”Honor the Past; Deserve the Present“

Floyd King

Private, Army

Background

  • Floyd King was born in Cincinnati, OH
  • Floyd was the son of John and LeElla John Truitt King
  • Floyd's father John King died in 1920
  • Floyd King's mother LeElla was born a few months after her father's death from illness he contracted in the April 1862 Civil War Battle of Shiloh (Pittsburgh Landing); hence her middle name "John" [Katharine Holmes Millar, letter to Frank Mazzi, 17 April 2009]
  • Floyd was home schooled (as was his sister, Katharine Millar's mother) by their mother (Katharine Millar's grandmother)
  • Floyd King's address growing up and just before serving in WWI was—
    2520 Montclair Avenue
    Chicago, Illinois

War

  • Registered for the draft on June 5, 1917 [Katharine Holmes Millar, e-mail to Frank Mazzi, 30 April 2009]
  • On July 12, 1918, at age 32, he applied for a passport to leave the U.S. for Great Britain and France in order to work for the YMCA in Europe [Passport Application, District Court of the United States, Northern District of Illinois, 12 July 1918]
  • Served in France; Army Serial #2383383 (?)
  • Hit in back and arm by "a piece of high explosive shrapnel shell"
  • While recuperating at Base Hospital No. 27, King wrote to his parents:
    • "I am so unhappy because so many of my friends are dead. We helped each other so much and went through so much trouble that I feel their loss very deeply." [Floyd King, letter to his parents, 20 October 1918]
    • About his closest friend he wrote, "I am a long way off from him. . . .  I do not know if he is living or not. . . .  I can stand anything else. We are never separated from each other, when one can help it. We have always taken such good care of each other and we care more for each other than brothers. . . .  When I last saw him we were in a terrible place . . . and had been through three days of such narrow escapes from death. . . .  We had been praying for each other. Then I had to leave him and go to another part of the front. . . ." That is when Kind was injured. [Floyd King, letter to his parents, 20 October 1918]
  • King's battlefield experiences may explain why at the base hospital in which he was being treated he sometimes could not fall asleep for as many as five nights in a row. [Floyd King, letter to his parents, 20 October 1918]
  • King's niece reports that he was also exposed to poison gas, "which damaged his lungs." [Katharine Holmes Millar, letter to Frank Mazzi, 6 April 2009].
  • Apparently alluding to military censorship, King wrote to his parents, "I am always so glad to get your letters, but please do not write anything about the war, or send me anything in the line of cartoon or clippings about the war." [Floyd King, letter to his parents, 20 October 1918]
  • King wrote to his parents, "I am changed a great deal, from the way I used to be, as I constantly strive to lead a Christian life, and I think of others, who also have troubles, and by doing so I make friends where ever [sic] I go. . . ." [Floyd King, letter to his parents, 20 October 1918]

Home from War

  • Discharged from service in Louisiana after the war
  • His brother-in-law (Katharine Holmes Millar's father) thought that his physical injuries (back and right arm) should have warranted being detained and hospitalized [Katharine Holmes Millar, letter to Frank Mazzi, 6 April 2009]. His niece remembers "seeing the scars as he was painting in our home." [Katharine Holmes Millar, letter to Frank Mazzi, 6 April 2009]. She believes that "Physical care of veterans seemed to be a bit lax at that time. . . ." [Katharine Holmes Millar, letter to Frank Mazzi, 6 April 2009]

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Based on her childhood memories and comments made by her parents, King's niece concludes, "Probably the most important injury was to his mind." "My uncle . . . suffered injuries both physical and mental that affected his relatively short life thereafter." [Katharine Holmes Millar, letter to Frank Mazzi, 19 March 2009]
  • After the war Floyd King worked for his father at his Chicago hardware store, which included painting and wallpapering
  • The death of his father in 1920 caused Floyd King to become depressed. His home schooling did not prepare him for any other job than helping his father. His niece believes that "his physical condition and his depression stemmed from his experience in the war and its after-effects, coupled with a sheltered life prior to the conflict. . . ." [Katharine Holmes Millar, letter to Frank Mazzi, 6 April 2009]
    • Note—he "probably" suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome [Katharine Holmes Millar, letter to Frank Mazzi, 17 April 2009]

Marriage

  • Married Isabelle Shallcross (born in Lancashire, England, on October 7, 1893) on April 26, 1919; daughter Isabelle was born on January 24, 1921
    • Note—about Isabelle (born in 1921) Katharine Millar writes, "I have lost track of her and although my younger son and I have been doing genealogical research, we have not been able to find anything about her. Women are more difficult to trace as their names have changed with marriage." [Katharine Holmes Millar, letter to Frank Mazzi, 6 April 2009]

Death

  • He worked for other employers until his death at age forty-seven in 1939.
    • Note—Family records do not explain the cause of his death [Katharine Holmes Millar, e-mail to Frank Mazzi, 30 April 2009]
(rev.5.13.09)