”Honor the Past; Deserve the Present“

Milo Mosier


Private, Medical Detachment, First Army, Army Artillery Park (AAP)
(August 30, 1899-July 30, 1968)

Contributor:  Valentina Sainato

Background

  • Son of Franklin Stewart Mosier and Mary Lulu Paden
  • 6th of 8 children; 4th and youngest boy
  • Born on the Paden family farm near Rogers, Colfax County, Nebraska
  • Family moved frequently because Stewart Mosier was seeking employment [Kelly Mosier Wheaton, telephone interview by Valentina Sainato, 9 March 2011]

Move to San Francisco, California

  • At age 14 the Mosiers moved from Columbia Heights, Minnesota, to San Francisco, California; the family arrived in San Francisco on September 12, 1913 and moved into an apartment in the city's Haight-Ashbury District
  • Milo attended the Crocker Intermediate School (1913-1915), then the Polytechnic High School (1915-1916)

Work Experience

  • While attending Polytechnic High School he was employed for six months as an apprentice jeweler to Charles Young
  • He was next employed as an apprentice (learning electric motor repair) at Quayle's Motor Works at Sixth and Harrison streets (the business later moved to Fifth and Folsom streets)
  • He was next employed by the San Francisco Examiner newspaper

Leaving Home

  • Milo ran away from home in 1916
  • Milo was employed for about three months in the fall and winter of 1917 at Long's Grocery Store on Sacramento Street near Presidio Avenue

Enlistment and Service in WWI

  • On January 14, 1918, Milo enlisted in the Army at age 18, apparently lying about his age, since the minimum age for enlistment was
    • He enlisted at the San Francisco Presidio
    • He trained as a Medical Corpsman at Letterman Hospital at the San Francisco Presdio and was attached to the Medical Department, First Army, Army Artillery Park (AAP)
      • Army Artillery Park provided assistance services—for example, truck transportation, freammunition supply, mobile repair, and medical care
  • In May 1918 the Army Artillery Park was sent to Camp Mills, New York, in preparation for deployment in France
  • On June 15, 1918, the Army Artillery Park, commanded by Lt. Col. William Tobin, departed Hoboken, New Jersey, on the Kroonland for St. Nazaire, France
    • The Kroonland was among thirteen troop transports convoyed together across the Atlantic by the cruiser USS North Carolina and fourteen destroyers
  • Mosier participated in St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, and other sectors of the Western Front
  • Following the Armistice, Mosier commented on lice, the bane of Western Front soldiery: "I really intend to leave my 'pediculis [sic] corpus' friends in France, but they are very affectionate and they might slip one over on me. Every body in the States seems to think we are all literally alive with insects. We were rather well supplied with them on the front, but we have managed to get rid of them since." [Letter, Milo Mosier to (brother) Leo Mosier, 25 February 1919, TS]
  • Following the Armistice, Mosier came to the conclusion that "Frenchmen are very good hearted on the average but they are as a people too egotistic. They think France is better than America." [Letter, Milo Mosier to (brother) Leo Mosier, 21 March 1919, TS]

Return to San Francisco

  • First Army Artillery Park returned to the U. S. in May 1919 and was demobilized at the Presidio of San Francisco on May 26, 1919

Marriage

  • At the Letterman Hospital he met Carrie Henager (born 1894), an Army nurse
    • On November 7, 1918, just four days before the Armistice, Carrie had been assigned to Camp Lewis, Washington, for nurses training
    • Early in 1919 Carrie was transferred to the recently established School of Nursing at the San Francisco Presidio, where she met Milo Mosier
  • Milo Mosier and Carrie Hanager were married early in 1920.
    • Their first child was Dewey Earnest Mosier, born in Spokane, Washington, on October 15, 1920
    • Their second child was Duane Franklin Mosier, born in San Francisco on November 28, 1925

Employment following WWI

  • Following his military service and beginning in May 1919, Milo was employed first at Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation as a journeyman electrician at $6.40 per day; Milo's brother Dewey was employed there as a machinist
    • Milo was employed in various places, mainly as an electrician and auto mechanic [Kelly Mosier Wheaton, telephone interview by Valentina Sainato, 9 March 2011]
    • During the Depression Milo and Carrie moved to Weaverville, California, where Milo mined for gold [Kelly Mosier Wheaton, telephone interview by Valentina Sainato, 9 March 2011]

WWII

  • WWI veteran Milo Mosier enlisted in the Navy in WWII, rank Chief Petty Officer in Construction Battalion (Seabees) in the Pacific
  • Both of Milo Mosier's sons also served in WWII
    • Staff Sergeant Dewey Mosier was in the Army air Corps in China, flying U.S. Curtiss p-40 Warhawk fighter planes for the Flying Tigers
      • He led the 19th Liaison Squadron, making frequent round-trips from Burma to China, carrying supplies and passengers "over the hump" of the Himalaya Mountains [Kelly Wheaton, e-mail to Frank Mazzi, 26 April 2011]
      • His most important mission was the rescue of a seriously injured pilot [Kelly Wheaton, e-mail to Frank Mazzi, 26 April 2011]
      • He died at age 86
    • Cpl. Duane Mosier was in the Marine Corps, seeing action in Tarawa, Saipan (earning the Purple Heart), Tinian, and Okinawa; he was among the first American troops to be stationed in Nagasaki when the war ended
      • He developed Parkinson's disease, diagnosed in his 60s
      • He died of lung cancer at age 75

Following WWII

  • Milo was employed at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California, as an electrician in the construction of nuclear submarines
  • He retired in 1960
  • As an avocation Milo wrote poetry
    • His poems were published on numerous occasions in Jack Burrough's column in the Oakland Tribune
    • For his family and friends he authored a self-published book of poems entitled Artifacts, published in 1967 by Pine Hill Press of Freeman, South Dakota

Death

  • At age 69 Milo Mosier died of a stroke in Napa, California, on July 30, 1968 [Kelly Mosier Wheaton, telephone interview by Valentina Sainato, 9 March 2011]
    • He is buried at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California
(rev.4.27.11)