This Veterans Day, November 11th, will be the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. Here is a look at four Americans who met their death during that conflict.


Ausburne joined the United States Navy February 25th, 1908 and had risen to the rank of Electrician First Class by the time of his death on October 17th, 1917. Charles was serving on the Antilles, which was sunk by torpedoes fired by the German U-Boat U-105.

Ausburne stayed at his post manning the vessel’s emergency wireless station while the ship slipped beneath the waves. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. Two naval craft were named after the 29 year old. 


Baesel got his first military experience in peacetime, serving in the Ohio National Guard beginning in 1912 when he was 22. In 1918 he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

Albert was killed on September 27th, 1918 during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. For the details of his death here is the citation for his Medal of Honor:

Upon hearing that a squad leader of his platoon had been severely wounded while attempting to capture an enemy machine-gun nest about 200 yards in advance of the assault line and somewhat to the right, 2d Lt. Baesel requested permission to go to the rescue of the wounded Corporal. After thrice repeating his request and permission having been reluctantly given, due to the heavy artillery, rifle, and machinegun fire, and heavy deluge of gas in which the company was at the time, accompanied by a volunteer, he worked his way forward, and reaching the wounded man, placed him upon his shoulders and was instantly killed by enemy fire.  


Barkley enlisted in the U.S. Army after America entered World War One in April of 1917. While serving in France with the 356th Infantry the 19 year old died in the line of duty on November 9th, 1918, a mere two days before the war’s end.   

Private Barkley was awarded the Croix de Guerre, the Croce al Merito di Guerra and the Medal of Honor. Here is the Medal of Honor citation: 

When information was desired as to the enemy’s position on the opposite side of the Meuse River, Pvt. Barkeley, with another soldier, volunteered without hesitation and swam the river to reconnoiter the exact location. He succeeded in reaching the opposite bank, despite the evident determination of the enemy to prevent a crossing. Having obtained his information, he again entered the water for his return, but before his goal was reached, he was seized with cramps and drowned.

Distinguished Service CrossFRED BECKER

A college football star for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, Becker enlisted in the service in May of 1917. He completed accelerated training and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant.

September of 1917 found Fred sailing for France as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corp’s 2nd Brigade, 5th Marine Regiment. He was soon serving in the field at Verdun for months.

On June 3rd, 1918 Becker was wounded in the Battle of Belleau Wood but a month later he was back in action. The 22 year old was killed during the Battle of Soissons on July 18th, 1918. A German artillery shell took his life following the young man’s successful assaults on a few enemy machine-gun nests. Fred Becker was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and the Croix de Guerre.


Filed under Neglected History


  1. Russell

    It’s fresh to see the way you write about World War I. Too much World War II stuff around.

  2. Gorgoroth1919

    These were very brave men!

  3. Annette

    These men are hopefully resting in peace.

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