Honoring those who served in WWI

By Bob Jones

World War I has been overshadowed in modern history by the events involving World War II, Korea, Vietnam and more recently the Middle East. Despite those events, historians debate that it was WWI that shaped our modern world.

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson in a speech to Congress said, “The World must be made safe for democracy.” Wilson called for the U.S. to declare war with Germany. In the next six days, both houses of Congress voted for war.

2017 is the centennial of that entry into war. Thousands of young Alabamians entered service, bound for the battlefields of France. Among those young men were many from Escambia County. Over the course of the war they served with distinction and honor. Many did not return. They served in the 167th Infantry known as the Rainbow Division. Among the distinctions earned was the Congressional Medal of Honor earned by Sidney Manning. You may recognize this name.

Flomaton has named a street for him and he is buried in Little Escambia Cemetery. While Corporal Manning distinguished himself into battle, his brothers in arms from Escambia County served with distinction and honor.

Much has been written about this war and the sacrifices made both at home and overseas. In this, the centennial year of America’s entry into the war, it is time for us to recognize this service.

Below is a listing of the members of the Rainbow Division from Escambia County. Many of these names will sound familiar. Their families still live in our communities. My grandfather Bode S. Parker was among this group. Growing up, I was somewhat aware he served in France during WWI and remained for a time in Germany after the war. His story prompted me to learn more about his service, the war and Alabama’s role in the conflict. I have been amazed to learn more about these young men and what they experienced and accomplished.

Alabama has formed a World War I Centennial Committee. Events are planned during this year all over the state. Information about these events can be found online at the website www.worldwar1centennial.org. Discussions have been held about hosting events in Escambia County to recognize their service. Information will be forthcoming about these events. In preparation, share this list with others. If you find someone on the list from your family, do some research and plan on joining the events. In addition to the Rainbow Division, other people from Escambia County served in other branches of service. As we prepare, help us compile a complete list. Feel free to contact me to express interest in participating or to send additional names of servicemen via mail at PO Box 8 Atmore, Al 36504 or contact Barbara McCoy at mccoys@frontiernet.net.

Medical Corps
• Hall, Claude., Atmore
Headquarters Company
• Agerton, Silas, Pvt., Atmore
• Crosby, Clarence, Pvt., Atmore
• Dunson, Henry, Pvt., Canoe
• Dunson, Walker, Pvt., Canoe
• Emmons, Jesse, Flomaton
• Vickery, John W., Pvt., Atmore
Machine Gun Company
• Hanks, Henry, Pvt., Atmore
• Langham, John S., Pvt., Atmore
• McElhany, Bowen, Stable Sgt., Atmore
Company A
• Danelly, James, Pvt., Atmore
• Locke, Wallace B., Brewton
• Stroud, Fitzhugh L., Pvt., Canoe
Company B
• Agerton, Thomas R., Pvt., Atmore
• Blair, Mack, Pvt., Brewton
• Chaudron, Norwell L., Pvt., Flomaton
• Davison, Leslie, Pvt., Canoe
• Gates, Ance M., Pvt., Atmore
• Hall, Dempsey W., Pvt., Nokomis
• Johnson, Joe O., Pvt., Atmore
• Luker, William L., Pvt., Atmore
• Mason, William A., Pvt., Atmore
• McGhee, Noah, Pvt., Atmore
• McGhee, Riley, Pvt., Atmore
• Milstead, Homer B., Pvt., Atmore
• Milsted, Corie, L., Pvt., Atmore
• Odom, Ernest B., Pvt., Perdido
• Parker, Clyde, Pvt., Perdido
• Parker, Samuel, Pvt., Perdido
• Weekley, Burford, Pvt., Perdido
Company C
• Deaux, Walter D., Pvt., Poarch
Company D
• Baker, McCleveland, Pvt., Canoe
• Croby, Willis J., Pvt., Atmore
• Edwards, Williams H., Pvt., Flomaton
• Gray, Fred., Pvt., Flomaton
• Hardy, Adrien F., Pvt., Brewton
• Kyser, Percy, Pvt., Canoe
• McNally, Ernest G., Pvt., Atmore
• McGill, John H., Pvt., Flomaton
• Spence, Leonard, Pvt., Brewton
• Thomley, Joseph W., Pvt., Perdido
• Throwyer, Lawerence, Pvt., Flomaton
• Norsworthy, Allen B., Pvt., Brewton
Company F
• Evans, John, Pvt., Brewton
Company G
• Bedgood, Ira, Pvt., Brewton
• Blackman, Clarence, Pvt., Flomaton
• Brown, Charlie, Corp., Brewton
• Brown, Everett H., Pvt., Brewton
• Burnett, Henry G., Pvt., Brewton
• Chesser, Frank M., Pvt., Atmore
• Cutts, Ernest., Corp., Brewton
• Dixon, Cullie, Pvt., Brewton
• Dixon, Harry B., Pvt., Brewton
• Dixon, John P., Pvt., Brewton
• Edwards, James I., Pvt., Flomaton
• Findley, Albert L., Pvt., Brewton
• Freeman, John H., Pvt., Brewton
• Fuller, Edmond, Pvt., Brewton
• Gatwood, Millard F., Pvt., Brewton
• Griffin, David A., Pvt., Atmore
• Hammac, Carey, Pvt., Brewton
• Harper, Freeman L., Pvt., Flomaton
• Holladay, Ess B., Pvt., Brewton
• Holladay, Henry E., Pvt., Brewton
• Holladay, Kena, Pvt., Brewton
• Jordan, Ben F., Pvt., Brewton
• Lowery, Donnie D., Corp., Atmore
• Lynn, John T., Pvt., Brewton
• Manning, James J., Pvt., Brewton
• Manning Louis A., Corp., Brewton
• Manning, Sidney E., Pvt., Brewton
• McArthur, Robert G., Pvt., Brewton
• McLain, Wesley M., Pvt., Nakomis
• Morris, Charlie, Pvt., Atmore
• Morris, Dave, Pvt., Atmore
• Nichols, Marvin, Pvt., Brewton
• Parker, Bruce A., Pvt., Brewton
• Parker, Bode S., Sgt., Brewton
• Parker, Stewart, Corp., Brewton
• Sasser, Wiley D., Pvt., Atmore
• Smith, Horace, Pvt., Brewton
• Smith, James I., Pvt., Brewton
• Snell, John D., Pvt., Brewton
• Walker, Leon G., Pvt., Brewton
• Walker, Willie R., Corp., Atmore
• Weaver, Elton P., Pvt., Brewton
• Weaver, Levi P., Pvt., Brewton
• White, James F., Pvt., Brewton
• White, Loran, Pvt., Brewton
Company H
• Emmons, Abraham, Pvt., Brewton
Company I
• Cunningham, Clifford, Pvt., Atmore
Company K
• Davis, George W., Pvt., Atmore