Photos From World War I

Photos From World War I

I have been given the honor of maintaining the personal items that belonged to my paternal grandfather, Oscar Steiner King, USMC 1917 – 1919. Among them are a number of photos from WWI and what appear to be some official U.S. Marine Corps photo post cards taken during boot camp. My grandfather was with the 78th Company, 2nd Marines, 6th Battalion. He was part of the 2nd Replacement Battalion which replenished the 2/6 after the Battle of Belleau Woods.

Here are two photos from the collection. One is a photo of my grandfather taken April 1918 at Quantico, VA, on a military Harley Davidson prior to leaving for France. The second was taken September 1918, between the battles of St. Mihiel and Blanc Mont. It is a photo of the NCOs of the 78th Company. My grandfather is in the middle of the photo, second row, holding his Garrison cover. According to the list of names on the back of the photo, the man in the front row, 2nd from the right, is Corporal John H. Pruitt, who was awarded the Medal of Honor and was later killed at the Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge.

Stephen C. King
Sgt. of Marines
1976 – 1982 

2 thoughts on “Photos From World War I”

  1. Hey, Devil Dog, I was so excited to find your post even though I am a bit late on the draw,so to speak. I am referring to the WWI photos of your grandfather, which you posted in 2014. It is now March 2017, so I have no idea if you will get my message. I have studied, researched, read, laughed, empathized, and cried with and about “The Great War” since I was a child. (A very young child, giving Mother reason to think she should take me to a child psychiatrist since, before I could walk, I could talk about “things that worried her.” Years later, I’m still worrying her! ) To the point, I was only able to access the awesome photo of your Grandfather on the motorcycle. Did he leave behind any letters or journals from that time? I know so little about the American experience “over there! ” I hate to admit it, but it’s true. Well, when I lived in CA, I had the pleasure of knowing a WWI Marine who would tell me stories all day as long as I kept wearing mini skirts and dancing with him. He was one of the characters in the book “Suddenly We Didn’t Want to Die,” but the author gave everyone nicknames, so I’d have to really search through my papers to figure out who. Back then I was writing an article about a not particularly important anniversary year but…I’ve been waiting for ANY acknowledgement of the CENTENARY of The War to End All Wars…I waited for all of 2014 (& forgave the USA because it was still a European war.) Then I waited not so patiently in 2016, when we were in that war, and noticed that in Washington DC- one of the worst duty stations ever, though to be fair, it was actually in MD,not DC,but that’s another story – THERE IS NO WORLD WAR ONE MEMORIAL IN OUR NATION’S CAPITAL! And then I realized I could stop wasting my time waiting for someone to honour these men. When Johnny came marching home, towns across the nation built their own memorials with the same inscription, “Lest We Forget. ” Well, Johnny They Hardy Knew Ye, for WWI has become America’s Forgotten War. I thought Sgt Grit would certainly have some memorial apparel, but I was wrong! Nothing about Belleau Wood, no “Do you sons of bitches want to live forever, ” nothing different about only one Division being able to wear the French Forg`et. If you want to remember the vets you have to read from British (who do remember our dead) or AN ZAC sites. And I didn’t realize I was going to go on a rant to a perfect stranger. Sorry. I was really just wondering what I might have missed that you posted about your Grandfather, and, if you get this, if you are willing to re-send the photos to me? I am going to be naive and assume that no one else will bother reading anything so long, unless they want to talk about The Great War (if so, put that in the subject line of the email; I still prefer posted mail as it cannot be manipulated and doesn’t last until the Second Coming, but I seem to be rather, hmm, “special” when it comes to that.) So, Dear Sir, all risks my own for posting my email address to a public board when it comes to wackos, if you or any other Gentle Reader (now you must ask yourself is she really so polite? Does she read Miss Manners? Perhaps, or perhaps I am just an avid watcher of “A Bit of Fry and Laurie, ” which makes me laugh more than Monty Python does.) Ahem, so, Dear Sir, if you or any other Gentle Reader would mind sharing copies of your photos, letters, or simply stories passed along to you from World War I, is waiting to hear from you. And thank you so much for getting this far, if, indeed, you’ve made it to THE END.

  2. Went to the M O H Lists for WWI. Found the MOH Citation for John Pruit.*PRUITT, JOHN HENRY
    Army Medal

    Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, 78th Company, 6th Regiment, 2d Division
    Place and date: At Blanc Mont Ridge, France, 3 October 1918
    Entered service at: Phoenix, Ariz.
    G.O. No.: 62, W.D., 1919
    Citation: Cpl. Pruitt single-handed attacked 2 machineguns, capturing them and killing 2 of the enemy. He then captured 40 prisoners in a dugout nearby. This gallant soldier was killed soon afterward by shellfire while he was sniping at the enemy.

    Navy Medal

    Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps
    Accredited to: Arizona
    Citation: For extraordinary gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 78th Company, 6th Regiment, 2d Division, in action with the enemy at Blanc Mont Ridge, France, 3 October 1918. Cpl. Pruitt, single-handed attacked 2 machineguns, capturing them and killing 2 of the enemy. He then captured 40 prisoners in a dugout nearby. This gallant soldier was killed soon afterward by shellfire while he was sniping the enemy.

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