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John Franklin Funkhouser

Submitted by: Joey Funkhouser {1st Cousin 4x Removed}

John Franklin Funkhouser

John Franklin Funkhouser was born around 1892. John Funkhouser served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service


John Franklin Funkhouser was born June 17th, 1892 at Baker, West Virginia. He grew up on his family homestead, built by his grandfather. It is said that he was an excellent conversationalist and could liven-up any meeting with his outgoing personality. In 1916, John followed his older brother, William, to Dayton, Ohio where he found work. While in Ohio, John had an ear and mastoid operation probably due to an ear infection.

In April 1917, America entered the war and the call to arms began. John was called to the services of his country in May 1918. In John's surviving letters, he described his six weeks of extensive training. Writing to his sister, Della, he states, "I just got back from the big rifle range. It is 8 miles out from here. We marched those 8 miles and carried about 50 lbs. I never was so tired in all my life as I was when I got here."

Growing up in the backwoods, John learned to hunt and shoot. Those years of helping his family put food on the table paid off in training. He goes on, "We shot all day, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I made some good scores. We had slow and rapid fire, on the rapid fire I had to shoot and load ten times to a minute. I got every shot fired and hit 8 bulls eyes out of 10 at 300 yards. I made the points for sharpshooter."

From his letters, John admits that his training was difficult, but he assures his sister that he is ready to go. "We still have gas and bayonet practice yet and then we will be liable to leave. I don't think we will be here two weeks from now and may not be here two days from now, but I am ready to go at any time. If I get in France some of the Huns will have to fall."

John was sent to France as part of the American Expeditionary Force under the 4th Infantry Division, 39th Infantry Regiment, Company M. While over there, he fought in two major campaigns, St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne. During the first week of the Meuse-Argonne offensive, John Franklin Funkhouser gave the last full measure of devotion. Per a report from Peter Quinn, a fellow solider in his unit, John was killed by German sniper fire while advancing. Originally, John was interned in France, but after the war, his family chose to have his remains brought back home. He was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.

603bd2680cae9 Missing in Action Report  

603bd2680ea4a Killed in Action Certificate

John Funkhouser image