Transcript from record of Service 1922

Bessie Crismon could recite the names of the “Seven Major Battles” from memory.  Her pronunciation was also perfect – perhaps influenced by her German ancestry.  Like most war heroes, William Crismon rarely spoke of his war experiences.  The document refers to “General Order #88”, awarding Pop the Silver Star.  Pop’s decorations are never again mentioned on any of the subsequent Discharge/Reenlistment documents.  Even his children were not aware of his awards until after his death.  Notice he departed to Europe on December 14, 1917 under the command of General John ‘Black Jack’ Pershing.  This was the first transport ship carrying soldiers to WWI.  Pop said he was apprehensive until he stepped on French soil and then never sensed fear again thereafter.  Pop had served under Pershing in the Mexico Punitive Expeditionary Forces in 1916.  General Pershing, having been born in Missouri, took great pride in outstanding soldiers also from Missouri.  General Pershing personally pinned the Silver Star on Pop’s uniform.  At the age of twenty-four, on the battlefield Pop was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Sergeant.  This was after he earned the Silver Star.  After his return from France, arriving in the USA on August 4, 1919, Pop was given a 30-day furlough.  He visited family members in the St. Louis area.  It was during this visit that his documents, records and awarded medals were accidentally destroyed.  Perhaps this explains why the early Discharge/Reenlistment records are missing.  He reenlisted on November 3, 1919 at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri.  Today, there is very little left of Jefferson Barracks other than a cemetery. Some of the grave head stones date back to the Civil War period.