Hometown Boys from Colorado: Information and Statistics about WWI Service Members
About 43,000 Coloradans served in the U.S. military during World War I. Of these, about 4,500 were National Guardsmen, 1,500 volunteers of other types, and the remainder selected servicemen (draftees). Over 1,000 died in service. The 157th Infantry and 115th Engineer Regiments of the 40th Division were Coloradan, as was the 341st Artillery Regiment of the 89th Division. Coloradans were heavily represented in the rest of the 40th and 89th Divisions, and in the 41st Division. Coloradans served at sea and in the air as well. Captain Jerry C. Vasconcells, for example, was a pursuit pilot who shot down eight enemy aircraft to become an “ace”, and rose to the command of the U.S. 185th Aero Squadron.
Fort Logan, near Denver, served as a recruiting depot, but Colorado’s climate was deemed too harsh for the establishment of a major training camp. Famous for mining, Colorado found its mineral wealth in considerable demand to support the war effort. Silver, molybdenum and tungsten proved particularly important. Coloradans engaged in volunteer work, conducted war bond drives, economized on meat and other foodstuffs, and planted additional gardens to support the war. Training facilities for military men and military auxiliary women were established.
Editor's Note: This ongoing series will feature information and statistics about World War I service members from every state. You can also find this information in our new Chateau-Thierry Visitor Center that will be opening later this year.