray, laboratory engineering, physical reconstruction, gas defense, and venereal disease control during WW1.

I don't know if the Sanitary Corps were used during WWII, though.

Given your ancestor's 1879 birthdate, could he have served with the SN Corps during WW1 ??

As for the 1942 draft record you found, is it actually his draft registration record ?? At the time, government legislation required all men aged 18 to 65 to register for the draft, with those aged 18 to 45 being immediately liable for induction.

Its interesting that his draft location was San Pedro (where the Port of Los Angeles is). I've been there on a couple of day trips when I was a kid -- visiting its Ports O' Call village.

Hope the above info helps.
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US Military

Postby coopernicola » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:51 pm

Thanks for the suggestion Sylvia I'll give the Veterans Ass. A try.
Thanks also Mo, I'm assuming his burial is due to WWI service, but have been unable to locate any record of enlistment. It would be nice if he was Sanitary Corps as I'm a retired microbiologist and their work looks very interesting (if somewhat unknown). It also seems they were active during both wars. Yes it is definitely his WW2 draft record, it provides full birth date & location details, it seems the 4th draft was for men in his age group!
Today I've discovered he travelled between the UK & US almost every year from 1907-1924. Some of the Ellis Island documents/ship manifests gives his naturalisation information as being 1912 in Pennsylvania so his WWI service must have been with a US unit. I guess he moved to California later on.
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Re: US Military

Postby MoVidger » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:02 am

I believe the Sanitary Corps was demobilised following WW1. After the war, the Sanitary Corps remained a component of the Army Reserve until 4 August 1947, when Congress consolidated it with the Medical Administrative Corps (est 1920) and the Pharmacy Corps (est 1943) to create the Medical Service Corps.

The following link will provide a very interesting read for the Sanitary Corps and also name-checks several officers:

http://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs ... pter3.html

Interesting that you are a retired microbiologist and your ancestor served with the Sanitary Corps. When I was a child, I was obsessed with reading everything I could about Abraham Lincoln. My parents thought it amusing, but couldn't work out where my interest in AL came from.

Fast-forward to my family research 5 years ago, and I discover my (American) father's paternal great-grandfather served with a Union Army heavy artillery regiment that defended Fort Lincoln (just outside Washington DC) from 1862-1864.

I'm sure its just a coincidence, but I like to rather think there is some historical connection there that created my serious interest in Lincoln. I know Washington DC was surrounded by vast number of forts during the Civil War. I'm still researching if Lincoln ever paid a visit to Fort Lincoln (whilst my ancestor served there), like he did some of the other forts.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the Sanitary Corps link above.
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Re: US Military

Postby coopernicola » Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:09 pm

Thanks for this Mo, it's fascinating. I discovered last night Thomas Arthur first joined the US Army in 1899, then reenlisted for a further three years in 1902. It looks as though he may have served in the Philippines. I've also sent an email to the US VA, as Sylvia suggested, to find out if they can point me in the direction of any other service details.
Nicola
P.S. How weird these coincidences are?!
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