Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums
Scope and Content
The collection was donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in 2003 by Mr. Gary Kaltenbach.
Born July 17, 1888, in Washington Township, Sandusky County, Ohio, Glenn J. Burkett was the son of George F. and Jesse Laura Van Ness Burkett. Burkett worked as a night dispatcher for the Lake Shore Electric Railway. In December 1917, Burkett enlisted in the United States Army. He was assigned to the First Trench Mortar Battalion (First Army Corps) and trained at Fort Crockett, Texas. Burkett was shipped overseas on the H. M. T. Kursk as part of Battery "D." He received training in grenade throwing, bayonet practice, and trench mortar drill at Fort de la Bonnelle. In July, Burkett participated in the Second Battle of the Marne. Two months later, Battery "D" took part in the reduction of the salient at St. Mihiel and then marched to the Argonne. He also served as an ammunition carrier for machine gunners of the 305th and 306th Infantries of the 77th Division. The battery also saw action at the Battle of the Meuse. On the 10th of November, Burkett’s battery received news of the armistice. On January 29, 1919, Burkett left France aboard the U.S.S. Virginia to return to America, arriving at Newport News two and one-half weeks later. Corporal Burkett was discharged from Camp Sherman, Chillicothe, Ohio, on March 13, 1919.
Burkett returned to Fremont, Ohio, where he once again took up residence on Arch Street with the Bisnette family. Burkett became a load dispatcher for Toledo Edison. He was prominent in Masonic activities, belonging to the Brainard Lodge, Fremont Chapter 64 of R. and A.M., Fremont Council 61 R. and A. M., Fremont Commandery 56, Knights Templar, and the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. He was a member of the Edgar Thurston American Legion Post. Burkett died February 3, 1943, and is buried in the Four-Mile House Cemetery, Washington Township, Sandusky County, Ohio.
Scope and Content
The two-volume, 185-page typed transcript documents the World War I service of artilleryman Glenn J. Burkett and the history of Battery "D" First Trench Mortar Battalion. Burkett wrote much of the material December 1918 while stationed in Vitrey, France. He assembled the transcript and other materials six months after his discharge. The transcript includes a biographical sketch, chronology of his service, his daily diary, several military documents, and recollections of his service, beginning in December 1917 and concluding with his discharge in March 1919. The value of Burkett’s record is increased significantly by his insightful history of Battery "D," including its organization, officers, training, deployment, engagements in France, and return to the United States. Burkett included an in-depth description of the French trench mortar used by his battery, night movements, food, field duties, and incidents involving his comrades. Corporal Burkett also reported on the weather, battlefield conditions, and the French countryside. Also included are newspaper clippings, an itinerary of the battery’s station locations in France, and photographs of ships, German post cards and documents, and post cards of French villages.
Through his friendship with his comrades, Burkett gained a sense of unit cohesion and pride in the operations carried out successfully by the battery. Burkett’s detailed unit roster provides clear evidence of his high regard for the men of Battery "D." The roster includes not only the name and rank of each soldier, but also the occupation, place of residence, personal remarks, and a photograph. The photographs were perhaps cut from a group photo of the battery. Burkett noted that the battery suffered only four casualties in its four combat engagements. He believed the composition of the unit, experienced regular Army men and young recruits, was the reason for the battery’s superior performance in the field and its low mortality rate.
- Biographical sketch of Corporal Glenn J. Burkett
- Military documents of Glenn Burkett
- Chronology of Burkett’s service
- WWI History of Battery "D" First Trench Mortar Battalion
- Description of 240 mm. Trench Mortar
- Roster of Battery "D" First Battalion of Trench Artillery, including photographs, residences, occupations, places of enlistment, and personal remarks
- Daily diary entries
- Memoir of Corporal Glenn J. Burkett’s World War I service
- Newspaper clippings
- Typed transcripts of several letters received by Burkett
- Photographs of ships, comrades, Galveston, Texas, and European cities, villages, and ports.
- Postcards featuring scenes of Galveston,. Texas, and French villages
- German military documents and German postcards
- Photographs of Burkett and the U.S.S. VirginiaWar songs, poems
- Insignia of the First Army Corps
- Map of France with Burkett’s itinerary on the reverse