Discussions on paper collectibles; travels in Northern California, and occasional rants on the "hypocrisies of our time."
Friday, December 28, 2012
Help Needed: Looking For WW I Info on Medic John B. Plantenburg
A Story of Bent, Broken Scissors and A World War I Medic
Descendants of John B. Plantenburg
have related for several years the following story. But unfortunately, no one took
the time to write or record the story in a formal manner.
Here's how they tell it: : Cpl. Plantenburg was a
medic with Company M, 125th Infantry Regiment during World War I. While stationed in
France, the Corporal either had the scissors in his hand, or they were in a
uniform pocket, when a German bullet shattered the scissors, leaving the
Corporal unharmed. One version of the family story has him hit while removing bandages from a wounded soldier.
We do not know if any of this story is true.
What we have: The scissors, his dog tags and Pay Record Book.
The following is information we have.
John B. Plantenburg was born April
25, 1892, in Scribner, Nebraska, to a family of farmers. His parents were Anna
and John Plantenburg. He grew up to medium height and medium build with blue eyes
and brown hair.
He completed his draft
registration card on June 5, 1917, at 25 years of age.
His US Army service number was
He was assigned to Company M, 125th
Infantry and rose to the rank of Corporal.
His discharge date was May 26, 1919. His discharge document state he received “no honors, no medals.”
He married Gladys ???? and they had
two daughters, Jacqueline and Marilyn. They farmed in Perry (Thurston County),
Nebraska, from about 1935 to 1960. His whereabouts from 1919 to 1935 is not known.
John B. passed from this Earth on
April 4, 1960 at age 68.
His dog tags, which are partially
corroded, spell his name Plantenburg (with a “u.”) The envelope for his Pay
Record Book spells it with a “u.” His name on the book itself is not legible.
His grave marker spells it Plantenburg.
US Army records show the 125th
Infantry Regiment, which started as a National Guard unit in Michigan, reached
France as a part of the 32nd “Red Arrow” Division. The regiment
suffered terrible losses but emerged from WWI with the reputation of being a
formidable fighting force. During the War, the 125th was under fire
for six months, fought on five fronts, met and vanquished several German
divisions and took more than 2,000 German POWs. The regiment demobilized in
1919 at Camp Custer, Michigan.
The scissorsis sogtagH were manufactured by the well-known
cutlery maker Landers, Frary & Clark and carry the firm's Universal brand, which
was used between 1865 and 1965.
I have been unable to connect with
any of John Plantenburg’s descendants to confirm this story.
Can you help?
PS: In the box with this material was an American Legion 25-year pin.