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William C. Rhodes

William C. Rhodes was born August 30, 1898, in Wheeling, West Virginia, the third of seven children born to George and Mary Rhodes. His mother died in 1912 when he was a small child.

According to his father, "Bill," as he was called, was educated at Clay School and was fond of athletics. As a young school boy he played football and baseball. His father recounted that Bill came to him in January of 1917 and said, "Dad there is going to be a war in Mexico and I want to go down there." George Rhodes stated that he did not oppose his son's enlistment because his son's heart was set on going. Bill Rhodes was ordered to a training camp in Columbus, Ohio, and from there was sent to Fort Liss, Texas, where he later joined Gen. Pershing's expedition in Mexico. During his service in the Mexican expedition, Bill was slightly wounded while on guard duty at a bridge that crosses the Rio Grande at El Paso.

Upon his recovery, he was sent to Hoboken, New Jersey, from which he headed overseas on June 14, 1917, arriving in France 14 days later. He served with the Company B, 16th Infantry. While in France he was promoted to corporal and fought in Toul and Picardy, among other areas.

On May 8, 1918, Corporal William C. Rhodes was in the Cantigny Sector when he was mortally wounded. As he was attempting to drag a wounded comrade into a dugout, he was struck by several pieces of shrapnel and died two hours later. His body was returned to the United States in 1921 and was interred in the Mt. Wood Cemetery in Wheeling, West Virginia.


West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.

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